At the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, we host numerous talks and public lectures on different areas of public policy throughout the year. Talks and public lectures are free and open to the public, unless otherwise stated.
To attend an event, please send your RSVP to , unless stated otherwise in the event flyer.
Peace-Building and State-Building: from Fragility to Resilience
Speaker: H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and Security, Timor-Leste
Date: Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Time: 5:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
The people of Timor-Leste have had a difficult struggle for self-determination and freedom. Today, as the youngest nation in the Asia-Pacific, Timor-Leste is approaching state-building, peace-building and development by taking into account local circumstances, history and culture.
While the world has made remarkable progress - particularly in Asia - in improving the lives of millions, there are still some 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty.
As the international community comes together to search for a replacement for the Millennium Development Goals framework, it is important to note that many of the world’s poorest people live in countries that suffer from cycles of conflict.
In these countries, it is a major challenge to eradicate poverty and secure human progress without successful peace-building and state-building.
While there is no one successful formula for progress, Timor-Leste shares similar challenges with many of the world’s Least Developed Countries. This lecture by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão will focus on Timor-Leste’s experience and offer some guidance on securing peace and embracing development.
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for more details.
About the Speaker: Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão is the Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Security of Timor-Leste. In 2012, he was elected for a second five-year term. Before first becoming Prime Minister in 2007, Xanana Gusmão was elected as the first President of the Republic since the Restoration of Independence in 2002.
During the 24 year occupation of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão led the resistance struggle for self-determination and the liberation of his people. In 1981, he was elected leader of the Resistance and Commander-in-Chief of the FALINTIL (National Liberation Armed Forces of Timor-Leste). A year after the Santa Cruz massacre, Xanana Gusmão, after 17 years of guerrilla warfare, was captured on November 20, 1992 in the capital Díli. He faced a trial lacking natural justice and was sentenced for 20 years. In his Jakarta prison, Xanana Gusmão continued to lead the Resistance, while studying Bahasa Indonesia, English and law. He also painted and wrote poetry.
On 30 August 1999, the Timorese people voted in an UN-sponsored referendum and overwhelmingly rejected the autonomy proposal put forth by Indonesia, signalling the end of the Indonesian occupation and the beginning of a UN transitional process. Xanana Gusmão was released on 7 September 1999.
Xanana Gusmão has been awarded many peace and human rights prizes including the UNESCO Peace Prize and the European Parliament Sakharov Human Rights Prize. He has also been awarded an Honorary Knighthood of the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael & St. George by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Just Business, Not As Usual
Speaker: Prof. John G. Ruggie, Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
Date: Tuesday, 11 June 2013
Time: 5:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
RSVP: Kindly send your RSVP to to avoid disappointment.
Do the responsibilities of business include upholding human rights? What are the respective obligations of governments, brands and suppliers to protect and respect these rights, and to provide remedy when they are abused?
In light of the recent tragedies in garment factories in Bangladesh, where over 1,500 workers have died in building collapses and fires, these questions have become ever more pertinent and urgent.
Prof. John Ruggie was the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Business and Human Rights. He led the creation of the “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework that led to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In 2011, the Principles were unanimously endorsed, thereby establishing an authoritative global standard on the respective roles of business and governments for ensuring business respect for human rights.
Will these Guiding Principles change the way that business is conducted? Will they change the way governments regulate business? Prof. Ruggie will address these questions in his Public Lecture at the LKY School.
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for more details.
About the Speaker: John G. Ruggie is the Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government and an Affiliated Professor in International Legal Studies at Harvard Law School. Trained as a political scientist, Prof. Ruggie has made significant intellectual contributions to the study of international relations, focusing on the impact of economic and other forms of globalization on global rule-making and the emergence of new rule-makers.
He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and surveys published in Foreign Policy magazine identify him as one of the 25 most influential international relations scholars in the United States and Canada. Apart from his academic pursuits, Prof. Ruggie has long been involved in practical policy work.
From 1997-2001, he served as United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Planning, a post created specifically for him by then Secretary-General Kofi Annan. His areas of responsibility included assisting the Secretary-General in establishing and overseeing the UN Global Compact, now the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative; proposing and gaining General Assembly approval for the Millennium Development Goals; UN institutional reforms; and conducting relations with Washington.
In 2005, Prof. Ruggie was appointed as the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, tasked with proposing measures to strengthen the human rights performance of the business sector around the world.
In June 2011 the UN Human Rights Council, in an unprecedented step, unanimously endorsed a set of Principles on Business and Human Rights developed by Prof. Ruggie over the course of six years of research, consultations and pilot projects. Core elements of these Principles have also been adopted by the OECD, the International Standards Organization, the International Finance Corporation and the European Union. They constitute the most comprehensive and authoritative global standard in the area of business and human rights.