Club de Madrid’s Member and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1996) José Ramos Horta is an experienced, wise man. He was President of Timor Leste from 2007 to 2010 and a key figure not only during the process of independence of his country, but also in the reconciliation phase that followed. That had two sides: one between factions inside Timor Leste itself, and another between Timor Leste and Indonesia, the nation that used to rule the area.
He has suffered the violence of extremists in his own flesh, he was shot in a terrorist attack against him, and has dealt with the challenges of radicalization and peace. Ramos Horta´s life makes his voice one of the most respected and experienced. Not just when talking about democracy, but also in the prevention of violent extremism.
In this interview, recorded in late January in Madrid, he stresses the importance of education as the most powerful tool to face this struggle. His approach is multidimensional and goes far beyond the “just legislation” concept.
From his point of view, every segment of society must get involved in this educational effort: media, governments and civil society networks, especially in Europe. In Asia’s case, the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s advice is to engage with leaders and craft a tailored response for every individual case.