21 Sep 2016

Australia defends border policies at UN

6:32 am on 21 September 2016

Australia has defended its border protection policies at a refugee and migration summit in New York.

Australia's offshore processing camps on Nauru and Manus Island have attracted widespread criticism but the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said Australia is a world leader in investing in refugees.

Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton (L) and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop address journalists during a press conference in Nusa Dua, Bali on March 23, 2016.

Australian immigration mininster, Peter Dutton, says people do have a motivation to make a false complaint. Photo: AFP/Sonny Tumbelaka

Mr Dutton said Australia has had a long history of managed migration and reiterated that people smugglers do not offer a path to the country.

"Australia's immigration policies have focussed on finding a balance between population growth, nation building and economic needs while sharing the responsibility for resettling the most vulnerable refugees," he said.

"The Australian story demonstrates how societies can benefit from safe, orderly and well-managed migration."

Fiji says human rights a priority in migrant crisis

Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama told the summit the world must approach the refugee crisis in a way that puts human rights and dignity above all else.

Fiji Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama

Fiji Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama Photo: RNZI / Vosita Kotoiwasawasa

Mr Bainimarama said countries must make a more concerted effort to work together to deal with the grave crisis.

"And we hear the cries of those that are unfairly treated in detention centres including in our own region with no hope and no way out," he said.

"Excellencies, our common humanity demands that we must heed these cries and work together more holistically and more effectively to address this crisis."

Mr Bainimarama said Fiji has offered refuge to climate change migrants from Kiribati and Tuvalu but he says it will need international help.

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