Thursday, October 28, 2010

ASEAN Steers for Greater Coordination in Transnational Crime

ASEAN Press release
The 10th Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (10th SOMTC) and its related
meetings are being convened in Manila from 25 until 29 October. The Meetings draw the participation of Senior Officials from the relevant national agencies responsible for transnational crime and security of the ASEAN Member States.

The Meetings aim to generate fresh initiatives to enhance regional transnational-crime related cooperation, especially in law enforcement and institutional issues. As technology advances, so do transnational crime violators. As transnational crime transcends national boundaries, regional collaboration among the region's law enforcement agencies plays an integral part in the cooperation in this area.

The Senior Officials will also hold consultations with most of ASEAN's Dialogue Partners on issues of regional concern and the enhanced partnership in response to the threats of transnational crime. They are also expected to exchange views on the ASEAN Plan of Action on Counter Terrorism to best implement the Joint Declarations that have been signed, in which ASEAN seeks to cooperate with the Dialogue Partners.

The Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs, Mr Bagas Hapsoro, who led the ASEAN Secretariat delegation to the Meeting, highlighted the importance for both ASEAN and Dialogue Partners to find practical ways and means, resources and modalities to effectively implement the Plan of Action.

ASEAN, in addition, has signed a Joint Declaration for Cooperation in Countering Terrorism with all of its Dialogue Partners and Sectoral Dialogue Partner, Pakistan.
The SOMTC is one of the ASEAN Sectoral Bodies responsible for tackling transnational crime issues in the region. Established in 2001, the SOMTC has identified eight areas of cooperation in transnational crime: counter terrorism, trafficking in persons, illicit drug trafficking, anti-money laundering, sea piracy, arms smuggling, international economic crime, and cyber crime.

The 10th SOMTC is chaired by Honorable Rico Escalona Puno, Undersecretary for Peace and Order, Department of the Interior and Local Government of the Philippines.

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