UNODC strengthens Cambodia's law enforcement capabilities on counter terrorist financing
Phnom Penh (Cambodia), 24 February 2015 - A "Training Workshop on Financial Investigation Techniques and Implementation of the Counter Financing of Terrorism (CFT) Measures " was held for Cambodian Judges and Prosecutors at the Cambodian Ministry of Justice in Sangkat Chey Chumneas, Phnom Penh. Support and funding for this workshop hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was under the EU-UNODC Joint Initiatives for Supporting Southeast Asian Countries to Counter Terrorism (CT).
Together the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Claire Van de Vaeren, the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), His Excellency Hy Sophea, and the Political Counsellor to the Delegation of the European Union to Cambodia, Mr. Alain Vandersmissen, opened the three-day training workshop for 26 senior judges and prosecutors from 13 different provinces in Cambodia.
The course delivered classroom-based theory and practical exercises to better facilitate learning in accordance with international and domestic legal requirements in full compliance with Human Rights principles and the Rule of law. Technical assistances on Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT) are crucial for ensuring the effective implementation of the
International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism(1999) as well as UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) 1267 and 1373. UNSCR 1267 concerns sanctions against the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. Whereas UNSCR 1373, adopted in 2001, is more encompassing regarding counter-terrorism and cooperation among UN member States.
"Tracing the financing of terrorism […] is the most powerful anti-terrorist weapon available to magistrates all over the world", states Mr. Vandersmissen, Political Counsellor to the Delegation of the EU to Cambodia.
Cooperation is key to any counter-terrorism strategy. Training workshops such as this can increase technical capacity for preventing counter-terrorism financing but also enlarge collaborations in efforts to combat terrorism. Ms. Van de Vaeren also supports the need for collaboration as she said in her opening remarks, "training initiatives such as this one can be useful not only to revise available tools and mechanisms […] but by learning from each other's experiences we can identify best practices and obstacles and exchange views on how to overcome them".
Finally, His Excellency Hy Sophea also agreed on the "importance in cooperation with international operation" in building efficient implementation mechanisms for law enforcement officers.
"No country is immune from the threat of terrorism. As the world is increasingly more globalised and interconnected, even countries with low risks of terrorism will see a need to develop a robust anti-terrorism infrastructure. Addressing such threats before they evolve, using both normative and institutional approaches, will ensure that human rights and the rule of law are respected. This is important as it will reduce vulnerabilities, which might appeal to violent extremists, Second, preventive efforts are maximised when there is more effective regional and international cooperation, including information exchange, mutual legal assistance and extradition", said Mr. Hernan Longo, UNODC's Regional Coordinator for Counter Terrorism for South East Asia and The Pacific. "Targeting the financial resources of terrorist individuals and organizations is at the very core of any effective preventative strategy. In this regard, we welcome the Government of Cambodia's consistent partnership to strengthen national capabilities to address this matter. UNODC has been working very closely and smoothly with our Cambodian counterparts in this area", Mr. Longo concluded.