East Timor: Towards ASEAN’s 11th Member

THE ASEAN Mayors Forum (AMF), a local government entity associated with ASEAN, gladly welcomes the grant of observer status of East Timor by ASEAN following the ASEAN Summit 2022.

The announcement made East Timor as the organisation’s 11th member and officially ended the country’s 11-year campaign for membership that President Jose Ramos-Horta submitted in 2011. With its new status, East Timor can participate in all ASEAN meetings and Summit plenaries until full membership (preceded with the presentation of a “roadmap for full membership” at the ASEAN Summit in 2023, chaired by Indonesia).

Mr. Kupa Lopes, Ambassador of East Timor to Cambodia, who also came to the ASEAN Summit, said that Timor-Leste is prepared to complete the work and be responsibilities with the ASEAN Secretariat to fulfill the requirements for the roadmap and become a full member in the following Summit. With the new admission, East Timor will replace Cambodia as the most recent member.

East Timor, a nation of 1.3 million people decided to separate from Indonesia in 2002. This year, the country celebrated 20 years of independence. For years, it has struggled with periods of instability, political rebirth, and difficulty diversifying its economy. The country has been depending on its diminishing oil and gas reserves. Joining a massive market like ASEAN, East Timor will get benefit in its efforts to boost the economy and positively improve the lives of its people.