A virtual workshop on combating illegal activity related to COVID-19 was held by Taiwan, Australia, Japan and the U.S. under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework Oct. 28 in Taipei City, spotlighting the like-minded partners’ commitment to countering internet-facilitated schemes and disinformation.
Organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau, Australian Office Taipei, Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association and American Institute in Taiwan, the one-day event addressed criminal developments that have arisen or worsened amid the pandemic.
During his opening remarks, MOFA Deputy Minister Tien Chung-kwang said COVID-19 has created tremendous challenges such as hoarding of personal protective equipment and spreading of disinformation. Countries must cooperate to create a safety net protecting against such illegal activities, Tien said.
Echoing his comments, AIT Deputy Director Raymond Greene said excluding Taiwan from international crime-fighting efforts creates loopholes that can be exploited by bad actors. The workshop serves as an opportunity for Taiwan to share its expertise with participants working to address these issues, he added.
According to the organizers, more than 300 attendees from 31 countries took part in the workshop to learn best practices from the four host nations’ law enforcement experts and share their own experiences. MOJ Minister Tsai Ching-hsiang and JTEA Deputy Rep. Yokochi Akira also spoke at the event, while AOT Rep. Gary Cowan delivered a recorded message.
Launched in 2015 by Taiwan and the U.S. to build capacity and strengthen multilateral cooperation among like-minded partners, GCTF has grown to include Australia, Japan and Sweden.
A total of 27 workshops involving more than 900 experts and government officials from 60 countries have been staged to date under the initiative, spanning areas such as disaster relief, education, environmental protection, humanitarian assistance, public health and women’s empowerment. (SFC-E)