Our Perspective

      • Changing Climate: Do the Timorese need to worry about it?

        22 Mar 2016

        Climate resilient small infrastructure built in suco Leguimea, Ermera to prevent flood and landslide

        “One of the top 10 countries most at risk of disaster…; Annual mean temperature consistently increasing at a rate of about 0.0160C per year; Sea level rising at the average rate of 6-9 mm per year, and in over 100 years the sea level rise may reach 76cm; Pacific Ocean acidification increasing in Timor-Leste’s water; Agriculture sector contributes to 65% of the total national greenhouse gas emissions; Vulnerable communities have limited COPing mechanisms and adaptive capacities; El Niño worsening water availability and causing intensified water scarcity, food security and health impacts” The above information on Timor-Leste have been shared by researches and assessments for the last 10 years or so. Who is the target audience? Are we contributing to better prevention? Adaptation? Policies or behavioral change? How well are the different target groups informed about the looming climate change risks and its impacts to their livelihood, development work, health, nutrition, ecosystems and the future generations, and where are we as a nation in preparing ourselves against these odds? Questions as these are valid and more importantly, more and more people have started asking such questions, and answers are due.  Every other year seems to have a record of high temperature. Just  Read More

      • A New Era of Opportunity

        17 Dec 2015

        By Ban Ki-moon Seventy years ago, the United Nations was created from the ashes of the Second World War.  Seven decades later, in Paris, nations have united in the face of another threat – the threat to life as we know it due to a rapidly warming planet.  Governments have ushered in a new era of global cooperation on climate change – one of the most complex issues ever to confront humanity.  In doing so, they have significantly advanced efforts to uphold our Charter mandate to "save succeeding generations". The Paris Agreement is a triumph for people, the environment, and for multilateralism.  It is a health insurance policy for the planet.  For the first time, every country in the world has pledged to curb their emissions, strengthen resilience and act internationally and domestically to address climate change. Together, countries have agreed that, in minimizing risks of climate change, the national interest is best served by pursuing the common good.  I believe it is an example we could gainfully follow across the political agenda. The victory in Paris caps a remarkable year.  From the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, from the  Read More

      • From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals: A new joint commitment to create progress for everyone

        29 Sep 2015


        Today, most people live a better life than what their parents and grandparents experienced. There are many reasons for this, but one important factor is our global efforts for human development. It has worked! But in spite of good results so far, there are many remaining challenges and we know we can do better. One thing we know has worked is the focus of our common energies on jointly agreed goals, and the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are giving us that new, joint focus. The 17 new Sustainable Development Goals and its corresponding 169 targets are meant to build on and succeed the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and serve as the foundation of the post-2015 development agenda. Although some of the MDG targets were reached, others, such as halving the number of people affected by hunger, or the target of halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV/Aids by 2015, has not been met. The SDGs will continue to build on the achievements of the MDGs and has declared ambitious targets in three highly interlinked areas, namely, to end poverty through inclusive and equitable economic growth, transform lives with broad-based social inclusion, and protect the planet and environment  Read More


        10 Dec 2014

        On Human Rights Day we speak out. We denounce authorities who deny the rights of any person or group. We declare that human rights are for all of us, all the time: whoever we are and wherever we are from; no matter our class, our opinions, our sexual orientation.  This is a matter of individual justice, social stability and global progress. The United Nations protects human rights because that is our proud mission – and because when people enjoy their rights, economies flourish and countries are at peace. Violations of human rights are more than personal tragedies. They are alarm bells that may warn of a much bigger crisis. The UN’s Human Rights Up Front initiative aims to heed those alarms. We are rallying in response to violations – before they degenerate into mass atrocities or war crimes. Everyone can advance the struggle against injustice, intolerance and extremism. I call on States to honour their obligation to protect human rights every day of the year. I call on people to hold their governments to account. And I call for special protections for the human rights defenders who courageously serve our collective cause. Let us respond to the cries of the exploited,  Read More


        25 Nov 2014

        Sexual and gender-based violence is the most extreme form of the global and systemic inequality experienced by women and girls. It knows no geographic, socio-economic or cultural boundaries. Worldwide, one in three women will suffer physical or sexual violence at some point in her life, from rape and domestic violence to harassment at work and bullying on the internet. This year alone, more than 200 girls have been kidnapped in Nigeria; we have seen graphic testimony from Iraqi women of rape and sexual slavery during conflict; two Indian schoolgirls were raped, killed and hung from a tree; and in the United States, there have been high-profile cases of sexual violence on sports teams and university campuses. Women and girls experience violence in all countries and neighbourhoods but these crimes often remain unreported and hidden. We must end the silence. That is why this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is centred on a grassroots effort to raise awareness called Orange Your Neighbourhood. Around the United Nations in New York, the Secretariat building and the Empire State Building will be lit orange, and many other events are planned across the world and on social media. Everyone has a  Read More


        02 Nov 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 on  Read More


        02 Nov 2014

        A free and open press is part of the bedrock of democracy and development. Yet in the last ten years, more than 700 journalists have been killed for simply doing their job. Some cases have received international attention – others less so. In the last year alone, for example, at least 17 Iraqi journalists have been executed. Many more journalists and media workers around the world suffer from intimidation, death threats and violence. Nine out of ten cases go unpunished. As a result, criminals are emboldened. People are scared to speak out about corruption, political repression or other violations of human rights. This must stop. That is why the United Nations declared November 2nd as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. We have a UN Action Plan to help create a safe environment for journalists and media workers everywhere. By ending impunity, we deepen freedom of expression and bolster dialogue. We advance human rights and strengthen societies. No journalist anywhere should have to risk their life to report the news. Together, let us stand up for journalists – and stand up for justice.    Read More


        23 Oct 2014

        The United Nations is needed more than ever at this time of multiple crises.  Poverty, disease, terrorism, discrimination and climate change are exacting a heavy toll.  Millions of people continue to suffer deplorable exploitation through bonded labour, human trafficking, sexual slavery or unsafe conditions in factories, fields and mines. The global economy remains an uneven playing field. (Video of Secretary General message) The founding of the United Nations was a solemn pledge to the world’s people to end such assaults on human dignity, and lead the way to a better future. There have been painful setbacks, and there is much work ahead to realize the Charter’s vision.  But we can take heart from our achievements.  The UN Millennium Development Goals have inspired the most successful anti-poverty campaign ever.  United Nations treaties addressing inequality, torture and racism have protected people, while other agreements have safeguarded the environment. UN peacekeepers have separated hostile forces, our mediators have settled disputes and our humanitarian workers have delivered life-saving aid. At this critical moment, let us reaffirm our commitment to empowering the marginalized and vulnerable.  On United Nations Day, I call on Governments and individuals to work in common cause for the common good.     Read More


        17 Oct 2014

        On this day we recommit to think, decide and act together against extreme poverty -- and plan for a world where no-one is left behind. We have reached the Millennium Development Goal target of halving the proportion of people living in poverty ahead of time. At least 700 million people were lifted out of extreme poverty between 1990 and 2010. Despite this enormous success, one in every five persons in developing regions -- 1.22 billion people -- live on less than $1.25 a day, and 2.4 billion live on less than $2 a day.  Since the beginning of the financial crisis, inequality has grown even more pronounced than it was already.  Discrimination against women and girls remains a blatant injustice, robbing the entire development enterprise of one of the keys to progress. Entrenched poverty and prejudice, and vast gulfs between wealth and destitution, can undermine the fabric of societies and lead to instability. Where poverty holds sway, people are held back.  Lives disfigured by poverty are cruel, mean and, often, short. As we prepare the post-2015 sustainable development agenda and address the threat of climate change, we must not lose sight of our most fundamental obligation: to eliminate poverty in all  Read More


        16 Oct 2014

        Today, and every day, we eat thanks to the labours of family farmers. They run the vast majority of farms in the world. They preserve natural resources and agro-biodiversity. They are the cornerstone of inclusive and sustainable agriculture and food systems. It is fitting that in this International Year of Family Farming, there are 100 million fewer hungry people than just 10 years ago. Sixty-three countries have halved the portion of their population which is undernourished. Our vision of zero hunger is within reach. But there is much work to be done. More than 800 million people do not have enough healthy, nutritious food to lead active lives. One in three young children is malnourished. Family farmers are key to unlocking global progress. But they are at a disadvantage when it comes to access to technology, services and markets. And they are acutely exposed to extreme weather, climate change and environmental degradation. Ensuring equal access – particularly for women – to productive resources is essential to empowering the world’s 500 million smallholder farmers to help eradicate poverty and safeguard the environment. At the Climate Summit in New York last month, more than a hundred organizations and governments pledged to work more  Read More