H.E. Mr. Amir Syamsuddin, Minister of Law and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia

H.E. Mohd. Radzi bin Harun, Head of the International Affairs Division, Attorney General’s Chambers Malaysia

H. E. Dr. Tun Shin, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Attorney General’s Officeof Myanmar

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, on behalf of the Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Dr. SurinPitsuwan, I would like to convey my appreciation to the Honorable Attorney General’s Chamber of Malaysia and the Secretariat for Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters to host the 6th Meeting of Senior Officials on the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.

Let me also extending my appreciation to Bapak Dr. Aidir Amin Daud, Director General for Legal Administrative Affairs of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia, for the hospitality accorded to us. I thank the Directorate General of the ASEAN Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, National Police, and related ministers. Last time I met Bapak Amir Syamsuddin at the 8th ASEAN Law Ministers Meeting on 4 – 5 November 2011 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
I would also like to acknowledge the presence of Senior Officials o the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (MLAT) from the respective ASEAN Member States.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The organization of today’s Meeting is an important step in achieving our objectives on the implementation of MLAT. As decided in the 5th Meeting of Senior Officials on the Treaty of MLAT, the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) will continue to be the observer in the implementation of MLAT and I am pleased to inform you that ASEC is committed to assist the ASEAN Member States with necessary actions.

The ASEAN Secretariat reiterates the primary goals of the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance, which are to enable ASEAN Member States to request and render the best possible measure of having mutual legal assistance in criminal matters to each member throughout their respective Central Authorities.

In doing so, thus we are strengthening our regional collaboration and cooperation in preventing, investigating and prosecuting the criminal offences.

Allow me to express my appreciation to the Secretariat for its comprehensive report concerning to progress on the implementation of the Treaty.

I would just like to encourage other member states to support the work of the Secretariat by providing update information to the legislation database, focal point database and statistic database. We certainly can look into the possibility of arranging a form of database that could be beneficial for the State Parties in providing any information related to them.

I would also like to recall the 5th Meeting of the Senior Officials on MLAT as a constructive and an encouraging one. As the Meeting was able to identify the difficulties faced by each Treaty parties, it also successfully noted on interactive discussion and comparison among Treaty Parties’ implementation laws and procedures including their relation to the endorsement of the national laws. We are now today expecting to hear the country reports of members that include the progress of above-mentioned developments.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Please allow me to briefly mention some progress in the discussion of enhancing the cooperation on the legal matters. The ASEAN Secretariat is doing every possible effort to coordinate and facilitate ASEAN’s work to ensure the success of ASEAN in realizing its community-building and integration goal.

Lately, ASEC has been engaging in many activities derived from the Charter and instruction from the ASEAN Leaders. For example, last month we hosted the Workshop on Enhanced Dispute Settlement. The idea is very simple.

We are looking at the communality and certainty that good for people and governments of ASEAN.

Undoubtedly, that meeting benefits ASEAN Member States and our partners. You have witnessed that all 10 ASEAN member states are in competition with Brazil, South Africa or other place in the world as potential place for investment, because ASEAN has the predictability.

But, ASEAN needs a grand plan for infrastructure development, while rest assured that the investors’ rights are protected. The investors, our partners need to have certainty in the future. Their interest must also be fully taken into account.

At the Workshop I saw and witnessed the ASEAN’s strong commitment in developing dispute settlement mechanism in all fields of cooperation.

Now internally in ASEAN we need to have also certainty on the MLAT. Because it is based on the core functions on MLAT, namely:
1.    Towards the establishment of the legal instrument on mutual legal assistance on criminal matters to all ASEAN Member States
2.    As an effective mechanism to facilitate our bigger objective to combat transnational crime in the ASEAN region
3.    To collect all evidences and proofs to enhance the legal cooperation in criminal matters
4.    We are in the same path and in the same spirit of multilateral action in this regard, like the UN Convention to combat corruption, drug smuggling, trafficking in person, people smuggling, anti-terrorism, and combating narcotic and drugs.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In today’s Meeting, I would like to sincerely hope that we are able to exchange views and having constructive discussion on Assets Recovery Mechanism and Supporting to the MLAT based on the experience and perspective of the ASEAN Member States.

I also appreciate the contribution made by the Financial Units/Central Banks, in particular, the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission and the Indonesian Financial Transaction Reports Analysis Centre, in sharing their expertise and knowledge on asset recovery mechanism that will enhance our Meeting.

Finally, let us work together in this Meeting in order to produce positive results. I look forward to having a fruitful and successful discussion.

Thank you.