By Akanimo Sampson
To combat terrorism, transnational organised crime, and improve cooperation in border management in Asia, the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) have hosted a three-day regional workshop to deal with those issues.
According to IOM Immigration and Border Management (IBM) specialist, Donato Colucci, ‘’Southeast Asia suffers from various types of transnational organised crime, including the trafficking and smuggling of people, drugs and weapons. Coordinated border management is widely recognised as an effective means to combat these problems.’’
He noted that while governments in the region have invested heavily in ambitious cross-border trade and infrastructure initiatives, they now also need to commit to investing in coordinated border management policies and initiatives.
“This will require international cooperation and a coordinated, cross-border response by multiple agencies, as well as capacity building”, Colucci said.
The Bangkok event brought together senior officials from government departments responsible for border security and management in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Viet Nam, Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
Delegates included representatives from customs, immigration, defence and security forces, counter-terrorism investigation bureaus and transnational crime prevention offices. Speakers included experts from UNCCT, IOM, UNODC, IATA and INTERPOL.
“This workshop was a pivotal platform for all the stakeholders to network and learn about international best practices to promote a whole-of-government approach for a more comprehensive and better coordinated response to complex security issues that countries face or may face in the future”, said IOM Thailand Chief of Mission, Dana Graber Ladek.