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President Horta presents Sergio Vieira de Mello awards to six human rights laureates

President Horta presents Sergio Vieira de Mello awards to six human rights laureates

President of the Republic José Ramos Horta

DILI, 15 december 2023 (TATOLI) – President of the Republic Jose Ramos Horta presented Sergio Vieira de Mello awards to six human rights laureates.

“Sergio Vieira represented the UN Secretary-General in Timor-Leste and died in Iraq in 2002. He was a Brazilian citizen but died while serving in many countries with his humanitarian duties and mission in Iraq. This is why I spoke with the UN to create the Sergio Vieira de Mello award,” President Ramos Horta said at the Presidential Palace, Dili, on thursday.

The Head of State said that through this award, he wanted to commemorate an international figure who had contributed to many countries, including Timor-Leste.

The Sergio Vieira de Mello Award is one of the initiatives launched in 2008 by President Ramos Horta, with the aim of recognizing the contribution of Timorese citizens, foreigners, and governmental or non-governmental organizations in promoting, protecting, and defending human rights in Timor-Leste.

The award is given in two different categories, namely civil and political rights, and can be given to individuals or organizations that have significantly contributed to the promotion and protection of civil and political rights in Timor-Leste.

In economic, social, and cultural rights, the award’s mission is to honor those who have significantly contributed to promoting and defending economic, social, and cultural rights.

The 16th edition of the Sergio Vieira de Mello Human Rights Award in 2023 will award the winner in the following categories:

  1. In the civil and political rights category, the award went to three entities, such as Sisto dos Santos (late), who received the award on behalf of Anita Cardoso; the second was for the organization Arco-Íris Timor-Leste; and the third was for Luciana Guterres;
  2. In the category of economic, social, and cultural rights, awards were received from three entities, such as: 1) Filomena da Costa, from the Madre Maria Domiciliary Support Centre. 2) Manuela de Jesus, and 3) Fernando António Pires Madeira from the social enterprise DaTerra.


Each winner of the 16th edition of the “Sergio Vieira de Mello” award in 2023 will receive a certificate and a special award in the amount of $10,000, in accordance with Decree-Law no. 15/2009, of march 18.


Journalist: Camilio de Sousa
Editor: Rafael Ximenes de A. Belo

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