Publicado: Vie, Marcha 09, 2018
Salud | Por Gertrudes Rodriquez

Indonesia eyes change to maritime treaty after Timor-Australia deal

Indonesia eyes change to maritime treaty after Timor-Australia deal

Tens of billions of dollars worth of oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea have been unlocked after Australia and East Timor signed a maritime border treaty, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

The treaty ends a long a bitter dispute between the neighboring countries and paves the way for exploitation of billions of dollars in gas and oil under the Timor Sea — with at least 70 percent of the revenue to go to impoverished East Timor.

The two sides and the Sunrise joint venture have not yet agreed on a way to develop Greater Sunrise.

In 1989, when East Timor was still part of Indonesia, the governments of Australia and Indonesia signed what became known as the Timor Gap Treaty, which allowed both countries to share in the wealth of the Timor Gap equally.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres witnessed the signing of the treaty, which was the first-ever reached under a special conciliation mechanism of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The agreement will see a partition created halfway between the countries, rather than along the continental shelf as Australia had originally proposed, meaning that a much more substantial proportion of Greater Sunrise will fall into Timor-Leste's territory.

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East Timor, one of Asia's poorest countries, has been in dispute with Australia over the sea border since its independence from Indonesia in 2002.

East Timorese Minister Agio Pereira said the deal was "equitable" and "consistent with worldwide law".

Pereira, calling the treaty "equatable, forward-looking", said it will institute certainty in global investment and economic development for Timor Leste.

The treaty was signed at the United Nations headquarters in NY by Foreign Julie Bishop and East Timor's Deputy Prime Minister Agio Pereira. "It reinforces our respect for, and the importance of, the worldwide rules-based order in resolving disputes".

The treaty is expected to provide a boost to East Timor's struggling economy by giving them more sovereignty over the Greater Sunrise, a lucrative oil and gas field located roughly 150km southeast of East Timor, and 450km northwest of Darwin. "Our treaty reflects the value and importance of those rules and institutions and the benefits for states in abiding by those rules", she said.

Bishop also addressed accusations from Gusmao that the conciliation committee had shown bias and used inferior technical expertise, putting forward a formal recommendation against convention, which favoured Australia. "The treaty, signed on March 6 in the presence of the United Nations Secretary General, is a testament to the efficacy and importance of resolving disputes peacefully and in accordance with worldwide law, the U.S. said in a statement here".

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