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A DIALOGUE WITH NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATE DR RAMOS-HORTA

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and President of Timor-Leste Dr José Ramos-Horta discussed ‘Transforming Natural Resource Wealth into a Source for Sustainable Growth and Democratic Development’ with His Excellency Dr. Phan Phalla, Deputy Secretary General of the Supreme National Economic Council. The dialogue was organized by the International Peace Foundation, Cambodians for Resource Revenue Transparency (CRRT) & the Heinrich Böll Foundation on April 23, 2010. Mr. Mam Sambath, a chairperson of CRRT and Executive Director of Development and Partnership in Action (DPA), was the moderator during the dialogue.

 

The keynote speakers discussed a variety of  subjects,  including: 1) extractive industries in Cambodia and national methods of resource management; 2) Examples of successful, sustainable resource management practices, looking specifically at Timor-Leste as a case study and 3) Why is ‘transparency’ significant? {mospagebreak}
Up to 200 participants attended the event, including government officials, university students, civil society organisations, local non-government organisations, international non-government organisations, ministry officials, donors and members of the private sector.
Keynote Speaker: Dr. José Ramos-Horta, 1996 Nobel Laureate for Peace and President of Timor-Leste, from April 19-22 2010

Biography:

Dr. José Ramos-Horta is a 1996 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, the President of Timor-Leste and a Patron of the International Peace Foundation.
In 1996 Dr. Ramos-Horta was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Bishop Carlos Belo, the religious leader of East Timor, “to honor their sustained and self-sacrificing contributions for a small but oppressed people”, hoping that “this award will spur efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict of East Timor based on the people’s right to self-determination”.
In 1999, a referendum was held on the status of East Timor, and the referendum results showed more than 80% favoring independence. After the entry of a UN peace-keeping force Dr. Ramos-Horta returned to his homeland to help rebuild the country. Working closely with the UN and Sergio Vierra de Mello, the head of the UN Administration in East Timor until 2002, he helped to bring about peaceful elections of the country’s President and Parliament, who in turn drafted the country’s constitution.
Dr. Ramos-Horta was appointed as the country’s first Foreign Minister in 2001 and served in this position until his resignation on June 25, 2006, amidst political turmoil. On June 26, 2006, following the resignation of Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, Dr. Ramos-Horta was appointed acting Prime Minister by the President, Xanana Gusmão. Two weeks later, on July 10, 2006, he was officially sworn in as the second Prime Minister of Timor-Leste.
In May 2007 Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta was elected President of Timor-Leste, winning nearly 70 percent of the votes, a post he has held since. On February 11, 2008, he was seriously injured after being shot by rebels outside his home in Dili.
He has been credited as having been the most credible and effective bridge-builder in Timor-Leste and with having contributed most to heal the wounds and stabilize the situation in the country following the crisis in 2006.{mospagebreak}
Guest Speaker: Dr. Phan Phalla, Deputy Secretary General of the Supreme National Economic Council
Biography:
Dr. Phan Phalla joined the Ministry of Economics and Finance and the Supreme National Economic Council in 2004. He has played a key role in devising the Public Financial Management Reform Program in Cambodia and is actively engaged in representing Cambodia in ASEAN affairs. He is also a leading actor in developing national and regional strategic policy programs for the state.
He is currently the Director of the IT Department at the Ministry of Economics and Finance, and the Deputy Secretary General of the Supreme National Economic Council. H.E Dr Phan Phalla completed his Ph.D. in Economics in Australia.
Moderator: Mr. Mam Sambath is a chairperson of Cambodians for Resource Revenue Transparency (CRRT) and Executive Director of Development and Partnership in Action (DPA)

Biography:
Mam Sambath, Executive Director, has worked for DPA for more than 14 years. He is Chairperson of CRRT and the Chairman of the national-level Extractive Industry Social and Environmental Network (EISEI). He holds an MA in Veterinary Science from the Mongolia Institute of Agriculture and an MA in Public Administration and Policy from Western University in Phnom Penh. Mr. Mam has extensive experience in community development, leadership and management, governance, capacity building, research, M&E, advocacy and lobby. He is strongly engaged in the social and environmental impact of the extractive industry and the promotion of the transparency and accountability of EI revenue. He works closely with the community and public institutions and focuses on strengthening ties with private mining companies and government institutions. Mr Mam has participated in the exchange event on Revenue Management in Timor Leste; the International Conference on Contract Transparency and NGO meeting on Advocacy Lines and Capacity Building in Washington D.C; and was a panellist for the International Conference on the Sustainable Development/Investment in the Mekong Countries in Beijing, China

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