"Actually it was initiated by Indonesia that has become an important part of the regional framework..."
Nusa Dua, Bali (ANTARA News) - The United States of America, the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) joined the Bali Process as new members.

In welcoming them here on Tuesday Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa said "the presence of the three new members only proved that we could cooperate closely to deal with human smuggling trafficking in persons and other transnational crimes."

The three had been mere observers before they were given full membership for their contribution to the fight against human smuggling and trafficking in persons in the current 5th meeting, he said on the sidelines of the meeting.

Previously only Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, UNHCR and IOM were members of the Bali Process Steering Group with 11 others namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, the US and Vietnam as members of the Bali Process Ad Hoc Group Countries.

Marty said the Bali Process that had operated for ten process was an important forum aimed at settling illegal migration of people.

"Actually it was initiated by Indonesia that has become an important part of the regional framework to deal with human smuggling and trafficking," he said.

In the current 5th meeting he said all parties hailed the establishment of a Bali Process Regional Support Office in Bangkok last year and also appreciated Indonesia`s idea for the Bali Process to cooperate with and build a network with the Jakarta Center for Law Enforcement (JCLEC).

"Indonesia has a big interest in the Bali Process it not only fights human smuggling and trafficking but also contributes positively to prevention, early detection and protection against the increasing crime in the Asia Pacific region," he said.

Through the forum it is hoped the root problems of human smuggling and trafficking could be traced with regard to finding an comprehensive solution, he said.

Besides members the 5th Bali Process meeting was also attended by representatives from observer countries including Austria, South Africa, the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the European Commission, Finland, Germany, Italy, Britain, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and 11 other international organizations such as the ADB, the World Bank, the UNDP, ILO, Interpol, ICMPD, IGC, IFRC, ICRC and APC.

(Reporting by Panji Pratama/H-YH/F001)

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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