East Timor approves measure to join global financial institutions upon independence

The plan put forward by the Ministry of Finance and approved by the Council of Ministers would enable East Timor to join the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank after achieving statehood on 20 May, according to the UN Transitional Administration (UNTAET).The Council also approved a new organizational structure of the Second Transitional Government, a $19.2 million assistance package from Japan for various public works projects, and a proposal to increase the health ministry’s ability to provide international-standard mental health services over the next three years.In other action, the Ministers endorsed a foreign affairs package that included a recommendation that several agreements signed by UNTAET/East Timor and Indonesia would remain valid until new accords were negotiated and signed.Among the agreements are those that cover the movement of people and goods between East Timor and the Oecussi enclave, which is located in Indonesian West Timor; the Joint Border Commission; postal services; the Indonesian rupiah; and pension payments to former East Timorese who served in the Indonesian civil service, police and military. read more

António Guterres set to be sworn in as next UN SecretaryGeneral

Mr. Guterres, 67, was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015. He will become the world’s top diplomat on 1 January 2017, and hold that post for the next five years.He was formally appointed by the General Assembly on 13 October in what was the culmination of an historic process Member States set in motion late last year: the selection of a new United Nations Secretary-General, traditionally decided behind closed-doors by a few powerful countries, for the first time in history, involved public discussions with each candidate campaigning for the Organization’s ninth chief.These so-called ‘informal briefings’ between the candidates, UN Member States and civil society representatives kicked off on 12 April, when the first three candidates presented their ‘vision statements’ and answered questions on how they would promote sustainable development, improve efforts to create peace, protect human rights, and deal with huge humanitarian catastrophes should they be selected to lead the Organization.In October, thanking the Assembly for appointing him as the next Secretary-General, Mr. Guterres said he was grateful to the Member States for their trust in him as well as for the transparent and open selection process they undertook.“I believe this process means that the true winner today is the credibility of the UN. And it also made very clear to me that, as Secretary-General, having been chosen by all Member States, I must be at the service of them all equally and with no agenda but the one enshrined in the UN Charter,” added.Tomorrow’s ceremony, at which Mr. Guterres will take the oath of office, will also see the 193-member General Assembly pay tribute to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his exceptional contribution to the work of the Organization over the past decade.On 12 December 2016, António Guterres will be sworn in as the next UN Secretary-General. In his vision for the post, Mr. Guterres – a former Prime Minister of Portugal and UN High Commissioner for Refugees – has said that the world body is uniquely placed to connect the dots to overcome global challenges and further strengthen the nexus between peace and security, sustainable development and human rights policies. read more