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Home - Interpeace : Interpeace

Interpeace programme in Timor-Leste seen as major step forward for the country

30 août, 2009
Est. Reading: 2 minutes
Crédit photo: Steve Tickner pour Interpeace
Timor-Leste is one of the world’s youngest countries and among the poorest in Asia. It has a turbulent past of foreign occupation and domination. The transition to independence has been costly in human and economic terms. About 70% of the country’s infrastructure has been destroyed and almost 75% of its population have been displaced. Today the nation remains fragile with periods of violence rocking its stability.
Interpeace is working in Timor-Leste to help the society break this cycle of violence. By using facilitated dialogue the national programme is enabling the people from all sectors and levels of society to collectively identify priority issues of concern, understand their origins and dynamics, and then address them in a non-violent and sustainable way.
Over 200 people from across Timor-Leste, representing all sectors and levels of Timorese society, came together for a two day conference to agree on the main obstacles to peace. Due to the country’s tumultuous past, divisions run deep, and can quickly erupt into violence. The conference, held in Dili on the 13th and 14th August 2009, represents an important step for Timorese society as they work towards building their new nation.

Opened by the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize Co- Laureate and President of Timor-Leste, H.E. President José Ramos-Horta, senior political leaders from the Timorese government, opposition, justice, army and police actively participated alongside representatives from academia, the church, youth, martial arts groups, internally displaced people, women, business leaders and other NGOs. They were joined by delegations from each of the country’s 13 districts ensuring that there will be a connection by the local population to the overall peacebuilding process.

Over 30 ‘burning issues’ were discussed. These issues came out of the facilitated workshops and consultations the Interpeace local partner, the Centre of Studies for Peace and Development (CEPAD), have been holding across the country for the last 18 months.

The most pressing issues to be addressed:

  1. The promotion of individual and party interests over the national interest
  2. The ineffective formal judicial system and the culture of impunity
  3. The need for a common narrative of the occupation and resistance relating to independence from Portugal, the Indonesian occupation and the struggle to create a nation
  4. Corruption, collusion and nepotism (referred to by Timorese as ‘KKN’)