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19 May 2015

INTERPOL meeting in Bucharest aims to set the course for European security

BUCHAREST, Romania – Senior law enforcement officials from throughout Europe have gathered in Bucharest for the 43rd INTERPOL European Regional Conference to enhance regional responses to the most pressing threats to global security.

With transnational organized crime networks increasingly taking advantage of porous physical borders and the lack of virtual borders in cyberspace, the three-day (19 - 21 May) conference will focus on developing regional strategies to tackle these emerging security challenges.

Some 150 participants from 52 countries and 13 international organizations will review a variety of issues affecting the European region including border security, human trafficking, cybercrime, terrorism and foreign fighters, and financial crime.

Romania’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs, Gabriel Oprea, said that, as one of the founding countries of INTERPOL, Romania strives to make full use of INTERPOL’s global tools, services and law enforcement network to increase the level of security throughout Europe.

“With its 190 members, INTERPOL has developed and has become a valued ally in the fight against international organized crime. Ensuring this fight is successful will depend on the operational cooperation between all member countries,” said Vice Prime Minister Oprea.

INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock said recent global events, starting with the Paris attacks in January and continuing to include other attacks worldwide, have altered the security landscape and highlighted the need for governments worldwide to support law enforcement, both within their borders and at the international level.

“For strengthening responses to the new threat level, governments worldwide have been relooking at the global architecture of security. INTERPOL has been recognized as an important part of this architecture,” said the INTERPOL Chief.

With terrorism taking a prominent position on the current global security agenda, INTERPOL’s critical role in assisting member countries’ efforts to limit terrorist funding and prevent foreign fighters from traveling to conflict zones has been recognized by the United Nations Security Council.

Secretary General Stock encouraged countries to increase their information sharing through INTERPOL’s criminal databases, which will assist countries in securing their borders from various threats.

“Whether it be organized crime, such as that facilitating illegal immigration across borders, crimes of cyberspace, or the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, the importance of information exchange applies across the board. All international tools, resources, procedures and response mechanisms might not be as effective if the necessary information is not available from the beginning,” he said.

Highlighting how the new INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore is helping lead international efforts against cybercrime, recent research undertaken by cyberthreat specialists at the IGCI identified a threat to the very DNA of virtual currencies which could result in their being embedded with malware or other illegal data, including child abuse images.

Officials at the conference will look to adopt a set of measures to facilitate European cross-border police cooperation, enhance interregional collaboration to dismantle foreign terrorist fighter networks, and promote widespread use of the tools and services of the IGCI to tackle all forms of cybercrime.