Reconnecting with Timor-Leste


Discussion with Prime Minister Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo

East Timor's new Prime Minister Rui Araujo (R) and President Taur Matan Ruak (L) shake hands as they pose for a group photograph after a swearing ceremony in Dili on February 16, 2015. VALENTINO DE SOUSA / AFP / Getty Images


Fourteen years ago, the world welcomed Timor-Leste as a new, sovereign nation, following 25 years of occupation. Timor-Leste’s independence demonstrated that solutions were within the world’s grasp, as a United Nations force helped midwife the transition from occupation to independence.

Today, Timor-Leste again turns to the community of nations to complete its long journey to independence. From a 20-year Strategic Development Plan to transition from fragility to prosperity, and efforts to resolve outstanding boundary issues, Timor-Leste seeks a fate different than that of challenged young nations from South Sudan to Libya: real independence, genuine sovereignty, and a new international success story in a time when the global architecture is challenged as never before.

The Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) is pleased to present a roundtable discussion with Timor-Leste’s Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo on the contemporary challenges facing the country. Former U.S. State Department Legal Advisor Harold Hongju Koh will also provide scene-setting insight about the world’s collective interest in Timor-Leste, followed by a roundtable discussion on how the international community can reengage with the country.

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


H.E. Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo is the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste. He was sworn into office on the 16th of February 2015 and leads the 6th Constitutional Government. He was an active member of the resistance during the Occupation, later graduating as a General Practitioner and Medical Doctor in July 1994. Dr. Araújo’s years of working in the medical field in Dili led him to undertake a postgraduate diploma in public health, majoring in Health Policy, Health Management and Health Financing, at Otago University, New Zealand. Dr. Araújo also received a Master’s Degree in Public Health in 2001. He was appointed as Minister of Health until August 2007 and added to his portfolio the role of Deputy Prime Minister of Social Affairs in June 2006. Between 2007 and 2012 he was appointed to the Council of State and he held the position of an adviser to the Ministry of Health and later Senior Adviser to the Ministry of Finance. 

Harold Hongju Koh is Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale Law School. He previously served as the 22nd Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State, service for which he received the Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Award. He first began teaching at Yale Law School in 1985 and served as its fifteenth Dean from 2004 until 2009. From 1993 to 2009, he was From 1998 to 2001, he served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. He has authored or co-authored countless books and articles, testified regularly before Congress, and litigated numerous cases involving international law issues in both U.S. and international tribunals. He holds a B.A. degree from Harvard College, B.A. and M.A. degrees from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. 

Event Details

Tue 28 Jun 2016
8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
725 Park Avenue New York, NY 10021
This event is by invitation only. For more information, please email
Add to Calendar 20160628T123000 20160628T143000 UTC Asia Society: Reconnecting with Timor-Leste 725 Park Avenue New York, NY 10021