Previous speakers and artists

April 21-23, 2010

Building a culture of peace and development in a globalized world

H.E. President Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta

Keynote Speaker

H.E. President Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta is a 1996 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, the President of Timor-Leste and a Patron of the International Peace Foundation.

José Ramos-Horta was born in Dili, Timor-Leste, on December 26, 1949. He is one of 11 brothers and sisters. He is divorced and has one son.

He began his early education as a child in a Catholic mission in the small village of Soibada and then went to further studies in Dili at the Portuguese Lyceum. Later he studied journalism and was trained as a photographer and TV cameraman. He worked in print media as well as radio and TV from 1969 to 1974. He holds an MA in Peace Studies from Antioch University, Yellow Springs, Ohio (1984) and is still working on a Ph.D. with Universidade do Minho, Braga. He was a Senior Member in International Relations with St. Antony’s College, Oxford, in 1987 and studied Human Rights Law and Public International Law at the Strasbourg International Institute of Human Rights and the Hague Academy of International Law, respectively. In 1998 he completed the Executive Study Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Dr. Ramos-Horta has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees by numerous universities in Australia, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Portugal, Brazil and the US.

He is the Founder and for years Executive Director and lecturer with the Diplomacy Training Program of the University of New South Wales where he is also a Visiting Professor. Dr. Ramos-Horta is also a Professor of International Relations with Ewha Women’s University in Seoul. He has lectured extensively in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Portugal, France, Germany and the US.

Besides Tetum and Portuguese, his two mother tongues, he is fluent in English, French and Spanish, and he understands Italian.

In 1996 Dr. Ramos-Horta was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Bishop Carlos Belo, the religious leader of East Timor, ”to honor their sustained and self-sacrificing contributions for a small but oppressed people“, hoping that ”this award will spur efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict of East Timor based on the people's right to self-determination“.

In 1999 a referendum was held on the status of East Timor, and the referendum results showed more than 80% favoring independence. After the entry of a UN peace-keeping force Dr. Ramos-Horta returned to his homeland to help rebuild the country. Working closely with the UN and Sergio Vierra de Mello, the head of the UN Administration in East Timor until 2002, he helped to bring about peaceful elections of the country's President and Parliament, who in turn drafted the country's constitution.

Dr. Ramos-Horta was appointed as the country's first Foreign Minister in 2001 and served in this position until his resignation on June 25, 2006, amidst political turmoil. On June 26, 2006, following the resignation of Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, Dr. Ramos-Horta was appointed acting Prime Minister by the President, Xanana Gusmão. Two weeks later, on July 10, 2006, he was officially sworn in as the second Prime Minister of Timor-Leste.

In May 2007 Dr. José Ramos-Horta was elected President of Timor-Leste, winning nearly 70 percent of the votes, a post he has held since. On February 11, 2008, he was seriously injured after being shot by rebels outside his home in Dili.

Dr. Ramos-Horta is Timor-Leste’s most popular leader with 83% approval rate in a survey conducted by the International Republican Institute in late 2008. He has been credited as having been the most credible and effective bridge-builder in Timor-Leste and with having contributed most to heal the wounds and stabilize the situation in the country following the crisis in 2006.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010:
14:00 Keynote speech and dialogue at the University of Cambodia in Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
Information and free seat reservation:
phone (023) 993-274, (023) 993-275, (012) 483-508, fax (023) 993-284, email,

Thursday, April 22, 2010:
14:00 Public dialogue at the Pannasastra University of Cambodia in Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
Information and free seat reservation:
phone (023) 218-909, (092) 940-086, fax (023) 218-909, email,

Friday, April 23, 2010:
14:00 Keynote speech and dialogue at the Royal University of Law and Economics in Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
Information and free seat reservation:
phone (012) 627-446, fax (023) 214-953, email