Labuan Bajo (ANTARA) - The 17th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC), currently held in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, produced four crucial declarations on the handling of transnational crimes in the Southeast Asian region.

"In this meeting, we would like to reiterate that we cannot afford any criminals to succeed in hiding from legal actions," Chief of National Police (Polri) General Listyo Sigit Prabowo stated at a press conference in Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai District, on Tuesday.

Prabowo then outlined four declarations produced at the meeting, including the one called the Labuan Bajo Declaration, which affirms the meeting participants' commitment to strengthening cooperation in law enforcement as an effort to eradicate transnational crimes.

Prabowo noted that the declaration pushes parties to take various concrete efforts that encompass conducting activities aimed at intensifying cooperation between law enforcers, such as conducting joint investigations and providing mutual legal assistance.

"... and also intensify fast and secure information exchange, facilitate the provision of items related to transnational crime, as well as facilitate exchange of experts and personnel in various international cooperation activities," he pointed out.

Indonesia, as the chair of ASEAN, also succeeded in leading the delegates in the meeting to agree on the ASEAN Declaration on the strengthening of cooperation in protecting witnesses and victims of transnational crimes.

The police general, acting as the meeting's chair, noted that the declaration demonstrates that ASEAN member countries share the same perspective that their people are the ones suffering from transnational crimes.

"We are committed to persistently developing effective mechanisms to protect victims by providing them with physical protection, psychological treatments, as well as social recovery assistance for the sake of fulfilling their rights," he affirmed.

Furthermore, the third product of the meeting is the Declaration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the development of the region's capability of building and optimizing early warning and early response systems.

Indonesia proposed the declaration in order to prevent the spread of radicalism and avert violent acts driven by such an ideology.

Meanwhile, the fourth declaration, called the ASEAN Declaration on the eradication of arms smuggling, was proposed by Cambodia.

"This (declaration) affirms that the ASEAN is committed to eradicating arms smuggling operations by resorting to cooperation and comprehensive approaches, which include carrying out campaigns on the danger of arms smuggling, information exchange, and others," he remarked.

In addition to the four declarations, the delegates attending the 17th AMMTC approved one working plan pertaining to human smuggling, five joint statements, and six technical guidelines.

"We surely hope that by agreeing on various declarations, documents, joint statements, and technical guidelines, we will be able to make our cooperation more effective and adaptive in the efforts to avert, solve, and tackle transnational crimes," Prabowo stated.

He then expressed hope that all countries participating in the 17th AMMTC would accord priority to the interests of their people and also continue to foster cooperation by taking joint coordinated measures, as he believes that such measures are vital to combat transnational crimes.

"I believe that the agreed-upon instruments will pave the way for us to be able to collectively combat and tackle transnational crimes in the future," he remarked.

Earlier, on Monday (August 21), the first day of the 17th AMMTC, Polri had signed a memorandum of understanding on the handling of transnational crimes and holding of related capacity-building activities with representatives from Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Indonesia has also conducted bilateral meetings with Malaysia and Japan as well as a special meeting with Singapore, Laos, China, and Vietnam to explore opportunities for cooperation in law enforcement, capacity-building, technology exchange, and various activities aimed at improving security and stability in the region.

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Translator: Fransiska M, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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