KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and New Zealand must continue to work in deepening their engagement and collaboration in facing the challenging and tough time in the post-pandemic era, including in areas related to security and terrorism.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said while ASEAN and New Zealand will continue to work together in existing traditional strategic areas, moving forward in the post-pandemic era, a more comprehensive collaboration and coordinated approach is needed to deal with existing and newly emerging security threats, particularly non-traditional security issues such as migration, cyber security, as well as terrorism and violent extremism.
“We must remain vigilant on the threats posed by terrorism. Many terrorist and criminal activities are becoming increasingly subversive, taking advantage of the increased time people spend being connected at home, resulting in the spread of online propaganda.
“We should remain committed to tackling the threat of terrorism by addressing its root causes, strengthening policies, legal frameworks and enforcement,” he said in his intervention at the ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit held Saturday.
The summit, which was held as part of the 37th ASEAN Summit, was hosted by Vietnam via video conference due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
It was chaired by Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, as the host country for this year’s ASEAN Summit. Also attending the Summit were New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Country Coordinator of ASEAN-New Zealand Dialogue Relations Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Economy and Finance Minister Aun Pornmoniroth.
New Zealand became ASEAN’s Dialogue Partner in 1975.
ASEAN-New Zealand dialogue relations have progressed by leaps and bounds over the past 45 years. This is reflected through the strengthening of cooperation framework between ASEAN and New Zealand in the key areas of political-security, economy and socio-culture, with the full implementation of the ASEAN-New Zealand Plan of Action (2016-2020).
During the session, Muhyiddin also commended Arden’s leadership and New Zealand’s government for its swift action in handling and restoring peace and security following the terror attack in Christchurch in March 2019.
The terror attack at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in inner city of Christchurch killed 51 worshippers and injuring 49 others. Three Malaysians were also injured in the attack.
The Prime Minister also called on ASEAN and New Zealand to step up cooperation, especially to preserve global supply chain connectivity.
“In mitigating the economic impact posed by COVID-19, ASEAN and New Zealand need to chart a course towards early economic recovery, by harnessing potential opportunities, guarding against protectionism, boosting resilience, and maintaining open markets,” he added.
Muhyiddin said ASEAN and New Zealand should also intensify cooperation in issues such as environment and climate change.
“As we face these challenging and tough times together, it is of utmost importance that ASEAN and New Zealand continue to deepen our engagement and chart our path towards shaping a better world for all our people,” the Prime Minister added.
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