Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa warmly welcomed three new members into the Bali Process, namely the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United States and the United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
"The presence of these three new members has proven that we can cooperate closely in tackling people smuggling, human trafficking and other transnational crimes," said Marty on the sidelines of the 5th Bali Process Ministerial Conference in Nusa Dua, Bali.
Previously, the three new members had observer status, but have now been awarded full membership status due to their strong contributions to tackling people smuggling and human trafficking.
Previously, the Bali Process included five countries – Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Thailand – as well as representatives from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as Steering Group members.
Meanwhile, 11 other countries have joined as Ad Hoc Group countries. They are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, the United States and Vietnam.
Marty said the Bali Process, which had been running for 10 years, was an important forum that aimed to tackle the problem of illegal migration.
“The effort initiated by Indonesia has become an important part of the regional framework aiming to tackle people smuggling and human trafficking,” said Marty.
Marty said that during the conference, all parties welcomed the establishment of the Bali Process Regional Support Office in Bangkok in 2011. Indonesia’s initiatives on the need for partnerships between the Bali Process and the Jakarta Center for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) were also appreciated. (asw/ebf)