KOTA KINABALU: Foreign Ministers from three ASEAN countries – Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines – have raised concerns over the recent incidents of terrorism and violent extremism in their countries, and reaffirmed their desire to work together to jointly develop and implement counter-terrorism measures and strategies.
The meeting held in Manila Thursday also reaffirmed their governments’ commitment to effectively address existing as well as emerging transnational challenges and threats that have the potential to undermine the stability and well-being of countries in the region.
In a 15-point statement issued at the end of the meeting, the Ministers agreed that among other things serious efforts must be made to stop the flow of terrorist financing.
The statement was made available by Wisma Putra and released in Kota Kinabalu to local media.
Those at the meeting was Retno Marsudi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia and her counterparts from Malaysia and the Philippines respectively, Anifah Aman and Alan Peter Cayetano
The meeting was held with the view to enhancing cooperation in addressing the common threats of terrorism and violent extremism confronting the region.
A statement was issued by Wisma Putra Thursday evening stating that the Ministers deliberated and agreed to task their senior officials to consider the proposed Plan of Action, in the context of the following measures and to report thereon at their next meeting:
1. enhance effort and cooperation in addressing the root causes and underlying conditions of extremism including but not limited to poverty, narcotics or illegal drugs, crime and social injustice;
2. promote social and economic development particularly in adjoining areas of the three countries;
3. enhance the intelligence and information sharing amongst all security and intelligence agencies on potential, imminent and real threats;
4. stop the flow of terrorist financing;
5. contain the spread of terrorism and terrorism-related content in the cyberspace, particularly in social media;
6. prevent and suppress the terrorist exploitation of information and communication technology and the dissemination of terrorist messages;
7. prevent and stop the flow of illicit arms and arms smuggling as well as the movement of all terrorists;
8. consider the provision of specialized military and law enforcement training;
9. support the Trilateral Cooperative Arrangement and other sub-regional efforts to combat transnational crime;
10. review and implement all of our existing agreements on terrorism and violent extremism;
11. make a cross-analysis comparison of each other’s laws on terrorism with a view to enhancing legislation;
12. counter the extremist narrative through education, community engagement including the involvement of religious leaders and the promotion of tolerance, moderation and unity in diversity;
13. explore initiatives to provide support for victims of terrorism;
14. promote deradicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration programs as part of comprehensive measures in countering terrorism; and
15. protect and safeguard vulnerable groups, particularly women, children and the youth, from the influence of terrorism.
The statement quoted the ministers as reiterating their shared view that success in effectively addressing transnational threats can only be achieved through the proper development of strategies, and cooperation in security and intelligence on a regional scale.
Also participating in the meeting were Chief of Defence Force of Malaysia, General Raja Mohamed Affandi bin Raja Mohamed Noor, Inspector General of Police, Khalid Abu Bakar and Director General of the National Security Council of Malaysia, Dr Zulkifeli bin Mohd Zin and their respective counterparts from Indonesia and Philippines.