Before the Self Congratulation Begins

Aus Embassy.jpeg

I can just feel the Australian self congratulation coming. Spin spin spin - "we are an example in the region, look how we solved our dispute with Timor, such a good neighbour" .... etc etc etc.

Before, during and after all the handshakes and back slapping let's not forget for a single moment that Australia DID NOT want this UN Conciliation Process. They fought tooth and nail to get out of it.

On the 29th of August 2016 as Australia made its big push to get out of the process on jurisdictional grounds Mr Quinlan said "Australia's view is that there is no proper basis on which Timor-Leste is entitled to bring this claim."

In turn the UN Commission considered and then dismissed each one of Australia's arguments and on the 19th of September 2016 the compulsory Conciliation process began. Julie Bishop then went on the public record to emphasise that the outcome of the conciliation was not binding.

It is shameful that Timor-Leste has had to spend so much time, energy and money to corner Australia into engaging on this issue. 

And I don't doubt for a moment that Australia is still playing hardball in this final stretch in The Hague - working to maximise control, dollars and self interest.

Don't get me started on the longer history ....