Ministers highlight global threats
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.