Celebrating Timor-Leste's Journey of Independence


[INVITATION ONLY] Luncheon Discussion with Minister Xanana Gusmão

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd meets with East Timor Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao at the Government Palace February 15, 2008 in Dili, East Timor. (Luis Enrique Ascui / Getty Images)

In 2017, Timor-Leste celebrates its 15th year as a sovereign nation. Timor-Leste’s independence after 25 years of occupation demonstrated that the international community could come together to help facilitate the transition from occupation to independence.

At a time when the international liberal order is challenged as never before, Timor-Leste represents a genuine international success story, particularly at a time when so many post-conflict countries are struggling. With this month's just completed presidential election and upcoming parliamentary elections, Timor-Leste is undergoing its third set of free and democratic elections since the restoration of independence. As it continues to strive to complete its journey toward independence, Timor-Leste aims to achieve long-term prosperity for its growing, young population.

The Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) is pleased to present a luncheon discussion with Timor-Leste’s Minister of Planning and Strategic Investment and Chief Negotiator for Maritime Boundaries, H.E. Xanana Gusmão, who previously served as Timor-Leste’s first president from 2002 to 2007 and then prime minister from 2007 to 2015. ASPI President and former Australian Prime Minister The Hon. Kevin Rudd will chair a discussion with Minister Gusmão and other leaders from Timor-Leste about the path forward for the young country.

This event is by invitation only. For more information about the event please contact ASPI at PolicyInstitute@asiasociety.org.


H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão is a former president, former prime minister and current minister for planning and strategic investment in the Timor-Leste government. He also currently holds the position of minister mentor and is the chief negotiator for Timor-Leste’s maritime boundary negotiations with Indonesia and Australia. He led East Timor’s struggle for independence for 24 years and spent seven years in jail during the Indonesian occupation, drawing international attention to the plight of the Timorese people and becoming known as "Timor's Nelson Mandela." As president and then prime minister after gaining independence in 2002, he helped re-establish peaceful relations with Indonesia. In 2015, he voluntarily stepped down from the position of prime minister to allow a new generation of leaders to advance the nation. 

The Hon. Kevin Rudd is President of the Asia Society Policy Institute. He served as Australia’s 26th prime minister and as foreign minister. Mr. Rudd recently led a review of the UN system as chair of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism. He is a distinguished fellow at Chatham House in London, a distinguished statesman with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, and a distinguished fellow at the Paulson Institute in Chicago. He is proficient in Mandarin Chinese, serves as a visiting professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and co-chairs the World Economic Forum's China Global Affairs Council.



Event Details

Mon 03 Apr 2017
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

This event is by invitation only. For more information, please email policyinstitute@asiasociety.org.
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