Interpol's Asia conference kicks off, focus on strengthening policing capacity

Published On: January 18, 2017 10:05 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 19: The 23rd Asian Regional conference of Interpol began in Kathmandu on Wednesday, bringing together senior law enforcement officials from various 26 countries in the Asia-Pacific.

The three-day conference organized with the theme--Law Enforcement in Asia: Current and Future Challenges--aims to unite regional efforts in providing a more effective global response to combat terrorism and various types of organized crimes. 

In his keynote address, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said the easy access and affordability of technology and unfettered options for mobility have created new threats and challenges in the realm of law enforcement and crime control. “With a click of a fingertip, crime can be committed from anonymous place with anonymity. Social media and technology can be manipulated to commit heinous acts from a distant place to the detriment of innocent people living in far-flung areas,” he said. 

While underscoring the need to strengthen national capacity for combating such crime, Prime Minister Dahal said the complex nature of emerging threats and challenges of transnational and organized crimes call for cooperation and collaboration in the regional and international level. The prime minister also expressed confidence that that the conference would be important milestone to unite and strengthen law enforcement network across Asia-Pacific region.

Arguing that the meeting was reflection of consolidated efforts in police cooperation to the fight against the terrorism and transnational crimes, Nepal Police Chief Upendra Kant Aryal said the priorities of police have now extended beyond national borders. “Interpol has been highly effective platform in facilitating police agencies to prevent and fight crimes through enhanced cooperation and innovations on police and security front,” he said.

Also speaking on the occasion, Interpol President Meng Hongwei emphasized on the need for increased solidarity, innovation and collaboration among law enforcement agencies across the region to fight against transnational crime and terrorism. “Asia today faces one of the severest security situations in the world, with incessant regional turbulence and conflicts impacting peace and stability,” he said.

According to a media release issued by Interpol Secretariat, the meeting will discuss areas where increased cooperation and shared best practices can help identify and interdict suspected terrorists ahead of their planned attacks. A total 117 police representatives from 26 different countries will be briefed on a new initiatives launched by Interpol, specifically targeting wildlife crime with trafficking and other links between Asia and Africa. 

Besides terrorism, human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children, the issue of environment crime and the involvement of organized criminal network in it is also set to be one of the key agenda for discussion in the Conference that will conclude on Friday. The environmental crime alone is estimated to generate profits up to US $258 billion a year. 

This is the second time Nepal Police is hosting the Asia regional conference of Interpol. Nepal Police had last hosted a similar conference in 1989. The 22nd Asia Regional Conference of Interpol that passed a number of resolutions concerning fight against transnational crime and their networks in the digital arena was held in Singapore.

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