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Dr José Ramos-Horta address and book launch at Victoria University

Former President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Dr José Ramos-Horta hopes to encourage dialogue about the UN in a Turbulent World when he addresses Victoria University staff and students at an event on Wednesday, 25 July 2018.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner (1996) will also launch his latest book Words of Hope in a Troubled Time: Selected Writings 1992-2017.  Currently Dr Ramos-Horta is reviewing United Nations peace-keeping operations in his role as Chair of the recently established United Nations High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations.

On his recent visit to Berlin to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Dr Ramos-Horta said:

“Looking in from the periphery, I cannot but admire this great but reluctant European Leader, Angela Merkel. From the Eurozone crisis to the humanitarian catastrophe at the gates of Europe, when other great powers baulked, Merkel did not betray Europe’s most cherished values, took enormous political risks for which she is paying a price, but saved Europe from a potentially profound moral crisis.”

In Words of Hope, Dr Ramos-Horta says the 21st Century offers an opportunity to coalesce common global interests – to reverse the nefarious consequences of climate change, manage clean water reserves that are becoming a rare commodity, eliminate extreme poverty and hunger, and de-escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula and South China Sea, and between India and Pakistan, India and China.

“If we were to spend less on armament, we would be able to spend more on education, health and food security for all.”

Victoria University has had a longstanding relationship with Timor-Leste spanning more than three decades. Nearly 180 Timorese students have studied in VU’s Higher Education or VU Polytechnic courses. In 2009 Dr Ramos-Horta was awarded an Honorary Degree by Victoria University, in recognition of his outstanding commitment to the defence of human rights and for his contribution to establishing the independence of Timor-Leste.


Dr Ramos-Horta has limited availability for interview.

To arrange media contact:

Frances Atkinson, [email protected], 0435 960 793 or 03 9919 4061.

Event details

Media are invited to attend and film the lecture, RSVP essential to [email protected]


  • Address moderated by David Manne: Wednesday 25 July 2018, 4.45pm – 5.45pm
  • Book launch and signing: Wednesday 25 July 2018, 5.45pm – 6.30pm.

Where: Victoria University City Campus, Level 12, 300 Flinders Street, Melbourne.

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