Democratic governance

#1 Democractic country in South East Asia 

Despite the fierce destruction that leveled the country to the ground in the wake of the 1999 referendum, and later, its rebirth in 2002 as the first new sovereign state of the 21st century, Timor-Leste has marked successes in democracy and peacebuilding. Today, it is ranked the number 1 democratic country in South East Asia, leading elections in both 2017 and 2018 for the first time completely on its own, which were confirmed by international observer groups as transparent, credible and well-managed. The judiciary has also made important gains in upholding the rule of law; the national parliament in enacting the legal framework and providing the required oversight; and the Provedor in protecting human rights. 

Leaving no one behind 

Despite these impressive achievements, Timor-Leste still faces unresolved challenges in the areas of judiciary and access to justice, effective local governance, impactful gender equality, media freedom and human rights. The country aims to strengthen its democratic institutions, enhance transparent and accountable branches of power, and ensure that the needs of its citizens are heard and considered on all levels of decision-making process.

Transparency. Efficiency. Inclusiveness. Credibility  

UNDP has been a partner in these endeavors to build citizens’ confidence in the democratic governance institutions and process. Our Democratic Governance Programme has worked in tandem with successive governments to help establish and strengthen legal frameworks and institutional processes and systems. We co continue to enhance the skills and capacity of staff within these institutions at all levels– from investigators at the Human Rights and Justice Ombudsman to members of parliamentary committees, public defenders, electoral management bodies, local government officials all the way to communities.

Programmes and Initiatives

Justice System Programme (JSP)
Leveraging Electoral Assistance for Regionalized Nation-Building (LEARN)
Supporting the Institutional Development of Oe-Cusse Special Administrative Region and ZEESM
Enhancing public sector accountability through Institutional Strengthening in Anti-Corruption and Decentralization

171 people


Access to justice has improved as a result of UNDP-supported legal aid clinic and mobile court initiatives

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