Fundasaun Mahein (FM), 20 January 2016
The Efforts and Challenges of Timor-Leste’s Commitment to ASEAN “From the Perspective of Political/Security and Economic Sectors”
The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional organization that has facilitated cooperation between all countries in South-East Asia since 1967. Timor-Leste has made a committed effort to cooperate with ASEAN members and policies in regional and national levels. Timor-Leste has presented its case for admission to ASEAN since 2011.
Timor-Leste is localized in the south-east Asian region, and is becoming a unique country although it is not yet an ASEAN member. The admission process of Timor-Leste is long and rigorous. This push for admission is made not only by Timor-Leste, but involves as well the input of ASEAN country members, such as Indonesia, in ASEAN’s final expert assessments of Timor-Leste’s preparation. The assessments have focused on economic, security, and political situations in Timor-Leste, with the final assessment on socio-cultural aspects concluded at the end of 2015.
FM believes that the recent assessment will provide a final conclusion in Timor-Leste’s preparation and will sway any remaining members of ASEAN countries that hold objections to Timor-Leste’s entry on the basis of political and security concerns. Those countries have considered Timor-Leste an obstacle for the ASEAN community and believe that Timor-Leste would not be able to face the complexities of ASEAN.
This report identifies the situation in Timor-Leste that has caused doubt and objection from some members of ASEAN countries, and notes that significant progress has been made and Timor-Leste currently operates largely in peace and harmony, which in turn accelerates the development in various sectors. However, it is key that Timor-Leste continue to be properly prepared for potential entry into ASEAN, as entry requires not only stipulations and expectations within the immediate geographic region, but also necessitates that all ASEAN members are capable of handling the complex situations of the ASEAN community.
1. The Government of Timor-Leste needs to accelerate its preparation of the political, security and economic pillars of the country, so as to be able upon entry to handle its important role and responsibilities as a member of ASEAN.
2. The Government of Timor-Leste needs to prepare its human resources in order to handle its main responsibilities under ASEAN, including financial and infrastructure resources to facilitate ASEAN services after entry into the community.
For more details on this issue, please contact:
Executive Director of FM
Phone: +670 78316075 or 7756 1184