Badung, Bali (ANTARA) - Indonesia has pursued an initiative to improve counterterrorism strategies with partners and ASEAN countries through the 19th Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) Working Group on Counter Terrorism (WG on CT).

Deputy for international cooperation at the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT), Andika Chrisnayudanto, said that the meeting served as a platform to improve collaboration among ASEAN countries in combating terrorism, including in the prevention and law enforcement aspects.

He delivered the statement in Kuta, Badung, Bali, on Thursday.

"This is an annual meeting. Coincidentally, Indonesia is the chair for ASEAN on terrorism handling, so every year, Indonesia is tasked to lead this working group, which focuses on counterterrorism," he said.

The meeting was vital since fighting off organized transnational crime requires collaboration between many stakeholders, including ones outside ASEAN, he noted.

Chrisnayudanto said that the meeting served as a chance for ASEAN countries to exchange knowledge, information, experiences, and good practices, and elaborate problems, as well as discuss future plans for tackling terror issues.

One counterterrorism initiative being discussed at the forum was the Bali Work Plan 2019–2025, which was unveiled at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok in 2019, he said.

The document outlines efforts to prevent and handle violent extremism and radicalism in the Southeast Asian region, he added.

He said that the efforts outlined in the Bali Work Plan are spread across three main pillars, all of which are correlated: political and security; economy; and sociocultural.

The forum also discussed the prevention of violent extremism at educational institutions, he said.

The meeting marked an important milestone for ASEAN nations in their efforts to address the challenges arising from terrorism, and concurrently prepared them for a talk with Australia about counterterrorism scheduled on May 18, 2023, he noted.

"Through sustainable collaboration and knowledge and experience exchange, ASEAN countries vouch for counterterrorism in order to maintain the safety and security of the region," Chrisnayudanto said.

The results of the meeting will be followed up at the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime scheduled on June 19 to 23, 2023, in Yogyakarta, he affirmed.

Thereafter, they will be taken up at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime, which will be led by National Police chief, General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, and will be hosted in Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara, on August 2023, he added.

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Translator: Rolandus Nampu, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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