Ramos-Horta: Asia Can Combat Climate Change, Poverty Without Western Aid

Poor families live under a bridge in Thailand. Advanced Asian nations should work together to address poverty and climate change in the region, according to Timor-Leste president Jose Ramos-Horta. Photo by: Sam Sherratt / CC BY SA Sam SherrattCC BY SA

Timor-Leste President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta on Sept. 8 urged India and China to work together to address climate change and poverty in Asia without looking to Western nations for aid.

“Scientists, scholars and technocrats in Asia should take steps and do ‘what they can do’ without looking to the West for assistance,” Ramos-Horta said in his inaugural address at a three-day international conference on sustainable development. “Fifty years back, Asia was poor. Today, however, it can lead the world.”

More advanced Asian nations including India, China, Japan and South Korea should cooperate to eradicate poverty and combat climate change, he said at the conference held in India.

“Extreme poverty exists in many parts of the world. People lack excess to clean water, decent meals, shelter and basic education. If this is the balance of the 20th century, it is a collective failure,” Ramos-Horta said as quoted by The Hindu. “The past 200 years of human activities have also their impact on the environment. There is human pressure on land, environment and other animals.”

About the author

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.