Combating Transnational Crimes

1/20/2016 Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Transnational crimes have become serious threats to global security and prosperity. One of the most important multilateral mechanisms to combat transnational crimes, particularly those perpetrated by transnational organized criminal groups is the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime-UNTOC. It serves as a basis for countries in their efforts in combating transnational organized crime.

Due to its strategic location, Indonesia is vulnerable to various forms of transnational crimes. Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been intensifying international cooperation in combating transnational organized crimes, to protect Indonesia's national interests and sovereignty.

Further, Indonesia pays special attention to the new and emerging forms of transnational crimes . In that context, there are several transnational crimes in which Indonesia has been playing an active role, such as trafficking in persons and people smuggling, anti-corruption, environmental crime which includes wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, money laundering, illicit trafficking of cultural property, and illicit drugs trafficking. 

The international society's recognition of Indonesia's active role in combating transnational organized crime is culminated when Indonesia was selected as President of the Sixth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized  Crime from 2012-2014.


People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons

Indonesia is committed to address people smuggling and trafficking in persons which are included in the irregular migration through cooperation at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels. For Indonesia, issues related to irregular migration are transnational in nature and no single country can solve them by itself.

In managing the transnational aspects of irregular migration, Indonesia adheres to two basic principles; first the principle of burden sharing, namely countries need to address irregular migration collectively and avoid burden-shifting to other countries. The second principle is shared responsibility in which origin, transit and destination countries share responsilbility in tackling irregular migration. Indonesia also champions comprehensive and balanced approach between law enforcement and humanity based on the pillars of prevention, early detection, protection and prosecution. Furthermore, in developing cooperation among countries, the objective is to attain complete and sustainable solutions.

Therefore, Indonesia is of the view that sustainable solution needed to address the root causes of irregular migration, such as poverty, lack of access, injustice, violation of human rights, development gap and lack of education. As an example of Indonesia's commitment on the issue, on 27 to 28 November 2015, Indonesia initiated the Jakarta Declaration Roundtable Meeting on Addressing the Root Causes of Irregular Movement of Persons in Jakarta. The meeting aimed to find concrete cooperation areas in addressing the root causes of irregular migration through constructive dialogue among the most effected countries.

Indonesia is also active in numerous international and regional fora such as Conference of State Parties dari United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), related Working Group under UNTOC, Global Forum on Migration and Development, ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC).

Another important forum for Indonesia's foreign policy on irregular migration is the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (Bali Process). Indonesia and Australia are the co-founders and co-chairs of Bali Process. Since its establishment in 2002 until now, the Bali Process has become one of the oldest and the biggest Regional Consultative Processes in the region. Within the Bali Process framework, Indonesia has held numeruous activities that bring together authorities, practitioners and  experts from the region to enhance cooperation in addressing irregular migration through better border protection management, adoption of victim-centered approach and promoting safe migration channels. The main decision-making mechanism under the Bali Process is the ministerial meeting co-chaired by the Indonesian and Australian Foreign Ministers. It is held every two to three years.

Preventing and combating corruption

Preventing and combating corruption is the main priority of Government of Indonesia at national and global levels. Indonesia maintains its active role and has shown its leadership in the efforts to combat corruption inter alia by became the President and host of the Second Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption-CoSP UNCAC held in Bali, 28 January-1 February 2008.

During the implementation of the first cycle of the review process, under the framework of UNCAC, Indonesia was reviewed by United Kingdom and Uzbekhistan in 2010 to 2011. The review focused on Indonesia's implementation towards Chapter III on Criminalization and Law Enforcement and Chapter IV on International Cooperation. The review has produced a country report that includes a set of recommendations for the Government of Indonesia to fully implement the provisions in the UNCAC.

At the 4th Session of the IRG UNCAC 2013, Indonesia was selected, with Pakistan, to review Kyrgyzstan and together with Colombia, to review Haiti. Indonesia has concluded both reviews in 2015.

Indonesia is preparing for the UNCAC second review cycle which will start for the period of 2015-2019 which focuses on Chapter II Prevention and Chapter V Asset Recovery.

In the efforts of preventing and combating corruption, Indonesia has continuously forward the national position through various mechanisms under UNCAC and G20.

In addition, Indonesia is also active in advancing asset recovery to recover illicitly-gained procceds of corruption which have been hidden by corruptors abroad. In the efforts of asset recovery, Indonesia is active in establishing bilateral cooperation with numerous countries.


Illicit Drug Trafficking

Illicit drug trafficking is cross border, therefore no single country can escape from international drugs' syndicate target, including Indonesia. Due to its transnational nature, illicit drug trafficking can't be resolved by single country.

International society has 3 drug conventions, namely, Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961; Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971; and Convention against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988. As a party to those three drug conventions, Indonesia has actively involved in the international cooperation related to illicit drug trafficking.

In 2013, Indonesia has been selected as one of the 53 members of Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) until 2017. In addition, on 25 April 2013, Prof. Dr. Sri Suryawati, pharmacology and pharmacokinetics expert from Indonesia has been chosen as one of the 13 members of INCB during the ECOSOC session in New York. Prof. Suryawati will perform her duties until 2017. The election of one of Indonesia's expert is the recognition of international appreciation and in the same time will provide a more balanced perspective in the advancement of international drug control regime.

Indonesia's main interests in combating illicit drug trafficking is to prevent the flows of drugs and its precusors into or out of the country. Indonesia adheres to the principle of balanced approach between supply and demand reduction in integrated and comprehensive manner. Furthermore, Indonesia also views that addressing the drug problem is a shared responsibility between origin, transit and destination countries.

At the multilateral level, Indonesia has been assuming its active role in combating the illicit drug trafficking in various fora such as Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem which will be held on 19-21 April 2016, Head of National Drug Law Enforcement for Asia-Pacific and other meetings under the framework of UNODC. Indonesia will continue the efforts to strengthen United Nations entities, to enhance coordination among stakeholders at international and national levels in order to deal with the drug problem in coordinated and comprehensive manner, including through alternative development.


New and Emerging Crimes

In 2010, the fifth Conference of the States Parties identified five new and emerging crimes, inter alia cybercrime, identity-related crimes, trafficking in cultural property, environmental crime, piracy, and organ trafficking. New and emerging crimes have become new focus for international community due to its ascendance and more sophisticated methods. The damage caused by new and emerging crimes is tremendous.

Indonesia will continue to mainstream new and emerging crimes such as cyber crimes, trafficking in cultural property, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU Fishing), and illicit wildlife trafficking. It is needed due to the fact that new and emerging crimes have not been given ample attention, sufficiently studied, defined and criminalized. Further, international cooperation in dealing with these crimes could be further enhanced. Indonesia has strong interest in having the new and emerging transnational crimes regulated more comprehensively due to the huge damage caused from the crimes. Cooperation to enhance law enforcement official's capacity and information sharing are also need to be strengthened.


Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU Fishing)

Indonesia, as archipelagic state has high interests in guarding its territory and uphold its sovereignty including against IUU Fishing. It is in line with the vision of the President Joko Widodo in establishing Indonesia as Global Maritime Fulcrum through diplomacy and developing its maritime defense strength to secure its maritime resources and exclusive economic zone. Cooperation in combating IUU Fishing will support Indonesia's strategy in strengthening its identity as maritime nation as stated in the Medium Term Development Plan 2015-2019 which is to intensify law enforcement and supervision of IUU Fishing and other damaging activites in the sea.

At the multilateral level, Indonesia is consistent in mainstreaming numerous crimes related to IUU Fishing as new transnational organized crime in various fora. It is due to the fact that IUU Fishing is a complex crime and therefore needs international cooperation in combating it. Furthermore, the international regulation on IUU Fishing is still considered minimum and not well-structured.

Indonesia's efforts in mainstreaming Maritime Transnational Organized Crimes are conducted in various fora under the framework of United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), and Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), and through Indonesia's support to insert IUU Fishing in numerous General Assembly Resolutions such as Resolution A/RES/63/112 on sustainable fisheries.

(Directorate of International Security and Disarmament)