East Asia Summit adopts declaration on fighting terror, PM Modi welcomes move

NEW DELHI(PTI): The East Asia Summit today adopted separate declarations on countering terror financing and effectively dealing with the challenges of terrorism as well as terrorist narratives in the region, a move which was welcomed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Leaders from the ASEAN and their Dialogue Partners which comprises the East Asia Summit or EAS, link hands for a brief group pho

In the documents, the member countries of the influential grouping including India strongly resolved to work together in containing terrorism, extremism and radicalisation by taking a series of measures including choking funds to the groups involved in such activities. Preeti Saran, Secretary (East) in the External Affairs Ministry, said PM Modi “welcomed the East Asia Summit adopting two very important statements on countering ideological narratives and propaganda as well as financing of terrorism.”

She said the move has a special importance for India as the country has been victim of terrorism for the last three decades and now it has been recognised globally, adding that the move by the grouping is important for containing scourge of terrorism, particularly cross border terror. The grouping said it will counter terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and “suppress” the terror financing under the provisions of ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism and invoking relevant rules framed by the Financial Action Task Force, a global body tasked with checking money laundering for terror finances.

The East Asia Summit (EAS) is the premier forum in the Asia-Pacific region. Since its inception in 2005, it has played a significant role in the strategic, geopolitical and economic evolution of East Asia. Apart from the 10 ASEAN Member states, East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia. In the declaration on anti-money laundering and countering terror financing, the East Asia Summit said it will also implement the UN Security Council resolution dealing with threats to international peace and security caused by terrorism.

In the declaration on countering ideological challenge of terrorism and terrorist narratives and propaganda, the leaders of the EAS resolved to take all possible measures to stop spread of terrorism and violent extremism in accordance with the international law and principles of UN Charter. It also decided to develop compendium of regional counter-narratives to deal with “violent extremist ideology”. The leaders also recognised the need for addressing the “conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and the drivers of violent extremism”.

The EAS also issued a ‘Leaders’ Statement’ reaffirming commitment to take effective steps to contain chemical weapons including their destruction and protect states threatened by use of such weapons. It said those who use chemical weapons and toxic chemicals as weapons should be held accountable. Separately, the ASEAN issued a declaration to contain cyber crime. It said the member countries will take effective steps in containing cybercrime through various measures and by enhancing mutual cooperation through information sharing.

The ASEAN said it will enhance cooperation with its dialogue partners like India and the US, as well as relevant agencies and organisations at regional and international levels, such as EUROPOL, and the Interpol among others, to enhance cyberspace security. The ASEAN also adopted a declaration to counter rise of radicalisation and violent extremism.

In the document, the grouping resolved to check radicalisation through various measures such as the stopping finances to groups involved in such activities and checking andmobilization of individuals into terrorist groups.

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