In May 2002, East Timor, a small island nation north of Australia, became the world’s newest democracy and free-market economy. Hundreds of thousands gathered in Dili, the capital, to celebrate the nation’s autonomy from the United Nations and its freedom from years of Indonesian occupation. While millions around the world watched, the people of East Timor enjoyed two days of music, culture and tradition as the United Nations transferred power to the newly established government. The event marked the triumph of the East Timor people over a long history of violence and oppression, and victory for the United Nations, whose peacekeeping forces oversaw the transition.
East Timor’s Foreign Ministry asked to Group Inc to provide political, financial, media and production expertise to help shape the celebrations. In the weeks leading up to the event, Group Inc served as an advisor to the Foreign Ministry and sent Jonathan Adeshek to help organize the official handover of power and the inauguration of the country’s democratically elected president, Xanana Gusmao. Working closely with the Foreign Minister, Nobel Laureate Dr. José Ramos-Horta, Jonathan directed the international team responsible for production and logistics for both the official and cultural ceremonies. Diplomatic representatives from 82 countries attended the events.
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