Fiji revives counter-terrorism efforts

February 21, 2024 12:15 pm

Fiji is taking proactive steps to strengthen its counter-terrorism capabilities, with a three-day workshop currently underway.

Ministry of Home Affairs Permanent Secretary, Mason Smith, emphasized the importance of this initiative in light of the interconnected world.

Smith noted the presence of the Fijian diaspora worldwide, as well as representatives at the United Nations who consistently address this issue, and highlighted the potential for overseas events to have both direct and indirect impacts on Fiji.

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“We have to be realistic about the chances of it happening in Fiji. What we don’t want to see happen is that we let our guard down. And then, once something happens, we have to pick up the pieces. It’s better to now start preparing to try and prevent it.”

Smith says terrorism knows no bounds.

“It’s quite a complex issue. That’s why Fiji needs to have a bill that is the overarching umbrella legislation that will define Fiji’s policy on terrorism and provide a directive to the whole of the government’s effort in dealing with terrorist activities.”

Smith adds that the cabinet had agreed to revive the counterterrorism effort through the development of a national counterterrorism strategy and a bill.

He adds that since then, several steps have been taken to ensure that cabinet intent is operationalized.