Background Information

“No two neighbours anywhere in the world are as comprehensively unalike as Australia and Indonesia.”

Former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, 25 November 2013 http://www.gevans.org/speeches/speech538.html

Indonesia is an archipelago nation in south­–east Asia, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. Consisting of more than 17,000 islands, it has a population more than ten times larger than Australia. Despite differences in language, culture, and politics, Australia and Indonesia have been linked for decades.

Australians served in the Japanese-occupied Netherlands East Indies during the Second World War. They returned in 1947 as peacekeepers, and again in the 1960s as an armed force to support Malaysia during its conflict with Indonesia. In 1975, six Australian journalists were executed in East Timor while covering the Indonesian occupation. More than 20 years later, Australian peacekeepers deployed to East Timor (also known as Timor–Leste) after a vote for independence resulted in further violence at the hands of militias supported by the Indonesian military. In 2004 and 2005 the Australian Defence Force faced a different force in Indonesia ­– Mother Nature – after tsunamis had devastated the region.

  1. Identify the islands of Indonesia using the map below. Note the following areas, which will be explored in this resource: 
  •   Banda Aceh
  •   Sumatra
  •   West Timor
  •   Timor-Leste
Map of south-east Asia Courtesy of https://aseanup.com/free-maps-asean-southeast-asia    The following YouTube video may assist with identifying the islands.

Map of south-east Asia Courtesy of https://aseanup.com/free-maps-asean-southeast-asia

The following YouTube video may assist with identifying the islands.

Video courtesy of Ollie Bye, January 2019

 

      2.       Complete the following table individually, or as a class.

Complete the following table individually, or as a class

Background to the United Nations

United Nations cap badge featuring the UN emblem of the globe surrounded by a wreath, 1965. (AWM REL38276)

United Nations cap badge featuring the UN emblem of the globe surrounded by a wreath, 1965. (AWM REL38276)

After the First World War, the League of Nations was created in an attempt to secure international peace and to help resolve disputes. Although Australia joined the organisation, the United States of America did not want to join, while other countries such as Germany and Japan were expelled or withdrew over time. Without full international support the League of Nations was weak, and was unable to enforce the Treaty of Versailles or prevent the Second World War. With a continuing need for conflict prevention and resolution, the United Nations (UN) was formed in 1945. The League of Nations was dissolved the following year.

As a founding member of the UN, Australia was one of 51 countries who signed the Charter of the United Nations in 1945. Today, the UN consists of 193 member states.

Deputy Prime Minister of Australia Francis Michael Forde signs the UN Charter in San Francisco, United States, on 26 June 1945.

Deputy Prime Minister of Australia Francis Michael Forde signs the UN Charter in San Francisco, United States, on 26 June 1945.

Photo # 176114 courtesy of UN/McLain

The UN has deployed military personnel and forces to assist with economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian problems around the world.

UN peacekeeping operations follow three principles:  peacekeeping operations are deployed only with the consent of the conflicting nations; peacekeepers must be impartial; and they must not use force except for self-defence or in defence of their particular mandate.

Australian peacekeepers (military personnel, but also civilians and members of the Australian Federal Police) have contributed to:

  • military observation
  • monitoring ceasefires and elections
  • providing security and medical assistance
  • delivering humanitarian aid
  • disarmament
  • removing land mines
  • reconstruction
  • the promotion of sustainable development
  • upholding international law
  • protecting human rights

Australians have been involved in peace enforcement operations in which they were armed and authorised to use force to prevent further bloodshed.

For more information about peacekeeping and the origins, purpose, and structure of the UN, visit:

https://www.awm.gov.au/articles/peacekeeping

https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/education/activities/keeping-peace-investigating-australias-contribution-peacekeeping-3