In a magnificent triumph for Australian foreign policy, Timor-Leste has come in at Number 20 on Foreign Policy magazine’s Failed State Index for 2007.

Foreign Policy and the Fund for Peace, an independent research organisation, have used 12 social, economic, political, and military indicators, to rank 177 states in order of their vulnerability to violent internal conflict and societal deterioration. Bubbling under on the list are two more failing states in our backyard – the Solomons on Number 30 and Papua New Guinea at Number 52.

As Foreign Policy states, much of the trouble in the world has its origins in weak and failing states. 

“The problems that plague failing states are generally all too similar: rampant corruption, predatory elites who have long monopolised power, an absence of the rule of law, and severe ethnic or religious divisions,” the report warns. “But that does not mean that the responses to their problems should be cut from the same cloth.”

Australia and the international community have poured billions of dollars into Timor-Leste. The result? A state that ranks just marginally better than Burundi and Ethiopia and comes in behind Sierra Leone and the Republic of the Congo.

And, unsatisfied with Timor, the platitudinous left continues to push for the creation of a new nation on our doorstep that will be doomed to failure from the very start – West Papua.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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