MBO Briefings (19 August 2020, Google Meet)

Over Google Meet, the Maritime Boundary Office delivered a presentation on ‘Timor-Leste’s Maritime Boundary’ in Tetun to Officers of the Australian Defence Force who are in the final stages of their Tetun course in Melbourne.

In fluent Tetun, the Officers asked questions on the Compulsory Conciliation process between Australia and Timor-Leste. They observed that this process could serve as a model to the world on how disputes could be resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law. The Officers were also interested in the good relations between Australia and Timor-Leste and expressed their desire to visit Timor-Leste next year. They ended the session with best wishes of success for our boundary negotiations with Indonesia.

ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Workshop: Dispute Resolution and Law of the Sea (27 – 28 February 2020, Dili)

Timor-Leste, Malaysia and Australia co-chaired the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Workshop on Dispute
Resolution and the Law of the Sea. The Workshop was held in Dili at the Ministry of Finance. The Maritime
Boundary Office participated in the organising committee and worked closely with Timor-Leste’s Ministry
of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation as well as with the other two co-chairs in putting this workshop
together.

The Workshop drew participants with academic and practitioner experience in the Law of the Sea
providing both a regional and international perspective. The forum examined a range of past cases with
a focus on the conciliation between Timor-Leste and Australia as a recent case of success of a dispute
resolution.

ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Workshop: Dispute Resolution and Law of the Sea (27 – 28 February 2020, Dili)

The Maritime Boundary Office was invited to attend this workshop together with the Timor-Leste Ministry
of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Hanoi, Vietnam. The forum focused on the existing maritime disputes
in the region. It also looked into measures to efficiently implement UNCLOS and other international
instruments to tackle these existing maritime challenges, including sovereign disputes, delimitation of
maritime boundaries, and various transboundary issues such as sea law enforcement, maritime pollution,
climate change, as well as terrorism and piracy.

How Healthy is the Ocean’s Constitution? 25 Years of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Conference (17 – 18 October 2019, Hamburg, Germany)

In celebrating the 25th Anniversary of UNCLOS, Chief Negotiator, H.E. Xanana Gusmão was invited to
deliver a keynote address at the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg, Germany
on 17 October 2019. The conference was the time for leading experts, policy makers and practitioners to
reflect on what UNCLOS had achieved for the last 25 years since it came into force.

The Chief Negotiator discussed the importance of UNCLOS for small island States and the success story of
the conciliation between Timor-Leste and Australia. He said, “I hope this panel and this conference will see
our success story not as a reason to celebrate, but more as a reason to take action. Through the example of
what we accomplished with Australia, we have provided proof that the rules-based architecture can still
help achieve fairness, equity and more essentially, sovereignty.”

Cosgrove / Xanana Cup – Friendly Soccer Shield (20 September 2019, National Stadium, Dili)

In a demonstration of the friendship between Timor-Leste and the INTERFET staff, on September 20, the
veterans of FALINTIL and INTERFET and the national teams of the F-FDTL and the Australian Defence Force
played a friendly soccer match vying for the Cosgrove / Xanana Cup.

Hundreds of visiting veterans joined a crowd of almost 1,000 Timorese to watch the friendly soccer match
between the FALINTIL veterans and the INTERFET veterans. After this first match, the F-FDTL national
football team played against the Australian Defence Force, in an equally friendly but more competitive
match.

Celebrations of the 20th Anniversary of the Referendum (Popular Consultation) and of the INTERFET Mission

The official ceremony celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Referendum (Popular Consultation) took
place in Tasi Tolu. The ceremony hosted 2,200 guests across three tents, with a main and a secondary
stage for performances from cultural groups.

Order of Timor Recipients

Organising Committee for the Celebrations of the 20th Anniversary of the Referendum (Popular Consultation) and the INTERFET Mission (July – September 2019, Timor-Leste)

The Government created an Organising Committee [OC] to organise the 20th Anniversary of the Popular
Consultation (August 30) and the deployment of the INTERFET Mission (September 20). H. E. Kay Rala
Xanana Gusmão was appointed as President of the OC. The OC included a Principal Advisor, Counsellors
[6], a General Coordinator and Vice-Coordinators [6], the Secretariat, and smaller teams responsible for
sections such as communication and public relations, transport, entertainment, and security [12].

The Secretariat supporting the OC included three Secretaries under the direction of the Coordinator. The CEO of the Maritime Boundary Office [MBO], Elizabeth Exposto, was appointed Coordinator of the Secretariat, and the MBO carried out the Secretariat’s activities.
Visit by a United States Congressional Delegation and welcome dinner hosted by the Chief Negotiator (28 July 2019, Dili, Timor-Leste)

Visit by a United States Congressional Delegation and welcome dinner hosted by the Chief Negotiator (28 July 2019, Dili, Timor-Leste)

On 28 July 2019, the Chief Negotiator and President of the Organising Committee for the Celebrations
of the 20th Anniversary of the Referendum, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, hosted a welcome dinner to the
United States Congressional Delegation visiting Timor-Leste. This is the second visit by United States
Members of Congress to Timor-Leste, after the first one in 2015. The United States Congress was always a
strong supporter of the independence movement in Timor-Leste, as well as of the rights of Timor-Leste
in finding a fair and peaceful solution to the issue of maritime boundary delimitation in accordance with
international law.

Chief Negotiator with Congressman David Ciciline of Rhode Island

Ratification of the Maritime Boundary Treaty by the National Parliament (23 July 2019, National Parliament, Dili)

Chief Negotiator, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, the Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council
of Ministers, Ágio Pereira, and the Acting Minister of Finance, Sara Brites, together with the negotiation
team, presented to Parliament’s Commissions B, C, and D, the Maritime Boundary Treaty and the four
relevant bills: Amendment to the Tax Law, Labour and Migration Special Regime, the Amendments to
the Petroleum Fund Law, and the Petroleum Activities Law. On 23 July 2019, following a long and rigorous
debate, Parliament ratified the historical Maritime Boundary Treaty and approved the four bills.

Indonesia - Exploratory meetings on maritime boundaries (10–11 December 2018, Bali and 26–27 February 2019, Singapore)

Exploratory meetings on maritime boundaries with Indonesia were held in Bali on 10-11 December,
2018 and in Singapore on 26–27 February, 2019. Chief Negotiator, H.E. Xanana Gusmão led the Timorese
delegation which also included H.E. Ambassador Roberto Soares, Special Assistant to the

Chief Negotiator and Head of the Technical Team for the Land Border Negotiations, Elizabeth Exposto,
CEO of the MBO and Marcos da Costa, Counsellor from the Timor-Leste Embassy in Jakarta. The
Indonesian delegation was led by Damos Dumoli Agusman, Director General for Legal Affairs and
International Treaties, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The two countries met in a spirit of cooperation to discuss
key technical and administrative matters. The Bali and Singapore meetings were both productive and set
a positive tone for maritime boundary delimitation with Indonesia in accordance with international law,
and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum (11–13 January 2019, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Timor-Leste was invited to participate for the second time in the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum in
Abu Dhabi, the premier international forum for government, industry, and academia to address the key
issues and changes in the world of energy. Held under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed
bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the Forum is convened by the Atlantic Council, a partner
of Timor-Leste through the Partnership Program with U.S. Civil Society.

Fourth Senior Officials’ Consultation on Land Borders (13–14 December 2018, Dili)

The 4th Senior Officials’ Consultation on the Land Borders between Timor-Leste and Indonesia was held in
Dili on 13-14 December, 2018. Significant progress was made at this meeting, laying the foundations for a
final agreement on land borders between the two countries.

Timor-Leste’s resources activities (8 December 2018, Dili)

The MBO worked closely with ANPM and TIMOR GAP to support H.E. Chief Negotiator Xanana Gusmão
as he presented a national seminar at the CCD (Convention Centre of Dili) to provide information about
Timor-Leste’s recent resources activities, following the resolution of the maritime boundary dispute
with Australia. During the day-long seminar, the Chief Negotiator talked about Timor-Leste’s maritime
boundaries and recent resources activities including the process and rationale behind the ConocoPhillips
and Shell transactions. The President of ANPM, Gualdino da Silva explained about Timor-Leste’s
participation in the Joint Venture for Greater Sunrise development and the President and CEO for TIMOR
GAP, Francisco Monteiro, talked about progress of the South Coast development.

Vanuatu – Timor-Leste exchange visits, (30 November–1 December 2018, Vanuatu)

Chief Negotiator, H.E. Xanana Gusmão, led a small delegation from Timor-Leste to Vanuatu to meet with
Acting President and Speaker of the Parliament Esmon Saimon, Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, Foreign
Minister Ralph Regenvanu, and other government representatives to strengthen bilateral relations
between Timor-Leste and Vanuatu. Vanuatu has been a steadfast supporter of Timor-Leste since the early
days of the resistance.

Chief Negotiator, H.E. Xanana Gusmão meets with Acting President and Speaker of the Parliament Esmon Saimon

Thank you meeting with Australian solidarity group (27 November, 2018, Sydney)

Chief Negotiator, H.E. Xanana Gusmão, met with a group of Australians who are longtime and dedicated
supporters of Timor-Leste. The Chief Negotiator honoured their efforts to support the people of Timor-
Leste during the Independence struggle and more recently in the dispute with Australia over maritime
boundaries. He encouraged the group to continue the strong bonds of friendship between the two
countries into the future.

Chief Negotiator visited Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College (27 November, 2018, Sydney)

Chief Negotiator, H.E. Xanana Gusmão, delivered remarks to students at Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College. In his speech titled “Feto Forte, Nasaun Forte” or “Strong woman, strong nation,” he shared his ideas about opportunity, responsibility and adversity, and also his theories about the educational experience of Timorese and Australian students. The Chief Negotiator commended Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College for its values of community service, social justice and human dignity. The school supports education in Maliana through the Teacher Professional Learning Centre, the Food for Thought Program and the Colegio Scholarship Program. The school was also very vocal in its support for Timor-Leste claiming and defining its maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea.

9th International Conference on Humans Rights Education at Western Sydney University (27 November 2018, Sydney)

H.E. Chief Negotiator Xanana Gusmão was invited to deliver a key note speech at the 9th International Conference on Humans Rights Education at Western Sydney University in Australia on 27 November 2018. In his speech, titled “Harvesting Human Rights for Independence and Democracy,” the Chief Negotiator spoke about the history of Timor-Leste and the strength and courage of the Timorese people. He said that education was critical to understanding the importance of human rights and civic engagement. He also addressed the issue of democracy and the challenges being faced in the world today. He talked about the importance of institutions, including the United Nations and its role facilitating the recent maritime boundary compulsory conciliation process with Australia.

Our Ocean Conference (29 October 2018, Bali, Indonesia)

H.E. Chief Negotiator Xanana Gusmão was invited to deliver a key note speech at the 9th International Conference on Humans Rights Education at Western Sydney University in Australia on 27 November 2018. In his speech, titled “Harvesting Human Rights for Independence and Democracy,” the Chief Negotiator spoke about the history of Timor-Leste and the strength and courage of the Timorese people. He said that education was critical to understanding the importance of human rights and civic engagement. He also addressed the issue of democracy and the challenges being faced in the world today. He talked about the importance of institutions, including the United Nations and its role facilitating the recent maritime boundary compulsory conciliation process with Australia.

New Frontiers: Timor-Leste’s Historic Conciliation on Maritime Boundaries (30 August 2018, Dili, Timor-Leste)

The MBO published a book revealing Timor-Leste’s experience of the first ever compulsory conciliation process under the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that led to the signing of the new Maritime Boundary Treaty, and a new chapter in Timor-Leste’s pursuit of full sovereignty. The book has been produced in Portuguese, English and Tetun. Chief Negotiator, H.E. Xanana Gusmão, launched the book at the Timorese Resistance and Archive Museum on 30 August 2018 – the 19th anniversary of Timor-Leste’s independence referendum, and the one year anniversary of the breakthrough in-principle maritime boundary agreement signed in Copenhagen. The book was also launched by the Chief Negotiator in Lisbon, Portugal on 19 October.

MBO Briefings (21 August 2018, MBO, Dili)

The MBO continues to provide briefings to civil society, members of government, students and international visitors.

On 21 August a study tour group from Australia attended the MBO for a short briefing on the Timor Sea: its history, the compulsory conciliation proceedings and the significance of the new Maritime Boundary Treaty to Timor-Leste and Australia. 

Participants found the sessions informative and conveyed their best wishes to the negotiating team and to Timor-Leste for its future development.

American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) exchange (13 May – 2 June 2018, USA)

Based on the Memorandum of Understanding agreed between ACYPL and the Timor-Leste Government, the MBO worked with ACYPL and the US Embassy in Dili to facilitate the first delegation from Timor-Leste to visit the United States on exchange program from 13 May to 2 June 2018.

The six delegates met with leaders from the federal, state and local government, as well as representatives from business and civil society. The delegation gained personal insights into the governmental systems of Washington D.C.; Massachusetts: Boston; Rhode Island: Providence, Central Falls, New Port; and Wyoming: Cheyenne.

The three weeks’ trip concluded with a Professional Fellows Congress, which involved young and inspiring leaders from more than 60 countries.

Looking at the old map of Dili with Mr. Ta-Moore in the Library of Congress of the Southeast Asian Collection in Washington D.C., 17 May 2018

Chief Negotiator, H.E. Xanana Gusmão, gives public briefings (03 April 2018, Dili)

MBO supported the Chief Negotiator Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão as he gave two public briefings on maritime boundaries – one on 3 April to about 600 people at the Villa Verde Cathedral Hall and another on 8 April to about 2000 students at the Don Bosco Training Centre in Dili. Everyone who attended the briefings was engaged to learn about maritime boundaries and what the maritime boundary treaty with Australia means for the Timorese.

MBO Briefings (21 March 2018, MBO, Dili)

On Wednesday 21 March, 2018, MBO gave a briefing to a La’o Hamutuk team on the maritime boundary treaty between Timor-Leste and Australia.

Timor-Leste and Australia sign a maritime boundary Treaty (6 March 2018, New York, USA)

On 6 March 2018, Timor-Leste and Australia signed an historic Maritime Boundary Treaty at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Maritime Boundary Treaty establishes for the first time permanent maritime boundaries between Timor-Leste and Australia in the Timor Sea. The signing of the Treaty concludes the compulsory conciliation process, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which was initiated by Timor-Leste in April 2016. The Treaty sets permanent maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea based on international law, bringing an end to Timor-Leste’s long-running maritime boundary dispute with Australia.

Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum (11-14 January 2018, Abu Dhabi)

The Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi is the premier international forum for government, industry, and thought leaders to set the global energy agenda for the year and anticipate and respond to changes in the world of energy. Timor-Leste’s Chief Negotiator Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão was invited to give a key note address at the Forum, speaking on “Economic Diversification in the Region, Sustainable Best Practices and Business Models: Lessons learned by Timor-Leste.”

Chief Negotiator Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão meets with UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Anwar Gargash

Celebration of the 42nd Anniversary of the Proclamation of Independence of Timor-Leste (22-29 November 2017, Covalima)

Integrated in the celebrations of the 42nd anniversary of the proclamation of Timor-Leste’s independence, the Maritime Boundary Office was invited to participate in an exhibition, from 22 to 29 November in Suai, Covalima Municipality. The Maritime Boundary Office sent 11 staff to set up a pavilion at the exhibition to inform the community about Timor-Leste’s maritime boundary agenda. Visitors to the pavilion included students, community members, government agents, diplomats, veterans, NGO representatives, military and police officers and academics, among others. More than 1,140 people, of varying ages and professions, visited the MBO pavilion.

Compulsory Conciliation (9-13 October 2017, The Hague)

Through a series of confidential meetings with the Conciliation Commission in The Hague from 9 to 13 October, Timor-Leste and Australia reached agreement on the complete text of a draft treaty as anticipated in the Comprehensive Package Agreement of 30 August 2017. This draft treaty delimits the maritime boundary between them in the Timor Sea and addresses the legal status of the Greater Sunrise gas field, the establishment of a Special Regime for Greater Sunrise, a pathway to the development of the resource, and the sharing of the resulting revenue. The Parties will now pursue their domestic approval processes in order to proceed with the signing of the Treaty. The Parties will continue to engage with the Greater Sunrise Joint Venture regarding the development of the Greater Sunrise gas field, as well as with other stakeholders with resource interests in the Timor Sea.

Singapore’s Workshop on Maritime Boundaries (6-8 June 2017)

The Meridian International Centre in Washington D.C. partnered with the U.S. Department of State to fund two officers from the Maritime Boundary Office to participate in a Maritime Boundaries Workshop from 6-8 June at the National University of Singapore. The workshop was organised by the Centre for International Law (CIL) and the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS).

Presentation to English Club at UNTL (14 March 2017)

The Meridian International Centre in Washington D.C. partnered with the U.S. Department of State to fund two officers from the Maritime Boundary Office to participate in a Maritime Boundaries Workshop from 6-8 June at the National University of Singapore. The workshop was organised by the Centre for International Law (CIL) and the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS).

The students engaged with the briefing and asked many questions relating to the CMATS termination, median line and on the continental shelf theory.

As a token of their support, the students presented a gift to Maritime Boundary Office, a beautiful wooden-carved crocodile.

Students of English Club

Hosting American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) (6-11 March 2017, Díli, Timor-Leste)

H.E. Prime Minister Dr Rui Maria de Araújo established a strong connection with ACYPL leadership during an official visit to Washington DC in September 2016. Subsequently, the Timor-Leste Government and ACYPL have developed a cooperative partnership to deliver an Educational Exchange Program.
As part of the exchange program, Maritime Boundary Office hosted a delegation of 5 ACYPL guests from the United States from 6 – 11 March 2017. The delegates were Ellie Casson, Office of Government Affairs and Strategic Partnerships, Airbnb; the Honorable James Diossa, Mayor of Central Falls, Rhode Island; the Honorable Aaron Lawlor, Chairman of Lake Country Board, Illinois; Libby Rosenbaum, Interim CEO of ACYPL; and Stacey Walter Fujii, Chairman of ACYPL Board.

The visit provided an opportunity for the delegates to learn about the history of Timor-Leste. They met with the key leaders including H.E. Prime Minister Dr Rui Maria de Araújo, H.E. Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, Chief Negotiator, H.E. Minister Agio Pereira and H.E. Dr José Ramos-Horta. They also spoke with young political leaders at the National Youth Council (CNJTL), visited the Alola Foundation and travelled to the districts to visit a USAID agricultural project in Atabae and stayed in Balibo.

The delegates were briefed on the significance of the maritime delimitation for Timor-Leste.

As part of the Educational Exchange Program, a delegation of young political leaders from Timor-Leste will visit the United States in Washington in October 2017. The program aims to give young Timorese leaders a hands-on experience of the role that civil society plays in policy making.

Presentation to Protestant Church in Timor-Leste, Sínodo (14 February 2017)

Maritime Boundary Office was requested to brief the Protestant Church in Timor-Leste, Sínodo on the progress of the maritime boundary delimitation with Timor-Leste’s two neighbours: Indonesia and Australia.

The community was grateful for the briefing and supportive with their prayers for success.

Some of Maritime Boundary Office team with the SÍNODO community

Fireside chat on UNCLOS Compulsory Conciliation: The Timor-Leste v. Australia Maritime Boundary Dispute (10 February 2017, National University of Singapore, Singapore)

Maritime Boundary Office attended a fireside chat that was hosted by Professor S Jayakumar and Professor Tommy Koh with Professor Robert Beckman and Dr HaoDuy Phan as panellists. The discussion focused on the Compulsory Conciliation between Timor-Leste and Australia, touching on the specifics of UNCLOS and the law of the sea. The panellists agreed that whilst Conciliation could not serve every dispute, the Conciliation proceedings between Timor-Leste and Australia appeared to be progressing successfully and could have an impact on dispute resolution around the world in the future.

The session attracted 60 participants from diplomats, government officials, businessmen and academics.

The panelists

“The South China Sea Award: The Legal Dimension” Conference (5-6 January 2017, Singapore)

The Centre for International Law (CIL) at the National University of Singapore invited the Maritime Boundary Office (MBO) to attend a conference on “The South China Sea Award: The Legal Dimension” on 5-6 January 2017. The objective of the conference was “to examine the significant legal findings in the Award in order to understand what the Award means for the development of the law of the sea and its implications for future resolutions.” The discussions had a specific legal and academic focus.

Presentation to Curtin University Students (5 December 2016, Archive and Timorese Resistance Museum, Dili, Timor-Leste)

Following the success of the previous lecture in December 2015, the Maritime Boundary Office was requested to talk to students from Curtin University, Perth, Australia in December 2016.

The Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Elizabeth Exposto presented the history of Timor-Leste including her personal story as a young girl and her contribution to the independence of Timor-Leste. Ms. Exposto also gave a history of the maritime arrangement in the Timor Sea including details of the previous treaties and concluded with an outline of the Compulsory Conciliation that was initiated by Timor-Leste with Australia in April 2016.

The participating students raised various questions relating to regional support, security in the Timor Sea and future prospects for the nation. They said they were compelled by the story and were willing to provide assistance where possible.

Celebrating the 41st anniversary of Timor-Leste’s independence (24-28 November 2016, Lospalos, Lautem Municipality, Timor-Leste)

To celebrate the 41st anniversary of Timor-Leste’s independence MBO was invited to participate in an exhibition from 24 – 28 November 2016 in Lospalos, Lautem Municipality. MBO was assigned to share a stand with Ministry of Planning and Strategic Investment (MPIE).

More than 900 visitors visited MBO’s stand from different professions and ages.

United Nations Compulsory Conciliation (August – October 2016)

On 29 August, Minister Xanana Gusmão, Chief Negotiator, Agio Pereira, Minister of State and Ms Elizabeth Exposto MBO, CEO, as Agent and Deputy Agent, represented Timor-Leste at an open hearing at The Hague. Timor-Leste and Australia both had the opportunity to present their case to the Commission and to the world. Australia challenged the jurisdiction of the Commission, but on 26 September, 2016 the Commission announced that they had decided they did have jurisdiction and would continue with the proceedings. Subsequently, meetings of both parties with the Commission have been held in Singapore in October with more meetings scheduled for early 2017.

Visit to the United States of America (September 2016, USA)

Prime Minister Dr Rui Maria de Araújo, Minister Xanana Gusmão, Chief Negotiator and Foreign Minister Hernâni Coelho visited the United States for the United Nations General Assembly in September 2016.
Prime Minister addressed the General Assembly in New York on 24 September and spoke about the importance of establishing permanent maritime boundaries to Timor-Leste’s economic self-sufficiency. The delegation then visited universities and communities in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Indiana who have strong Portuguese cultural ties and heritage. His Excellency thanked those communities for their solidarity and support during Timor-Leste’s struggle for independence in the 1990s.

Launch of the Timor-Leste Maritime Boundary Policy Paper (29 August 2016, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dili, Timor-Leste)

Prime Minister Dr Rui Maria de Araújo launched the Timor-Leste Policy Paper on Maritime Boundaries at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Dili. The Policy Paper summarizes the relevant principles of the law of the sea and where Timor-Leste’s maritime boundaries would lie under international law. At the launch event, the open hearing of the compulsory conciliation at The Hague was broadcasted live for the audience. The Chief Negotiator launched the Policy Paper on the same day at The Hague.

Visit from an Australian Women’s Group (15 August 2016, Maritime Boundary Office, Palácio do Governo, Díli, Timor-Leste)

An Australian women’s group called the Minervas visited sites in Timor-Leste and requested a briefing from the Maritime Boundary Office on the history and background to why Timor-Leste is fighting for its maritime boundaries with its two neighbours.

Presentation to community of Ebenezer Presbyterian Evangelical Church (15 August 2016, Díli, Timor-Leste)

Maritime Boundary Office was invited to give a short briefing on the progress of the talk on the maritime boundaries with Indonesia and Australia. There were about 50 participants were presents from different municipalities in Timor-Leste.

The communities were very supportive of the government’s decision through their prayers. They have confidence in the Chief Negotiator. However long it will take in this fight, Timor-Leste will get what it’s entitled to under international law.

Visit from Laos Delegation (11 August 2016, Maritime Boundary Office, Palácio do Governo, Díli, Timor-Leste)

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Maritime Boundary Office, Elizabeth Exposto briefed a delegation from the Laos Ministry of Foreign Affairs about Timor-Leste’s pursuit of maritime boundaries.. The CEO talked about the history of Timor-Leste’s fight for independence and provided an update of the compulsory conciliation process with Australia. The delegation from Laos noted they were impressed that the majority of the MBO are women.

Meeting with Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy to Timor-Leste (10 August 2016, Maritime Boundary Office, Palácio do Governo, Díli, Timor-Leste)

As the new Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy to Timor-Leste, Ms. JL LittleJohn visited Maritime Boundary Office for a briefing on the history and the background to why Timor-Leste is pursuing its maritime boundaries with its two neighbours: Indonesia and Australia.

(L-R) Ms. Elizabeth Exposto, Chief Executive Officer of Maritime Boundary Office and Ms. JR Littlejohn, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy to Timor-Leste

Meeting of the Council for the Final Delimitation of the Maritime Boundaries (8 August 2016, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dili, Timor-Leste)

The Council for the Final Delimitation of the Maritime Boundaries, chaired by the Prime Minister Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo was held today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The meeting was to inform the members of the Consultative Commission on the progress of the Compulsory Conciliation with Australia that was initiated by Timor-Leste in April 2016. During the meeting, the Consultative Commission also gave their endorsement to launch the Policy Paper – the document that sets out Timor-Leste’s maritime entitlement under international law.

Conference “Legal Order in the World’s Oceans: UN Convention on the Law of the Sea” (27-28 June 2016, UN Headquarters, New York City, USA)

Maritime Boundary Office attended the 40th Annual Conference of the Centre for Oceans Law & Policy. The two day conference covered various topics including Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea and International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) and its contribution to the law of the sea.

(L-R) Didina Coelho, Nippon Fellowship to DOALOS; Roy S. Lee, Ph.D, the Permanent Observer of Asian African Legal Consultative Organization; Felismina dos Reis, Maritime Boundary Office

Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF) Workshop (31 May – 2 June 2016, Hanoi, Vietnam)

The Maritime Boundary Office was invited to attend the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF) workshop on 31 May – 2 June 2016 in Hanoi, Vietnam. It was a continuation of the first EAMF workshop which was held in August 2015 in Indonesia.

The theme of the workshop was “International Law and Best Practices in Maritime Boundary Delimitation and Provisional Arrangements of a Practical Nature”.

The panellists featured the world leading experts in the international law of the sea and analysed in great depth the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Articles 74(3) and 83(3) and recent developments related to the international law of the sea. In addition various case studies were scrutinized such as Timor Sea Treaties, Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and East Asian arrangements (Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan).

The event was co-hosted by the US Department of State and Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in collaboration with the Centre for International Law, National University of Singapore and Australia, National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, University of Wollongong.

EAMF Workshop

Dili International Conference (19 May 2016, Dili Convention Centre)

On 19 May, 2016, the Timor-Leste Government presented the Dili International Conference: Maritime Boundaries and the Law of the Sea to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). The Conference raised international awareness of the role of international tribunals and provided a forum for discussion on current and emerging maritime boundary issues.

Read presentations by:
Judge Vladirmir Golitsyn, President, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
H.E Dr.Rui Maria de Araújo, Prime Minister, Timor-Leste
H.E Minister Dionisio Babo Soares, Minister of State, Coordinator of State Administration Affairs and Justice, Timor-Leste
Ambassador Eddy Pratomo, Special Envoy of the Maritime Boundary Determination, Indonesia
Mr. I Made Andi Arsana, Lecturer in Geodetic and Geomatic Engineering, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia

Ms. Jalila Abdul Jalil, Senior Researcher, Maritime Institute of Malaysia
Dr. Hao Duy Phan, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for International Law, National University of Singapore

Meeting with Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon (13 April 2016, UN Head Quarters, New York)

On 13 April Chief Negotiator Xanana Gusmão had a courtesy call with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E Mr. Ban Ki-moon in New York to discuss latest developments in Timor-Leste and inform the Secretary General on the compulsory conciliation notification.

Chief Negotiator Mr. Xanana Gusmão and UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon (UN photo/Rick Bajornas)

Meeting of the Consultative Commission (11 April 2016, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dili, Timor-Leste)

Consultative Commission resumed the meeting on 11 April 2016 chaired by the Prime Minister Dr.Rui Maria de Araújo. The meeting was mainly to discuss the compulsory conciliation notification to the Australian Government relating to maritime boundaries.

Meeting of the member of the Consultative Commission

Maritime Boundary Office website launch (Palácio do Governo, 29 February 2016)

Prime Minister Dr.Rui Maria de Araújo and the Chief Negotiator Minister XananaGusmão launched the Maritime Boundary Office website on 29 February 2016.

Presentation to Organisation of the Combatants of the National Resistance (29 December 2015, Aileu, Timor-Leste)

On 29 December 2015, the Maritime Boundary Office was invited to present to the veterans in Aramerí, SukuLiurai, Aileu on the progress of the negotiations on the maritime boundaries with Australia and Indonesia.

This was an opportunity for the Maritime Boundary Office to explain the history of the Timor Sea agreements with Australia from 1972 until 2006.

Presentation to Curtin University students and Veterans (2 December 2015, National Resistance Museum, Dili, Timor-Leste)

Set against the backdrop of the National Resistance Museum, the Maritime Boundary Office (MBO) was invited to present to a large group of travelling students from Curtin University, Western Australia. We were also honoured that members of the Veterans community and representatives from the Prime Minister’s office also attended the presentation. Elizabeth Exposto (MBO CEO) gave a wide-reaching talk on the history of the Timor Sea disputes and where Timor-Leste is at regarding negotiations with Indonesia and attempts to engage with Australia. The students were clearly passionate about the issue and seemed to grow even more eager once the MBO explained, in plain terms, the history of the Timor Sea and why Timor-Leste is seeking maritime boundaries under international law.

London International Boundary Conference and Technical Workshops (30 November to 2 December 2015)

From 30 November to 2 December 2015, the Maritime Boundary Office, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, participated in the London International Boundary Conference with the theme “Exploring an Integrated Approach to International Boundary and Territorial Questions”.

The conference was held as a not-for-profit event and was hosted by Volterra Fietta, King’s College of London (Department of Geography), Marbdy Consulting Ltd and Maritime Zone Solutions Ltd.

The speakers were world leading experts and practitioners in the effective resolution of territorial disputes. Participants came from all over the world and from various professions, including law, academia and diplomacy. The event also included technical workshops

Presentation to Organisation of the Combatants of the National Resistance (19 November 2015, Venilale, Timor-Leste)

In November 2015, the Maritime Boundary Office (MBO) was invited to present to the Organisation of the Combatants of the National Resistance (OCRN) at Venilale in Baucau Municipality. CEO of the MBO, Ms Elizabeth Exposto, and Communications and Outreach Officer, Ms Felismina Carvalho dos Reis, spoke at length about Timor-Leste’s pursuit of maritime boundaries and the relevant international law, including the Law of the Sea. The MBO would like to thank OCRN for the opportunity to inform their members about this important national priority.

International Peace Institute Event (1 October 2015, New York)

On 1 October 2015, the Maritime Boundary Office and the International Peace Institute co-chaired a well-attended event with a distinguished panel of speakers including the Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araújo, Minister Xanana Gusmão and former President Dr José Ramos-Horta, each sharing their insights and emphasising that Timor-Leste’s objective to define permanent maritime boundaries with its neighbours is the next chapter in Timor-Leste’s struggle for sovereignty.

The Prime Minister's speech and meetings at the United Nations in New York (September 2015)

In September 2015, the Prime Minister gave powerful addresses about Timor-Leste’s pursuit of permanent maritime boundaries as a matter of national priority at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, and the World Leaders Forum at Columbia University.

The Maritime Boundary Office supported the Timor-Leste delegation to the United Nations in New York, and promoted Timor-Leste’s agenda on maritime boundaries at several side-events, and meetings with key institutions such as the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea.

On 29 September, the Prime Minister met with Senator George Mitchell, a great American statesman, who shared his thoughts and experience on the resolution of international disputes and conflict.

Meetings of the Consultative Commission (2015)

The Consultative Commission of the Timor-Leste Government, formed in 2015, consists of eminent past and present leaders of the nation and advises the Prime Minister on Timor-Leste’s pursuit of its maritime boundaries. The Commission met several times throughout the year.

DISCLAIMER

IMPORTANT NOTICE

This website is hosted by the Maritime Boundary Office of the Council for the Final Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries to allow readers to learn more about Timor-Leste’s pursuit of permanent maritime boundaries. The Council for the Final Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries and the Maritime Boundary Office do not accept any legal liability for any reliance placed on any information contained in this website (including external links). The information provided is a summary only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. The information and views expressed in this website and in any linked information do not constitute diplomatic representations and do not limit or otherwise affect the rights of the Council for the Final Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries, the Maritime Boundary Office or the Government of Timor-Leste. The views expressed in any linked information do not necessarily reflect the views of the Council for the Final Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries, the Maritime Boundary Office or the Government of Timor-Leste.

GFM is the acronym for “Gabinete das Fronteiras Marítimas”, which is the Portuguese translation of Maritime Boundary Office.