Bali Process Ministers Take Step to Tackle People Smuggling

Kompas.com - 31/03/2011, 11:07 WIB
EditorJimmy Hitipeuw

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - The Bali Process Ministerial Conference on Wednesday took a major step towards tackling people smuggling by agreeing to a regional cooperation framework. A media release from Australian Embassy said the country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Kevin Rudd, and the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen, welcomed the adoption of the framework.

"This is a milestone in the development of a coordinated approach by nations in and around the Asia-Pacific to address the challenge of people smuggling," Rudd said.

"It represents a significant win for Australian diplomacy, with the framework the key objective of the Government for this meeting," he added.

Meanwhile, Chris Bowen welcomed the range of practical measures outlined by the conference for governments to consider when giving effect to the framework.

"This is an important outcome in terms of providing a clear blueprint for the countries of the region to work together to deal with people smuggling," Bowen said.

The Bali Process outcome also makes specific reference to a regional assessment center or centers, as a measure that governments could agree to under the framework. The framework provides the regional context for Australia to take forward bilateral discussions with countries in the region on measures to combat people smuggling including a regional processing assessment center.

The Bali Process co-chairs’ statement provides for several options for practical action, including the development of bilateral arrangements to undermine people smuggling, and create disincentives for irregular movement, including where appropriate, transfers, returns and re-admissions;the targeting of people smuggling enterprises through coordinated border security arrangements; and strengthened information and intelligence sharing.

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