More than 1.5 billion people live in conflict-affected and fragile countries, and Timor-Leste knows first-hand that moving from conflict to stability is a long and demanding political process.
“Timor-Leste, as a nation, is building strength and economic resilience and has demonstrated how much can be won in a short space of time.” Sri Mulyani Indrawati World Bank Group Managing Director
Spurred by the lessons drawn from its own experiences, Timor-Leste is leading the g7+, a consortium that represents 350 million people from 17 of these fragile states.The g7+ is the first time in history that fragile and conflict- affected countries have formed a shared voice to review their common challenges and opportunities on a global stage.
Minister of Finance Her Excellency Emilia Pires is the inaugural chair and represents Timor-Leste. She assumed leadership of the g7+ last year and helped lead the group to agree on the Dili Declaration. Signed in April 2010, the Declaration outlines a bold new vision for creating specific peace building and state building processes and improves the effi- ciency of international assistance.
The value of sharing these experiences is clear: 43% of countries moving out of conflict slide back into war within five years. Basic government transformations can take anywhere from 20 to 40 years.The g7+ provides a mechanism to prevent countries from slipping back into conflict.
During the g7+ conference in May in Monrovia, Liberia with leaders from states including Afghanistan ,South Sudan, and Ivory Coast, Pires encouraged members to leverage their collective experiences and apply them toward common goals, such as eradicating poverty. “We have a duty to share best practices and learn from each other,” Pires said. “Our problems are very similar.”
Accountability is a key part of the g7+ group – both for member countries and international donors – and Timor-Leste leads by example. In March, Timor-Leste launched a ground-breaking transparency portal that provides the public with specific information on government expenditures. This user-friendly portal, available in Tetum, English and Portuguese, tracks government expenses and revenues and includes important information regarding budget laws.
“We have a duty to share best practices and learn from each other.” H.E. Emilia Pires Minister of Finance
Timor-Leste’s example is gaining world-wide attention. World Bank Group Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati recently praised Timor-Leste for its leadership, fast-growing economy and political stability during a con- ference in Dili in August.
“Timor-Leste, as a nation, is building strength and economic resilience and has demonstrated how much can be won in a short space of time,” Indrawati said.