In February 1989, he wrote to the President of Portugal, the Pope, and the UN secretary-general, calling for a UN referendum on the future of East Timor and for international help for the East Timorese, who were "dying as a people and a nation", but when the UN letter became public in April, he became even more of a target of the Indonesians. This precariousness increased when Bishop Belo gave sanctuary in his own home, as he did on various occasions, to youths escaping the Santa Cruz massacre (1991), and endavoured to expos the nnumbers of victims of various killed.
Bishop's Belos Courageous labours on behalf of the East Timorese and in pursuit of peace and reconciliation were internationally recognized when, along with Jose Ramos Horta, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Dec 1996. Bishop Belo capitalized upon this honour through meetings with Bill Clinton of the United States and Nelson Mandela of South Africa . Belo has also beeen awarded the john Humphrey Freedom Award.
Resignation as Apostolic Administrator and new pastoral activity :
In the afternoon of East Timorese independence on 20 May 2002, the presure of events and the ongoing stress he endured began to show their effects on Bishop Belo's health. Pope John Paul II accepted his resignation as Apolostic Administrator of Dili on November 26, 2002.
Following his resignation Bishop Belo traveled to Portugal for medical treatment. By the beginning of 2004, there were repeated calls for him to return to East Timor and to run for the office of President. However, in May 2004, he told portuguese state-run television RTP, that he would not allow his name to be put up for nomination. "I have decided toleave politics to politicians", he stated. One month later, on june, 2004, Pascual Chavez, rector major of the Salesian Society , announced from Rome that Bishop Belo, returned to health, would take up a new assignment. In July,2004 he took up missionary work in Mapito, capital of Mozambique and this was his saying to the Christians of East Timor.