DILI, 03 october 2023 (TATOLI) – Jorge Sampaio Cultural Centre, at the Portuguese Embassy in Dili screened the Video Around the world in 90 minutes, followed by a lecture by Portugal’s Director General for National Defence Policy, Major General Nuno Lemos Pires, who said that it was important to go “around the world” to discuss the major challenges facing humanity today.
He said that many wars and conflicts have taken place in many parts of the world, saying therefore it’s important to maintain the message of strength and to defend the shared values of in the country and the Portuguese-speaking countries.
Around the World in 90 Minutes is a video that takes a look back at the history of human evolution, the existential threats, both ancient and current, and the trends of the post-Covid-19 period. The video shows what the planet will end up with if it continues on the path that currently characterizes humanity’s behavior towards the planet it occupies. It talks about “the worst-case scenarios or existential threats” following the emergence of man: nuclear events, ecological disasters, uncontrollable pandemics, uncontrolled technology, social breakdown, and so on.
The video is a reminder of past and future threats. With regard to the latter, it was said that “the decline of power and social disintegration, climate change and demographic pressures, the existence and promotion of radical narratives and technological disruption will, above all, be our next enemies” which, in the short term, “will bring inequalities, more isolation and more encouragement for hateful narratives”. Nuno Lemos Pires, himself a historian, framed some of these scenarios and threats in the contexts of Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Timor.
On the sidelines of the video, Major General Nuno Lemos Pires stressed that defense cooperation between Portugal and Timor-Leste “is very strong and supportive in various areas, in terms of training, structure, courses, military health, and maritime safety”. “Many Timorese are training in Portugal and many Portuguese come to train in Timor. We permanently have Portuguese soldiers alongside Timorese soldiers building the best for Timor-Leste’s defense,” he stressed.
The Portuguese Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Manuela Bairos, also stressed that the lecture was a really important discussion because one of the pillars of Portugal’s foreign policy is defense and alliances in the military field. According to the diplomat, the world is facing several new challenges and threats, because military situations often arise as a result of conflicts.
“We have to be ready to face new challenges. This is a global challenge, but it’s also a regional challenge, because Timor-Leste is in a very central position in the Asia-Pacific region and, naturally, it has to be prepared to face these challenges,” she said.
After 48 years, the former Minister of the Interior, Rogério Lobato, present at the event, was pleased to meet again with the son of the last Governor of Timor, Major General Lemos Pires. Lobato said that the lecture given by General Lemos Pires was interesting, as it dealt with international geopolitics and Timor-Leste’s changing position in the geopolitical context of Southeast Asia, a region of the world where, despite major economic developments, there are also tensions of a military nature.
Present at the event were the former Chief of General Staff of the Timor-Leste Defense Forces (F-FDTL), Lere Anan Timur, and MP David Dias Ximenes.
Journalist: Camilio de Sousa
Editor: Filomeno Martins