No country is immune from terrorism: APEC meeting

HO CHI MINH, Vietnam (Viet Nam News/ANN) - No country is immune from terrorism. More work and co-operation are needed to counter it.

The growing threat of terrorism in the APEC region stemming from ISIL, Al-Qaida and other organisations, cross-border travel of foreign terrorist fighters, spread of radicalisation through the Internet, and new sources and channels of terrorist financing were discussed on Friday at the third APEC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM 3) in HCM City.

James Nachipo of the international security division, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who chaired the Counter Terrorism Working Group (CTWG) Meeting, said: “The meeting this morning was discussing and developing a new plan which will commence in 2018 and go up to 2022. Now the importance and significance of the plan itself is that it will map out and identify paradigms for APEC, for our working group to focus on an area of terrorism.

“At the moment all economies agree that terrorism is an issue, we all agree that if you are looking at what is happening with ISIL in the Middle East, as well as other terrorist groups in Southeast Asia.”

The participants agree that more work and co-operation are needed to counter it, and the working group is developing a plan that would actually reflect the efforts to counter terrorism.

“We are looking at things like countering terrorism finance, countering the movement of terrorist and foreign fighters, we look at things like securing trade, securing infrastructure,” Nachipo said. 

Every economy was approaching this in a very constructive way, and the Vietnamese Government had put in excellent arrangements to support that work, and everything is working smoothly, he said.

“We are dealing with an issue which has been going on for many years, and for us in Southeast Asia, you know that situation in the Southern Philippines with Abu Sayyaf and other groups affiliated with ISIL, which are as you know involved in the conflict in Marawi city.

“And we also know that ISIL has inspired a number of attacks in Southeast Asia over the last two years or so. So a challenge for us is to make sure that our work remains relevant to actually address the issue for the region.

“No country is immune from terrorism, and we welcome Vietnam’s participation in the working group. Because Vietnam is a part of the region, a part of Southeast Asia, what happens to other economies in terms of terrorism can also affect Vietnam.

“And as you know Vietnamese citizens also travel around the world. So it’s very good for Vietnam to engage in what is happening, in what other economies are doing to counter terrorism, to be able to stand in a position to improve and strengthen the security of its own citizens who are travelling around the world.

“It doesn’t matter that you don’t have terrorism in Vietnam, but Vietnam is taking part in a very important issue with other regional economies.”

In  a release the group said: “We encourage APEC economies to continue to take consolidated actions effectively respond to the terrorist challenges in the region, as guided by APEC’s Consolidated Counter Terrorism and Secure Trade Strategy.

“We are confident that the ultimate defeat of terrorism requires consolidation of global efforts united by a broad international coalition under the central co-ordinating role of the UN, in accordance with the UN Charter, on the basis of norms and principles of international law.

“We are committed to counter the spread of radicalisation conducive to terrorism, terrorist propaganda, including the use of the internet and social media for terrorism-related purposes, as well as acts of public justification of terrorism intended to incite terrorist acts.

“To ensure synergy in global counterterrorism efforts, APEC will enhance its co-operation with major international bodies, including the United Nations and the Financial Action Task Force.

“APEC economies will continue to take co-ordinated actions, exchange information and share best practices to effectively respond to the terrorist challenges in the region.”  -  Viet Nam News/ANN

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