A BRUNEI delegation recently attended the 11th Asean Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (11th AMMTC) and its Related Meeting and the 2nd Special Asean Ministerial Meeting on the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (2nd SAMMRRVE) in Manila, the Philippines.
The delegation, led by Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Hamdan bin Haji Abu Bakar, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, attended the meetings from September 18 – 21.
The 11th AMMTC was officiated and chaired by Catalino S Cuy, Officer-in-Charge, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Republic of the Philippines who was also the chair of the 11th AMMTC and its related meetings as well as the 2nd SAMMRRVE.
The deputy minister reiterated Brunei Darussalam’s unwavering commitment to work with all Asean member states and its partners to strengthen international cooperation in the fight against transnational crime.
Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Hamdan also informed the meeting of Brunei Darussalam’s first successful conviction case under the Trafficking and Smuggling of Persons Order 2014 for engaging in people smuggling and arranging the unlawful entry of individuals into the country.
The deputy minister also stated that the Asean Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime and the Senior Officials’ Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) play an important role in ensuring that Asean Community is safe and secure through its collective efforts and cooperation. It is the platform where Asean member states can share information, knowledge, expertise, and best practices with dialogue partners.
In a joint statement, the AMMTC leaders agreed to welcome SOMTC’s recommendation to establish the SOMTC Working Group on Arms Smuggling as well as the SOMTC Working Group on Illicit Trafficking of Wildlife and Timber and look forward to the meaningful deliberations in these working groups; adopt the revised Asean Comprehensive Plan of Action on Counterterrorism; adopt the Terms of Reference of the AMMTC to facilitate our cooperation and coordination in preventing and combating transnational crime in the region; adopt in principle and look forward to the full endorsement of all Asean Sectoral Bodies of the Bohol TIP Work Plan 2017-2020; adopt the Manila Declaration to Counter the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism; and endorse the Asean declaration to prevent and combat cybercrime.
In the 8th AMMTC Plus Three (8th AMMTC + 3) Consultation, the ministers reiterated their commitment to strengthen cooperation to prevent and combat transnational crimes that continue to threaten the region to ensure peace and stability and commended the progress achieved in the implementation of transnational crime component of the Revised Asean Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan 2013-2017.
In the 5th AMMTC Plus China (5th AMMTC + China) Consultation, the meeting welcomed the renewal of the memorandum of understanding between Asean and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Cooperation in the Field of Non-Traditional Security Issues for a period of six years, until 2023.
Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Hamdan along with Japan co-chaired the 3rd AMMTC Plus Japan (3rd AMMTC + Japan) Consultation. The meeting expressed its appreciation to the Government of Japan for their generous contribution in supporting Asean member states’ efforts in combating transnational crime through the Japan-Asean Integration Fund (JAIF) 2.0, including by regularly convening the Asean-Japan Counter-Terrorism (AJCT) Dialogue, Asean-Japan Cybercrime (AJCC) Dialogue and the cooperation initiatives implemented under these frameworks. The meeting also reaffirmed its commitment to fight terrorism and strengthen its efforts to prevent and combat transnational crime. Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Hamdan also attended and delivered a statement during the 2nd SAMMRRVE. The deputy minister highlighted Brunei Darussalam’s initiatives to tackle the issue on radicalisation and violent extremism based on the whole-of-government approach, by identifying gaps and strengthening Brunei Darussalam’s legal framework. The measures include strengthening cooperation on dissemination of intelligence information, border control management and knowledge sharing on deradicalisation programmes among law enforcement agencies and intelligence community in this region. The meeting also resolved to undertake collaborative measures to address the looming threats of violent extremism within the Asean region; continue the counter-radicalisation and violent extremism programmes, projects, and activities implemented since the SAMMRRVE was first convened; closely coordinate with institutions in employing rehabilitation and reintegration measures for former extremists; strengthen existing advocacy and communication campaigns on counter-terrorism and violent extremism to heighten the awareness of the public of the possible threats; encourage the involvement of various sectors and the police in countering radicalism and violent extremism; formulate a regional plan of action in countering the rise of radicalisation and violent extremism as part of the work of the SOMTC/AMMTC; and explore other existing mechanisms that may be applied by Asean member states to counter the rise of radicalisation and violent extremism.
Mohamed Riza bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohamed Yunos, Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) at the Prime Minister’s Office and senior officials from the Prime Minister’s Office and Internal Security Department were also present.
The next 12th AMMTC and its Related Meetings will be held in Myanmar next year.
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