PostHeaderIcon ASEAN Joins Hands With Global Community in Fighting Terrorism

The strategy, Mr Ban Ki-Moon noted, recognizes that terrorism cannot be combated only through security-related or law enforcement means. "Effective counter-terrorism requires a combination of social, educational, economic and political tools that target factors that make the terrorist option appear attractive. The strategy also recognises that human rights are an intrinsic part of the fight against terror, not an acceptable casualty of war," he added, and called on to "chart a course that reflects our determination to defeat terrorism and build a safer, more just and peaceful world for all."

ASEAN was represented by Mr Sayakane Sisouvong, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Political and Security Community.

Mr Sisouvong shared ASEAN's unique experience in addressing the threat of common enemy. ASEAN's recognition of the threats imposed by terrorism and terrorist acts since the early days in the nineties augured preventive measures which included among others the establishment of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC) and its subordinating body Senior Official Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC), to tackle transnational crime including counter-terrorism in ASEAN.

He underscored that under the auspices of ASEAN, countering terrorism is also one of the priority areas of the regional sectoral bodies such as ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the newly established ASEAN Defense Ministerial Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM Plus.

"As ASEAN is working towards the realisation of an ASEAN Community by 2015, it is imperative to ascertain protection of more than 600 million citizens of ASEAN from the assailants of terrorist acts," he said.

"ASEAN needed a comprehensive regional framework that would ensure the security of the region and its people. ASEAN has decided to develop a regional Convention on Counter-Terrorism, which will also complement the United Nations Global Strategy on Counter Terrorism and the relevant UN Resolutions and Conventions. ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism (or ACCT in short) was signed by the Leaders of ASEAN on 13 January 2007," he added.

ASEAN is the first regional group in the world to have developed a comprehensive convention countering terrorism. ACCT not only is complementary to the 13 UN Resolutions and two amendments pertinent to counter-terrorism, it also aims to address the challenges that the region is encountering and the root causes conducive to terrorism. ASEAN Convention on Counter-terrorism has entered into force effective 28 May this year.

Mr Sayakane concluded that what ASEAN has achieved thus far may be a small contribution to the global effort in the fight against terrorism. A secure and stable ASEAN, however, means one less worry to the world. The battle against global terrorism has a critical Southeast Asian link. Success in the war on global terrorism ultimately depends on the coordinated effort of every peace-loving societies of the civilised world. ASEAN will therefore be relentlessly striving for the attainment of a world free from terror and the acts of terrorism, he pledged.