Asia-Pacific nations vow action to stop people smuggling
Australian Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor (L), Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa (C) and Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr (R) speak during their joint press conference in Nusa Dua on the resort island of Bali on April 2, 2013.
At a meeting in Indonesia, where many asylum seekers board rickety boats and set off for Australia, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said the 37 countries present agreed they would seek to make greater efforts to stop people smuggling.
"That means these nations are committed to seeing that there's more effective control at airports and more effective border protection," Carr told reporters on the resort island of Bali.
"To have the nations committed to more effective law enforcement is very important," he added, at the end of a two-day meeting of the Bali Process, which aims to tackle people smuggling and human trafficking.
"I believe it is a wretched trade and that in stamping out, we're safeguarding people from illusory hopes and risk to their lives."
Boat arrivals of asylum seekers have been a divisive political issue in Australia for more than a decade, and several Australian governments have pushed for other nations in the region to help stamp it out.
To deter people from making the dangerous journey, the Australian government last year launched a harsh new offshore processing policy, with many boatpeople being taken to camps on Nauru and Papua New Guinea in the Pacific.
Australia last year dealt with a record 17,202 asylum-seekers arriving by sea and has already seen 3,028 in the first three months of this year.
Many of them use Indonesia as a transit hub, linking up with people smugglers and boarding cramped and dangerous wooden fishing vessels to make the perilous journey to Australian territory, but hundreds have died in recent years.
- Mandzukic hands Atletico Super Cup win over Real
- Bayern enjoy winning start to German title defence
- 'Chilean Schindler's List' saved leftists from regime
- Draghi 'confident' ECB measures will boost economy
- Peaty sets new 50m breaststroke world record
- 'Water hater' Peaty sets new 50m breaststroke world record
- Adam Peaty sets new 50m breaststroke world record
- Hamas executes 'collaborators', Israeli boy killed
- Hamas executes 'collaborators,' Israeli child killed
- Last Ebola-free region of Liberia falls to virus
- Two-day water cut around KL, Gombak from September 2 – Bernama
- As new PKR youth chief takes the stage, 14 walk out
- Hunt on for three men in speedboat off Sabah waters – Bernama
- Two non-Muslim MH17 victims to be cremated on Sunday – Bernama
- MH17 probe team hampered by lack of ceasefire zone – Bernama
- Emphasis on August 31 unfair to Sabah and Sarawak, say leaders
- A loss too hard to accept for family of ExxonMobil employee – Bernama
- Family hopes loved ones aboard MH17 can be identified soon – Bernama
- Remains of two Sarawakians aboard MH17 arrive in Kuching – Bernama
- A dark sky and tears as MH17 chief flight attendant laid to rest
- Despite MB impasse, poll shows Pakatan retains support in Selangor
- In somber homecoming, Malaysia lays MH17 dead to rest
- Alleged MAS sexual assault victim to tell all on TV show
- Traffic in Penang came to a halt in memory of MH17 victims – Bernama
- Pall-bearer sad that uncle’s remains have not arrived – Bernama