Statement by H.E. Ambassador Mr. Dian Triansyah Djani Permanent Representative of Indonesia at the UNHCR Ministerial Meeting
Let me first of all express our appreciation to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for convening this high-level meeting to mark the 60th anniversary of both the 1951 Refugee Convention and the establishment of UNHCR, as well as the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
Indonesia recognizes the considerable progress that has been made since the adoption of both the above-mentioned Conventions, which constitute the core international legal instruments which have frameworked refugee protection and the reduction of statelessness over the past six decades.
However, with regard to the present development of migration in a geopolitical context, it should be taken into consideration that today’s protection environment has also become more complex as many challenges of a different kind emerged. In this context, Indonesia underscores the significance of making the issue of people`s movement a priority.
Indonesia itself has seen a marked increase in the number of new arrivals in recent years. Noting the increase of irregular movement of people in the Asia-Pacific region, we must underscore the importance of enhancing support and strengthening practical cooperation in order to be ready to meet these new challenges.
In this regard, nine years ago, Indonesia took the initiative to establish a regional framework to address complex transnational migration issues in Southeast Asia, which has become known as the Bali Process. It commenced in February 2002 with the “Bali Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and related Transnational Crime”, which brought together 38 source, transit, and destination countries from throughout the region.
In the years that followed, various targeted workshops were organized, aimed at building capacity and cooperation within the region to address migration, asylum and refugee issues. At the same time, participation in the Bali Process expanded over the period to reach 43 members today.
Following the outcomes of the Bali Process, Indonesia and UNHCR have worked together to increase information and intelligence sharing and to make it more effective. We note the significance of developing cooperation among Participating Countries, regional law enforcement agencies, and international organizations such as UNHCR and IOM.
We also see the importance of enhancing the focus on tackling the root causes of illegal migration. Pursuant to this, assisting countries to adopt best practices in asylum management, in accordance with the principles of the 1951 Refugee Convention, is also a key element.
To address the need for a regional structure, the 4th Bali Regional Ministerial Conference, held in March 2011, agreed on an inclusive but non-binding Regional Cooperation Framework (RCF) to cooperate in reducing irregular movements throughout the region. The RCF will work under the oversight of Australia and Indonesia as the Co-Chairs, in consultation with UNHCR and IOM.
To conclude, Mr. President, looking ahead, Indonesia will continue to prioritize migration issues, specifically where these relate to the protection of refugees, IDPs, stateless persons and others of concern to the UNHCR, and to focus on the issue of irregular migration in particular.
Indeed, we need to deepen our approach and partnership to match the new contemporary challenges. We must strengthen our cooperation and remain committed to finding durable solutions.
The important key words, in this important conference is partnership and close collaboration, noting that we live in a new era of openness and interdependent. What is at stake is the plight of many peoples around the world particularly our migrants.
Geneva, 8 December 2011