At the 8th Bali Process Ministerial Conference in Adelaide, Australia, government and business leaders of Member States of the Bali Process gathered today to endorse an updated 2023 Adelaide Strategy for Cooperation. The Strategy is designed to reinvigorate an agile, relevant, and responsive Bali Process beyond 20 years since its establishment. The Strategy focuses on the following eight (8) areas of cooperation: 1) law enforcements, 2) stakeholder engagement, 3) information sharing and public information campaigns, 4) irregular migration and related transnational crime, 5) border management, 6) victim protection and migration management, 7) returns and reintegration, and 8) coordination and support.

In making her intervention, the Honorable Vice President and Minister of Justice Senior paid tribute to co-chairs of the conference, Senator the Honorable Penny Wong, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, and Her Excellency Retno Marsudi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia. “Palau will always remain a small island state and I appeal to everyone here, our regional and international partners, to really help Palau, for we cannot fight this fight alone. We need all the technical and financial support to really help our efforts in combatting people smuggling, human trafficking and other transnational crimes in the long run,” stated the Vice President and Minister of Justice.

On the margins of the conference, Vice President and Minister of Justice Senior held bilateral meetings with several of Palau’s allies and friends, including His Excellency Taneti Maamau, President of Kiribati; Honorable Retno Marsudi, Foreign Minister of Indonesia; Honorable Fekitamoeloa Utoikamanu, Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga; Honorable Uza. Mariya Ahmed Didi, Defence Minister of Maldives; and Janine Wynne, Deputy Assistant Secretary, US Department of State. Topics of discussion for the bilateral meetings included management of human trafficking issues, gender-based violence, US TIP reporting, and collaboration opportunities in areas of shared interests and priorities.

The Vice President and Minister of Justice also met with representatives from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to discuss opportunities for technical and financial assistance. It was also on the margins of the conference that Vice President and Minister of Justice met with Ms. Sonya Russell from the Department of Defence of Australia and the Joint Heads of Pacific Security (JHoPS) Secretariat. In consideration of Palau’s hosting of the 5th JHoPS in 2023, this initial meeting was a head start into the planning and administration of the upcoming said event.

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