About the Author: Williams S. Martin serves as Deputy Director for Peace Operations in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs.
After a trip to Beijing to support U.S.-Chinese talks on UN peacekeeping, I recently made my way via Guangzhou, China and Perth and Darwin, Australia to Dili, Timor-Leste. I went to Timor-Leste to see if this tiny country — roughly the size of Connecticut with a population of approximately one million — is on track to say goodbye to its UN peacekeeping mission at the end of this year.
I was the first person from the Department of State’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs to visit Timor-Leste in over a decade. That is largely because it is so far from Washington, D.C. — about 10,000 miles (16,000 km). As I flew in, I could see below me a tropical country with lush, wooded hills covered in low clouds and the small capital of Dili nestled between the hills and a… more »