Transborder crimes continue unabated during pandemic: Marsudi

Transborder crimes continue unabated during pandemic: Marsudi

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi delivered a speech at the Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Conference on the sidelines of the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations, Friday (9/10/2020). ANTARA / HO-Kemlu RI / am.

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi threw strong light on the unremitting occurrence of cross-border crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic, even in terms of the health aspects, such as drug counterfeiting and cyberattacks on vital health infrastructure.

The Indonesian minister conveyed the statement during her speech at the 20th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) held virtually from the UN Headquarters in New York on Friday (Nov 13).

To address the challenges of transnational organized crimes, Marsudi stressed on the criticality of building and maintaining cooperation between countries worldwide.

"There is no single country that can solve this problem alone, not before and not during the COVID-19 pandemic," the minister noted as conveyed in a statement from the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saturday.

Marsudi also expressed belief that the one size fits all approach could not be applied to fight all types of organized crimes.

According to the minister, the characteristics of transnational organized crimes tended to differ across countries that necessitated the adopted approach to be situational.

Marsudi explained that the approach and solution taken should continually adapt to the characteristics of the crime.

In this case, the minister reiterated the significance of constantly adapting to ensure that the UNTOC always stays relevant in overcoming organized transnational crimes both now and in the future.

In particular, the foreign minister also touched on the problem of Rohingya refugees as a form of organized human smuggling and trafficking in the region.

Indonesia currently hosts over 900 people, who fell victim to human trafficking and were displaced by the high seas.

To this end, the minister drew attention to Indonesia’s unwavering focus on the importance of tackling the root cause of the Rohingya problem through voluntary, safe, and dignified repatriation.

"For Indonesia, Myanmar is a home for Rohingya refugees," Marsudi remarked.

The UNTOC, adopted in Palermo, Italy, in 2000, is the main international legal instrument regulating the problem of trafficking in persons, people smuggling, and the illicit trade in firearms.

Indonesia has been a party to the Convention since 2009.

Indonesia was selected to be one of the joint sponsors with Italy and Morocco at the 20th anniversary event of the adoption of the UNTOC that was initiated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The offer, as the only sponsor from Asia, reflects international recognition for Indonesia's role and leadership in a bid to combat transnational organized crimes.

Attendees at the commemoration also comprised UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, President of the UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkir, and UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly. Related news: At UN, RI urges vigilance against transnational crimes amid pandemic
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