June 5, 2012 — On May 28, 2012, at the Salao Nobre of Ministry of Foreign Affair of Timor-Leste (MoFA), Secretary General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Timor-Leste, Mr. Francisco Cepeda Tilman, handed certificates to 45 senior and newly recruited cadets of MoFA after over a month of intensive diplomatic induction course. The course was part of The Asia Foundation’s project on strengthening Ministry of Foreign Affairs Capacity Affairs supported by the U.S. Department of State. In his remarks, Secretary General Tilman thanked the U.S. Department of State for its generous support to the program and highlighted its importance for the ministry’s staff members as they prepare to become Timor-Leste’s future foreign affairs officers and diplomats.
The Asia Foundation’s Country Representative in Timor-Leste, Silas Everett, hopes that course graduates will apply the skills and knowledge gained in this training to their diplomatic work. He noted: “Now Timor-Leste can proudly say that it has more capable human resources in its hands to lead the country in its relations with the rest of the world.” The two-year project aimed to increase the capacity of MoFA has two objectives:¬† to strengthen human resources and facilitate institutional development at the Ministry.¬† As part of efforts to strengthen human resources within MoFA, the project provided curriculum advice to refine existing training materials and worked closely with MoFA’s Human Resources and Secretary General to develop additional training curriculum and manuals, particularly for the development of the Ministry’s newly recruited civil service cadets.
The induction training for MoFA’s more experienced and newly recruited staff members was officially launched in late March 2012 and attracted many participants. A number of eminent persons from foreign ambassadors to politicians based in Timor-Leste were invited to teach sections of the course, through which they imparted comprehensive experience and practical knowledge to the training participants. Among those who witnessed the closing ceremony were U.S. Ambassador to Timor-Leste, H.E¬† Judith R. Fergin, Ambassador of the Philippines, Ambassador of New Zealand, Chairman of Timor-Leste’s Public Service Commission, and MoFA’s directors and staff.