The g7+ is on the way to UN permanent observer Featured

We have known several big and rich countries that have gathered together in various groups such as the G7, G8 and G20. There is also group conflict affected countries that formed g7+. The g7+ was established by 7 countries including Timor-Leste, a small and poor country that is located in Southeast Asia. Today, the group has grown to 20 member States and has its headquarter in Dili, Timor-Leste and has branch office in Lisbon - Portugal.

Some of g7+ member countries continue to experience conflict due to various factors. Even though, most of these countries are rich in natural resources, but they continue to live in poverty.

Over the years, big and rich countries have provided support to g7+ countries, however, conflict prolong which has finally led to a hunger crisis and humanitarian crisis in the world. The fate and voice of these countries are hardly heard at the UN General Assembly in every year. International bodies engaged in refugees, health and food programme, as well as international financial institutions such as the World Bank and International Finance Corporation have been passive in bringing the voice of fragile and conflict affected countries at the global stage. Their assistance has been focusing on development projects not targeting resolving the source of conflict.

Based on this reason, the g7+ is trying to find a way to advocate for changing in the way of how normally aid was delivered to the fragile and conflict affected countries. Therefore, the g7+ is currently seeking for permanent observer seat at the UN headquarters so that it can represent and express the aspirations of g7+ countries at the UN level.

Under leadership of General Secretary, Dr. Helder da Costa, the g7+ is currently on the process to register the g7+ in the UN to get the status of a UN permanent observer. During the seminar that was conducted by the Faculty of Economics and Management of UNTL on last March 18, Dr. da Costa said that "We will register the g7+ to the UN to become a permanent observer".

He further said during the period of 2006 to 2010, there was no any single country in the world that address the issue of peace, hunger and poverty, which affected the fragile and conflict affected countries in the world. Thus, g7+ appears to bring the aspirations of these countries

What is a Permanent Observer?

The position of being permanent observer is opened for all Non-Member State of the UN including any of the specialized agencies. As an intergovernmental organization that brings together 20 conflict affected countries with mission to promote peacebuilding and statebuilding and has its own Charter, the g7+ fulfills the criteria to be the permanent observer at the UN. The benefit of becoming permanent observer is that the organization has access to most of meetings and reports at the UN assembly. The position as observer can be upgraded later in the future as UN to members according practices in the past.

According to the UN Website that, there are 21 out of 72 intergovernmental organizations who has maintained their permanent offices at the UN Headquarters.

Timor-Leste's Membership in International Organizations

Timor-Leste's foreign policy places high priority on its relationships with neighbouring countries including with Indonesia, Australia, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) and member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Timor-Leste began its two-years presidency of the CPLP in 2014 by prioritizing economic integration between member states as well as joint exploration and production of oil and gas. One of Timor-Leste priorities in foreign policy is to join ASEAN and the country has applied for ASEAN membership in 2011 waiting for decision from ASEAN secretariat.

The work of Timor-Leste in the g7+ group is to complement Timor-Leste's foreign policy of becoming global mediator and peacemaker by 2030 and to increase the participation of this small country in the global stage according to, Dr. Felix Piedade the Technical Specialist at the g7+ Secretariat in Dili, Timor-Leste.

Raimundos Oki is a freelance journalist in Dili, Timor - Leste. His writing has been published by the Washington Post, the Seattle Times, the Associated Press and Timorese newspapers, including the Timor Post. He has been the recipient of Balibo Five Fellowship, the UN Reham Al-Farra Fellowship and the John Doherty Pacific Journalism Fellowship.

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