Minister of Planning and Strategic Investment and Eminent Person of the g7+, H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, gave an account of Timor-Leste’s journey towards peace and resilience today at the High Level Meeting of the Global Conference on the 2030 Agenda.

Speaking in English for this occasion he said “In the struggle our motto was ‘to resist is to win’, but after falling back into conflict it became ‘goodbye conflict, welcome development’”.

Reflecting on the current global dynamic Minister Gusmão called on countries to “export peace not weapons”, a comment that was applauded by delegates.

Impassioned interventions from Minister H.E. Yerima Mandjo from the Central African Republic and Mr. Adrop Nuoi Deng from South Sudan highlighted the devastation experienced by countries in crisis and the urgent need to achieve peace and alleviate the suffering of the people.

In a particularly poignant moment Mr. Adrop Nuoi Deng, having been moved by Minister Gusmão’s intervention, expressed his wish that Gusmão could visit Susan Sudan and again talk to its leaders.

Gusmão, left his position on the podium and came onto the floor to embrace Mr. Deng as a sign of support and solidarity. There remains an open offer from the Eminent Person of the g7+ to re-engage with the leaders of South Sudan.

Gusmão was in South Sudan the week before the conflict began in 2013, calling for peace and encouraging an acceleration of international support for the new nation.  South Sudan is a member of the g7+ and Gusmão continues to advocate for dialogue and an end to violence.