East Timor: José Ramos-Horta visits UNPO
Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Interim Government of East Timor, Mr José Ramos-Horta, paid a courtesy visit to the UNPO Secretariat on 10 April 2001. Mr Ramos-Horta was in The Netherlands to participate as key speaker in a conference on East Timor building a new nation state, organised by the International Institute of Asian Studies in Leiden and the Platform for Asian studies in Amsterdam. He presented the IIAS Annual Lecture on the topic "East Timor, from Ashes to Nationhood, and its Place in the Region".
The conference was held from 8 to 10 May 2001. UNPO General Secretary Erkin Alptekin and staff members used the opportunity to brief Mr Ramos-Horta on developments within the UNPO and proposals for its Effective Participation and Conflict Prevention Programmes, including possible missions at the request of Members.
Mrs Pascoela Barreto accompanied Mr Ramos-Horta to The Hague. Mrs Barreto is the Chefe de Missao of East Timor in Lisboa, Portugal.
UNPO staff also attended the conference on East Timor and collected valuable information for the Lessons Learned Research Project. No doubt, much can be learned from the difficulties characterising East Timor's transitional phase, such as creating good governance, democratisation and rule of law.