Dili, November 29, 2012 — Thirty-one young diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Timor-Leste have graduated from a three-week intensive training course designed to build the skills and knowledge required for successful diplomatic careers within the Ministry. The induction training was supported by the U.S. Department of State Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) and The Asia Foundation in Timor-Leste.
Following a pilot course in early 2012, the induction training was developed into a full-time intensive program with 6 hours of lessons and workshops each day. Lecturers included internal Ministry officials as well as experts from international agencies and foreign embassies, including a number of Ambassadors and Deputy Ambassadors to Timor-Leste. The training assists new staff at the Ministry to develop skills in cross-cultural communication and public diplomacy, whilst increasing their knowledge of history, international relations, and basic protocols.
The graduation ceremony was attended by the United States Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Her Excellency Ms. Judith Fergin, the Secretary of State for ASEAN Affairs in Timor-Leste, Dr. Roberto Soares, as well as Ambassadors and representatives from other embassies including Thailand, the Philippines and Korea. In her remarks, Ambassador Fergin congratulated the graduates on successfully completing the training and spoke candidly about the nature and purpose of a diplomatic posting: “Your role is to further the interests of your country, to change the way other nations relate to your own, and to build strong relationships based on mutual interest, friendship and trust.”
Secretary Soares praised the hard work and effort of the graduating trainees, stating: “This group of young people come from different academic backgrounds and have lived different lives, yet they have tenaciously participated in this training and successfully engaged in a productive, meaningful process for their careers.” Secretary Soares called on the group of young diplomats to play a leading role in safeguarding the future and unity of Timor-Leste, with a reminder that “we are all one people, united as one in diversity.”
Ms. Marlina Ornai Malak, recognized as an outstanding participant in the training, offered her thanks to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Ambassador Fergin, and The Asia Foundation, stating: “We, as young diplomats commit to do our best for the future of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of RepĂşblica DemocrĂˇtica de Timor Leste (RDTL), and our best for Timor-Leste.”
This induction training forms part of a larger Asia Foundation project to increase the capacity of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Timor-Leste, and was made possible through generous support from the U.S. Department of State. Read more about the Foundation’s work in Timor-Leste. For media inquiries, please visit the Press Room.