20 November 2014
Republic of Indonesia to monitor impact of new Australian asylum seeker policy
Following the announcement by the Australian government to lower the yearly quota of refugees applying from Indonesia, Foreign Ministry spokesman Michael Tene said “Indonesia will monitor closely the implication of the implementation of this new policy and should it have adverse implication to the interests of Indonesia, then necessary measures will be taken in due course to protect our interests.”
Tene added that Indonesia’s stance towards handling the asylum seeker problem is to conduct comprehensive talks with the origin, transit and the destination countries in order to ensure better detection, prevention and protection of the refugees, as per discussed in the Jakarta Declaration in 2013.
“While Indonesia is not a party of the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees, it has in general complied with the basic principles of the convention […] In this connection, we do hope that countries in the region will continue to uphold their shared responsibility in addressing this issue of asylum seekers,” he said.
Over 10,000 asylum seekers fleeing instability in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, are currently stranded in Indonesia. The Indonesian government had been in consultation with the UNHCR regarding the new policy.