After more than 20 years in exile during the Indonesian occupation, José Ramos-Horta returned to East Timor to serve in the young government and was later elected President of East Timor. For his tireless work to advance human rights, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996.
In an exclusive conversation with Prof. Laurent Goetschel, Dr. Ramos-Horta will look back on his experiences during his people’s struggle — first for independence from Portugal, then against Indonesia’s invasion. He will also discuss his views on the current human rights situation in Asia, and on the ongoing UN reform process.
José Ramos-Horta is a founding father of the first new democracy of the millennium, Timor Leste. After leading his country to independence and receiving the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize he served as the country’s president until 2012. Ramos-Horta was then called on by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, to serve as a Special Representative for Guinea Bissau and subsequently helped to bring democratic elections as well as a peaceful transition of the country to its people. He further chaired the UN High-Level Panel on Peace Operations.
Laurent Goetschel will lead the conversation with José Ramos-Horta. He’s a professor of Political Science at the University of Basel and director of swisspeace. He oversees the university’s Master in Advanced Studies in Civilian Peace-building and has written extensively on peace-building, neutrality and foreign policy. Amongst others, he is also a member of the advisory board of the European Institute of Peace (Brussels) and is president of the Swiss Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries.