Andrew Little represents NZ at regional counter-terrorism meeting in Indonesia

Justice Minister and Minister Responsible for the NZSIS and GCSB Andrew Little has represented New Zealand at the rescheduled second sub-regional meeting on counter terrorism, which has concluded in Jakarta, Indonesia. The previously scheduled meeting was interrupted by the 5 August Lombok earthquake.

Co-chaired by Indonesia and Australia, the sub-regional meeting built on the achievements of last year’s Manado conference. Discussion centred on how to counter terrorism and violent extremism in South East Asia.

“New Zealand has a clear interest in contributing to South East Asia’s security. We are friends and neighbours, and share strong economic and trade connections with the region.

“This was a timely meeting. Although Da’esh is on the back-foot in the Middle East, their hateful propaganda continues to reach individuals and groups around the globe.

“The Coalition Government is committed to working with other countries to safeguard communities from the global problem of violent extremism,” Andrew Little said.

Meeting attendees, including New Zealand, issued a joint communique stating their support for expanding regional counter-terrorism cooperation to reduce the threat of returning foreign terrorist fighters, address terrorist misuse of the internet and build resilient communities able to resist violent extremist ideology, including with the support of women and youth-led civil society organisations.

Andrew Little also appreciated hearing about the earthquake recovery in Lombok. “Like Cantabrians, the people of Lombok and Indonesia have shown remarkable resilience in the aftermath of the earthquakes,” Andrew Little said.

THE AGREED JOINT STATEMENT

SUB-REGIONAL MEETING ON COUNTER TERRORISM:

RESPONDING TO EVOLVING TERRORIST STRATEGIES AND TACTICS

Jakarta, Indonesia, 6 November 2018

  1. On 6 November 2018 ministers and senior officials from Australia, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand met in Jakarta, Indonesia for the Sub-Regional Meeting on Counter Terrorism. The meeting built upon the valuable discussions and outcomes achieved at the July 2017 Sub-Regional Meeting on Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Cross-Border Terrorism.
  2. The meeting was co-hosted by Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs HE Wiranto and Australian Minister for Home Affairs the Hon Peter Dutton MP. Brunei was represented by HE Pehin Dato Halbi Yussof, Minister of Defense II, Malaysia was represented by HE Datuk Mohd Azis bin Jamman, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Myanmar was represented by HE U Thaung Tun, Union Minister for the Ministry of the Office of the Union Government and National Security Adviser, New Zealand was represented by the Hon Andrew Little, Minister of Justice, Philippines was represented by Undersecretary Damian L. Carlos, Deputy Director General, National Security Council, Singapore was represented by HE K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, and Thailand was represented by Mr Danai Moosa, Deputy Secretary General Office of the National Security Council.
  3. The meeting provided a timely opportunity to consider those serious and evolving security threats facing the region. Since Ministers last met, returning foreign terrorist fighters have demonstrated that they have the experience and capability to inflict significant violence on communities, and continue to develop networks to facilitate or incite further terrorist acts that pose a threat to the sub-region.
  4. Ministers affirmed their commitment to the principles and implementation of United Nation’s Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2396, adopted on 21 December 2017, which calls on all states to enhance their focus on measures to address returning foreign terrorist fighters and transnational terrorist groups. Ministers agreed that strengthened operational, legal policy and law enforcement cooperation would significantly enhance regional efforts to restrict the movement of foreign terrorist fighters returning to, and travelling through, the region
    • Ministers welcomed delivery of counter terrorism training by Australian border security officials, to enhance detection of suspected foreign terrorist fighters in the region.
    • Ministers agreed to a regional study group meeting focused on strengthening legislative responses to combat the threat of foreign terrorist fighters in the region, coled by Australia and Indonesia.
    • Ministers supported the delivery of the 2018 Regional Counter Terrorism Financing Summit in Thailand, co-led by the financial intelligence units of Australia, Indonesia and Thailand.
  5. Ministers valued the presentation by representatives on behalf of the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Civil Society Organisation (CSO) event which took place on 5 August 2018 and was formally opened by the Hon. Peter Dutton MP and His Excellency General (Ret) Wiranto. Ministers noted the importance of inclusive and cross-sectoral partnerships to develop and deliver effective CVE-based policies and programs. Ministers acknowledged the important role of CSOs in partnering with governments to prevent radicalisation and violent extremism. Ministers recognised that women, youth and families play a critical role in preventing violent extremism in the region.
    • Ministers agreed to support strengthened partnerships between womenled and youth‑led CSOs in the region, and to workshops focused on advancing women’s and youth empowerment and inclusion in addressing violent extremism in the region.
    • Ministers agreed to support the provision of technical assistance and capacity building for CSOs to prevent radicalisation, including through the South East Asia Network of Civil Society Organisations.
  6. Ministers acknowledged that the terrorist threat in the region continues to evolve, particularly in relation to the misuse of technology and the internet by terrorists to recruit, communicate and spread violent extremism. Ministers recognised the importance of harnessing opportunities to strengthen cooperation between government and the private sector to combat the use of social media platforms by terrorist networks.
    • Ministers welcomed the effort by Australia and Malaysia to look into the possibilities of developing a CVE practitioner guide on strategic communications that could be utilised in this region.
  7. Noting the importance of ongoing discussion on regional security challenges, it was agreed that a further Ministerial-level Sub-Regional Meeting would be held in 2019.
  8. The delegations from Brunei, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand expressed their appreciation to the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs HE Wiranto and Minister for Home Affairs the Hon Peter Dutton MP for their co-hosting of the meeting.