Weekly media round-up No. 6

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres says his agency is being 'stretched to the limits' by the current combination of crises generating refugees.

Syria's neighbours have called for greater international assistance in helping them cope with the more than two million people who have fled Syria since 2011. The World Bank  estimated that Lebanon is now hosting around a million Syrian refugees, an amount equivalent to 22 per cent of the population. At a crisis meeting in Geneva, 17 countries, including Australia, agreed to establish special quotas to settle over 10,000 Syrian refugees. While noting that Australia was 'going to do its bit in terms of what is going on in Syria', Immigration Minister Scott Morrison warned that there would not be 'any sympathy for anyone who comes on a boat and seeks to come in claiming to be affected by the Syrian conflict'.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott apologised to Indonesia for previous governments putting 'sugar on the table' for people smugglers. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said both countries were 'victims' of people smugglers. A marked change in language from Mr Abbott has led some to question whether he is walking away from his pledge to turn back to Indonesia boats of asylum seekers.

Mr Abbott has also indicated that Australia may not proceed with an arrangement agreed to in February for New Zealand to resettle 150 refugees processed in Australia each year. The agreement has strong public support in New Zealand.

The New Zealand High Court will hear the case of a Kiribati man seeking asylum on the basis that rising sea levels make it unsafe for him and his family to return home.

Mr Morrison has rejected claims that Australian authorities failed to respond adequately to distress calls from a boat carrying 80 asylum seekers that sank off the coast of Indonesia. Around 50 people are confirmed dead or missing. Greens' leader Christine Milne called for an inquiry. Fairfax Media estimates more than 1500 asylum seekers have now died trying to reach Australia by boat.

Australian authorities have transferred a group of seven West Papuan asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea.