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Australian Official Rejects Criticisms Of Pacific Refugee Centers
Richard Marles ‘confident’ refugee processing ‘legally sound’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 18, 2012) – Australia’s parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs, Richard Marles, rejects the view of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that Canberra is not meeting its international obligations at the detention centers in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

The UNHCR has raised concerns about the lack of clarity over just which country is responsible for the Nauru camp.

It says despite Nauru establishing a legal framework for processing asylum claims, considerable work is needed to establish a functional system to determine refugee status.

But Mr. Richard Marles says he is confident the arrangements are legally sound.

"We have arrangements in place that deal with this situation which meet both our international obligations and those of Nauru and those of PNG. And there has been extensive legal advice that all the parties, Nauru, PNG and Australia have taken to ensure that we get the arrangements right and we are confident that the arrangements are right."

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