[Dieser Text ist nicht auf Deutsch übersetzt]
JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE
[Awal joint press conference]
MENTERI LUAR NEGERI RI, DR. N. HASSAN WIRAJUDA,
MENTERI LUAR NEGERI AUSTRALIA, STEPHEN SMITH
SEUSAI THE 3RD BALI REGIONAL MINISTERIAL MEETING
BALI, 15 APRIL 2009
Menlu RI: Honourable Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and colleagues, members of the mass media, I’m pleased to announce that we have just concluded the 3rd Bali Regional Ministerial Conference on people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related trans-national crimes.
My colleague, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and I have the honor to co-chaired the conference which was attended by 33 participating countries of the Bali Process, 8 observer countries and 8 regional and international organizations. Among them are the ASEAN Secretary General, the High Commissioner of Refugees and the Director General of International Organization for Migration.
The conference was graced by the attendance of 17 ministers and 11 minister level officials in addition to General or Head of the Paris Regional and International Organizations. Total of 127 participants attended the conference attest due the importance of the region’s attached to these vital issues.
We have been very pleased by the contribution made by the participants during our two days celebration. Yesterday was at the senior level and today is the Foreign Minister level meeting. The meeting clearly short due to the urgency of which the region is addressing these issue of illegal people movement. This conference’s road is what Indonesia and Australia jointly concerted by organizing the first and second Bali Regional Conference that the process is governed and that’s why in the context of the recent surge of irregular movement of people to our regions following our consultations, it was agreed to have the Bali Process revive. The fact that the conference was well attended is a reflection on the sense of urgency of the problems we are facing.
At the end of this conference, we adopted the Co-Chairs Joint Statement which reflect the extend of our discussion. The agreement that we’ve reached and the steps that we are taken from now and in the future. I’m now invite my colleague, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith to present his remarks. Stephen, you have the floor.
Menlu Australia: Thank you very much Hassan, especially that I’m pleased to co-chair together with Pak Hassan Wirajuda, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Indonesia, the 3rd Ministerial Conference of the Bali Regional Process.
This is the third ministerial meeting that we have since 2003. It is very kindly and I think it’s fair to say that Hassan and I are both very pleased with the outcome. The strenght of the Bali Process is to see countries of our region dealing with difficult issues of people smuggling, people trafficking and illegal people movement as a region. So many of these issues we face today, so many community challenges where it is often futile to act alone. Whether it is people movement, trans-national crime, climate change, global financial crisis.
The lesson of these many problems is the need to act together regionally and multilaterally. So, we are very pleased with the meeting and the outcome. The historic strength of the Bali Process is an addition causing nations in our region to act together. It’s always been a source of practical operational cooperations. And these messages have been in line and enhanced. The best way in defeating people smuggler is by cooperation. Not just nation-to-nations but also government-to-government, operationally. With sharing information of law enforcement information whether it is customs, whether it is defense force, whether it is intelligence, whether it is destruction activities. Sharing the information and having the ministerial conference in this process is very important.
Hassan indicated that in the need of co-chair statement we will save point to the future. We’re very please that the conference has agreed to the establisment of the so-called Ad Hoc Group which enable the Bali Process at time of crisis or emergency or urgency at the request of affected country that either source country, transit country or destination country to triggered the Ad Hoc Group to enable [indistinct] intention by the Bali Process. And so that is a good thing.
In addition to the formal proceding of the consultation, there are of course informal meeting gathered by the minister and head of delegations. There are also many bilateral meetings. These all lead to the cooperation which is required to meet challenges that we face.
A lot have changed since 2003 when the ministers last met at the Bali Conference. The push factors have [indistinct] in some areas and increased in number. It has [indistinct] in Iraq but it increased in Afganistan, Pakistan, border area and also in Srilanka. We also know that the people smuggler themselves are much more adapt, have better resources, access to a better financing, better equipment and they are become much better at avoiding detection and destruction. So, the challenge on the greater cooperation it is also there. And of course as Hassan has been my great pleasure, as the Prime Minister of Australia to begin work closely with you, one of this good things of Australia’s point of view about the Bali Process is that Australia and Indonesia are the co-chair. We are part of the steering group which are another reflection of the strenght of the bilateral relationship between Indonesia and Australia. Thanks Hassan.
Jubir Deplu: Next are the question and answer session. Please identified yourself.
[W]: Thank you. My name is Freddy from the AFP. One of my colleague is from Myanmar, working for BBC London. From his story I try to understand how difficult it is for Rohingya people. So, how this conference address this problem and what is the pattern of solution for the future?
Menlu RI: This illegal movement of the Rohingyas people to our region is part of our problem that the region is facing. In dealing with the Rohingyas, we have also irregular movement of the Tamils, people of Afganistan, and also small number from Iran and Iraq. In addition, at least in Indonesia we have a case of some 60 Chinese nationals who are victims of smuggling of people and trafficking in person. In other word, problem of Rohingyas is only one of so many problems that countries in the region are facing.
And like any other cases of irregular movement, certainly the pattern for solution remains the same, namely that the solution must be comprehensive, involving countries of origin, in this case Myanmar and Bangladesh and also countries of transit such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. And Malaysia being in this case also as a country of destination. Comprehensive in the sense that not only that we as a region have to deal with phenomena of irregular people present in our territories, but also in that case the standard process is to those who voluntarily opted for voluntarily repartriation. Certainly it’s something through regional cooperation. In fact with the support of intra-regional cooperation organization such as the UNHCR and IOM, we will repartriate them to their country of origin.
But to those who have a strong reason to be categorized as refugees, of course the UNHCR as the competent agency to process them for the settlement to the third country. But of course knowing that many of them are victims to the crimes of people smuggling, humanitarian assistance should be given, to be extended to them. That’s what Indonesia has been doing.
But nonetheles, as part of the comprehensive approach to solve these problems, we discussed how to address the root causes, in particular on how to improve their social economic condition in their country of origin. I should mention that my colleague, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, is proudly to announce that Australia would contribute some $3 million. As co-chair I do appreciate Stephen for Australia’s contribution for I believe also that UNHCR, UNESCAP and many other countries are willing to address the root causes. That is also the case with other groups, of course depending on the nature of the problems, the push factors that force them to leave the country. For example certainly on Afganistan. But this Ministerial Meeting can not do much on how to solve the military conflict in Afganistan which is beyond our mandate in Bali Process. You want to add?
Menlu Australia: Well, I just want to add that in the course of the day we have informal discussion apart the Rohingya issue with representative from Australia, Indonesia, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organizations for Migration and relevant source countries, transit countries or destination countries such as Myanmar, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia.
The first point I want to make is that the discussion is a view that this is a problem which involve more than one country or nation. Secondly, there is a free willingness on the part of participants to agree to try on the matter of the region or admit to deal with a matter of bilateral agreement, including not just with other nation state affected but also with international organization such as UNHCR or the International Organization for Migration.
Other nation state also take the view that this is a regional problem and as the members of the region if we could assist then we should. So in Australia case, whilst we are not impacted directly by the movement of Rohingyas, we do understand its difficulty for our colleagues which is why today I announced that Australia will contribute $3 million for the Rohingya people to be delivered through international NGOs and United Nations agencies to assist their circumstances.
These follows over the last 12 months or so the contribution that Australia made for $8 million, including $4 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to assisting the processing of Rohingyas in transit or destination countries. So, it’s the contribution we make because we hope it could assist. And part of this contribution we hope would get to where Foreign Minister Wirajuda have described as the root cause. There are always a root cause which is a push factor that cause people to be displaced or to move, often it can be economic circumstances. Often it can be security circumstances.
So, I would encourage I have to say by the discussion that were held and whilst of course it’s a matter of mind, it would speak for itself. It’s been a very clear that other were willing ti sit down with transit or destination countries. Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Bangladesh are also willing to sit down with the UNHCR to seek and help to resolve and some of this issue. So, whilst we say it’s a difficult problem and there has been an increase since the past, I was frankly encouraged by the approach of the regional colleagues and the commitment either to sit down bilaterally, regionally or with relevant international organization, the IOM and the UNHCR to seek and address this issue.
Jubir Deplu: Next question..
[W]: So for the Australian Minister, the report coming just now on the afternoon that there was a boat arrival on [indistinct] Reef and have 50 people in it. Is that an evidence of the continuing inability impact by this government to deal with serious problem? And Mr. Wirajuda, when do you expect to see the legislation which was promised by President Yudhoyono last year in making people smuggling as a criminal offense?
Menlu Australia: I’ll go first. I can firstly say that my colleague will make announcement about the details of that arrival. So, I won’t go into details. In acordance with details I would leave that to him as the responsible minister. But in the near future, he’s proposing to make an announcement about the detail of that.
It’s vast for me to say that over the last 12 months period, from the Australia’s perspectives, we have seen about a dozen boat arrivals, carrying some 400 unlawful arrivals. But in the current international context and historical context, this might be regarded as a modest or small amount because for example in 2002-2003 the arrivals were not in 400 but in 4000 or 6000. Currently in the international, for example my colleague in Italy deal with with 30.000 arrivals on annual basis.
Having said that would make this point. The arrival which has occur since 12 months had made it very clear for Australia that this problem is on going. It’s a problem which the goverment is very seriously addressing. It’s one of the reason why we were keen with Indonesia to see the calling of the Bali Ministerial Meeting. It’s why not only our border protection aspects not only in air and naval protection, is not only consistent for what they were under the previous government, they are also have been enhanced.
It also does reflect our very keen appreciation of the additional push factor that we are now see, particularly from Afganistan, from Srilanka and potentially from the Afganistan-Pakistan border area. And a part of our border protection is aim at seeking to ensure that boats are actually arrive at the mainland. The bulk of boats that arrive are needed to be intercepted on the high sea [indistinct] generally or Christmas Island. When they were intercepted on the high sea, they are then taken to Christmas Island for processing in a way which Australia’s Migration Law is different than if they were arrived in mainland. So far as your second question which are more directed to Mr. Wirajuda than I about the legislation to enter the domestic law criminal offenses on people trafficking or people smuggling, one of the good things which is come after Bali Process has been .. since the formation of the process are somewhere up to 28 countries have either introduce legislation or contemplating their legislation to do precisely that.
In Indonesia case, we work very very closely with Indonesia to seek and deal with this bilaterally and in region. Indonesia has made it clear that into the process of contemplating and pursuing legislation in this area and we welcome that. But we welcome very much the fact that we have a very close relation with Indonesia. Mot just in term of information sharing or best practices, but also importantly in the destruction activities that we’re engaging and that is an important part of the areas to combat people smuggling and unlawful people movement towards Australia.
Menlu RI: Early this year, on behalf of Indonesian government I have appealed before our parliament in the process of ratification of international instruments namely the Convention against Trans-national Crimes and ratification of the Convention on People Smuggling. Leason learned that truly amandment of our law, the people smuggling is already a criminal. In fact on may cases in our court as people smuggling and trafficking in person already a part of our criminal system, it has been used by our court to punish perpetrators of thi hideous crime. On the ratification itself, which is meant to reinforce our norms with regard to people smuggling and trans-national crimes, as our parliament has approved early this year, we hope that the final process would be completed very soon.
Jubir Deplu: Next, please.
[W]: Gregg [indistinct] from the South China Morning Post. The question is for both ministers. Are you confident that by next winter on the end of sailing season for the Rohingya, where the time has truly come, has the Bali Process done enough to stop the next wave of Rohingya?
Menlu Australia: I think the highest I would put it that the Ministerial Meeting that we have had focus the mind at the source, transit and receiving country is very chiefly on that problem. It’s also been raised as a regional problem which other regional countries and partners are need to be or interested in. It is a chief problem and I don’t think anyone would under an illusion that this is a problem which can be solved overnight or in one season.
Menlu RI: In this conference we have agreed to cast the Ad Hoc Group to meet by involving countries which are country of origin, country of transit and destination. So this would be more focus to address specific cases like the irregular movement of Rohingyas people. Of course we cannot be served in well. We were able to resolve the case, but if the past experience can be a good lesson, I called that following the Bali Regional Conference in 2003 where we were able not only to stop the new flows of irregular migrant, but also we were able to sent those irregular migrant back to their country of origin. For example, it was first in Bali, here in my meeting with Foreign Minister of Australia but also with the Minister of Justice of Afganistan, we agreed to resolve the case of 300 Afgans who were here in the country of transit, Indonesia. We working closely with IOM, the UNHCR and its was successful. In other word, we have every reason to be confindent that we will be able to solve the problem.
[W]: Isn’it that what Indonesia prepared as to the destination country to trigger the so-called Ad Hoc Working Group on the Rohingya issue?
Menlu RI: Actually Indonesia is a country of transit in this regard. From our initial verification process, we learned that 400 Rohingyas landed on our shores in particular in the province of Aceh. Their attention is to go to Malaysia. So we will invite Malaysia in addition to Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh to join Ad Hoc Group to discuss the specification. And for different case would have a different membership of the Ad Hoc. But it was meant for specific cases.
[W]: Tom from Sydney Morning Herald, you identified the importance of addressing root causes in countries of origin. What is the root cause why the Rohingyas to leave Myanmar?
Menlu RI: It’s a combination of causes. We learn from our discussion on the informal meeting this morning that the socio-economic condition was the prime cause or reason for Rohingyas people out to Myanmar’s terms. They called them the Bengalish, And of course the Myanmar representative denied that they left the country because of the humanitarian rather the human rights violation. Some mix of causes, this is what they want to deal if the Myanmar’s government is willing to cooperate through the international community is to address the socio-economic condition as the prime cause for the Rohingyas people to leave. I believe there are a lot of goodwill on the part of countries of the region. In fact the international community and international organization such as the UNHCR and IOM are work toward together. So, there is an indication that the Myanmar government seems to be open and willing to work with the Indonesian community.
Menlu Australia: I agree with Foreign Minister Wirajuda that this is a combination of national causes, socio-economic and humanitarian circumstances. The fact that was what reflected by the contribution that we have made that we have announced today. I also made it bilaterally with the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and Police Chief from Myanmar. And that recent period is quite unusual for Australia. Our approach has been given Australia to the role of democracy and human rights in Myanmar to meet with my counterpart in the margins of South Asian or in the margins of the United Nations. I was very happy to meet with the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and Police Chief today in the context of Bali Process because I regard this as an important regional process. And secondly, it is quite clear that the Rohingyas problem is a regional problem. Australia has its own difficulties in terms of people smuggling and we are look to our colleagues in the region to assist and we feel an obligation to assist eventhough the problem does not directly impact to Australia. There are also within the community of Australia a keen interest in state of the affairs, in Myanmar including the northern part of the state and the Rohingyas people.
[W]: Selamat sore semuanya. Saya Marbun dari kantor berita ANTARA, Pak. Saya ingin bertanya kepada kedua menteri luar negeri ini, Pak Hassan dan Pak Smith. Ya, saya Marbun dari kantor berita ANTARA. Bicara mengenai people smuggling dan trafficking in person, didalam logika saya pasti ada sindikat dibalik ini semua dan saya lihat didalam daftar organisasi internasional ada interpol, UNHCR dan lembaga-lembaga penegak hukum lainnya. Apakah hal itu tidak masuk dalam agenda pembicaraan atau kepanitiaan Ad Hoc nanti? Bagaimana cara yang jitu untuk membongkar sindikasi ini karena walaupun nuansa smuggling people dan trafficking in person ini lebih ke arah politik, tapi bukan berarti dibalik itu tidak terjadi aktifitas ekonomi secara ilegal atau dengan kata lain apakah ada upaya untuk membongkar sindikasi penyelundupan dan trafficking in person walaupun berlatar politik atas nama hukum? Demikian, Pak. Terima kasih.
Menlu RI: Saudara dengan tepat mengatakan bahwa dibalik terjadinya perpindahan orang, migrasi secara ilegal adalah bahwa ini juga merupakan masalah trans-national crime. Karena itu ada sindikat yang menarik manfaat dari penyelundupan manusia dan trafficking atau perdagangan manusia dalam proses ini. Dengan kata lain bisa saja bahwa orang-orang yang menjadi korban dari trans-national crime atau ia juga menjadi bagian dari persengkokolan trans-national crime. Karena itu kita juga bisa melihat dari sisi perlindungan, proteksi pada orang-orang yang terlibat dalam trafficking in person ini. Karena itu dalam penanganan secara komprehensif, kita tidak hanya berupaya memperhatikan orang-orang korban dari penyelundupan manusia ini, tetapi juga secara komprehensif kita maksudkan termasuk pertukaran informasi dan intelligent information agar para pejabat di tingkat nasional masing-masing dalam konteks kerjasama di kawasan misalnya imigrasi, kepolisian, kejaksaan bahkan aparat pengadilan untuk tidak hanya membongkar jaringan atau network dari people smuggling ini tetapi juga menghukum mereka supaya ada deterrent dari sisi hukum terhadap tindakan-tindakan ini. Jadi jelas dimensi hukumnya menjadi bagian dari sifat komprehensif dari penanganan masalah people smuggling dan trafficking in person.
Menlu Australia: My bahasa Indonesia is not so good that I can pretend to have understood all of that. But let me just make a comment which I think will go some way to responding. One of the response I’ve made earlier is one of some of the changes that we confront in recent times has been the greatest sophistication of the people smuggler. A greater resources, different and better techniques and it’s been difficult for operational agencies to continue to confront. It’s quite clear that underneath that is a greater access to funds and financing, the greater if you like internationalisation or globalisation of people’s smuggling games. This is clearly one of reason why it is become more difficult to confront because the resources and the techniques applied, the sophistication of evation of destruction techniques is much better from their perspective and much difficult from our perspective. And that was in 2002-2003 when we last met in the ministerial conference. Thank you.
[W]: [indistinct] services London. My question is to Mr. Stephen Smith. You announced today your humanitarian assistance for people of Rohingyas while the Myanmar government never recognize Rohingya, so how do you make sure that your money aids actually reach the people that you intended? The other thing is the [indistinct] problem. The [indistinct] problem is the prosecution of those people because the regime never recognize Rohingyas as one of its ethnic people. So, has it come out in your meeting with the Myanmar representative about that recognition issue and what kind of answer did you get?
Menlu Australia: In terms of the meeting I had with the Vice Minister and Police Chief, I think its true to say that Australia put in mind about all of the human rights, democratic and rule of law issue that we have in the past . And I think it’s clear to say that the response I got from the Police Chief was along the line that you have described which is a traditional approach from Myanmar to not accept the national citizenship. In terms of humanitarian and development assistance for the Rohingya people, we delivered that through international NGOs. In Australia’s case is the Care International which has delivering mechanism on the ground or through the World Food Programme, again which has delivering mechanism on the ground or international agencies including in the different context, the UNHCR for assessment process.
Working through the international NGOs and through international agencies maximise the prospects and there confidence that the agencies has delivered most of what we have offered.
[Akhir joint press conference]