Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (fourth from right) together with leaders of other ASEAN nations and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attend the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Sydney. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
Viet Nam News
SYDNEY — Officials of Australia and the ASEAN member states signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on strengthening co-operation to counter international terrorism within the framework of the ASEAN – Australia Special Summit in Sydney, Australia on Saturday.
The signing ceremony took place in the presence of ASEAN leaders and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The MoU is considered a historic breakthrough contributing to strengthening the two sides’ collaboration in ensuring regional security.
Via signed framework agreements, ASEAN and Australia agreed to enhance counter-terrorism co-operation in terrorist financing and violent extremism.
Australia committed to maintaining annual dialogues between its government, security and law enforcement agencies with ASEAN to seek practical measures to safeguard regional security.
The document features various initiatives and framework agreements covering engineering, anti-terrorism law building, regional dialogues and seminars on electronic evidence, financial intelligence and ways to tackle online radicalisation.
Hi-tech terror threat warned
Also yesterday, Australian Home Affair Minister Peter Dutton named use of encrypted messaging apps to plot terrorist attacks the greatest threat faced by intelligence agencies in modern times in his remarks at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit that is underway in Sydney.
The use of the “dark web” by extremists and other criminals was increasing, Dutton noted, adding that they were using encrypted messaging apps to avoid detection by police and intelligence agencies.
He stressed that the only way to tackle the threat and the increasing use of the Internet by terrorist groups like Islamic State to radicalise and recruit new members was to do this together.
It would be a mistake to approach the problem from a national perspective as terrorism and violent extremism transcend national borders, the minister said. Countering the threat required a united and cohesive regional effort involving co-ordination between national security and law enforcement agencies, he added.
Australia has been helping Southeast Asian states deal with terrorist financing and counter violent extremism.
The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding at the summit, with an agreement to pool cyber intelligence and police resources across the region for the first time.
The ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, the first of its kind, opened in Sydney on Friday, in the presence of Turnbull and leaders of ten ASEAN nations including Vietnamese PM Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.
ASEAN and Australia set up relations in 1974. Australia was the first nation establishing official dialogue partnership with ASEAN in all three fields of politics, economics and specialised co-operation. — VNS
Australia announces US$23.4 mln fund for ASEAN’s smart cities
SYDNEY — Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday announced Australia would provide an investment of AU$30 million (US$23.4 million) to support “smart cities” in Southeast Asia.
Australian Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) named Melbourne the world’s most livable city in 2017 for a seventh consecutive year while Perth and Adelaide always made to the Top 10, said Turnbull during his keynote address in a special conference with 10 ASEAN member country leaders on the sidelines of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit.
However, some ASEAN cities, such as Indonesia’s Jakarta, the Philippines’ Manila, and Thailand’s Bangkok were ranked near the bottom of the list, he added.
Modern cities today were applying many advanced technologies like touchscreen, e-commerce and digital currencies designed to be compatible in different countries, the leader said, citing Singapore as a good example of a smart city.
He hoped that the “smart cities” initiative would create a bank of knowledge that brings together ideas for sustainable urban planning from Australia and ASEAN nations. — VNS