Indonesia urges ASEAN to increase regional monitoring mechanism

We must also strengthen our common determination to face foreign terrorist fighters (FTF) which again target our region. We have no other choice but to stop their attempts to build networks, spread radical narration and commit extremism violence

Bangkok, Thailand (ANTARA) - Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD has appealed to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to develop and increase a comprehensive security monitoring mechanism. He made the remarks at the meeting of the ASEAN Political Security Community (APSC) Council which is part of a series of meetings held on the occasion of the 35th ASEAN Summit at the IMPACT Arena, Nonthaburi, Thailand, Saturday

At the closed-door meeting, Mahfud MD, accompanied by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, conveyed five essential issues that should be of common interest to countries in the region.

The first issue was related to terrorism. Terrorist groups continued to change their tactics and strategies including involving women as attackers, Mahfud said.

"We must also strengthen our common determination to face foreign terrorist fighters (FTF) who again target our region. We have no other choice but to stop their attempts to build networks, spread radical narration and commit extremist violence," he said.

Besides, he called on ASEAN member states to enhance the exchange of information on cross-border terrorism through Interpol 247 and ASEAN Our Eyes.

The second issue was linked to the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and the digital economy.

In this regard, Mahfud asked ASEAN member states to protect their cyber room from possible attacks, address challenges including cross-border data flow, and protect personal data.

"That is why it is very important for ASEAN to strengthen cooperation in cybersecurity," he said.

The third issue was drug smuggling for which ASEAN member states must be committed to preventing trafficking, he said.

The fourth issue was the implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP) through practical cooperation in the four areas of cooperation contained in the outlook, he said.

"The implementation of AOIP will reflect the active role and centrality of ASEAN in creating a peaceful ecosystem in the region," he said.

The fifth issue was related to the protection of human rights in the region.

Ten years after the establishment of ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission for Human Rights (AICHR), the time is ripe to assess the AICHR frame of reference to promote and protect human rights in the region, Mahfund said.

"The challenges and issues I mentioned above can only be dealt with when we are united and the ASEAN centrality is the key," he said.

Source: ANTARA News

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