29.08.2014 - ODG

Timor Leste Prime Minister calls for greater dialogue and reconciliation

On 29 August, Irina Bokova met with the Prime Minister of Timor Leste, H. E. Xanana Gusmão, in Bali, Indonesia.

The Director-General thanked the Prime Minister for his leadership and support to UNESCO as well as across the world, underlining the model of reconciliation that Timor Leste embodies, carrying unique lessons for other situations. 

She recalled her visit in 2012 and the reiterated depth of UNESCO's commitment to supporting the country.

The Prime Minister called for ever greater efforts to build dialogue and strengthen reconciliation. He spoke of the actions taken by his Government to share the experience of conflict and reconciliation of Timor Leste and pledged to take this further forward. This was especially important, he said, in a world that is increasingly fragile, especially also in countries undergoing transition. 

"We seek to share our experience so others do not repeat our mistakes," said the Prime Minister.

He discussed the achievements of Timor Leste and also the challenges facing the country, namely from the rising young population, representing 62 percent of the country. He noted the importance of building consensus across all political actors to respond to the issues of education and employment.

The Director-General underlined the importance for nation-building of safeguarding cultural heritage and pledged UNESCO's full support to help the Government and society achieve their goals. 

This support begins with culture, including UNESCO’s cultural conventions, she said, and it stretches across UNESCO's mandate -- from risk reduction to vocational education.

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