Saturday, 6 July 2013

A conference is a wonderful thing

When the problem is too hard to solve, then call a conference to discuss further why nothing can actually be done. It is one of the great solutions of political life and so it proved again in Jakarta yesterday. 
Kevin Rudd and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono have agreed that an "action-oriented" regional summit is what the problem of boat people coming to Australia needs. And what a grand event it will be with delegations from countries such as Iran and Afghanistan invited along for the occasion.
If you wonder about the effectiveness of more talking then consider this description from the Department of Foreign Affairs website on the last lot of people smuggling talks:

People smuggling and trafficking in persons

Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime

People smuggling and trafficking in persons are serious transnational crimes that require a concerted regional response. People smuggling exposes many thousands of irregular migrants to unacceptable risk and undermines the integrity of our borders. Trafficking in persons is a complex, multi-faceted crime and a major violation of human rights. Australia seeks to address these issues by working bilaterally with source, transit and destination countries and multilaterally through the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (the Bali Process), which Australia co-founded and co-chairs with Indonesia.
The Bali Process is a regional, multilateral process designed to boost bilateral and regional cooperative efforts against people smuggling and trafficking in persons through technical workshops and increased cooperation between interested countries, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and International Organization for Migration (IOM). Overall direction and coordination of the Bali Process is provided through an officials' level Steering Group comprising Indonesia and Australia as the two co-chairs, New Zealand, Thailand, UNHCR and IOM.
Since its inception in 2002, the Bali Process has raised regional awareness of the consequences of people smuggling and trafficking in persons and developed strategies and practical cooperative measures in response. More information on recent activities can be found on the The Bali Process website.

People smuggling

At the Fourth Bali Process Regional Ministerial Conference in March 2011, Ministers agreed to establish a regional cooperation framework to better address irregular migration. This represents a significant step forward and a clear recognition by Bali Process members of the need for a cooperative international response to an enduring and complex regional and global challenge.
Australia is a State party to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) and its Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.

Trafficking in persons

The Australian Government is committed to working in partnership with other governments, international organisations and civil society to prevent trafficking in persons, bring the perpetrators to justice, and protect and support victims.
At the Fourth Bali Process Regional Ministerial Conference in March 2011, Ministers agreed to reinvigorate Bali Process cooperation on practical measures and activities aimed at increasing the capacity of countries to address trafficking in persons.
Australia is a State party to the UNTOC and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.
More information on Australia's comprehensive, whole-of-government approach to combating trafficking in persons domestically and internationally can be found on the People Trafficking web page of the Attorney General's Department.
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