Tuesday, March 21, 2017

1) Freeport Continues To Negotiate, Arbitration Not An Option

2) Pacific Regionalism - Making an Impact in 2017
3) Indonesia not yet ready to handle cruise ships: Official
4) Jose Ramos Horta lashes out at Australia over East Timor ‘failed state’ fears

TUESDAY, 21 MARCH, 2017 | 17:24 WIB
1) Freeport Continues To Negotiate, Arbitration Not An Option
TEMPO.COJakarta - PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) decided not to rest too much hope with international arbitration because the company asserted that it will only lead to a no-win situation. Freeport will continue to negotiate with the Indonesian Government in order to seek a win-win solution.
Senior Vice President of PT Freeport Indonesia's Geo Engineering Wahyu Sunyoto, said that the American based mining company persistently refuses to alter their Contract of Work into a Special Mining Business Permit (IUPK).
"Don't let the arbitration happen. As for the Government's six month deadline, we will use it well," said Wahyu on Monday, March 20, 2017.
Wahyu revealed the ongoing dispute between Freeport and the government had forced the company to stockpile their mineral concentrate and cut down production capacity. In addition, allowing the dispute to continue, according to Wahyu, will endanger the company's operation and production capacity of its Grasberg Mine.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Government remain unhinged and continues to be persistent with their initial offer that Freeport Indonesia should switch their CoW to an IUPK in order to increase the country's income.
Director General of Mineral and Coal at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Bambang Gatot, said that Freeport's contribution for Indonesia's state revenue is considered too small.

10:43 pm GMT+12, 19/03/2017, Fiji

By Dame Meg Taylor
This will be an important year for the Pacific, with many opportunities to progress the priorities decided by Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum when they met in the Federated States of Micronesia in September last year. These priorities include climate change and resilient development, management of our fisheries and our ocean, international and intra-regional trade and investment, disability and gender equality. These priorities recognise and respond to the concerns and ambitions that the people of the Pacific have raised through new avenues for consultation and dialogue within the Forum, initiated under the Framework for Pacific Regionalism.
Forum Leaders called for an inclusive and game changing approach to development when they adopted the Framework for Pacific Regionalism in 2014. Leaders recognise that Pacific Regionalism now, and into the future, must be adaptable, innovative, inclusive, and most importantly, it must positively impact the lives of our people.
At the heart of Pacific Regionalism is collaboration and partnerships. Last year we welcomed French Polynesia and New Caledonia as full Forum members, and Germany as a Forum Dialogue Partner. Each of these relationships offer new and valuable prospects. This year we must continue to develop genuine and enduring partnerships across all our stakeholders so that we can implement the transformative policy initiatives that Pacific Regionalism reaches for.   
I see many opportunities to advance our regional priorities in 2017.
Our region is 98% ocean. The Pacific Ocean is at the heart of our cultures and we depend on it for food, income, employment, transport, and economic development. How we manage this resource is critically important. The Forum has undertaken to increase the economic, social and environmental benefits accrued from our oceanic and coastal fisheries through improved management and monitoring. With regard to our oceanic fisheries we are currently focussed on four key areas of work: reform of longline fishery management; increasing the value of employment and ensuring effective labour standards; facilitating greater investment and trade; and scaling up value chain participation. Coastal fisheries are important for food security and the health of our people and this year will see a greater emphasis placed on resourcing for management in this sector.
Of course, the ocean itself knows no national borders and therefore the region has great interest this year in the international negotiations relating to the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) and protecting Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). We are committed to unpolluted and sustainably managed eco-systems, and we wish to ensure that the appropriately high levels of conservation that we apply to our own countries is replicated in the international waters that surround us.
Progressing these and other related issues at the global level is an opportunity the Pacific will take to the UN Ocean Conference, which Fiji is co-hosting, in New York, 5 – 9 June.
Many in our region have witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of climate change and disasters. Guided by the values of Pacific Regionalism, the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific (FRDP) represents a risk-informed approach to development that factors the effects of climate change and disasters into the planning of both national and regional strategies. This is the first time in the world that a regional response that complements national level strategies has been attempted. In endorsing the FRDP, Pacific Leaders recognised the need for a Pacific Resilience Partnership – comprising Forum member countries, regional agencies, civil society, private sector, and multilateral banks and agencies - to coordinate its implementation. The first meeting of that Partnership took place at the Forum Secretariat in Suva recently and it was a positive first step which saw a vibrant exchange of ideas and experiences. Further investment in, and development of this Partnership in the coming months will lead to increased opportunities for our most vulnerable into the future.    
With Fiji, a Forum member, as President of this year’s 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) there is a great opportunity for highly visible collective diplomacy that calls on developed countries to increase their ambition to reduce carbon emissions. Together we can advocate for accelerated implementation of the Paris Agreement, which captures many of the core climate related priorities of our most vulnerable countries, including addressing loss and damage, simplified access to climate finance, and limiting global temperature increases to 1.5C above pre-industrialised levels.
The promotion of human rights is a core value of Pacific regionalism. Forum Leaders are committed to open and constructive dialogue with Indonesia around allegations of human rights abuses in West Papua (Papua).  Forum Leaders are also committed to the people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands in their quest to obtain just and fair compensation from the United States of America for the ongoing consequences of nuclear testing conducted in their country in the 1940s and 50s. Work in both these areas is ongoing and will continue this year.    
Much work has been done in recent years to develop National Trade Policy Frameworks across the Forum and this year, in line with Leaders commitment to streamlining business processes and harmonising business practices, we can look to those documents as the foundation for developing an implementable plan to achieve this. With the reputation of Pacific exporters and importers continuing to grow internationally, this initiative, along with work being done by our Pacific Trade and Invest network, represents further areas of potential and growth.
Forum Leaders are committed to inclusivity, equity and equality. In the last two years Leaders have endorsed the Pacific Framework for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration. In doing so, the region has pledged to work together to uphold these values and following through is a responsibility we share and must actively get behind.
As you can see, there is much being done and much still to do. The implementation of these initiatives is our primary focus. In February of the last two years we have run a public process that enables the people of the Pacific to contribute regional policy ideas that the Forum should consider. This year we will defer that process until after the Forum Leaders Meeting in Samoa in September. This is to ensure that the Forum Secretariat, the Council of Regional Agencies in the Pacific (CROP), and our development partners can maintain that focus on supporting implementation of our existing regional priorities in the short term.
Pacific Regionalism in 2017 must improve the lives of Pacific people. It needs to be at the vanguard of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals in the region. It needs to drive economic growth and it needs to ensure safe and secure societies.
Pacific people must continue to speak about what issues are important, what issues Leaders should be paying attention to, and what the solutions might be. They also need to be included in the implementation of those solutions.
Most importantly, we need to work together at different political and technical levels. It is through committed and inclusive collective action that the region will have the best chance of achieving development impact in 2017.
I remain committed to the vision of Pacific Regionalism and firmly believe that by working together we can achieve meaningful and sustainable development for our people.
Dame Meg Taylor is the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

3) Indonesia not yet ready to handle cruise ships: Official
Jakarta | Tue, March 21, 2017 | 05:58 pm
Regardless of who will be blamed for the recent kerfuffle surrounding UK cruise ship the MV Caledonian Sky, which ran aground in Raja Ampat, West Papua, damaging coral reef in the area, the deputy minister for maritime sovereignty at the Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister, Arif Havas Oegroseno, said it must be admitted that Indonesia was not yet accustomed to handling a large number of cruise ships.
Speaking to journalists during a recent interview, Arif Havas said it was only recently that cruise ship companies across the world included Indonesia as one of their destinations because of a string of regulations imposed by the government.
“They were previously somewhat reluctant to visit Indonesia. They just wanted to stop in Singapore. They didn’t want to enter Indonesia because of its [flawed] bureaucracy, its ‘red tape’ [illegal levies] and poor infrastructure,” he said as quoted by tribunnews.com on Tuesday.
With a growing number of cruise ship visits, Arif Havas said infrastructure in Indonesia was not yet ready to handle the challenge.
“Our effort to draw in more ‘cruise visits’ to boost our tourist sector will certainly result in challenges,” he added.
One of the measures the government will take is to tighten regulations for cruise ships that pass through conservation areas such as Raja Ampat.
Arif Havas said in other conservation areas, such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, cruise ships were allowed to pass through but were subject to tightened regulations.
“It’s not a strange thing to have a cruise ship enter waters with coral reefs.”
Arif Havas said with the current availability of tourist infrastructure in the country, the government was still calculating how many cruise ships could safely enter Indonesian waters. (hol/ebf)
4) Jose Ramos Horta lashes out at Australia over East Timor ‘failed state’ fears
10:47 pm GMT+12, 20/03/2017, Timor-leste

East Timorese leader Jose Ramos Horta has lashed out at what he calls “outrageous” claims before an Australian parliamentary committee that his country could be heading towards becoming a failed state.
“What fly-in-fly out so-called instant experts on East Timor claim is outrageous…it's just nonsense,” Dr Ramos Horta, a Nobel laureate and East Timor's former president and prime minister, told Fairfax Media.
It is the first presidential election since the departure of United Nations peacekeepers in 2012.
“It's either ignorance or malice,” he said, adding “I'm sorry. I don't pay much attention to these so-called academics.”
Rebecca Strating, a lecturer at Victoria's Latrobe University, told parliament's treaties committee on 14 March it could "very well be" that East Timor is the "architect of its own demise" and there are indications that like a number of fragile resource-wealthy post-conflict states" the country is “resource cursed.”
She said a window on developing the US$40 billion Greater Sunrise oil and gas field in the Timor Sea has “partially” closed because of lower gas prices and a long-running dispute with Australia over how to develop it.
“There are elections this year…a change of government or a change in personalities might produce a government that is willing to think a little more laterally or flexibly around the interests in the Timor Sea,” Dr Strating said.
“But since 2012 it seems to me that this pursuit of independence may actually create a failed state in Timor-Leste (East Timor),” she said.
In response, Hansard records the chair of the committee chair telling Dr Strating “tremendous…most enlightening.” The architect of their own demise' is my favourite statement of the day.”
Speaking after East Timorese voted at presidential elections on Monday, Dr Ramos Horta said his country's sovereign wealth fund has US$16 to US$17 billion invested in US bonds and 1000 portfolios around the world and is spending some of it to develop badly needed infrastructure, such as roads.
He said the government in Dili is talking with a consortium led by ConocoPhillips to resurrect shelved plans to develop Greater Sunrise before negotiations with Australia on sea borders are completed by a September deadline.
“I would say there is a very good chance that Greater Sunrise will be developed,” he said.
“How I don't know. I am not involved,” he said.
East Timor's independence hero and political power-broker Xanana Gusmao has demanded gas from the field be piped to a proposed US$1.4 billion industrial complex on the country's remote southern coast.
The ConocoPhillips consortium wanted the gas to be extracted from a floating platform or to an existing refinery in Darwin.
Francisco “Lu-Olo” Guterres, a former anti-Indonesian guerrilla fighter, who in vote counting on Tuesday was set to become East Timor's next president, has also told Fairfax Media there are now “better prospects” for developing Greater Sunrise, which would deliver billions of dollars in revenue to his country.
But Clive Schofield, director of research at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Research and Security, told the parliamentary committee that at current gas prices it is "not entirely likely" that a commercial decision would be made to develop Greater Sunrise.
“We have low oil and gas prices. I suspect the asset, as it were, will be put on the shelf until such a time as gas prices in particular rise sufficiently to make it viable,” he said.
Asked about Dr Ramos Horta's comments, Dr Strating said she wanted to clarify that she does not think East Timor is "necessarily" heading towards becoming a failed state – only that this is possible if an agreement is not reached before oil revenues from an existing oil and gas field and the sovereign wealth fund run out.
“This is why it is so vital for Australia and Timor-Leste to find a hasty compromise (on Greater Sunrise),” Dr Strating said
“Timor-Leste only has five years until the oil revenues are gone. The revenues provide over 90 per cent of the state budget,” she said.
“If Timor-Leste does not have a source of income to provide for state budgets it is very possible that it will become dependent on aid.”
Dr Strating said multiple reports had predicted sovereign fund could be depleted within a decade.
She said her comments were not made out of malice but for concern about what happens if East Timor and Australia are unable to reach an "expedient" agreement on Greater Sunrise.


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