About the Book
This book provides an in-depth look into the UN’s first experiment in governing and building peace in the aftermath of conflict, using East Timor as a case study. In the first part, the book examines the UN’s role after it entered East Timor in 1999 as the de facto government. It is based on the author’s first-hand experience working in the UN as it restored law and order and built a state in a country without a government, any infrastructure or human resources.
The second part of the book focuses on the current political and economic situation in Timor-Leste in the years after the UN left. The author concludes that the peacebuilding effort is still a work in progress. While Timorese leaders have built on the foundations laid by the UN, the book examines how they are trying to grapple with many remaining challenges, including the legacies of the country’s tragic past of colonization and occupation. How they deal with these issues will define the country’s future.
The book ends with a set of recommendations for Timor-Leste and for the region, namely members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
About the Author
Viji Menon has been a Visiting Senior Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore since November 2017.
Ms Menon joined the Singapore Foreign Service in 1972, and has held senior positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in Singapore’s diplomatic missions abroad. She has served in Singapore’s embassies in Manila, Moscow, Washington and in New York as the Deputy Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations from 1994-1996. After leaving the Foreign Service, she worked for the United Nations in the UN Missions in Kosovo, Timor-Leste and Cyprus as Senior Political Affairs Officer.
Ms Menon graduated from the then University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Political Science. She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in 1982 and in 1983 obtained a Masters in International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, U.S.A.