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Roadmap for Timor-Leste Full Membership in ASEAN

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Statementb y the President of Timor-Lestea nd Nobel Peace Prize LaureateH. E. J. Ramos-Horta

Dili, 10th May 2023

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Timor-Leste participates, for the first time, in a Summit of ASEAN Leaders marking a new chapter in our country’s history as we reach important milestones in our long journey towards regional integration.

ASEAN membership has always been a Timor-Leste’s strategic goal. ASEAN membership – regional economic integration, peace and inclusive prosperity – is not only a “foreign policy priority”, it is very much a pillar of our national life and agenda.

Timor-Leste and ASEAN Member States share common interests in promoting durable peace and sustainable development through active cross regional strategies encompassing socio-cultural and economic dimensions.

The adoption by ASEAN Leaders of an objective criteria-based Roadmap for our Full Membership enables us to move progressively with sufficient time towards full membership in the near future.

Integration into ASEAN provides opportunities for Timor-Leste to fulfill its interests and strategic development goals, namely investment in strategic pillars that would significantly improve health, education and quality of life of our people.

Timor-Leste is firmly committed to undertake institutional, policy, and regulatory reforms, enhance human resources development, invest in strategic infrastructure that creates new opportunities for our economy and addresses common regional challenges in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect. This would ensure that our membership benefits not only our country but the region as a whole.

Timor-Leste will continue to count on the active support of ASEAN Member States and partners in the implementation of the Roadmap.

We welcome and express our deep appreciation to all ASEAN Member States and external partners who have launched capacity-building programs for Timorese officials covering a wide range of development.