Formally known as the Timor Sea Treaty between the Government of East Timor and the Government of Australia was signed between Australia and East Timor in Dili, East Timor on 20 May 2002, the day East Timor attained its independence from United Nations rule, for joint petroleum exploration of the Timor Sea by the two countries. The signatories of the treaty were then Australian prime minister John Howard and his East Timorese counterpart at that time Mari Alkatiri.
The treaty entered into force on 2 April 2003, following an exchange of diplomatic notes and was backdated to 20 May 2002. The treaty was to run for 30 years from the day it came into force or when a seabed boundary could be established, whichever came earlier. However, the subsequent signing of the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS) in 2007, the period of validity for the Timor Sea Treaty was extended to 2057, when the validity of CMATS also ends.
The Timor Sea Treaty provides for the sharing of the proceeds of petroleum found in an agreed area of seabed, called the Joint Petroleum Development Area and does not determine the sovereignty and maritime boundary between the two countries. The treaty expressly states that the right of either country to claim the overlapping portion of the seabed is maintained.
The Timor Sea Treaty ceased being in force when the Treaty between Australia and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste Establishing Their Maritime Boundaries in the Timor Sea entered into force on 30 August 2019.
The treaty replaces the Timor Gap Treaty which was signed between Australia and Indonesia on 11 December 1989, which was no longer valid once the territory of East Timor ceased to be a province of Indonesia. It virtually puts East Timor in the place of Indonesia in the Timor Gap Treaty but with a few differences.
The significant difference between the Timor Gap Treaty and Timor Sea Treaty is that the latter only creates one Joint Petroleum Development Area, with East Timor getting 90% and Australia 10% of the revenue derived from the area. The former created three zones, with the revenue of the middle Zone of Cooperation being divided equally between the two countries.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea Treaty, is an international agreement that establishes a legal framework for all marine and maritime activities. As of June 2016, 167 countries and the European Union are parties.
East Timor is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania known as Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. The country comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor and the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco. The first inhabitants are thought to be descendant of Australoid and Melanesian peoples. The Portuguese began to trade with Timor by the early 16th century and colonised it throughout the mid-century. Skirmishing with the Dutch in the region eventually resulted in an 1859 treaty for which Portugal ceded the western half of the island. Imperial Japan occupied East Timor during World War II, but Portugal resumed colonial authority after the Japanese surrender.
The economy of East Timor is a low-income economy as ranked by the World Bank. It is placed 133rd on the Human Development Index, indicating a medium level of human development. 20% of the population is unemployed, and 52.9% live on less than $1.25 a day. About half of the population is illiterate. At 27%, East Timor's urbanisation rate is one of the lowest in the world.
The term territorial waters is sometimes used informally to refer to any area of water over which a sovereign state has jurisdiction, including internal waters, the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone, and potentially the extended continental shelf. In a narrower sense, the term is used as a synonym for the territorial sea.
The Timor Sea is a relatively shallow sea bounded to the north by the island of Timor, to the east by the Arafura Sea, to the south by Australia.
The Timor Gap is an area of the Timor Sea between Australia and Timor Island. The island is divided between independent East Timor and West Timor province of Indonesia.
The Timor Gap Treaty was formally known as the Treaty between Australia and the Republic of Indonesia on the zone of cooperation in an area between the Indonesian province of East Timor and Northern Australia. It was a bilateral treaty between the governments of Australia and Indonesia, which provided for the joint exploitation of petroleum and hydrocarbon resources in a part of the Timor Sea Seabed. The treaty was signed on 11 December 1989 and came into force on 9 February 1991. The signatories to the treaty were then Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Gareth Evans and then Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas.
The Indonesia–Malaysia border consists of a 1,881 km land border that divides the territory of Indonesia and Malaysia on the island of Borneo. It also includes maritime boundaries along the length of the Straits of Malacca, in the South China Sea and in the Celebes Sea.
Malaysia and Vietnam are two Southeast Asian countries with maritime boundaries which meet in the Gulf of Thailand and South China Sea. The two countries have overlapping claims over the continental shelf in the Gulf of Thailand. Both countries have, however, come to an agreement to jointly exploit the natural resources in the disputed area pending resolution of the dispute over sovereignty.
East Timor, also known as Timor-Leste, officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, is an island country in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island surrounded by Indonesian West Timor. Australia is the country's southern neighbour, separated by the Timor Sea. The country's size is 15,007 square kilometres (5,794 sq mi). Dili is its capital.
The Australia–Indonesia border is a maritime boundary running west from the two countries' tripoint maritime boundary with Papua New Guinea in the western entrance to the Torres Straits, through the Arafura Sea and Timor Sea, and terminating in the Indian Ocean. The boundary is, however, broken by the Timor Gap, where Australian and East Timorese territorial waters meet and where the two countries have overlapping claims to the seabed.
Officially called the Treaty between Australia and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS), the treaty provides for the equal distribution of revenue derived from the disputed Greater Sunrise oil and gas field between Australia and East Timor. The field is located in the Timor Gap where Australia and East Timor have overlapping claims over the continental shelf or seabed. Prior to the treaty, East Timor would only have received about 18% of the revenue from the field.
This agreement is officially known as the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste relating to the Unitisation of the Sunrise and Troubadour Fields.
The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) is a nonprofit US organization supporting human rights throughout Southeast Asia and Oceania. ETAN was founded in 1991 to support the right to self-determination of Timor-Leste. In 1999, that goal was significantly realized when the people of East Timor voted for independence. Since then ETAN has focused on building on its success in support of justice and self-determination in Timor-Leste and the surrounding region.
Bilateral relations exist between Australia and East Timor. Both countries are near neighbors with close political and trade ties. East Timor, the youngest and one of the poorest countries in Asia, lies about 610 kilometres northwest of the Australian city of Darwin and Australia has played a prominent role in the young republic's history.
The Australia–Solomon Islands Maritime Boundary Agreement is a treaty between the governments of Australia and the Solomon Islands signed in Honiara on 13 September 1988 to delimit a maritime boundary in the ocean and the seabed.
Visitors to East Timor must obtain a visa unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries.
The Australia–East Timor spying scandal began in 2004 when the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) clandestinely planted covert listening devices in a room adjacent to the East Timor (Timor-Leste) Prime Minister's Office at Dili, to obtain information in order to ensure Australia held the upper hand in negotiations with East Timor over the rich oil and gas fields in the Timor Gap. Even though the East Timor government was unaware of the espionage operation undertaken by Australia, negotiations were hostile. The first Prime Minister of East Timor, Mari Alkatiri, bluntly accused the Howard Government of plundering the oil and gas in the Timor Sea, stating:
"Timor-Leste loses $1 million a day due to Australia's unlawful exploitation of resources in the disputed area. Timor-Leste cannot be deprived of its rights or territory because of a crime."
The borders of Indonesia include land and maritime borders with Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and Timor Leste, as well as shared maritime boundaries with Australia, India, Palau, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The Government Palace in Dili, the capital city of East Timor, is the official workplace of the Prime Minister and Constitutional Government of East Timor. In the final stages of the Portuguese colonial era, it was known as the Official Palace, and was the office of the colonial governor.