Leaders welcomed to ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Sydney

Australia urged to make human rights key issue at Asean summit

Ms Aung San Suu Kyi and Mr Hun Sen are among the Asean leaders who are expected to be at the summit in Sydney

The three-day special summit of leaders from the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Australia winds up in Sydney on Sunday with the prime minister hosting his counterparts at a high level meeting and retreat. The more united we are, the more effective we will be in combating this awful and inhumane scourge.

"We must take responsibility for our own security and prosperity, while recognizing that we are stronger when we share the burden of leadership with trusted partners", said Turnbull, a former investment banker and venture capitalist, in an opinion piece published by The Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday.

In his speech, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull welcomed the presence of the ASEAN leaders at this event, organised for the first time in Australia under his initiative.

Canberra and ASEAN reaffirmed "the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, maritime safety and security, freedom of navigation and overflight in the region", without naming Beijing.

"The more we work together on these issues, the more successful we will be".

"There were parties urging I not be given a special reception but it appears (their requests) have failed".

New Zealand's finance and also sports minister Grant Robertson, Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand Tantowi Yahya and New Zealand's Ambassador to Indonesia Trevor Mathedon welcomed their arrival.

"If we want to be effective in saving lives, it is essential that we have legislation that prevent acts of terrorism, rather than just deal with the aftermaths", he said.

The government's decision to use these legal mechanisms he said, "had saved many lives, both Malaysian, and non-Malaysian".

"We are also concerned as human beings if there is a humanitarian crisis that has developed and people's welfare and lives and safety are at stake", he said.

It would be a mistake to approach the problem from a national perspective as terrorism and violent extremism transcend national borders, the minister said.

Malaysia's President Nadjib Razak picked up on the theme noting that Daesh propaganda could reach 300 million Muslims in the region, and that Rohingya Muslims being violently displaced from Mynamar's Rakhine province would provide a "fertile ground" for the extremist organisation's radicalisation and recruitment efforts. They pledged to resist "all forms of protectionism".

Anger is mounting among members of the South-East Asian nation's expat community in Australia who say Cambodia has shifted towards authoritarianism following last year's ban on the main opposition party.

"I see Australia's wish to integrate Asean and Australian economy, as well as the cooperation in strategic fields including counter-terrorism, as the success of the summit", he added.

Responding to the matter, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has said that Australia would "very seriously" consider any formal invitation.

Earlier in the summit, Asean and Australia announced new measures to co-operate on counter-terror intelligence.

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