Baucau, February 15, 2011 — Today, the Baucau Suco Association, formed from 59 community councils (sucos) formally launched in the district of Baucau, Timor-Leste. Each suco has a district leader that is responsible to ensure peace and order in the communities; protect women against domestic violence; protect the environment; promote local culture; protect water sources; maintain roads; assist the state to implement health and education programs; and to protect water resources. The Baucau Suco Association will collectively work together to contribute to the crafting of national policy and legislation.
In December 2009, all 59 community councils of the district of Baucau were sworn in as the newly-elected community leaders of the district. With the support from The Asia Foundation’s program on local governance, elections, and civil society, as well as funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the suco councils conducted a series of inter-suco meetings, sessions, and conferences among themselves along with relevant line ministries. Through these meetings, the councils decided to form the Baucau Suco Association that would continue to collectively work for the interest of their communities.
This inaugural event was attended by representatives of the Ministry of State Administration and Territorial Management, the Ambassador of the United States to RDTL representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture, Infrastructure, Health, Education and Justice, the District Administrator, Members of National Parliament, National and International NGOs other members of civil society, and representatives of suco councils from other districts.