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“One of the most important messages that I have today is that we need to understand that the life of a conflict is much longer than it seems on the surface. That’s why we have to listen to the first signs. Whether it is a conflict, a disease, or a humanitarian crisis. We pay such a huge price of waiting so long [to act],” said Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Emerging from over two decades of conflict and instability, in May 2002 the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste became the 21st century’s first new sovereign state. Since then the country’s government – with assistance from the international community – has worked hard to lay the groundwork for development. In this month’s Views from the Field we hear from both the EU Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Sylvie Tabesse, and Hernâni Coelho, Timor-Leste’s Foreign Minister, as they discuss Timor-Leste’s successes and remaining challenges.