APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, October 27, 2005

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, October 27, 2005", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, October 27, 2005, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-for-20051027/

APSNet for 20051027

Austral Peace and Security Network (APSNet)

Thursday 27 October, 2005

Bi-weekly report from the Nautilus Institute at RMIT, Australia.

  1. Treasury Fires Warning On Defence Costs
  2. Annual summit of 16 Pacific Islands Forum leaders
  3. Pacific Jobs Plea Is A Matter Of Mutual Security
  4. SAS To Work With Kopassus
  5. Terror Laws An Untested Legal Area
  6. Australian Navy Ships Use Active Sonar
  7. Illegal Fishing Summit

Special Report: Australia Welcomes New International Maritime Security Protocols

  1. Treasury Fires Warning On Defence Costs
    Geoffrey Barker, AFR 2005-10-25

    Federal Treasury Secretary Ken Henry has foreshadowed tougher scrutiny of defence budgets and has warned the Department of Defence will “find it increasingly difficult” to retain or increase its funding of $17 billion a year. (subscription required)

  2. Playing To Pacific Strengths
    Rowan Callick, AFR, 2005-10-25

    PNG hosts the annual summit of 16 Pacific Islands Forum leaders. Australia’s renewed focus on the islands has played a major role in stabilising Solomon Islands, Nauru and helped Vanuatu and PNG. The meeting will endorse a Pacific plan – aimed at improving regional governance and security. (subscription required)

  3. Pacific Jobs Plea Is A Matter Of Mutual Security
    Editorial Age, 2005-10-17

    Australia should at least give serious consideration to revising its visa requirements for the Pacific region. Prime Minister John Howard has not been receptive to this proposal, which is part of the proposed Pacific Plan.

    Of related interest: “KNOCKING ON AUSTRALIA’S DOOR”
    Peter Mares And Nic Maclellan, Australian Policy Online, 2005-10-25

    This paper argues that there will be increasing pressure on Australia to allow Pacific islanders access to the Australian labour market. This strategy is a key component of the Pacific Plan. Australia and New Zealand want the forum island countries to speed up the implementation of regional trade agreements that will open their markets to foreign goods and capital. The island states insist that increased labour mobility is integral to these trade deals. Mares and Maclellan suggest there are ways out of this impasse and that: “It’s time to create opportunities for lower skilled workers in our region.”

  4. SAS To Work With Indonesia’s Feared Unit
    Mark Forbes SMH, 2005-10-26

    Australia’s SAS is set to resume ties with Indonesia’s special forces unit, Kopassus, with concerns about its human rights record overcome by pressure to bolster counterterrorism efforts. Co-operation between the two units would begin next year, Major-General Syaiful Rizal, has revealed.

    Of related interest:

    1. “The Kopassus Dilemma: Should Australia Re-engage?”
      Alan Dupont, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU DSC Working Paper 373, February 2003, (ISBN 0 7315 5430 2, 9pp.)

      This paper argues that Australia must engage with the Indonesian Special Forces notwithstanding its questionable human right’s record. Tailored engagement with Kopassus is critical to Australia’s regional counter terrorist strategy and to the long-term Australia-Indonesia relationship. However, Australia should also support reform of the Indonesian military as part of a broader agenda to entrench democracy and the rule of law in the archipelago.

    2. “Australia’s Renewal of Training Links with Kopassus: A Critique”
      Damien Kingsbury, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU, Working Paper 387, March 2004.

      This paper argues that the logic behind the renewal of links with the Indonesian military generally and Kopassus in particular is flawed, based on a false public rationale, and militates against Australia’s strategic, diplomatic and domestic political interests.

  5. Terror Laws An Untested Legal Area
    Samantha Maiden, Dennis Shanahan, Australian 2005-10-26

    Legal advice obtained by The Australian reveals the Australian Government Solicitor’s chief general counsel, Henry Burmester QC, warned the Government last month that planned preventative detention orders represented a “very untested area of the law”.

  6. Navy Rejects Whale Blame
    Andrew Darby, Age 2005-10-27

    Australian Navy ships off a Tasmanian beach during a mass stranding of pilot whales were using active sonar, a controversial military technology implicated in whale deaths.

  7. Illegal fishermen caught on reef
    Mark Dodd, Australian 2005-10-25

    The arrest of the illegal fishermen precedes a November 21 summit of federal, state and territories fisheries ministers, to which federal minister Ian Macdonald has also invited Indonesian officials.

Special Report: Australia Welcomes New International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Security Protocols

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock welcomed the adoption of two protocols to enhance maritime security and global counter-terrorism efforts. “The protocols, adopted at a meeting of the International Maritime Organisation, will significantly strengthen international efforts to counter terrorist threats to maritime security and offshore oil and gas facilities,” Mr Ruddock said. “They will bolster and complement existing strong measures taken by the Government, including those relating to offshore maritime security and Australia’s commitment to the Proliferation Security Initiative. I am pleased to note Australia has played a leading role in negotiating the protocols and we will give early consideration to signing these new instruments.”

The IMO summarized the burden of the treaties and the amendments thus: “The principal purpose of the SUA treaties is to ensure that anyone committing unlawful acts against the safety of navigation will not be given shelter in any country but will either be prosecuted or extradited to a State where they will stand trial. The 2005 Protocols broaden the list of offences made unlawful under the treaties, such as to include the offence of using a ship itself in a manner that causes death or serious injury or damage and the transport of weapons or equipment that could be used for weapons of mass destruction. The 2005 SUA Protocol introduces provisions for the boarding of ships where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the ship or a person on board the ship is, has been, or is about to be involved in, the commission of an offence under the Convention.”

For the detailed IMO briefing see ” Revised treaties to address unlawful acts at sea adopted at international conference“.

Of related interest:

  1. Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004)
  2. The Proliferation Security Initiative: The Legal Challenge, Benjamin Friedman, Bipartisan Security Group, Global Security Institute, September 4, 2003.