Australia’s border protection and immigration system was the “best in the world” and supported its “ability to provide generous and effective support to refugees”: PM Turnbull
In the wake of world’s biggest refugee crisis, Malcolm Turnbull has urged nations to build a global support for migration channelled through a proper process of border protection and immigration system.
Addressing the United Nations summit on refugees and migration on Monday afternoon in New York, the prime minister shared the Australian story and called for more international co-operation in dealing with the movement of people globally.
“At a time when global concern around immigration and border control is rising, the need to build community support for migration has never been clearer,” the Prime Minister told a UN summit. He argued that Australia has been able to take more -asylum-seekers because the public had confidence in its border control system.
Malcolm Turnbull said the Australian government would never have been able to accept 12,000 Syrian refugees, who are in addition to the annual humanitarian intake, nor increase the annual intake over time, had asylum seekers still been arriving by boat.
PM Turnbull said increasing immigration, allowing more refugees and providing support for newcomers required public confidence to succeed, and Australia’s experience “bears this out”.
“Australia is one of the most successful multicultural societies in the world. Ours is an immigration nation. More than a quarter of our people were born overseas. Almost every UN member state is represented in our population,” he said.
“Australians are not defined by religion or race; we are defined by a common commitment to shared political values, democracy, freedom and the rule of law, underpinned by mutual respect.”
Those values drove Australia’s approach to immigration, in which “we invite 190,000 migrants each year to join our nation of 24 million”, he said. “And our commitment to refugees is longstanding — our humanitarian resettlement program dates back to 1947.
“Diversity is an investment against marginalisation and extremism. It helps our community unite against extremism, rather than be divided by it. Australia’s experience bears this out.”
But, he said, “addressing irregular migration, through secure borders” was essential to create confidence that governments could manage migration to reduce risks and focus on humanitarian assistance.
Mr Turnbull criticised “Islamist terror” and defended Australia’s security checks of refugees from Syria, amid arrests in Europe where Islamic State terrorists have entered as refugees.
Border control vital for stability and refugees, says Malcolm Turnbull
Australia’s border protection and immigration system was the “best in the world” and supported its “ability to provide generous and effective support to refugees”, Mr. Turnbull remarked.
“Without this (public) confidence, we would not have been able to increase our intake of refugees — the world’s third-largest permanent resettlement program — by more than 35 per cent.”
With the unregulated movement of people growing fast, “we need measures to create order out of the resulting chaos if we are to provide safe pathways for refugees and target those who are most in need”.
This required international co-operation, Mr Turnbull said, supporting rather than duplicating the work of the International Organisation for Migration and UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Malcolm Turnbull has urged world leaders to look to Australia’s determined border protection policies as a model for holding their own political systems together while regaining control of irregular international refugee flows.
“Addressing irregular migration, through secure borders, has been essential in creating confidence that the government can manage migration in a way that mitigates risks and focuses humanitarian assistance on those who need it the most,” he said.