08 April 2011
Special Report Issue 39 - A reliable partner: Strengthening Australia - Timor-Leste relations
Timor-Leste is a fledgling nation wrestling with the challenge of forging a viable state. It’s entering a very complex period in the lead-up to the 2012 elections. This report sets out a number of the challenges for the country, such as possible domestic unrest, transnational crime, food security, land reform, law and justice issues, security sector reform and maritime development. The situation is made more complex by the large number of donor states and the need for Timor-Leste to coordinate their assistance. Papers are by Professor Damien Kingsbury, Dr Dionísio Babo-Soares, Dr Vandra Harris, Professor James J Fox, Dr Sam Bateman and Dr Anthony Bergin.
Australia wishes to have an equal relationship with Timor-Leste, working together to advance our common interests. This year is the tenth anniversary of Australia’s Defence Cooperation Program with the country, one of our largest cooperation programs. The DCP will underpin Australia’s long term defence relationship with Timor-Leste.
A central message of this report is that Australia stands ready to assist Timor-Leste as a reliable partner, not just to ensure the state’s own survival but also to strengthen regional security.