APEC Stakeholders Highlight Importance of NGOs in Combating Illicit Trade


From September 23-15, 2013 government agencies, law enforcement agencies, judges and prosecutors, private sector organizations and NGOs met in Bangkok, Thailand for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Pathfinder Dialogue with ASEAN and PIF Partners on Corruption and Illicit Trade. The meeting provided a platform for stakeholders to network and discuss shortfalls, potential obstacles and best practices for combating corruption and illicit trade across the Asia-Pacific region. Many of the discussions had an emphasis on environmental crime and trafficking in persons where corruption flourishes. Many of the agencies represented highlighted the importance of working closely with NGO partners to not only engage the general public concerning illicit trade but also provide capacity building initiatives and communications support. Steve Galster, Chief of Party of the USAID-funded ARREST Program (Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking) played a large role during the event showcasing the successes of the ARREST Program in building regional partnerships between governmental, non-governmental and international organizations in the region and by supporting transnational cooperation through agencies such as ASEAN-Wildlife Enforcement Network (WEN).


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