DTP E Newsletter - November 2012 - Supporting Human Rights Defenders in the Asia Pacific

Dear DTP Alumni and Friends

Welcome to this issue of DTP's E-Newsletter. We are in the final stages of preparing for DTP's22ndAnnual Regional Human Rights and Peoples Diplomacy Training Programin Timor-Leste. DTP's 1stregional training program for human rights defenders was held in 1990 in Sydney, organised and hosted by DTP's Founding Director, Jose Ramos-Horta, then living here in exile from his homeland.

Twenty-two years later we are delighted this course will again be hosted by Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta , in his homeland this time, as Timor-Leste celebrates the 10thAnniversary of the Restoration of its Independence. Since he first established the Diplomacy Training Program, Dr. Ramos-Horta has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and has served his country as Foreign Minister, Prime Minister and President.

Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta played a pivotal role in gaining international action on the human rights situation in his country, and recognition for its right to self-determination. He reached beyond governments to engage the support of NGOs and civil society in Indonesia, and globally.

We are very fortunate to have Jose teaching again on this year's program, sharing his knowledge and experience - together with Dr. Sarah Pritchard SC, who worked with Jose through those difficult years to gain international support for the East Timorese, and for democracy activists in Burma and to build knowledge and understanding of the Rights of Indigenous peoples.

International solidarity is essential to efforts to promote, protect and realise human rights. It has been central to Timor-Leste's story – and is still particularly relevant in efforts to address the challenges of poverty and development there. We are therefore fortunate to have Professor Virginia Dandan, the UN's Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity teaching on this year's program. Timorese advocates will also be teaching and we will also be joined by Ryan Schlief from WITNESS in New York.

We will have 25-30 human rights defenders drawn from across the Pacific and Asia (still working on funding for fares etc) participating in the program - and they will join the over 2000 human rights defenders we have trained since that first program with Jose in Sydney in 1990. Their work is as urgent and important now as it was then, and we hope that our program will be of practical help to them.

While we are in Timor-Leste, DTP's Chairperson, Professor Paul Redmond will be in Geneva, chairing a panel on capacity building at the UN's inaugural Global Forum on Human Rights and Business - a focus of DTP's work since at least 2003 and an area we are hoping to expand our work on in 2013 and beyond.

In this E-News we have included the draft outlines of our schedule for next year – as well as news and appeals from our alumni and others - and resources we hope will be of interest and useful. Please keep sending in feedback, news and updates –and we welcome your advice and input into the development of our programs.

With best wishes and good luck,

Patrick Earle, Executive Director, Diplomacy Training Program, Faculty of Law, U.N.S.W Sydney NSW 2052 AUSTRALIA

T+61 2 9385 2277 F + 61 2 9385 1778

Email: dtp@unsw.edu.au

Web site www.dtp.unsw.edu.au

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By: The November Edition of the DTP E-Newsletter was brought to you by André Frankovits, Patrick Earle and Francis Wong
When: 7/2/2014

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