Nobel Peace Ramos-Horta advocates for education as the best tool for preventing conflict and radicalization
Having suffered a terrorist attack himself, the former leader of Timor Leste highlights a multidimensional approach to education that "goes beyond legislation"
José Ramos-Horta was President of Timor Leste from 2007 to 2010 and a key figure not only during the process of independence of his country, but also in the reconciliation phase that followed. That had two sides: one between factions inside Timor Leste itself, and another between Timor Leste and Indonesia, the nation that used to rule the area.
Besides that, he has suffered the violence of extremists in his own flesh, he was shot in a terrorist attack against him, and has dealt with the challenges of radicalization and peace. His views on both issues are therefore influenced by a rich mix of political wisdom and powerful personal experiences that have led him to a clear conclusion: education is key for democracy and for conflict resolution. His approach in this field is multidimensional and goes far beyond the “just legislation” concept. From his point of view, every segment of society must get involved in this educational effort: media, governments and civil society networks, especially in Europe. In Asia’s case, the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s advice is to engage with leaders and craft a tailored response for every individual case.
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