Ensuring Accessibility for All: UNDP Supports Constructions of 6 New Offices for Electoral Management Bodies
December 9, 2022
Dili, 06/12/2022 – The United Nation Development Program (UNDP) Covid-Resilient Elections in Timor-Leste (CORE-TL) project, with the financial support of the Government of Japan, had “Ceremonia Primeira Pedra”, a traditional ground-breaking ceremony, to embark the new constructions of the Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) offices.
A cultural ceremony “Ceremonia Primeira Pedra” for building new construction of EMBs offices was held at STAE Municipal Office in Covalima. The ceremony was attended by H.E. Mr. Miguel Pereira Carvalho, Minister of State Administration, Mr. Daishin Sasaki, Deputy Head of Economic and Development Assistance Section of the Embassy of Japan in Timor-Leste, UNDP Resident Representative Munkhtuya Altangerel, Mr. Acilino Branco, General Director of STAE, and Mr. Domingos Barreto, Vice-President of CNE.
With financial support from the Government of Japan, the UNDP CORE-TL project will assist EMBs to build 6 new EMB offices in 5 municipalities; 3 buildings for the National Commission of Election (CNE) in Covalima, Aileu, and Baucau municipalities, and 3 buildings for Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE) in Covalima, Manatuto, and Viqueque municipalities. All buildings are designed to ensure two critical elements for the upcoming elections; firstly the accessibility for people with disabilities (PwD), and secondly the disaster-resistance including COVID-19 resilience.
At the ceremony H.E. Mr. Miguel Pereira Carvalho, Minister of State Administration stated “the new STAE and CNE buildings will be equipped with essential facilities for people with disabilities, and disaster-resistant structures to ensure the safety of voters. It will facilitate the participation of citizens and the effective work of EMB”.
“Japan is honored to fund this project along with the Government of Timor-Leste since we believe that free and fair election is the foundation of democracy. I would like to reiterate Japan’s commitment to stand by the people of Timor-Leste. We have done so over the past 20 plus years, and we will continue to do so in the future” expressed Mr. Daishin Sasaki, Deputy Head of the Economic and Development Assistance Section of the Embassy of Japan in Timor-Leste.
Also, UNDP Resident Representative Munkhtuya Altangerel underlined that “An inclusive election is essential to achieve democratic governance. UNDP has been promoting inclusive election, especially facilitating participation of women, youth, and PwD, and we will continue our support to EMBs to achieve leave no one behind”.
Finally “ I sincerely appreciate the generous financial support from the Government of Japan to conduct all the construction activities. I also would like to express my gratitude for the great collaboration with UNDP to support upcoming elections” said Mr. Acilino Branco, General Director of STAE. Mr. Domingos Barreto, Vice-President of CNE echoed “With the strong partnership with the Government of Japan and UNDP, we will ensure democratic participation in the upcoming parliament elections”.