The establishment of the Task Force for Planning and Preparedness was decided at the 11th Bali Process Ad Hoc Group Senior Officials Meeting in 2016, with a major part of its remit being to support work undertaken under the Consultation Mechanism - first activated in 2017 - to enable Co-Chairs to convene discussions in response to urgent irregular migration events in the region; and to conduct a Review of the irregular migration events of 2015 in the Andaman Sea.
The Meeting welcomed a presentation from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), on behalf of IOM, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), highlighting lessons learnt from the Mediterranean (2016) and the Andaman Sea (2015) irregular migration events. The Meeting encouraged members to draw on these lessons in planning or strengthening national operational procedures in responding to regional irregular migration events.
The Meeting also welcomed a presentation by Thailand outlining its own approach to
early warning/detection, focusing on the role of the Royal Thai Navy and the operation of
lines of defence across the continuum of irregular migration.
The Meeting further welcomed UNHCR's presentation, which was made also on behalf
of IOM, on regional approaches to rescue coordination, which reaffirmed the importance
of the Bali Declaration and other outcomes from the Ministerial Conference, in
enshrining useful principles for regional cooperation.
The Meeting recalled previous work, including that conducted by the Bali Process
Regional Support Office (RSO), such as the workshop Comprehensive Approaches for
Addressing Irregular Movements by Sea: International Obligations, Standards and Good
Practices, (Bangkok January 2015), which aimed to help build capacity of Bali Process
member states to address challenges arising from irregular maritime migration.
Remit of The Task Force for Planning and Preparedness
Since its inauguration in 2017, the Task Force for Planning and Preparedness, comprising of operational, national level governmental officials has supported the Consultation Mechanism with projects aimed to harmonize detection, search and rescue, disembarkation, and shelter management across the region. These efforts materialised through Tabletop Exercises and focus on National Plans of Action aimed to improve coordination and responses to sudden and large influxes of irregular migrants, particularly by sea.
Participants include Bali Process Ad Hoc Group Members Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, UAE, U.S., Vietnam, and International organizations: IOM, UNHCR and UNODC.