APS : Wednesday, 25 October 2017
ALGIERS- Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdelkader Messahel underlined, Wednesday in Algiers, the need for a common definition of terrorism, and called for the strengthening of national,
regional and international instruments of fight against terrorism and transitional organized crime.
In his opening address at the first regional meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) on the connection between terrorism and the transnational organized crime, co-organized by Algeria and the Netherlands, Messahel stressed the need for “a common definition of terrorism, as is the case for the transnational organized crime.”
He also called for the strengthening of the national, regional and international instruments of fight against these scourges, underlining “the existence of legal arsenals on each of these two scourges, but efforts are still required regarding the connection between them.”
The Foreign minister emphasized the importance of organizing the exchange of information and data, strengthening regional and international legal cooperation, as well as international institutions of fight against transnational organized crime, such as the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice or the Arab Convention Against Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
Messahel underlined the “complexity” of the connection between these two scourges and its impacts on the regional and international security, adding that this issue has been a cause for concern, for many years, for states, the United Nations (UN) and regional organizations, like the African Union (AU).
In this regard, he recalled the UN Security Council adopted in 2001 the resolution 1373, which underlines the connection between terrorism and transnational organized crime.
“The region, to which Algeria belongs, is facing both terrorism and the transnational organized crime,” said Messahel, adding that the Sahel-Saharan region is today the most affected by these two scourges.
“The transnational organized crime in this region covers a wide range of crimes, including hostage-taking for ransoms, trafficking in arms, human beings and drugs (cocaine, heroin, psychotropic substances and hashish), as well as exploitation of illegal migration, money laundering, illegal gold mining, smuggling, trafficking in cultural property and cattle rustling,” said the Foreign minister.
The regional meeting has brought together senior officials and experts in the fight against transnational organized crime, the prevention and the fight against terrorism, border security and the fight against the financing of terrorism, from GCTF member states, West African countries as well as from international and regional organizations, including the UN and the AU.
It aims at adopting a memorandum on good practices that will be submitted to the next GCTF ministerial meeting, due to be held in September 2018.