• Short Summary

    Malaysia and Indonesia have proposed that an island should be set aside as a temporary home for the thousands of Vietnamese refugees at present fleeing their homes.

  • Description

    SV United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Poul Hartling speaking in English

    SV delegates walking around in corridor, including Poul Hartling (FOUR SHOTS)

    SCU Malaysian Home Affairs Minister Tan Sri Ghazali Shafie speaking in English

    TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 1: HARTLING: "Your presence underlines what we all perceive. Our meeting is timely, the issues we must address are critical. i am most grateful for your participation. I believe that the aim of these consultations is clear. First, we must identify the ways of alleviating and solving the problem of refugees and displaced persons in South East Asia. Then we must translate these ways into immediate action and results."

    REPORTER: "What do you hope the conference will achieve?"

    SEEQ. 3: SHAFIE: "Well, we have three main objectives.

    The United States, which said it had taken more than 175,000 Indochinese refugees since April 1975, told the meeting its readiness to give asylum to more next year cold depend on how generously the rest of the world granted them refuge. "We are prepared to take more refugees" Under-Secretary of State David Newsom said, "But we strongly believe that out efforts must be part of a much larger international effort to respond to the refugee situation in South-East Asia."

    Initials KM/0130

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Malaysia and Indonesia have proposed that an island should be set aside as a temporary home for the thousands of Vietnamese refugees at present fleeing their homes. The suggestion was made at a thirty-seven state United Nations meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday (11 December) by the Malaysian Home Affairs Minister Tan Sri Ghazalie Shafie -- but he added that it should be coupled with a "clear undertaking and commitment" that the "boat people" would eventually be resettled elsewhere. The meeting was called by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, former Danish Prime Minister Poul Hartling, who highlighted the problem in his inaugural speech.

    SYNOPSIS: Nearly two hundred and fifty thousand Indochinese refugees are awaiting re-settlement. Malaysia and Thailand warned they would not continue giving them temporary shelter while other countries hesitated over offering permanent asylum. Malaysian Minister Ghazalie Shafie.

    The first is to increase the number of people who are interested in this problem -- this particular problem -- at the same time to increase the quantum of intake of each country. And secondly we hope to interest people in the problem of receiving them, because we have that problem in reserve and it is difficult to get countries who are budgeting for this particular problem to fully co-operate and constructively contribute to solving the problem. And thirdly we hope to be able to go away form Geneva with the thought that we have impressed on the Vietnam delegation that they are fully responsible -- and in the words of their leader Mr Pharm Van Dong -- that they have a contribution towards the interests of peace and stability in the region."

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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