Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, Former President and Prime Minister of Timor-Leste
In a video message, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, Former President and Prime Minister of the Democratic of Timor-Leste was delivered to the public covering views of the Global South on the Role of the UN and Japan. He noted that Japan’s experience in sustainable development efforts is a template for dealing with the challenging facing human kind. Mr. Gusmão congratulated Japan for its effort on addressing global warming by highlighting that Japan is one of the few states that can take on true pride of their economic and peaceful nature. Furthermore, Japan’s respect for others and collective society permits it to play a key role in brining new life to realize fully the principles of the UN. However, Mr. Gusmão recognized that in order for the international community to face and respond successfully to the trends of the 21st century, reform of the Security Council would provide greater legitimacy and effectiveness. Thus, multilateralism provides a medium for the UN to respond to the needs of today and address the mechanism that world was facing 75 years ago. He noted, “There should be a clearer collective voice of the realities and perspectives treated of the nations of the 21st century. [Thus, facing obstacles with boldness can set us on a path for greater representation].” Mr. Gusmão highlighted Japan, China and South Korea as states that can work closely to revive multilateralism. For him, Timor-Leste is a story of hope; nonetheless, solidary and support among the international community must not be forgotten. Most importantly, he noted, “we must not leave anybody behind; any other scenario may lead to inequality. We must choose peace with courage, and do so through leadership. We must change the way we think and the way we act. To save the planet of human kind, we must be in accordance with the common good rather than our interest as individuals. This is the only way we can fight the pandemic, climate change, poverty, violence and any authority that choose the path of oppression.” Despite this ideal, Mr. Gusmão recognized that this requires structural changes and recognizing that the crisis we are facing today is a crisis of principles, and values. In his concluding remarks, he called for the international community to ensure a peaceful world. He also called for Timor-Leste and Japan relations to continue evolving as they have been through youth exchanges, travel, non-profit work and academic institutions.