18 Oct 2012

PNG dismisses UNHCR reservations about refugee issues

5:26 pm on 18 October 2012

Papua New Guinea's Attorney General, Kerenga Kua, has dismissed a claim by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees that PNG lacks the capacity to deal with refugee processing and human rights issues.

PNG officials are working with Australia's government to reopen the Manus Island detention facility to process asylum seekers who try to reach Australia.

The Commissioner, Antonio Guterres, said PNG lacked any national capacity to implement its international refugee obligations.

But Mr Kua says PNG's refugee obligations were adequately met when the country previously hosted the facility, and will be this time around too.

"We do have the legal framework, we do have the laws and we do have the capacity also through our court, through our lawyers, through every other stakeholder within the country, to ensure a safe and orderly processing of refugees that may be brought into our jurisdiction."

Kerenga Kua