Joint Ministerial Forum Held In POM

The first monthly Joint Ministerial Forum to oversee implementation of the Regional Resettlement Arrangement was held in Port Moresby on Wednesday.

PNG was represented by Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato and Australia's Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison.


Both parties had agreed to host monthly meetings earlier this year, following the death of an Asylum seeker at the Manus processing centre.


The outcomes of the meeting revealed that two-thirds of transferees have been interviewed at the regional Processing Centre.


A review process for those found not to be genuine refugees, is being formulated. A refugee visa has been approved by the Government of PNG, for those determined to be refugees. The visa will provide for work rights and freedom of movement.


The PNG Government is expected to receive recommendations on implementing resettlement by an Expert Panel, on resettlement by the end of this month.


Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to meet costs relating to the settlement of refugees in PNG. It’s anticipated the first refugees will be resettled in June this year.


No-one refugees will be resettled in Australia.


Those found not to be refugees will be held in detention in PNG, pending removal to their home country, or another country, where they have a right of entry.


Improvements to infrastructure facilities at the Manus Regional Processing Centers for asylum seekers continue at pace.


The transition of garrison and support services to Transfield Services Ltd from G4S, is now complete and Ministers noted the transition process had proceeded smoothly.


Ministers affirmed the urgency, and need to complete the comprehensive investigations underway into the events, that took place at Manus Island of 16-18.


Visiting Chief of the United Nations Development Program, and Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, chose to play a neutral role when asked about her opinion on the detention centre in Manus.

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