UNDP Timor-Leste and the Government of Japan Sign a New Agreement to Strengthen the Operational Capacities of the National Radio and Television Institution
August 16, 2023
Dili, 11/08/2023- The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Government of Japan signed an Exchange of Notes on the US$ 6 million support to strengthen the operational capacities of Rádio-Televisão Timor-Leste (RTTL)*, the national radio and television institution under the Secretary of State for Social Communication.
The level of structural damage to the RTTL building following the flash floods in 2021 hinders the proper functioning of the institution and, by extension, makes it difficult to fulfill its role to provide information to citizens. Delivering the highest standards of public service and providing trustworthy and objective information is key to building an informed society and sustaining participatory democracy.
Through the UNDP-Japan agreement, UNDP will provide support to RTTL, with a US$ 6 million fund from Japan, to strengthen its operational capacities, including assistance in the construction of a new green building, and tailored training on inclusive public debate targeting youth and women.
The signing ceremony was attended by H.E. the President of the Republic Democratic of Timor-Leste, Mr. José Ramos Horta, H.E. the Ambassador of Japan to Timor-Leste Mr. Tetsuya KIMURA, H.E. the Secretary of State for Social Communication, Mr. Expedito Diaz Ximenes, H.E. the President of CA-RTTL EP, Mr. José António Belo, the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Funmi Balogun, and the UNDP Resident Representative a.i., Ms. Adeline Carrier.
H.E. Mr. José Ramos Horta, the President of the Republic Democratic of Timor-Leste, congratulated the new agreement “Timor-Leste is a country with very high press freedom. Therefore, with the signing of Exchange of Notes today, we made a new and important step in the history of Timor-Leste to develop our national media to carry out its mandates more professionally.”
H.E. Mr. Expedito Diaz Ximenes, Secretary of State for Social Communication, expressed appreciation for the partnership with UNDP and the Government of Japan " From time-to-time RTLL has been facing challenging issues and some problems remained unsolved. Today, we witnessed the new partnership with UNDP and Japan to bolster press freedom in Timor-Leste. The Government of Timor-Leste will also provide essential assistance to the new project aligned with the existing national plans.” Also, H.E. Mr. José António Belo, the President of CA-RTTL EP reiterated " Our respect to UNDP and the Government of Japan for their tireless effort in realizing the new project. We're ready to work to make a change.”
The support by the Government of Japan providing US$6 million to strengthen RTTL’s operational capacity is an important contribution in preserving and advancing democratic governance. H.E. Mr. Tetsuya KIMURA, the Ambassador of Japan to Timor-Leste, expressed his aspiration “We also need to note that democracy is not something that can be simply left to run its course once it has been established; it is something that requires constant efforts to maintain and strengthen, and the press has played a fundamental role in this process. We hope that RTTL will enhance its operational capacities through this project, thereby contributing to maintaining and strengthening the governance of this country. We will continue to assist the nation-building of Timor-Leste for years to come in a spirit of solidarity and friendship.”
Finally, Ms. Adeline Carrier, UNDP Resident Representative a.i., emphasized the significance of a green building that will be supported by UNDP “I take pride in the fact that the RTTL will be headquartered in a “green building”, which is an important feature of this project. The intent behind the green buildings is to employ processes that are environmentally responsible both in the construction and management stages. This also means efficient use of land, water, and energy. We hope that this building can become a reference point and a model for sustainable urban development.”
*RTTL (Rádio-Televisão Timor-Leste) is one of the major national media institutions in Timor-Leste. The institution provides radio and television programmes, including news (in Tetum, Portuguese, and English), information focused on health, education, and natural disaster prevention, and social/political debates. Its branch offices are located in each municipality to cover local news and reach out to a wide range of audiences including rural communities.
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