Co-chairing meeting in Paris, Minister for Foreign Affairs Strengthens Cooperation to Overcome Human Trafficking

Paris, France (Aktual Indonesia) - At the initiative of the Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno L.P.Marsudi, the Foreign Ministers' Meeting of The Bali Process Steering Group Meeting (SGMM) was held in Paris on February 21, 2022. The meeting was attended by the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs (as the co-chair), Thai and New Zealand Ministers for Foreign Affairs (as members of the Bali Process Steering Group), and the high-ranking officials of the UNHCR and IOM. The Ministerial level’s meeting was led by the Indonesian and Australian Ministers for Foreign Affairs as Co-Chairs. 

“Our main duty is to enhance the role of the Bali Process by adopting new and concrete actions to manage various migration cases in the region, which are unique and complex during the pandemic, and the increasingly challenging situation to maintain the stability of the region,” stated the Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The meeting also discussed the need to revitalize and invigorate the Bali Process, the plan to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Bali Process this year, and the 8th Bali Process Ministerial Conference (BPMC) in Bali at the end of  2022. It is hoped that these actions will strengthen the role of the Bali Process in preventing human smuggling, human trafficking, and other related cross borders crimes.

The Indonesian Minister also called for the strengthening of cooperation in the Bali Process mechanism to manage the irregular migration jointly and proportionally, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that adds to the challenge in managing the irregular migrants. The pandemic has increased the risk of human smuggling and trafficking, especially the exploitation of women and children. Irregular migrants must continue to be managed and repatriated in a way that the migrants are able to return home voluntarily, safely, sustainably, and with dignity.

The Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs also reiterated the importance of the involvement of the business sector in ensuring the supply chain transparency, ethical recruitment process, and availability of compensation for workers, especially due to the impact of COVID-19 on migrant workers.

“In the future, the Bali Process must become an adaptive and responsive regional mechanism in addressing the challenges of irregular migration in the region. For this reason, capacity building, confidence building,  and closer coordination between various mechanisms in the Bali Process are needed,” said the Indonesian Minister.

Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (Bali Process) is the only regional consultative process on irregular migration issues in the region. Since its establishment 20 years ago, the Bali Process has been providing contributions not only in dialogues on irregular migration issues but also in developing the regional guidelines and capacities on this matter.

The Bali Process was founded in 2002 by Indonesia and Australia, which also serve as Co-Chairs, and consists of 45 countries and entities, as well as 4 international organizations (UNHCR, IOM, UNODC, and ILO).

The SGMM meeting was held in Paris to make use the presence of all Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Steering Group member countries at the Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum organized by the French Government.

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