East Timor | Nobel laureate Ramos-Horta urges Indonesia-Papua dialogue | MACAU DAILY TIMES 澳門每日時報

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos- Horta has urged Indonesia’s government to hold talks with the Papuan independence movement to help end a decades-long insurgency in the country’s easternmost region. Ramos-Horta, joint recipient of the 1996 Nobel prize for efforts to bring independence and peace to East Timor, which suffered a brutal Indonesian occupation for …

Source: East Timor | Nobel laureate Ramos-Horta urges Indonesia-Papua dialogue | MACAU DAILY TIMES 澳門每日時報

parabéns Ramos Horta

enviamos os nossos melhores votos de parabéns ao associado honorário #2 e patrono da AICL, Colóquios da Lusofonia, José Ramos-Horta que hoje completa mais um ano de vida, com imagens da sua presença no 26º colóquio Lomba da Maia 2016 e 28º Vila do Porto Santa Maria 2017

RAMOS HORTA SOBRE A GNR

Joao Paulo Esperanca shared a memory.

8 hrs

«O ex-Presidente de Timor-Leste José Ramos-Horta destacou, em declarações à agência Lusa, a Guarda Nacional Republicana como a instituição de segurança mais eficaz que esteve em Timor-Leste.

“Eu diria sem hesitação que, pela natureza da GNR e pela dedicação das pessoas que a compõem, foi a instituição de segurança mais eficaz que esteve em Timor-Leste, sem menosprezo por todas as outras instituições policiais ou militares da ONU”, afirmou Ramos-Horta, Prémio Nobel da Paz em 1996 e que na última década foi chefe da diplomacia timorense, primeiro-ministro e chefe de Estado, cargo que cedeu em 2012 para Taur Matan Ruak.

“A GNR pela vastíssima experiência que teve em muitas outras operações de paz da ONU, pela sua experiência interna em Portugal, em lidar com motins ao longo anos, pela sua natureza militar, mas vocacionada para manter lei e ordem com uma enorme mobilidade, foi aqui a peça central em 2006 e 2007 no período mais difícil e conturbado”, disse.

Timor-Leste viveu em 2006 uma grave crise política e militar, que provocou a implosão da polícia timorense, milhares de deslocados e dezenas de mortos.

A crise obrigou as autoridades timorenses a pedir a Portugal o envio de um contingente da GNR com base num acordo bilateral, assinado entre os dois países, com o acordo do Conselho de Segurança da ONU.

A GNR acabou por ser incluída na Missão Integrada das Nações Unidas para o país, que termina em dezembro.

Em 2008, a GNR teve também um papel de destaque na sequência do atentado contra o José Ramos-Horta, tendo sido a primeira ajuda a chegar ao local.

Antes de 2006, a GNR esteve presente em Timor-Leste no período entre 2000 e 2002 através de quatro contingentes que constituíram a Unidade de Resposta Rápida portuguesa, integrada na UNTAET (Administração Transitória da ONU de Timor-Leste).

Os 140 militares da GNR destacados no país regressam a casa na próxima terça e quinta-feira.

“Podem partir com consciência tranquila, orgulho, de uma missão bem cumprida”, afirmou Ramos-Horta.»

JOSÉ RAMOS HORTA E A ARÁBIA SAUDITA

I have some 40 yrs of active, daily engagement with the world, whether the world that is assembled around the UN of empty principles, or the one of individual States. This is called bi-lateral relationships. I know about the depth and width of the oceans that separate principles and realpolik. In plain language, I know about hypocrisy in international politics. But the West’s servility towards Saudi Arabia and its heartless response to the dying children of Yemen are even more debasing. It is pathetic, how leaders of countries – the US, UK and Western cohorts – publicly shame and ostracize Mrs Daw Aung Suu Kjie of Myamar because of her failure to reign on the military over whom they well know the Lady has ZERO power – but are respectfully silent and sell weapons of death and destruction to Saudi Arabia to wage its war in Yemen. Now seeing the results of their greed, they are timidly pleading with the gangster “Prince” for a cease-fire. And of course the “Prince” is offended. Why would anyone take the UN seriosuly? Should the Burmese Govt or anyone take the UN seriously? I recall how Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe was severely castigated and sanctioned by the West for the systematic human rights abuses. Whatever happened in Zimbabwe pales by comparison with Saudi Arabia war in Yemen. It has been 40 years of watching up close the moral cowardice and shameless hypocrisy of both the West and of many in the Third World. The selectivity and hypocrisy practiced by too many are committing the UN to irrelevance. And we will all pay a price for we surrendered principles to money and might. The victims of Yemen and Syria cannot forgive you.

RAMOS HORTA NO FÓRUM DA PAZ EM PARIS

Rosely Forganes shared a post to the group: Timor, Crocodilo Voador.

3 hrs

Image may contain: 2 people, suit
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Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people sitting, table and indoor
+13
José Ramos-Horta is with José Ramos-Horta.

Fórum de Paz de Paris, 11-13 de Novembro

Participei no grande Fórum de Paz de Paris promovido pelo Presidente Emmanuel Mácron. Hoje tive a oportunidade de intervir sobre o tema:

CRAFTING SUSTAINABLE PEACE.

O conhecido apresentador de France 24 Mark Owen foi o moderador. A seguir as minhas curtas palavras de abertura:

Quais são as raízes e causas de tensões e conflitos? A pobreza em si não é a causa de guerras; pois a ser a pobreza a causa de guerras teríamos guerras fratricidas em todo o continente Africano e Asiático onde estão mais de 70% dos pobres do Mundo.

Causas de tensões, instabilidade e conflitos são os flagrantes desequilíbrios sociais, as riquezas adquiridas de forma ilícita e ilegal; as ostentações dos novos ricos corruptos que ofendem os pobres e de tanto ofenderem causam revolta.

Causas de tensões e conflitos são a arrogância dos que estão no poder, aqueles que uma vez instalados nas suas torres de marfim, alienam-se do povo que supostamente deveriam servir.

Causas de conflito são a perda de confiança e respeito nas instituições soberanas do Estado e nos líderes.

Quando estamos no pique do poder, sejamos humildes;
humildade é a virtude daqueles que são verdadeiramente grandes;
saíamos dos palácios e das vivendas;
desçamos das cidades para as aldeias,
desçamos das montanhas para os vales;
estendamos a mão aqueles que estão na periferia do poder e dos privilégios; ouvimo-los,
ajudamo-los a levantar,
convidamo-los a caminhar connosco,
a contribuir para a grande causa nacional de construção da Paz,
de um desenvolvimento humano,
justo,
equilibrado,
sustentável.

Se assim for,
se formos humildes,
se abandonamos a corrupção, ostentação e esbanjamento,
se abraçamos como Causa Nacional a eliminação da extrema pobreza,
se abraçamos a cultura da não violência e da paz,
se investirmos mais na educação e na saúde,
se investirmos mais nas crianças e jovens,
se investirmos melhor na agricultura, pesca e florestas.

Nota: Ao Quai d’Orsey, Embaixada da França na Indonesia e TL e o Escritório de Cooperação Francesa em TL agradeço todas as facilidades concedidas. A Emb de TL junto a UE e em França os meus agradecimentos pelas atenções.

Presidente de Timor-Leste está “refém” do parlamento, diz Ramos Horta – e-Global

José Ramos Horta, ex-presidente de Timor-Leste e ex-ministro dos Negócios Estrangeiros, declarou em Díli, no final da semana passada, que Francisco Lu-Olo, presidente timorense, está “refém” do parlamento, que tem vindo a inviabilizar as suas deslocações ao estrangeiro em representação do país. Nesse sentido, Ramos Horta referiu que: “A lei de Timor-Leste permite que os deputados do […]

Source: Presidente de Timor-Leste está “refém” do parlamento, diz Ramos Horta – e-Global

Star Weekly | José Ramos-Horta calls for Australia to pressure the US

Australia must exert greater pressure on the Unites States to help tackle world conflict and reduce the flow of people forced to flee their home countries, according to Dr José Ramos-Horta.

Source: Star Weekly | José Ramos-Horta calls for Australia to pressure the US

José Ramos-Horta urges Australia to drop Witness K case | Australia news | The Guardian

Exclusive: former Timor-Leste president says two men ‘acted out of conscience’ and reflect ‘the very best of Australia’

Source: José Ramos-Horta urges Australia to drop Witness K case | Australia news | The Guardian

RAMOS HORTA HONORIS CAUSA IN KOREA

Licinia R. Horta shared a post.

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing
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Image may contain: 13 people, people smiling, people standing
Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling, people standing
+11
José Ramos-Horta

3 hrs

Overcoming Legacies of the Past,
Promoting Reconciliation and Peace
in the Korean Peninsula
and Northeast Asia

Lecture by J. Ramos-Horta
1996 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1996),
former Prime Minister and President of Timor-Leste*

On the occasion of being awarded
the title of Doctor Honoris Causa
by the Gyungwoon University of BUSAN,
on 25th June 2018

I warmly greet the University academic authorities of Gyungwoon University, in particular its distinguished Rector Prof. H. J. KIM and my good friend Prof. KIM SOO IL, former Ambassador of ROK to Timor-Leste.

I also warmly greet the esteemed Governor of Busan Metropolitan City, and other senior and respected officials, Chairman of Jejoo Forum, the Minister of Education and Committee Chairperson of the National Assembly.

Respected Academic Deans, Faculty, Students, and members of the Busang Metropole present here.

I am pleased to be again in Korea and in such hopeful times. My last trip here was in November, 2017, and it coincided with the visit of the US President. I was surprised then that I didn’t have same media attention as President Trump did. (lol).

I am a frequent visitor to ROK, having been here countless times over the past two decades and, may I say, I am reasonably familiar with the country and people – your 5,000 year old civilization, history, culture, wars, defeats and victories. Your achievements over the last 30 years have been extraordinary, rapidly progressing from humiliating impoverishment to the proud ranks of the world’s economic powers, scoring outstanding performance in innovation, science, technology, medicine, arts and diplomacy. Above all, ROK is one of the world’s most vibrant democracies, with an independent and inquisitive media, an informed and vigilant civil society, and an uncompromising Judiciary, all bedrocks of a true democracy.

Similarly, while you live in peace and prosperity, almost anywhere we turn to, any day of the week, we read about violence and death, immense suffering of the innocent, of children and youth, of countries imploding violently along ethnic and religious lines.

Over many thousands of years, human beings waged wars, sometimes to satisfy basic needs of survival as food, water and land to cultivate food. But often times wars were or are waged with the ambition (and miscalculation) of expanding influence and securing even greater gains, in detriment of others whom they defined as adversaries and enemies.

This vast region, Northeast Asia, home to 1.5 billion people – Korea, China and Japan – with an extraordinarily rich history and culture, has known many destructive wars that killed tens of millions of people. The region boasts the world’s largest combined standing army, facing off each other, in addition to the presence on your soil, in ROK and Japan, of a powerful foreign force ostensibly providing you with a security umbrella, arguably a credible deterrence that has kept the peace in the region since the last Korea War.

Both North and South Korea, and virtually every country in the Asia region also know firsthand the tragic consequences of wars, enduring immense suffering caused by centuries of wars unleashed by tyrants and demagogues.

Timor-Leste, a country of a little more than 1 million people, shares with the Korean people a history of war, occupation and resistance. We survived and prevailed through centuries of colonial rule, occupation by the Japanese Imperial Army, recolonization by Portugal, and occupation by Indonesia, during which close one third of our population perished.

But in victory in 2002 we celebrated our freedom, when we became the first nation and first new democracy of the millennium. We honoured our martyrs and heroes, and began the process of looking after the veterans, widows, orphans and those mutilated by war. We reconciled with our domestic adversaries, those who didn’t think and believe like us; we forgave our enemies without waiting for an apology. For the sake of healing, we rejected an international tribunal to try those who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

We are at peace with ourselves. Slowly, steadily we are building a peaceful, inclusive, democratic, pluralistic and fair country for all.

I believe the infinite potential of Korea, China, Japan can be unleashed to further peace and prosperity only when a truth telling and truth finding process is undertaken.

Where there is a failure to courageously and honestly address painful historical legacies, deep suspicions and animosities will remain, and will impede the development of a much more mutually beneficial dynamic partnership amongst the three Northeast Asian economic powerhouses.

I will now attempt to summarise the sincere efforts undertaken by leaders of ROK to attain the much cherished dream of peace and reunification among the large divided Korean Family.

From the moment President Moon Jae-in took office in in May 2017, following highly competitive, free and democratic elections, he sought dialogue with the Northern communist regime to realize the elusive dreams of lasting peace, reconciliation, denuclearization and reunification.

They were the same dreams pursued by the late Presidents Kim Dae-Jung and Roh Moohyun, his past political mentors. He courageously reached out to the dictator in the North even as tensions were at boiling point caused by the destabilizing acrimonious exchanges between the North Korean dictator and the US President.

President Moon’s overtures to the North were widely ridiculed and opposed by domestic and American critics. Deeply religious and committed to peace, President Moon was not discouraged by the hostility of the Trump Administration and misgivings conveyed from Tokyo in regards the entreaties between ROK and DPRK.

The mood has changed dramatically, from fear of an imminent war fed by incendiary tweets threatening nuclear annihilation of North Korea by the most powerful country in the world, to one of celebration as a result of the historic Summit in Singapore that ended with a statement of intention to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. The “dotard” and the “Rocket man” became instant “friends.” The world shouldn’t be surprised if we see Trump Towers going up in Pyongyang and the “Apprentice” series carried in the only State TV Channel allowed in DPRK.

Others are cautious and not persuaded about the North’s intentions. After all, the skepticism stems from past false starts and broken promises by the North Korean regime.

President Moon is absolutely correct in doing everything in his power in the remaining years in office to pursue the much cherished dream of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, lasting peace and reunification. This promises to be a long and tortuous process but the seeds of peace President Moon and his two predecessors, Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moohyun, have planted will bear fruit if Koreans stand fully behind this peace process, keep the hope and faith, and refuse to give up in the face of the many obstacles ahead.

The peoples of the Korean Peninsula and of the wider region deserve and expect no less from their leaders, who are duty bound to pursue patient dialogue, and explore avenues of cooperation where possible and desirable.

President Kim Jong-un would send a further message of good faith if he is to decree the end of arbitrary detention, closure of labor camps, torture and summary executions, and release of all political prisoners. If it is true that President Kim Jong-un loves his people as stated by President Trump then surely he should take steps towards opening up North Korea and allow his people more freedom.

But Kim Jong-un does not have to fear “regime change” similar to the ones orchestrated by the US in Iraq and Libya. He has ample time to initiate and manage a process of incremental and visible change and can go down in history as the architect of gradual evolution from tyranny to a more humane and compassionate political and social regime.

As I stand here I bow to the memory of all Koreans who lost their lives in the fight for independence against foreign rulers and for democracy and freedom against dictatorship.

I bow to the memory of the late President Kim Dae Jung, a man of vision, principles and convictions, a fighter for human rights and democracy, a bridge builder with the North.

Kim Dae Jung was a personal friend and friend of my country. In September 1999 working closely with President Bill Clinton and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, he dispatched a Korean peace-keeping battalion to my country, contributing to end the violence there. I commend the Korean armed forces for their professionalism and bravery in the service of the UN in my country.

I am very proud to have nominated KDJ for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. He was awarded the prize in 2000. I wrote the submission nominating him for the Nobel Peace Prize in a hotel room in Seoul with the help of my friend Han Jung Kim. I attended the great Oslo ceremony on 10th December 2000 as a guest of President KDJ.

In a speech in Berlin’s Old City Hall in July 2017 President Moon said:

“We need to urgently ease the military tension on the Korean Peninsula. We need to rebuild the trust that has collapsed between the South and the North. In this regard, we will seek exchanges and dialogue. North Korea also needs to stop from any more nuclear provocations. We need to establish a military management system to prevent accidental clashes.

“A more fundamental solution is to uproot the North Korean nuclear issue. The North Korean nuclear issue has become much more difficult to deal with than in the past with the advancement of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. A step-by-step and comprehensive approach is required.

“My Government, in cooperation with the international community, will work towards a comprehensive solution of the current issues on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, including the complete dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear program and establishing a peace regime, easing North Korea’s security and economic concerns, and improving North Korea-US and North Korea-Japan relations.

The fact that he mentions easing the security and economic concerns of the North is vital. The Korean War, US military presence at its borders, NATO orchestration of regime change in Iraq and Libya after the Gadhafi regime gave up its nuclear weapons program, are all roots of North Korean regime’s obsession with acquiring nuclear weapons capability, its sense of vulnerability and fears, and its desire to be taken seriously as a regional military power.

There are no short cuts to peace. The road is fraught with man-made obstacles, stemming from individual or collective experiences, perceptions and fears, often exacerbated by personal ambitions and egos of those at the center.

Hence we can all be assured that there’s not going to be a straight line in the pursuit of durable peace in the Korean Peninsula and beyond. While some first major steps have been taken towards denuclearization and elimination of the threat of war, as President Moon rightly stated “A step-by-step and comprehensive approach is required.”

Let’s hope that all sides deliver on their pledges.

Home to half of humanity, the Asia region remains a very promising one; however, I also believe that our region is the most dangerous of all, with the most intractable maritime and land border disputes and with largest number of nuclear armed countries.

In addition, there is the environmental cost of the weight of half of humanity on Asian soil; daily more than 4 billion people extract from Mother Earth the most precious resource – water, water that is fast becoming a scarce commodity. Add to this the industrial waste poisoning our rivers, lakes and seas, the firewood for household consumption and the unscrupulous commercial logging that have reduced our forests to alarming levels, the melting of the Himalayas, and other environmental threats.

The 21st century presents a chance to coalesce around common global interests – reverse the nefarious consequences of climate change, manage clean water reserves that are becoming a rare commodity, save our polluted rivers, lakes and seas, replenish the depleted fish stock, eliminate extreme poverty and hunger, deescalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula and South China Sea, between India and Pakistan, India and China, China and US, Russia and the US.

I dream of the time when the three great countries China, Korea and Japan meet at the golden bridge of peace, a bridge decorated with millions of paper cranes, a vision imagined by an innocent victim of the first ever atomic bomb dropped on a people, Sadako. After being diagnosed with leukemia from the atomic radiation, Sadako began to fold origami paper cranes, inspired by the Japanese legend that one who created a thousand origami cranes would be granted a wish. And Sadako’s wish was to live.

China, Japan and Korea and North Korea, have all suffered enough. It is obvious that too many among you carry still in your hearts the wounds of past wars. You must exorcise the demons of the past from your daily lives if you want this great region to live not in a perpetual “Cold Peace” but in real peace, liberated from the nightmares of the past, in security, tranquility and prosperity.

J. Ramos-Horta

*Bio notes: J. Ramos-Horta served as President, Prime Minister, Senior Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence of Timor-Leste (2002-2012), Member of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Board on Mediation (2017- ), Chair of the High Level Independent Panel On UN Peace Operations (2014-2015).

José Ramos-Horta
3 hrs ·
Overcoming Legacies of the Past,
Promoting Reconciliation and Peace
in the Korean Peninsula
and Northeast Asia

Lecture by J. Ramos-Horta
1996 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1996),
former Prime Minister and President of Timor-Leste*

On the occasion of being awarded
the title of Doctor Honoris Causa
by the Gyungwoon University of BUSAN,
on 25th June 2018

I warmly greet the University academic authorities of Gyungwoon University, in particular its distinguished Rector Prof. H. J. KIM and my good friend Prof. KIM SOO IL, former Ambassador of ROK to Timor-Leste.

I also warmly greet the esteemed Governor of Busan Metropolitan City, and other senior and respected officials, Chairman of Jejoo Forum, the Minister of Education and Committee Chairperson of the National Assembly.

Respected Academic Deans, Faculty, Students, and members of the Busang Metropole present here.

I am pleased to be again in Korea and in such hopeful times. My last trip here was in November, 2017, and it coincided with the visit of the US President. I was surprised then that I didn’t have same media attention as President Trump did. (lol).

I am a frequent visitor to ROK, having been here countless times over the past two decades and, may I say, I am reasonably familiar with the country and people – your 5,000 year old civilization, history, culture, wars, defeats and victories. Your achievements over the last 30 years have been extraordinary, rapidly progressing from humiliating impoverishment to the proud ranks of the world’s economic powers, scoring outstanding performance in innovation, science, technology, medicine, arts and diplomacy. Above all, ROK is one of the world’s most vibrant democracies, with an independent and inquisitive media, an informed and vigilant civil society, and an uncompromising Judiciary, all bedrocks of a true democracy.

Similarly, while you live in peace and prosperity, almost anywhere we turn to, any day of the week, we read about violence and death, immense suffering of the innocent, of children and youth, of countries imploding violently along ethnic and religious lines.

Over many thousands of years, human beings waged wars, sometimes to satisfy basic needs of survival as food, water and land to cultivate food. But often times wars were or are waged with the ambition (and miscalculation) of expanding influence and securing even greater gains, in detriment of others whom they defined as adversaries and enemies.

This vast region, Northeast Asia, home to 1.5 billion people – Korea, China and Japan – with an extraordinarily rich history and culture, has known many destructive wars that killed tens of millions of people. The region boasts the world’s largest combined standing army, facing off each other, in addition to the presence on your soil, in ROK and Japan, of a powerful foreign force ostensibly providing you with a security umbrella, arguably a credible deterrence that has kept the peace in the region since the last Korea War.

Both North and South Korea, and virtually every country in the Asia region also know firsthand the tragic consequences of wars, enduring immense suffering caused by centuries of wars unleashed by tyrants and demagogues.

Timor-Leste, a country of a little more than 1 million people, shares with the Korean people a history of war, occupation and resistance. We survived and prevailed through centuries of colonial rule, occupation by the Japanese Imperial Army, recolonization by Portugal, and occupation by Indonesia, during which close one third of our population perished.

But in victory in 2002 we celebrated our freedom, when we became the first nation and first new democracy of the millennium. We honoured our martyrs and heroes, and began the process of looking after the veterans, widows, orphans and those mutilated by war. We reconciled with our domestic adversaries, those who didn’t think and believe like us; we forgave our enemies without waiting for an apology. For the sake of healing, we rejected an international tribunal to try those who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

We are at peace with ourselves. Slowly, steadily we are building a peaceful, inclusive, democratic, pluralistic and fair country for all.

I believe the infinite potential of Korea, China, Japan can be unleashed to further peace and prosperity only when a truth telling and truth finding process is undertaken.

Where there is a failure to courageously and honestly address painful historical legacies, deep suspicions and animosities will remain, and will impede the development of a much more mutually beneficial dynamic partnership amongst the three Northeast Asian economic powerhouses.

I will now attempt to summarise the sincere efforts undertaken by leaders of ROK to attain the much cherished dream of peace and reunification among the large divided Korean Family.

From the moment President Moon Jae-in took office in in May 2017, following highly competitive, free and democratic elections, he sought dialogue with the Northern communist regime to realize the elusive dreams of lasting peace, reconciliation, denuclearization and reunification.

They were the same dreams pursued by the late Presidents Kim Dae-Jung and Roh Moohyun, his past political mentors. He courageously reached out to the dictator in the North even as tensions were at boiling point caused by the destabilizing acrimonious exchanges between the North Korean dictator and the US President.

President Moon’s overtures to the North were widely ridiculed and opposed by domestic and American critics. Deeply religious and committed to peace, President Moon was not discouraged by the hostility of the Trump Administration and misgivings conveyed from Tokyo in regards the entreaties between ROK and DPRK.

The mood has changed dramatically, from fear of an imminent war fed by incendiary tweets threatening nuclear annihilation of North Korea by the most powerful country in the world, to one of celebration as a result of the historic Summit in Singapore that ended with a statement of intention to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. The “dotard” and the “Rocket man” became instant “friends.” The world shouldn’t be surprised if we see Trump Towers going up in Pyongyang and the “Apprentice” series carried in the only State TV Channel allowed in DPRK.

Others are cautious and not persuaded about the North’s intentions. After all, the skepticism stems from past false starts and broken promises by the North Korean regime.

President Moon is absolutely correct in doing everything in his power in the remaining years in office to pursue the much cherished dream of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, lasting peace and reunification. This promises to be a long and tortuous process but the seeds of peace President Moon and his two predecessors, Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moohyun, have planted will bear fruit if Koreans stand fully behind this peace process, keep the hope and faith, and refuse to give up in the face of the many obstacles ahead.

The peoples of the Korean Peninsula and of the wider region deserve and expect no less from their leaders, who are duty bound to pursue patient dialogue, and explore avenues of cooperation where possible and desirable.

President Kim Jong-un would send a further message of good faith if he is to decree the end of arbitrary detention, closure of labor camps, torture and summary executions, and release of all political prisoners. If it is true that President Kim Jong-un loves his people as stated by President Trump then surely he should take steps towards opening up North Korea and allow his people more freedom.

But Kim Jong-un does not have to fear “regime change” similar to the ones orchestrated by the US in Iraq and Libya. He has ample time to initiate and manage a process of incremental and visible change and can go down in history as the architect of gradual evolution from tyranny to a more humane and compassionate political and social regime.

As I stand here I bow to the memory of all Koreans who lost their lives in the fight for independence against foreign rulers and for democracy and freedom against dictatorship.

I bow to the memory of the late President Kim Dae Jung, a man of vision, principles and convictions, a fighter for human rights and democracy, a bridge builder with the North.

Kim Dae Jung was a personal friend and friend of my country. In September 1999 working closely with President Bill Clinton and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, he dispatched a Korean peace-keeping battalion to my country, contributing to end the violence there. I commend the Korean armed forces for their professionalism and bravery in the service of the UN in my country.

I am very proud to have nominated KDJ for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. He was awarded the prize in 2000. I wrote the submission nominating him for the Nobel Peace Prize in a hotel room in Seoul with the help of my friend Han Jung Kim. I attended the great Oslo ceremony on 10th December 2000 as a guest of President KDJ.

In a speech in Berlin’s Old City Hall in July 2017 President Moon said:

“We need to urgently ease the military tension on the Korean Peninsula. We need to rebuild the trust that has collapsed between the South and the North. In this regard, we will seek exchanges and dialogue. North Korea also needs to stop from any more nuclear provocations. We need to establish a military management system to prevent accidental clashes.

“A more fundamental solution is to uproot the North Korean nuclear issue. The North Korean nuclear issue has become much more difficult to deal with than in the past with the advancement of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. A step-by-step and comprehensive approach is required.

“My Government, in cooperation with the international community, will work towards a comprehensive solution of the current issues on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, including the complete dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear program and establishing a peace regime, easing North Korea’s security and economic concerns, and improving North Korea-US and North Korea-Japan relations.

The fact that he mentions easing the security and economic concerns of the North is vital. The Korean War, US military presence at its borders, NATO orchestration of regime change in Iraq and Libya after the Gadhafi regime gave up its nuclear weapons program, are all roots of North Korean regime’s obsession with acquiring nuclear weapons capability, its sense of vulnerability and fears, and its desire to be taken seriously as a regional military power.

There are no short cuts to peace. The road is fraught with man-made obstacles, stemming from individual or collective experiences, perceptions and fears, often exacerbated by personal ambitions and egos of those at the center.

Hence we can all be assured that there’s not going to be a straight line in the pursuit of durable peace in the Korean Peninsula and beyond. While some first major steps have been taken towards denuclearization and elimination of the threat of war, as President Moon rightly stated “A step-by-step and comprehensive approach is required.”

Let’s hope that all sides deliver on their pledges.

Home to half of humanity, the Asia region remains a very promising one; however, I also believe that our region is the most dangerous of all, with the most intractable maritime and land border disputes and with largest number of nuclear armed countries.

In addition, there is the environmental cost of the weight of half of humanity on Asian soil; daily more than 4 billion people extract from Mother Earth the most precious resource – water, water that is fast becoming a scarce commodity. Add to this the industrial waste poisoning our rivers, lakes and seas, the firewood for household consumption and the unscrupulous commercial logging that have reduced our forests to alarming levels, the melting of the Himalayas, and other environmental threats.

The 21st century presents a chance to coalesce around common global interests – reverse the nefarious consequences of climate change, manage clean water reserves that are becoming a rare commodity, save our polluted rivers, lakes and seas, replenish the depleted fish stock, eliminate extreme poverty and hunger, deescalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula and South China Sea, between India and Pakistan, India and China, China and US, Russia and the US.

I dream of the time when the three great countries China, Korea and Japan meet at the golden bridge of peace, a bridge decorated with millions of paper cranes, a vision imagined by an innocent victim of the first ever atomic bomb dropped on a people, Sadako. After being diagnosed with leukemia from the atomic radiation, Sadako began to fold origami paper cranes, inspired by the Japanese legend that one who created a thousand origami cranes would be granted a wish. And Sadako’s wish was to live.

China, Japan and Korea and North Korea, have all suffered enough. It is obvious that too many among you carry still in your hearts the wounds of past wars. You must exorcise the demons of the past from your daily lives if you want this great region to live not in a perpetual “Cold Peace” but in real peace, liberated from the nightmares of the past, in security, tranquility and prosperity.

J. Ramos-Horta

*Bio notes: J. Ramos-Horta served as President, Prime Minister, Senior Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence of Timor-Leste (2002-2012), Member of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Board on Mediation (2017- ), Chair of the High Level Independent Panel On UN Peace Operations (2014-2015).

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Timor-Leste – Ramos Horta defende renovação e transição na liderança da Fretilin

O líder histórico timorense José Ramos Horta defendeu esta quarta-feira que o secretário-geral da Fretilin, Mari Alkatiri, deve iniciar um processo de “renovação da liderança” do partido “muito rapidamente” para bem do partido e da nação.

Source: Timor-Leste – Ramos Horta defende renovação e transição na liderança da Fretilin