Consultative Commission meets to discuss Maritime Borders

Thu. 10 of September of 2015, 22:24h

The Consultative Commission of the Council for the Final Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries met on the 9th of September in Díli and discussed options available to progress negotiations with Timor-Leste’s two maritime neighbors, Australia and Indonesia.

Progress has been noted in regards to the position of Indonesia. In August President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araújo announced that Timor-Leste and Indonesia were intent on expeditiously resolving their land and maritime borders.

President Widodo expressed his belief that maritime boundaries could be resolved soon, explaining “we will start in the north waters and will move to the south waters”. Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araújo said that the Government of Timor-Leste “is ready to commence the discussion on the maritime boundary delimitation with Indonesia in accordance with UNCLOS 1982”.

The next step in the process with Indonesia is due to occur later this year at the time of the Joint Border Commission meeting. A side meeting is proposed where consultations will begin to establish a framework for maritime boundary negotiations between Timor-Leste and Indonesia.

At the Commission meeting on Wednesday, September 9th, Timor-Leste’s Senior Legal Counsel, Professor Vaughan Lowe QC was on hand to offer his advice and discuss options. Professor Lowe is a world-renowned expert in international law who advises extensively on maritime boundaries, the Law of the Sea and international dispute resolution.

Whilst in Dili the Professor also gave an Executive Lecture “International Law of the Sea: An Overview” at the National University of Timor-Leste.