Joint Press Conference as conclusion of Bali Process Ministerial Conference

  • Transcript, E&OE
23 March 2016

MINISTER MARSUDI Today I am happy that I was able to co-chair TheMinisterial Conference of the Sixth Bali Process alongside with my dearcolleague, my good friend Minister Julie Bishop. This was preceded by thesenior officials meeting on the 22nd of March 2016. The ministerial meeting isboth timely and important considering the migrant crisis currently being facedby Asia and the world. And during the meeting the delegation shared the commonviews on the importance of collective efforts between countries of origin, transitand destination as well as international organisations in addressing thechallenges of irregular migration in the region. And the meeting hassuccessfully adopted two documents; the first document is the co-chairstatement which summarises the proceedings and discussions in the sixthministerial conference of the Bali Process and then the second document is theBali Declaration on People Smuggling Trafficking in Persons and RelatedTransnational Crime.

This reflectsmember countries' commitment to effective and coordinated measures inaddressing that for the first time IN the meeting in the Bali Process which isa ministerial declaration. There areseveral important points on these two documents but most importantly in thedocuments it was mentioned and fully supported by the delegates of thecommitment to establish a regional mechanism to communicate and respond toemergency situations. On the sidelines of the sixth Bali process I also had thepleasure to conduct a series of meetings and receive courtesy calls fromministers from other countries and international organisations and of course Ihad the pleasure of a bilateral meeting with Minister Bishop in Jakarta beforeleaving for Bali on the 21st of March.

And I wouldalso like to share with you that the sixth Bali Process was attended by 303delegates including 16 ministers from 54 countries. The meeting was alsoattended by 12 observer countries and eight international organisations. So Ithank you very much and now I give the floor to my colleague, my good friend,Minister Bishop.

MINISTER BISHOP Thankyou Minister Marsudi. I appreciate your leadership in co-hosting this meetingtoday. The Bali Process is our region's pre-eminent forum for our engagement onthe deeply challenging issues of irregular migration, people smuggling andtrafficking, issues that are global in their impact. As co-chair of the BaliProcess with Indonesia, Australia is working to deliver regional solutions tothese profound policy challenges. We're working towards collective action tocompliment the efforts of member states. Today Bali Process members have signedan ambitious agenda for future cooperation. We're adopted a landmark Declarationon People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons and Transnational Crime. This Declarationis an important step towards reinvigorating our coordinated efforts to tacklethe current regional challenge of irregular migration. The Declarationrecognises the need for long-term solutions for refugees and irregular migrantsand acknowledges the need to address the root causes that makes peoplevulnerable to irregular movement.

Regionalgovernments have recognised that the safety and protection of migrants,trafficking victims, asylum seekers and refugees is paramount. States are beingencouraged to criminalise people smuggling and trafficking in persons andengage with the private sector to combat trafficking and related exploitation.Australia also welcomes the recommendation that members review the region'sresponse to the Andaman Sea events of 2015. The review will consider optionsfor improving contingency planning, preparedness for potential similar events,tragically, that will occur in the future. To make the region's crisis responsemechanisms more agile and timely, Australia and Indonesia as co-chairs willconsult and if necessary convene further meetings to discuss urgent irregularmigration issues in the effected countries. I look forward to working with myBali Process colleagues to implement these important initiatives and againthank Ibu Retno for her hosting of the Bali Process here in Bali today.

JOURNALIST Ministercan you tell us how the new mechanism might work in practice?

MINISTER BISHOP Interms of bringing together the members, there will be close consultation,officials will be given the authority to consult and convene meetings this wasmissing from the processes in 2015 and we were concerned that as the events ofAndaman Sea unfolded there was no mechanism for the Bali Process to bringmembers together in a timely fashion and we believe that this will give us thatopportunity to do so.

MINISTER MARSUDI Further to what Minister Bishop mentioned that when theemergency situation in the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal happened, itseemed like we could not do more in the context of the Bali Process to respondto that emergency situation and therefore we are very glad that we go thesupport from the delegates in the Sixth Bali Process to have the regionalconsultation mechanism. Of course co-chairs will play a very significant roleand one to contact, one to communicate and of course if necessary we will requestthe steering committee at the SOM level to meet to discuss about the situationand if necessary again it will also include the affected and interestedcountries. So that is more or less the mechanism, how the regional consultationmechanism will work.

JOURNALIST (inaudible)

MINISTER MARSUDI No, the Bali Process is the forum to generate cooperationbetween the country of origin, transit and destination. So once again, duringthe meeting it's really obvious that every country wants to contribute wheneverthey can in responding and addressing the very important issue that is facingalmost every country around the world, every region. That is the irregularmovement of persons.

JOURNALIST (inaudible)

MINISTER BISHOP ForeignMinister Marsudi and I continually discuss challenges. We had a very longbilateral meeting in Jakarta the day before yesterday where these issues wereaddressed and of course we've spoken today about the events in the last fewhours in Brussels. A number of foreign ministers have had these discussions.

JOURNALIST Wereyou surprised that Scott Morrison was kept out of the loop on the Budgettiming?

MINISTER BISHOP Thesematters had been discussed at length in the leadership meetings in the lead upto the Prime Minister's decision on Sunday night and the announcement on theMonday morning.

JOURNALIST MinisterMarsudi, have you had a response yet from the Chinese about your concernsregarding the fishing boat?

MINISTER MARSUDI We will continue our communication with them.

JOURNALIST Didyou receive a phone call from the Chinese asking you not to go the media aboutthe fishing boat? This is a report today that's being carried in Bloomberg.


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