The Republic of Korea and UNODC join forces in the fight against organized crime and terrorism
Seoul (Republic of Korea), 20 September 2010 - From 23-25 August 2010 senior prosecutors from the ten member States of the Association of South-East Asian Nations and the Republic of Korea came together at the Supreme Prosecutors' Office in Seoul to examine ways of strengthening their capacity in order to address the challenges posed by organized crime and terrorism.
The three-day event was jointly held by the Supreme Prosecutors' Office of the Republic of Korea and UNODC. Opening the meeting, the Prosecutor General of Korea, Mr. Joon Gyu Kim said "with globalization and the advance of technology, we face unprecedented challenges from increasingly sophisticated transnational organized crime. In order to combat such crime, it is necessary, now more than ever that we establish a network amongst the prosecutors in the Asian region."
During the meeting, UNODC Senior Prosecutorial and Judicial Adviser, Mr. Joonmyung Lee, highlighted the importance of effective communication and collaboration between relevant government officials within Asia. Mr. Lee directly appealed to the prosecutors to take the lead in spearheading such efforts.
The meeting allowed participants to identify several challenges and response measures for enhancing the contribution of prosecutors in the fight against transnational organized crime and terrorist networks.
They concluded that an important starting point in addressing the challenges they face was to ensure a better understanding of each other's legal systems, which in turn would allow for increased regional cooperation.
A Closing Declaration was adopted by the participants setting forth a number of specific initiatives which they committed to implement collaboratively.
Some of these initiatives include an analytical study of the legal framework for prosecuting proceeds of crime and the financing of terrorism in their respective countries. Its aim is to establish a sound knowledge-base of its strengths and weaknesses. Another initiative is the prosecutor exchange programme which will allow prosecutors to share expertise and best practices, and facilitate prosecutorial capacity building. Also written into the Declaration is the establishment of a regional network of prosecutors to serve as a forum for active dialogue, information exchange, networking and the facilitation of operational work.
Following on the high level prosecutors meeting, UNODC officials held extensive consultations with senior officials at the Public Security Department of the Supreme Prosecutors' Office, the Terrorism Information Intelligence Centre of the National Intelligence Service and the Korean Institute of Criminology. The main focus of these discussions was how increased collaboration between these Korean institutions and UNODC could assist the countries of the region in formulating effective criminal justice responses to terrorism.
Senior Programme Coordinator for Terrorism Prevention, UNODC, Mr. George Puthuppally emphasized the importance of south-south cooperation and the value of drawing on expertise from within the region.