Opening Remarks at the Definition Seminar of the National Strategy for Social Protection of Timor-Leste: 2nd Phase

By Francesco d'Ovidio, Director of ILO for Indonesia and Timor-Leste at the Opening of the Definition Seminar of the National Strategy for Social Protection of Timor-Leste: 2nd Phase

Statement | Dili, Timor-Leste | 19 October 2016
  • Excellency Coordinating Minister of Social Affairs and Minister of Education, Mr. Antonio da Conceição
  • Excellency Minister of Social Solidarity, Madam Isabel Guterres
  • Dear Directors, Advisors and technical staff from different Ministries and Government institutions
  • Dear representatives of Timor Leste social partners
  • Ladies and Gentlemen
It is a great honor for me to be present at this opening and to the ILO to be a co-organizer of this meeting with the Ministry of Social Solidarity in such a historic moment for the country with the approval of the Social Security Law;

Allow me to congratulate Timor Leste and yourself personally by this great achievement.

Timor Leste was already a reference in the region in terms of Social Protection and this approval represents a new step towards the development of a modern and comprehensive system of Social Protection

This approval comes in a moment in which Social Protection is also gaining momentum in the global and regional agenda. The fact that Social Protection is now an implicit target within the UN Social Development Goals Agenda shows clearly the increasingly relevance that the international community places in Social Protection.

It follows also the adoption of Recommendation 202 on the development of national social protection floors, adopted by ILO member states tripartite delegations, including Timor Leste in 2012.

The ILO constituents in Timor Leste selected Social Protection as one of the three priorities of the Decent Work Country Program recently launched in Dili, showing the importance of Social Protection for the country socio economic development.

Despite this remarkable achievements, as a young country Timor Leste has still many challenges in building a modern, effective and efficient social protection system.

We are aware that many of the programmes were put in place in a very particular context and many times to deal with urgent and particular needs

The effort of the Government of Timor Leste to develop a National Strategy of Social Protection shows clearly the commitment of Government to improve the system.

We are glad to see that the Government of Timor Leste requested the ILO to be a partner in this process and to be seen that a tool as the Social Protection Assessment Based National Dialogue was picked to assist the development of the strategy.

In addition to the provision of quantitative and qualitative evidence, a central element in our view of this process is its participatory approach.

Bringing a diversity of stakeholders, including other government departments; NGOs; Trade Unions and Employers to the same table increases the potential impact of the decisions that will be taken within this process.

I would like to wish to all the participants a very successful workshop and by the end of it you will be able to see that your initial expectations were fulfilled. Finally, I wish also that by the end of these two days we will move into a new phase in the process of designing the strategy and that this workshop had contributed to come to some consensus and conclusions on how to give continuity to this process

We would like to thanks the Portuguese Government to make it possible through the Project Action Portugal the organization of this event and to the Ministry of Social Solidarity and you personally by the leadership you have been taking in this process.