Asia today accounts for 67 per cent of the world’s population and one-third of the world’s economy, and is home to multiple civilizations and nations. Asia’s peace and prosperity is closely related with the future of the humankind.
Asia today is the most vigorous and promising region. As confirmed by the OECD’s Economic Outlook, the year 2017 has only just begun and already it brings with it a strong promise for Asia of continued and robust economic growth, thanks to recent developments in regional integration. As we rejoice at new developments, we still need solidarity and cooperation among the police more than ever to deal with new security threats.
Asia today faces one of the severest security situations in the world, with incessant regional turbulence and conflicts impacting peace and stability. Spreading international terrorism, increasing organized crimes, rampant emerging crimes and cybercrimes are posing unprecedented challenges for police. Law enforcement and security cooperation in Asia should rise to the challenges and accelerate. However, Asia’s contribution to INTERPOL’s databases and its access to the databases are less than 10 per cent of the total worldwide. Thus law enforcement and security in Asia still has high potentials.
INTERPOL is cooperating with Asia to plan our joint action. I am convinced that the INTERPOL 2020 Global Reform Initiative the Secretary General and I are working on is a crucial process for global security governance. I firmly believe that Asia needs to, and is able to, play an instrumental role in guiding this process and in supporting its implementation, so that global law enforcement cooperation can be improved and security governance reform be delivered.
Just last month, and among my first missions as INTERPOL President, I met both the outgoing and incoming Secretaries-General of the United Nations in New York. This was an opportunity to discuss the role of effective international law enforcement at the highest level of the international community. We have reached an important consensus that, confronted with unprecedented changes in global governance since WWII, the roles of Asia and INTERPOL are unique and irreplaceable. In other words, Asia and INTERPOL will play unprecedented roles in the building of a new architecture of global law enforcement and security cooperation. This is a strategic opportunity and a major responsibility.
For a new global policing architecture, we need solidarity. The Asia-Pacific we live in is increasingly becoming a security community where interests are intertwined. Through candid and in-depth dialogues, we need to increase strategic mutual trust, allay suspicion and seek common ground while shelving differences and cooperate for win-win results.
For a new global policing architecture, we need innovation. Our era is full of vitality and constant innovation. Terrorists, extremists and organized crime groups are abusing the Internet and high-tech means unscrupulously to increase the intelligence of crimes. We should remain creative to keep pace with the times and fight against crimes. We need to remain adaptable and crack down upon professional crimes with our professional teams, against high-intelligence crimes with high technologies, and against high risks with efficient coordination.
For a new global policing architecture, we need cooperation. The world we live in features interconnectedness and intertwined interests – no country can enjoy its security without global security, nor at the cost of others’ security. Not only should we build a more closely knit policing community, but also a broader community of law enforcement and security together with all the stakeholders including governments, international organizations, public and private institutions, think tanks and the press.
I have an unmistakable sense of hope and expectation for the future of Asia. INTERPOL and I personally stand ready to work with our fellow police officers in Asia, through enhanced international law enforcement cooperation, to provide better security products for the people in Asia and the world, so as to make new contributions to Asian and global security. As Mr Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General said in his New Year speech: “I ask all of you to join me in making one shared New Year’s resolution: let us resolve to put peace first.” Let’s work together for the security and prosperity of Asia!
By Meng Hongwei