Nicolau Lobato Presidential Palace, Dili, 10 November 2020
President Francisco Guterres Lú Olo has called young people the answer to the country’s problems.
In a meeting with the Secretary of State for Youth and Sport, Abrão ‘Nokosiku’ Saldanha, the President of the Republic considered the theme of the National Youth Day – Joven Kontribui ba Sosiedade ida Rezilente (The Contribution of Youth to a Resilient Society) – to be extremely pertinent in the current context of Timor-Leste, and that young people must become the answer to the country’s problems. It is important to prepare our young people to be resilient in the face of the country’s problems.
The Secretary of State for Youth and Sport recalled the challenges that young people faced during the Indonesian occupation and said that it was necessary to foster the resilience of young people so that they are better able to face the new economic, social, and cultural challenges, such as COVID-19, climate change, and the ICT revolution.
It is the state’s responsibility to promote and create space for young people to participate in the national development process.
The President of the Republic welcomed the initiatives planned for National Youth Day and confirmed his presence at the celebrations, during which he will deliver a speech.
The National Youth Day celebrations began on 27–28 October with a reflection on the anniversary of the death of Sebastião Gomes. A number of initiatives are planned throughout the country in the coming days, including a writing competition, a percussion competition, seminars, music concerts, medical appointments for survivors of the Santa Cruz Massacre and their family members, a reflection on 11 November, and fairs.
The Secretary of State for Youth and Sport said that the country has a mostly young population, who are the driving force of national development. The country’s main source of revenue, apart from the Petroleum Fund, comes from young emigrants’ remittances.
The events scheduled for the coming days have been planned and organised by youth groups, with financial support – albeit limited – from the government, which has full confidence in the ability of young people.