Seminario Europeo para una agenda armonizada de Cooperación con Timor Oriental (Horizonte 2010)

Cooperation Timor

Swedish development co-operation with Timor-Leste

Sweden has supported Timor-Leste since the end of the 1990’s. Initially the focus was on humanitarian assistance as well as support through the UN missions to rebuild the Timorese institutions after the destruction in 1999.

The first country strategy for Swedish development co-operation with Timor-Leste was established for the period 2002-2004 with the aim of contributing to Timor-Leste’s own efforts to fight poverty by ensuring peace and stability, strengthening democracy and respect for human rights as well as strengthening economic development. The humanitarian support was gradually phased-out as of 2003 but was scaled up again following the crisis that erupted in 2006.

The total Swedish support to Timor-Leste, including humanitarian assistance, has amounted to about EUR 25 million since 1998.

The objective of the Swedish development co-operation with Timor-Leste for the period 2005-2009 is to promote the development of democratic governance and increased respect for human rights. The main part of the support has been provided to the reform of the justice and education sectors as well as to strengthening of the national parliament. Some support has also been provided to the elections cycle and to the customs authority.

Since Sweden does not have an office in Timor-Leste all Swedish support has been channelled through multilateral organisations, like the UNDP and UNICEF. Monitoring of Swedish development assistance is ensured from Sida in Stockholm while the Swedish embassy in Jakarta represents the Swedish government in Timor-Leste.

In 1997 the Swedish government initiated a process of change aimed at creating a new development assistance policy characterised by quality, efficiency and results. An important part of this process was to focus Swedish bilateral development co-operation on fewer countries. Timor-Leste is, through the Swedish government’s decision on country focus, part of the increased focus of Swedish support to countries in a conflict/post-conflict environment.

Sweden is currently working on the future strategy for its development co-operation with Timor-Leste, a process that is expected to be finalised during the first half of 2009. Close co-operation and co-ordination with the Timorese government, other donors and stakeholders will be of vital importance during this process.