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Indonesia and UNODC Strengthen Counter-Terrorism Collaboration

Jakarta (Indonesia), 5 December 2011 - Indonesia faces several unique challenges in fighting terrorism. It has lost several lives to high profile terrorist attacks in the past decade, including the Bali resort bombings and the hotel bombings in Jakarta. Nevertheless it has made great strides to combat and prevent terrorist acts. These include being the first country to initiate a long-term programme of activities under the UNODC-led South-East Asia Partnership on Criminal Justice Responses to Terrorism.

An important step in the Programme's implementation was the first meeting of the Programme Steering Committee, held recently in Jakarta. Headed by Indonesia's National Counter-Terrorism Agency (Badan National Penanggulangan Teroisme, BNPT), which is responsible for achieving greater coordination of the country's counter-terrorism efforts, the Committee is set up to guide activities of the Indonesia-UNODC partnership programme on criminal justice responses to terrorism.

"Indonesia has done much to combat terrorism but we need to do much more," said Mr. Ansyaad Mbai, head of the BNPT, who chaired the meeting. "We need to make incitement of terrorist actions illegal and to make evidence gathered through intelligence operations admissible in criminal proceedings. We welcome UNODC support for our counter-terrorism work."

UNODC's regional Partnership on Criminal Justice Responses to Terrorism programme aims to help South-East Asian countries to ensure adoption of appropriate counter-terrorism legislation and its practical implementation.

"Indonesia has set a precedent by initiating a long-term partnership programme on criminal justice and preventive aspects that correspond to counter-terrorism priorities determined by national authorities," said George Puthuppally, UNODC's Counter-Terrorism Programme Manager. "Indonesia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs was critical in jump-starting this."

Since 2003 UNODC has been involved in supporting counter-terrorism efforts of the countries in South-East Asia. Through the programme activities, Indonesia and UNODC will work towards enhancing national capacity to implement rule of law-based counter-terrorism measures. These efforts will be guided by the national Programme Steering Committee, chaired by BNPT and consisting of key national authorities including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), the Attorney General's Office, the Supreme Court, the Indonesian National Police and the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK).

The next steps in this collaboration is to implement activities agreed to by the Steering Committee. These include improving the Indonesian CT law (Law number 15/2003), increasing BNPT's expertise and taking steps for Indonesia to become party to the 2005 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.