The Diplomacy Training Program (DTP) was founded by Professor José Ramos-Horta, 1996 Nobel Peace Laureate and Emeritus Professor Garth Nettheim. The organisation drew its inspiration and sense of purpose from José Ramos-Horta’s experiences in seeking solidarity and international action on human rights violations following the invasion of East Timor in 1975. José Ramos-Horta wanted to support more effective “peoples’ diplomacy” – to enable advocates to use the available international standards and mechanisms to advance their human rights issues and seek effective peaceful redress for their grievances. Since its first annual course in 1990 DTP has recognised the need to support Indigenous Australian advocates as well as advocates from the region.
José Ramos-Horta went on to serve independent Timor-Leste as Foreign Minister, Prime Minister and President.