Tuesday, 06 November 2018
Opening remarks at Sub-Regional Meeting on Counter Terrorism, Jakarta

Opening remarks at Sub-Regional Meeting on Counter Terrorism, Jakarta


Excellences, senior officials, ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of the Australian Government, thank you very much all for being here today. Thank you so much to the Indonesians for hosting us in the wonderful city of Jakarta.

This reschedules of course the previous meeting due to take place on the 6th of August of this year which could not proceed due to the Lombok earthquake.

Australia, like all of you, expresses our deepest sympathies to the people of Indonesia, particularly those who have been affected by the most recent natural disasters, including the earthquake and tsunami in central Sulawesi and the series of earthquakes in Lombok between July and August.

Australia is pleased to have worked very closely – like many other partners – with Indonesia in the disaster recovery effort by providing humanitarian supplies and assistance.

As co-chair for the Sub-Regional Meeting, I also wish to express thanks to all delegates who travelled to attend the original meeting in Lombok in August and for your support and flexibility in attending the rescheduled meeting we are having here today.

On behalf of all who were in Lombok for the August meeting, I also want to sincerely thank our Indonesian colleagues for their care and support in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake.

I see today's meeting, which follows discussions from the meeting last year, as an important and timely opportunity to revisit the key security challenges and concerns facing the region; most notably the insidious and ever-adaptive threat of terrorism which remains of great concern to all of us.

Regrettably, the threat of terrorism has not abated. Recent attacks in Indonesia were a sobering reminder of the influence of Islamic State in our region and a reminder why we must continue to work together as a united region to combat this very real and persistent threat.

Our region as we all know is being challenged by the emergence of new and evolving technologies, such as encryption used by our adversaries and it's an area of effort that will dominate much debate for years to come.

In Australia, we've been proactive in our efforts to mitigate some of these and other evolving challenges, but it is as we know not enough just to manage the terrorist threat, we must anticipate and get ahead of it.

Recent examples in our own country include encryption legislation, new reforms to protect Australian telecommunication networks, Australia's listing of terrorist organisations following attacks in Indonesia, proposed legislation to provide law enforcement agencies with broader powers to ensure the security of Australia's aviation sector and to keep people safe as they travel domestically and internationally and the Australian Government's committed almost $300 million to deliver a range of measures to strengthen aviation security in our country. These initiatives will enhance Australia's safety, unity and prosperity.

However terrorism in today's globalised world is not restricted by borders and so we recognise that no country alone can address this issue. Enhanced cooperation with regional and global partners is imperative to get ahead of terrorist networks, their technology and their tactics.

The global commitment made by countries through the UN Security Council Resolution 2396, adopted on the 21st of December last year, provides a strong basis on which we can build our collaborative efforts.

The Resolution, which pushes member states to step up efforts to combat the shared threat of foreign terrorist fighters, encourages cooperation to disrupt terrorist travel, recruitment and financing and today's meeting provides an opportunity to advance our individual and regional implementation of the Resolution and identify more effective ways to combat the cross-border threat of foreign terrorist fighters.

The outcomes reached today will make a strong contribution to our shared commitment to our region's security, prosperity and cohesion.

It's with a great deal of pleasure and honour that I now invite Minister Wiranto to share his introductory remarks.