Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The 30th ASEANAPOL Conference Held in Phnom Penh

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Royal Government of Cambodia has hosted the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Chiefs of National Police (ASEANAPOL) Conference on 25_27 May 2010 in Phnom Penh to further strengthen cooperation and mutual assistance among the police forces of the ASEAN member countries and the dialogue partners in the region.

About 300 high-ranking police officers from the ten ASEAN member countries and the dialogue partner countries including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the representatives of the ASEANAPOL Secretariat and Interpol have also attended the four-day conference in Phnom Penh, and The opening ceremony was under the presidency of H.E. Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the 30th ASEANAPOL Conference is always hosted during a time when the world is edging out of the economic and financial crises as trouble over the economies of many countries and negatively affected almost every sector, slowing down the momentums of national construction and development in the previous decades.

The response to these challenges have also revealed the creativity of various countries in setting up economic rehabilitation fund, and within ASEAN framework, an ASEAN reserved fund worth hundreds of millions of Dollars was established in order to respond to any unexpected global challenges such the present economic sustainability of ASEAN region in the future, said H.E. Sar Kheng.

“While the whole world is busy solving the economic and financial crisis, our common enemy-transnational crime-has had an opportunity to broaden its networks targets and vulnerable groups, modern technology and globalization to carry out transnational criminal activities such as terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking and economic crime. These activities have seriously affected the social stability, resources, the lives of people and law enforcement forces,” he said during his opening remarks.

He stated that the gathering today and the discussion signify the unity of ASEAN in combating all kinds of the threats for transnational crime and recognizing the benefits of broadening cooperation inside and outside the ASEAN region to enhance the effectiveness of combating against the transnational crime through partnership building with a number of countries whose delegates are also attending this conference namely China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Representative of Interpol.

“Partnership building and cooperation at this time is even more important for as we are trying to recover from the world economic and financial crisis, we must use our limited resources properly especially in criminal investigation matters and we must use existing mechanism such as L-24/7 of Interpol, the ASEAN’s electronic database system (e-ADS) to assist the law enforcement work in order to minimize our expense,” he said.

ASEAN is an organization that has been developed noticeably especially in identifying a unified vision in constructing to ASEAN to become a peaceful, stable and developed region, he said, adding that a recent success of ASEAN is the adaptation of the ASEAN Charter by the Leaders of ASEAN countries based on the vision of the development of Political, Security Economic and Cultural Communities.

The Deputy Prime Minister continued to say that ASEAN member countries have had various legal frameworks such as the SEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism and Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters in order to coordinate and promote regional cooperation in the fight transnational crimes.

“The cooperation between ASEANAPOL and Interpol has been developing in a positive direction, and the signing of the historical agreement between these two institutions three years ago on promoting information exchange especially the connection of e-ADS to the database of Interpol has served the interest of law enforcement agencies of this technology will enable us to achieve more successes,” he said.

He added that the roles and responsibilities of police force these days are also regarded as important in the international stage. Many countries including ASEAN member countries have sent their police force to peace keeping mission of the United Nations. The 78th Conference of the Interpol highlighted the role of police force in peace-keeping mission through the signing of agreement between the United Nations and Interpol to enable these two organizations to study the possibility and to coordinate with member countries to send their police force to the peace-keeping missions of the United Nations.

General Neth Savoeun, Chief of Cambodian National Police, said the annual ASEANAPOL is a good opportunity to review the previous year cooperation and to exchange ideas, experience and to discuss any measures to strengthen and broaden cooperation and mutual assistance to enable all ASEAN forces to have similar capacity, technical and material basis in fighting against transnational crime so as to ensure happiness in the region and the world.

The participants have discussed many issues like terrorism, drug and weapon trafficking, human trafficking, economic trafficking, maritime fraud and cybercrime, and so on, he said, adding that they have also updated each other on developments on transnational crime and discuss how ASEANAPOL can increase relations with Interpol.

The General said that the Conference also focused on the progress of the Electronic ASEANAPOL Database System (e-ADS), and adopt the joint statement. //







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