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Timor-Leste President addresses the Human Rights Council

"Peace is the single most important human right that the State and national leaders must strive to provide to everyone; we must build a country, a society where the culture of non-violence and of peace, of non-discrimination and inclusion, has gained roots,” Timor-Leste President José Ramos-Horta told the Human Rights Council on 11th March.

Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos Horta at the UN Headquarters in Geneva - UN Photo/Jean-Marc FERREThe Nobel Laureate for Peace also told the Human Rights Council that a model society should shun discrimination of any form.

“The model society is the one that is generous, non-discriminatory, inclusive, that cares about the poor, elderly, handicapped; a model society is one that embraces the poor and the persecuted who flee tyranny and extreme poverty and land on our shores; a model society of God is one that loves and embraces HIV victims or those afflicted with this centuries-old illness called leprosy," President Ramos-Horta

The Council also heard of the seven year-old nation’s efforts to address justice and the right to truth.

"The victims demand acknowledgement of the truth, recognition of their suffering and a measure of individual or collective assistance," he said.

“The State does have the obligation to respond to such basic and yet very profound demands and this is what we have been attempting to do since 2002 and have done much with the Comissao de Acolhimento, Verdade e Reconciliacao (CAVR) and the Joint Indonesia-Timor Leste's Commission on Truth and Friendship (CTF).”

The 13th session of the Human Rights Council takes place from 1 to 26 March at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. More information is available on the webpage of the session, which is also webcast live.

12 March 2010