First anniversary of the independence of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste
To mark the occasion of the first anniversary of the independence of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste , Mr. Tom Kitt TD Minister of State with responsibility for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, today paid tribute to the progress made by East Timor in its first year of Independence. Minister Kitt also sent greetings to President José Alexandre Gusmao and Dr. José Ramos Horta, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
“Timor Leste is an outstanding example of a country which has moved rapidly and positively from a situation of dire crisis to one in which its Government and people have taken their place amongst the nations of the world. We are proud to be partnering the people of Timor Leste in addressing the development challenges which lie ahead. I have no doubt that we will continue to see economic and social progress in the country over the coming years”.
Minister Kitt referred to the strong ties which exist between Ireland and Timor Leste and the designation of Timor Leste as a Programme Country for Ireland's official programme of development cooperation. He also paid tribute to the role played by Tom Hyland of East Timor Solidarity in highlighting the plight of Timor Leste over many years.
Timor Leste recently became the seventh Programme Country within the Ireland Aid Programme. Ireland's development programme assists the Government and civil society in areas such as capacity building for the Public Sector, developing local government and in the promotion of gender equity, democracy and human rights. Ireland is also funding the work of the Irish NGO Concern in Timor Leste.