Conciliation process to continue after Commission considers Australia’s challenge

Tue. 04 of Outubro of 2016, 15:33h
Foto TPA

On the 26th of September the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) issued a press release on behalf of the United Nations Conciliation Commission, announcing the Commission’s decision to continue the compulsory conciliation procedure regarding maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea (to see the PCA Press release, click here).

This decision was taken after a hearing held in the PCA, in The Hague (The Netherlands) in August, where Australia contested the competence of the Commission. On the same day that the hearings began in The Hague,  August 29th, in Dili, the Prime Minister presented the official position of Timor-Leste in the “Timor-Leste Policy Paper on Maritime Boundaries”.

On the 19th of September the Commission decided unanimously that it has competence to continue with the conciliation proceedings and published its decision one week later. (to see the press release of the Government Spokesperson on the decision, click here).

The Commission, made up of a panel of five independent experts, was set up after Timor-Leste initiated compulsory conciliation under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea [UNCLOS] in April this year. A copy of Timor-Leste’s Notice was presented personally by the Minister of Planning and Strategic Investment and  Chief Negotiator for Maritime Boundaries , Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, to the UN Secretary-General in New York.

The first procedural meeting of the Commission took place in late July. Timor-Leste initiated this process after Australia remained unwilling to engage on the issue establishing a maritime boundary between Australia and Timor-Leste. The conciliation process is expected to run for 12 months.