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President, Timor-Leste (2007-12); Recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace (1996) | Timor-Leste


José Ramos-Horta is a Nobel Prize Laureate, former President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and a democracy builder.

Ramos-Horta and Timorese Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

“for their work toward a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor” in 1996.

In exile for 24 years, he was the voice of his people as they suffered occupation by Indonesia. After leading his country to independence, Ramos-Horta was elected President of Timor-Leste in May 2007, and served as President of the century’s newest democracy until 2012.

Assuming the helm of one of the poorest nations in Asia, and a country devastated by conflict, his promise was to serve as the “President of the Poor”. He promised to remain dedicated to eradicating poverty in his country through improved public health and education, and by providing an environment where business can thrive.

After serving as President for Timor-Leste, he was the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Integrated Peace Building Mission in Guinea-Bissau from January 2013 to June 2014.

Currently he holds the position as the Senior Minister of the National Security Council at the Office of the Prime Minister and is Member of the UN Secretary-General's High Level Advisory Group on Meditation and External Advisor to the President of the UN General Assembly.

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