Min­is­ters high­light global threats

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS - ANELISA KUBHEKA

CY­BER­CRIMES, ter­ror­ism, counter-ter­ror­ism, money laun­der­ing, hu­man traf­fick­ing and transna­tional or­gan­ised crimes were a ma­jor talking point yes­ter­day, be­fore BRICS se­cu­rity min­is­ters went into a closed meet­ing.

Min­is­ters from Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia, China and South Africa met at Dur­ban’s Ma­ha­rani Ho­tel for day two of their 8th BRICS Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vis­ers (NSAs) meet­ing ahead of the sum­mit next month.

In­dia’s NSA, Ajit Doval, said ter­ror­ism was an is­sue con­fronting all BRICS na­tions and it had reached new pro­por­tions. Ter­ror­ists were us­ing tech­nolo­gies and ex­ploit­ing le­gal loop­holes in the sys­tem to fur­ther their agen­das.

He said ter­ror­ist net­works were be­com­ing com­plex and in­ter­con­nected with the spon­sor­ship of ter­ror­ism by some states con­tin­u­ing. Doval called for an ef­fec­tive in­ter­na­tional mech­a­nism to ver­ify the ac­tions of the states to elim­i­nate safe havens of ter­ror­ism from these ter­ri­to­ries.

“New methods of ter­ror fi­nanc­ing such as vir­tual cur­ren­cies have been used. The ab­sence of any global regime to tackle such dig­i­tal trans­ac­tions is an area of se­ri­ous con­cern. Ter­ror­ists have been suc­cess­ful in get­ting ac­cess to arms, am­mu­ni­tion and ex­plo­sives. There is no doubt that this is­sue needs spe­cial fo­cus dur­ing this meet­ing.”

Doval said the use of in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy (ICT) had be­come an in­te­gral part of in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture and there was a need for an ef­fec­tive and in­ter­na­tional frame­work for se­cur­ing ICT sys­tems.

South African Min­is­ter of State Se­cu­rity, Dipuo Let­satsi-Duba, said in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions now played out in in­creas­ingly di­verse ways. While South Africa had pro­gressed into the era of the Fourth In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion, it con­tin­ued to face a range of is­sues chal­leng­ing na­tional se­cu­rity and sovereignty.

“Be­yond con­ven­tional mil­i­tary buildups, this in­cludes new cy­ber sources of hard and soft power, re­con­fig­ured trade and in­vest­ment needs, chang­ing al­liance dy­nam­ics and po­ten­tial flash­points re­lated to global en­vi­ron­ment. The evolv­ing world we live in re­quires us to keep track with its mul­ti­fac­eted and dy­namic changes es­pe­cially as it re­lates to se­cu­rity is­sues.”

She said the world faced a num­ber of emerg­ing threats: “These range from coun­ter­ing in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ism, rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion and vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism, drug traf­fick­ing, pro­lif­er­a­tion of weapons of mass de­struc­tion and con­ven­tional arms, money laun­der­ing and un­con­sti­tu­tional regime change to man­ag­ing eco­nomic melt­down, en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion, forced mi­gra­tion, food se­cu­rity and an il­licit econ­omy.”

Let­satsi-Duba said the global na­ture of such se­cu­rity is­sues showed there was no re­spect for bor­ders, which im­plied these is­sues were eas­ily im­ported and neg­a­tively im­pacted sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity within South Africa.

Brazil’s Min­is­ter of the In­sti­tu­tional Se­cu­rity Cabi­net, Gen­eral Ser­gio Etchegoyen, said they wel­comed the di­a­logue BRICS had es­tab­lished in the do­main of in­tel­li­gence and counter-ter­ror­ism. “Brazil has made much progress in this field over the last cou­ple of years. Our le­gal frame­work is much more solid now with a spe­cific counter-ter­ror­ism act and re­lated na­tional in­tel­li­gence pol­icy and plan.”

He also wel­comed BRICS mem­bers’ will­ing­ness to move for­ward with the pro­posal of cre­at­ing a BRICS in­tel­li­gence fo­rum, which was dis­cussed at yes­ter­day’s closed meet­ing. Peace­keep­ing and transna­tional or­gan­ised crime were also dis­cussed in the closed meet­ing, where it was then re­solved that dis­cus­sions around them would be held be­fore the end of the year.

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