Our Perspective


        02 Oct 2014

        On this International Day of Non-Violence, we commemorate the philosophy of the late Mahatma Gandhi, who through his example proved that peaceful protests could accomplish much more than military aggression. The principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, the year of Gandhi’s death, owe much to his beliefs. At this time of increased sectarian violence and the wanton destruction of cultural sites and heritage, it is timely to recall Gandhi’s call for peace and reconciliation, and his warning that, “An eye for an eye ends up making the whole world blind.” We have to foster a culture of peace, built on dialogue and understanding, for living together in harmony while respecting and celebrating humanity’s rich diversity. There is no greater tool than education to enhance human dignity, promote a culture of non-violence, and build lasting peace. Through education, we can craft new ways of living with each other and the planet. Education can also lay the foundation for developing new forms of global citizenship and solidarity that are so essential in today’s world. On this Day, I call on all people to counter the forces of intolerance, advance global citizenship and forge human solidarity based onRead More


        25 Sep 2014

        At a time when the world is beset by conflict and crisis, it is easy to forget that, day in and day out, the international shipping industry works quietly and efficiently to keep the wheels of global trade in motion and ensure the timely delivery of the goods and commodities on which we all rely. For more than 50 years, international conventions developed by the International Maritime Organization have made global shipping progressively safer, more secure and more environment-friendly. There are more than 50 in all. Collectively, they are aimed at strengthening maritime safety and security, protecting the marine environment, mitigating the negative effects of accidents or establishing regulations covering liability and compensation for damage. The real value of those conventions can be fully realized only if they are properly implemented. This entails early entry into force, broad participation, effective policies and programmes, stringent oversight and vigorous enforcement. Shipping States, coastal States and the shipping industry itself all have a part to play. On World Maritime Day, let us recall the often unheralded but always vital contribution by international shipping to peoples and communities all over the world.  I urge all concerned to strengthen their efforts to achieve the full andRead More

      • Timor-Leste at a crossroads

        24 Sep 2014

        After taking over the leadership of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), completing its term as chair of the g7+ and ESCAP communities, and becoming the first country in Asia-Pacific to launch a national action plan to implement the United Nations’ Zero Hunger Challenge, all within July-August this year, Timor-Leste is signaling its intent to become a stronger actor on the regional and international scenes. Timor-Leste’s voice has also been important in the global dialogue to establish the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as well as in the establishment of the New Deal for Aid Effectiveness, to mention some of the country’s achievements. However, Timor-Leste’s path towards sustainable development is at a crossroads, as 2014 marks approximately the half-way point in time until the anticipated depletion of the currently producing oil and gas fields in 2021, which have produced significant State revenues since 2007. In terms of expected income, the half way point was already passed some time ago. With just under five hundred days remaining to reach the MDGs, now is an opportune time to reflect on the progress made, challenges ahead, and policy options for Timor-Leste in its race againstRead More