On May 20, 2022, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the inauguration of national independence in East Timor, President José Ramos-Horta took custody of his country’s highest office for the second time. In the course of doing so he issued an official declaration in which he solemnly received the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace – signed on February 4, 2019, by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam Ahmad al-Tayyeb of Al-Azhar – as a national document. He vowed to make “every effort, in cooperation with state, religious and secular institutions, to adapt and include it in the national school curricula.”
The official act is legally based on resolution no. 11/2022, unanimously approved by the East Timor National Parliament on May 12, in which the legislative assembly of the country expressed its full adherence to the Abu Dhabi Document and committed the state to it, in its various articulations.
During the official ceremony to swear in the new head of state, both the resolution of the National Parliament and the declaration of the president were solemnly handed over to Monsignor Marco Sprizzi, the Holy See’s chargé d’affaires and Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Elders from Abu Dhabi, representing the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar. The ceremony took place in front of the highest state officials and numerous foreign delegations, which included among others, the president of the Republic of Portugal and the Governor General of Australia. At the end of the ceremony, a solemn session of parliament took place, during which the chargé d’affaires of the Holy See addressed members of parliament and authorities.