Our Role

Our Mission

Fundasaun Mahein’s mission to assist in increasing the legitimacy and capacity of Timor-Leste’s security sector through citizen participation in the development of relevant legislation, policy and budgets.

We believes that only the active participation of Timorese citizens can solve the problems in Timor-Leste’s security sector. Therefore, we encourage public dialogue about crucial security-related issues. Our publications strive to provide information, analysis, and policy recommendations in order to facilitate political participation. We also aim to strengthen the ability of Timorese media, civil society organizations, and Members of Parliament to address these challenges.

We believe that creating a space for public discussion around security sector development will lead to concrete improvements. These improvements will boost legitimacy while also ensuring that institutions remain culturally appropriate for Timorese society and its real security need. Improving the legitimacy and credibility of the security forces also increases their capacity to respond appropriately to the security challenges that Timor-Leste faces today.

FM welcomes assistance from the international community. We believe that our organization’s strength derives from its ability to engage with foreign stakeholders while also maintaining local leadership that advocates faithfully for the Timorese people.

Our Objectives

Objective 1 – Create political space. To create and expand space for debate, discussion, and participation in issues related to the supervision and civil governance of the security sector.

Activity. Fundasaun Mahein will produce reports and commentary about policy, legislation, and  budgets associated with the security sector. These reports will vary from short blog publications  and opinion pieces to longer reports. All of these publications will be researched and written by the Timorese people themselves. We will post our reports online while also actively publicizing them in the Timorese media, in order to raise public awareness about these issues and the associated problems.

Result. In order to raise awareness about fundamental issues related to the security sector, we will allow Timor-Leste’s society to participate in debates about these topics. This will result in security policies that uphold the rule of law and address the needs of the Timorese people. A legitimate security sector will strengthen Timor-Leste’s political stability, and also reinforce the country’s development trajectory.

Objective 2 –Create an information archive. Our archives act as a public repository for information and analysis about the security sector.

Activity. Fundasaun Mahein maintains this website as a platform for its materials. It also uses the website to make digitized news articles on security topics available.

Results. In this archive, Fundasaun Mahein will initiate research about Timor-Leste’s security sector, helping Timorese citizens who lack access to the resources available to trained researchers.

Objective 3 – Strengthen Civil Society. In order to help strengthen the capacity of civil society to spread citizens’ participation about security sector issues – thus increasing the sector’s legitimacy and capacity to protect Timorese citizens.

Activity. As financial opportunities allow, Fundasaun Mahein will hold training sessions about security sector development with other civil society actors. Our organization is always ready to give information and advice about the security sector to our colleagues in other civil society organizations. In the long term, Fundasaun Mahein aims to establish a civil society network focused on security sector issues in Timor-Leste.

Result. To give kapasitasaun to civil society in this manner, Fundasaun Mahein will initiate lian alternativa sira in debate about the security sector, lian sira which will sai reprezentantivu liután ba grupu sira ne’ebé specifically women, children or rural communities. In order to initiate these lian atu hola parte in political debate about the security sector, we develop this debate and assure that Timorese society in its totality sai servidu husi security sector nian. Together with our other activities, this will raise the security sector’s effectiveness and legitimacy in the eyes of the community, strengthening stability and development.

What We Stand For

Fundasaun Mahein is a nonpartisan organization that seeks to bolster the democratic process and forge enduring solutions to challenges in the security sector. To this end, we have five tenets:

1. Civilian Oversight. The security forces should serve the will of the people of Timor-Leste, which expresses itself through the democratically elected Timorese government. The security sector must follow all legal and political orders from the civilian executive.

2. Rule of Law. Fundasaun Mahein believes that no person in Timor-Leste should be able to act with impunity. All citizens, especially those the security sector, must obey the rule of law.

3. National Security Policy. We ask the government to publish National Security Policy for Timor-Leste , which will include a list of tasks required of the security sector in order to respond to specific threats. This document will allow public discussion about security issues.

4. Allocation of Resources. Fundasaun Mahein believes that the security policy, personnel, and budgets must be appropriate for the tasks required of the security sector.

5. Professionalism and Discipline. Security institutions have the duty of protecting the people of Timor-Leste. We aim to advocate for the highest standards of professionalism and discipline.

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