Third meeting | ASIA DIALOGUE ON FORCED MIGRATION | September 2016

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  • Third meeting | ASIA DIALOGUE ON FORCED MIGRATION | September 2016

The third Dialogue meeting took place in September 2016. Download key documents below and read on for more about the meeting, including photos.

Key documents for the third Dialogue meeting:

Further information:

  • For the Dialogue home page click here.
  • To find out more about the rationale behind the Dialogue process click here.
  • To read more about the first Dialogue meeting in Melbourne in August 2015 click here.
  • To read more about the second Dialogue meeting in Bangkok in January 2016 click here.


The third meeting of the Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration was held in Kuala Lumpur on 4-6 September 2016.

The Dialogue meeting was hosted by the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS), Malaysia.

The Dialogue is going from strength to strength, proving its value as a neutral place to discuss policy and operational options for States and others who are grappling with complex forced migration issues in the region.

After successfully engaging and influencing the Bali Process earlier in 2016, we intended to follow up with a solid policy agenda and outreach to a broader set of stakeholders in the second year of the Dialogue. We achieved much of this in our Kuala Lumpur meeting.


We once again had an excellent group of individuals participating. We were honoured to have Khun Kasit Piromya, former Foreign Minister of Thailand, participate in the meeting and address us at our Dialogue Dinner. He reminded us of the need to maintain a focus on our common humanity as well as striving for the political and institutional leadership needed to address forced migration in the region.

New Dialogue members included Hasan Kleib (Director General of Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Indonesia), Chowdhury Abrar (Director of Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh), Patcharamon Siriwatana (Department of International Organisations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand), Elina Noor (Director of Foreign Policy and Security Studies, ISIS Malaysia).

In a special Business Panel Session, the Dialogue heard from regional business leaders, including John WH Denton (Partner and CEO of Corrs Chambers Westgarth, and First Vice Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce), Hui Mien Lee (Head of Sustainability, IKEA South East Asia) and Simon Lord (Group Sustainability Officer, Sime Darby Berhard). Dialogue members also visited the Rohingya Society in Malaysia and spoke with members of the Rohingya community in Kuala Lumpur.


Discussion and resolutions

The Dialogue continued its focus on better long-term preparedness for mass displacement in the region, including the national capacities, policies, standards and regional structures needed to respond better to all forms of forced migration now, and into the future.

Dialogue members explored the security considerations of forced migration, recognising that law and order and community safety issues are legitimate priorities and responsibilities of governments in the region. Although the links between these concerns and forced migration can be misperceived, Dialogue members noted that there is a particular security threat in not knowing who is in one’s territory. Members agreed to communicate to regional stakeholders that responding to the challenge of identification and registration of forced migrants in a predictable and coordinated way is a necessary condition to facilitating more secure and prosperous outcomes for governments, communities and individuals.

The private sector are increasingly aware of the commercial and geostrategic risks associated with mass displacement crises. Business can and do play an influential role in addressing forced migration through investing in humanitarian support for fragile environments, counteracting trafficking and exploitation in recruitment and supply chains, and working with government to expand labour migration pathways for forced migrants. We agreed to the inclusion of business representatives in future Dialogue meetings and to engage the private sector strategically to build a business case for more concerted action on forced migration.

Dialogue members plotted the key points we will make in our submission to the Bali Process Andaman Sea Crisis Review. This will include detailed consideration of how the Bali Process might operationalise the commitments made in the Bali Declaration to respond effectively to future mass displacement in the region. Of particular focus will be how the new consultation mechanism can be developed to broker early understanding of situations of potential, and actual, displacement, and generate co-ordinated and effective responses. This may include leveraging core contact groups in affected countries and developing an early warning system to prevent and manage displacement.

We considered how ASEAN can take a more constructive role in the interest of its member states, including by expanding its disaster management activities to include mass displacement, and will write directly to ASEAN and encourage it to take a coordinated approach to the governance of forced migration issues in the region. The ASEAN Secretariat will be invited to participate in our next meeting.

The fourth Dialogue meeting will be held in Indonesia in March 2017 and will focus on human trafficking. The fifth meeting will be held in the second half of 2017.

As the world negotiates the Global Compacts on Refugees and Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration will continue to advance an effective, dignified and durable approach to forced migration in our region.