Primordial Leadership Book Launched at UN Headquarters in Geneva (17 January 2014)


 On 17 January 2014, a book launch was organized at the Palais des Nations in Geneva to mark the publication of Professor Hasegawa’s book, « Primordial Leadership – Peacebuilding and National Ownership in Timor-Leste ». The book launch convened a wide audience from various parts of the UN system and diplomats from Missions to the UN from the region.

 Following opening remarks made by Ms.Sigrun Habermann-Box, chief of the strategic planning of the Palais-des-Nations Library and David Chikvaidze, Chef de Cabinet of the UNOG Director-General who moderated the session, Professor Hasegawa started the library talk with a presentation of the book and a reflection on the lessons learned from the case of Timor-Leste for other peacebuilding endeavors throughout the world. Four panelists then , Alain Dick, Senior Advisor for International Affairs and Special Envoy of former President Ramos-Horta, H.E. Ambassador Marciano da Silva of the Timor-Leste mission to the UN, Ai Kihara-Hunt, former Human Rights officer in UNTAET, and Manfred Kulessa, former Deputy Assistant Administrator and Regional Director of UNDP for Asia and the Pacific, commented on various parts and issues raised in the book including transitional justice, UN peacekeeping operations, capacity-building of national administration. The discussants at the book launch took this opportunity to reflect upon the importance of national leadership for post-conflict Timor-Leste and other conflict areas in the world.

 The event was an occasion to reassess how primordial leadership proved of critical importance in post-conflict Timor-Leste to forge a widespread feeling of ownership and accountability, helping the country’s leaders successfully turn security into opportunities for fostering respect for democratic governance.

(Hillel Loew)