La'o Hamutuk worked with three international NGOs to make written and video statements to the Council, supporting the Rapporteur's report and explaining that poverty here could get much worse in about ten years, when Timor-Leste's oil runs out, our youth population doubles and debt repayments escalate. For more information on the Special Rapporteur and Timor-Leste, including other documents, see http://www.laohamutuk.org/econ/SRPoverty/12SREP.htm.
Timor-Leste's Government gave qualified support to the Rapporteur's recommendations: While certain premises in the report could have taken current reality of Timor-Leste into account, we appreciate the analysis and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur." In that regard, La'o Hamutuk encourages the Government to publish the results of the Household Income and Expenditure Survey conducted last year. According to the just-released Ministry of Finance Handover Report, "the recent Household Income and Expenditure Survey combined with others will yield new insights into poverty."
The video testimony presented by La'o Hamutuk's Ines Martins on behalf of Madre was the first time ever that an NGO participated by video in an Interactive Dialogue with a Special Rapporteur at the Human Rights Council. Below is a transcript, which is a shortened version of our written statement:
- Reduce 40% annual growth in State expenditures, while improving basic services for vulnerable people, especially women and children.
- Invest in health care, education, water and rural roads to let people raise themselves out of poverty.
- Stop borrowing and wasting money on huge infrastructure projects without much economic or social return.
- Strengthen the non-oil economy, especially agriculture and light industry, to reduce imports and provide livelihoods and basic needs.
- Help Timor-Leste take responsibility for its own development.