UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia-Pacific, Ms. Kanni Wignaraja visits Timor-Leste for a weeklong official mission

October 18, 2022

UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director Ms. Kanni Wignaraja


Dili, 17/10/2022 –United Nations (UN) Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ms. Kanni Wignaraja, arrived in Timor-Leste today on a week-long mission to lead discussions with the government, development partners, and local communities.

During the country mission (17-21 October), Ms. Wignaraja will meet H.E. President Jose Ramos Horta, H.E. Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak, H.E President of the National Parliament Aniceto Longuinhos Guterres Lopes and H.E. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno, to discuss UNDP's contributions and key partnerships to support the country's development priorities, such as climate change, economic diversification, digital transformation and institutional strengthening. 

Ms. Wignaraja will participate in a policy discussion on ‘inclusive economic transformation’ highlighting the need for diversification of the economy for inclusive growth. The mission includes a discussion with H.E. Xanana Gusmao, Timor-Leste Special Representative for the Blue Economy and Chief Negotiator for Maritime Boundary on the blue economy and its potential for economic growth and job creation. An exhibition of youth entrepreneurs as well as a discussion with dignitaries from the Ministry of Tourism, Commerce and Industry, Secretary of State for Vocational Training and Employment, Secretary of State for Youth and Sports, and development partners, will be organized on the issues, challenges and opportunities surrounding youth employment and entrepreneurship in Timor-Leste. Various interactions with most of the key partners UNDP works with are also organized along with meetings with the development partners and sister UN agencies. 

Ms. Wignaraja will also travel to Oe-cusse, the western enclave of Timor-Leste, to visit project sites and local communities. The field visit will include a meeting with the President of Regional Authority of Oe-cusse-Ambeno, and observation of various projects that UNDP has been implementing with support from the Regional Authority such as water projects, women farmers’ group, and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Labs and community tourism initiatives.   

An op-ed coauthored by Ms. Wignaraja and UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Tuya Altangerel, will be released on October 17th. Ms. Wignaraja’s mission will strengthen our collaboration with all the partners to support Timor-Leste in its efforts towards sustainable development.