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Speeches at the Plenary Session by Ana Maria Pessoa Pereira da Silva Pinto, Attorney General of East Timor


 

Reinforce Mutual Political Trust and Promote Economic Development

 

Ana Maria Pessoa Pereira da Silva Pinto

Attorney-General of East Timor

 

Honorable Mr. Chairman,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen:

I’m greatly honored to attend the forum at the invitation of the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament (CPAPD). First of all I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate on the opening of the event advocating peace and dialogue and promoting mutually beneficial cooperation, and on the progress and achievements of CPAPD since its founding 27 years ago.

Democratic Republic of East Timor is a young country in Southeast Asia. The independence of East Timor was recognized internationally on May 20, 2002. According to the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of East Timor adopted when the country regained independence, East Timor is a democratic, sovereign, independent and unitary State based on the rule of law; on matters of international relations, East Timor shall govern itself by the principles of national independence, the right of the peoples to self-determination and independence, the permanent sovereignty of the peoples over their wealth and natural resources, the protection of human rights, the mutual respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and equality among States and the non-interference in domestic affairs of other States.

Under the constitutional guidance, East Timor endeavors to develop friendly cooperative ties with the rest of the world, putting a value on its ties with the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), the neighboring countries and other countries in the same region. On the basis of mutual respect and equality, it seeks to establish strategic partnerships with other countries so as to strengthen the bond with them politically and economically.

Currently, East Timor sees its bilateral relations with Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Philippines and China in smooth progress, and has deepened mutual political trust through maintaining high-level contact with those countries.

Amid growing globalization today, we need to establish a new strategic partnership on the basis of peace, mutual trust and sustainable development. It is thus inevitable for East Timor to seek membership of ASEAN as a part of its endeavors to be engaged in the regional integration process.

At present, peace and development remain the shared aspiration of people around the world, thus it is the common pursuit for all countries to strengthen cooperation. East Timor is no exception. Entertaining the wish to safeguard peace and promote sustainable development, East Timor endeavors to speed up nation building, so as to bolster economic and social development and improve people’s livelihood. At the same time, East Timor actively advances its foreign ties, abides by the principles set forth in the Constitution, and advocates a peaceful resolution of conflicts, a general, synchronized and controlled disarmament, and the establishment of a collective security system and a new international order that ensures peace and judicial justice.

East Timor believes that only lasting peace can promote friendship and cooperation among peoples around the world and guarantee stability and prosperity of all countries.

Peaceful environment creates new opportunities for investment and enables various countries to benefit from the lasting and sustainable development.

In the same way as the other countries in the region, East Timor is concerned about how to create a sound trade environment, reinforce cooperation among governing organs, prevent and control conflicts, promote security cooperation, so as to prevent and combat global problems like drug and human trafficking, terrorism, money laundering and transnational crimes. All countries should make concerted efforts to implement the regional plans and projects for peace and security.

Southeast Asia should be a region of peace and cooperation, one that affords effective protection of the environment, the maritime and natural resources, and prohibits unbridled exploitation of resources, which is of particular significance.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As for developing the partnerships with the other countries in the region, China holds special significance for East Timor.

The trade between China and East Timor can be traced back to the 15th century, even before the Portuguese colonial rule of East Timor. During that time, white sandalwood from East Timor was very popular in China and represented the largest proportion of trade between them. Under the Portuguese colonial government, sandalwood trade trailed off between China and East Timor whereas other types of trade began to prosper. More and more Chinese people, especially those from Macau came to settle down in East Timor.

In East Timor’s fight for independence, China rendered valuable support to it and contributed to the nation’s self-determination and independence.

With the establishment of Macau Special Administrative Region (Macau SAR) of China, Macau has become an important platform connecting China and Portuguese-speaking countries. Aside from bilateral cooperation, the establishment of the forum on economic cooperation between China and Portuguese speaking countries makes Macau a leverage strengthening the ties among the former colonies of Portugal. I’m convinced that Macau will play a crucial role in promoting cooperation between China and East Timor in economic, cultural, judicial and other fields.

Judicial cooperation between East Timor and Macau is yet to be enhanced. Better judicial cooperation, which is conducive to cooperation in other aspects, promises to create a sound environment for trade and investment. Judicial cooperation can be conducted in the following ways: investigating into and combating transnational crimes, mutual legal assistance, suspect extradition and repatriation, investment legislation and judicial reform.

This May, I made an official visit to Macau, with a view of furthering and consolidating the friendly and cooperative ties between East Timor and China, Macau in particular. And in the next month, officials from the Macau SAR’s judicial department will return the visit to East Timor.

I am confident that this forum hosted by China, the largest developing country in the world, will, based on the principle of mutual respect, equality and non-interference, make valuable contributions to the establishment of a new strategic partnership featuring mutual political trust and mutual economic benefit, and thus play a positive role in promoting the establishment of a sustainable international economic order.

Thank you!