Subject: LUSA: International Development Conference Gets Underway Wednesday, PLUS: Note

30 Apr 02 21:59 East Timor: International Development Conference Gets Underway Wednesday

East Timor`s plan for post-I[n]dependence development is the theme of a four-day conference beginning Wednesday in Dili, at which president-elect Xanana Gusmao and Chief Minister Mari Alkitiri will participate.

The two Timorese leaders will open the proceedings at the "Planning for Independence" conference, which focuses on the human and financial challenges following the territory`s independence on May 20.

More than 40 local and international delegations, including officials from nongovernmental organizations and the Timorese government, will meet at Dili`s National University to hear contributions from various experts.

Conference participants will divide into working groups to define priority strategies for East Timor`s development. A final document from the conference will be presented to a meeting of international donors in Dili on May 14-15.

The conference is organized by the East Timor Institute of Planning (IPTL) and the Royal Australian Planning Institute (RAPI). It is funded by the department of local government and planning of the Australian state of Queensland.

In a press release, RAPI official Phil Heywood said it was now necessary to consider other sectors, in addition to the "significant" political achievements already made by East Timor.


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