Regional Workshop for Police Officers and Prosecutors in South Asia on Effectively Countering Terrorism
Colombo, Sri Lanka
The RCSS, along with the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation, organized a Regional Workshop for Police Officers and Prosecutors in South Asia on Effectively Countering Terrorism. The workshop was hosted by the Government of Sri Lanka, in association with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and was organized with the support of the Governments of Australia and Canada. The three-day workshop held from 8-10 June 2010 provided an unconventional forum for senior-level police officers and prosecutors to consider specific issues that arise in counter-terrorism cases. Participants in the workshop considered steps to strengthen international cooperation in investigations and prosecution, including the possibility of developing a joint regional training mechanism. Participants at the workshop included police and prosecutors from all eight member States of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Their discussions were facilitated with input from the Commonwealth Secretariat, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Marshals Services. The SAARC Secretariat also participated as an observer. The Colombo workshop builds on an earlier workshop, held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 8 to 10 November 2009. These meetings are part of a series of workshops, which aim to develop discussion among police, prosecutors and the judiciary on how to counter terrorism effectively in South Asia. At the Colombo workshop, the police participating in the discussion focused primarily on methods of terrorist financing, including, connections to organized crime, while prosecutors focused on measures to strengthen witness protection. Both groups also discussed the central role of fair treatment, due process and human rights in the process of countering terrorism. Broader goals of the process are to help build trust and promote the cross-border working relationships necessary to counter terrorism effectively and to lay the foundations for improved regional counterterrorism cooperation.