The 47th Arab Police and Security Leaders Conference concluded in Tangier, Morocco Thursday. The two-day event, organized by Morocco, represented by the General Directorate for National Security (DGSN), in partnership with the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers, brought together representatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the African Union Mechanism for Police Cooperation (AFRIPOL), the Naif Arab University for Security Sciences (NAUSS).
The meeting was attended by most Arab countries, including Morocco, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Tunisia, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Comoros Islands, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Egypt, Mauritania and Yemen, the Moroccan Press Agency (MPA) reported.
The Conference was an opportunity to discuss various topics, including the use of modern technologies in the fight against terrorism and organized crime. Recommendations from the conferences of security leaders and committee meetings held within the framework of the General Secretariat during 2023 were also be examined at this conference.
Speaking at the opening session, Morocco’s Director General of National Security and Territorial Surveillance, Abdellatif Hammouchi, underlined that hosting this large-scale event in Morocco, in particular the city of Tangier, reflects the Kingdom’s commitment to consolidating security in the Arab region and ensuring stability throughout the Arab world. He noted that holding this meeting comes at a time marked by the resurgence of several forms of cross-border crime in different countries around the world, and in a situation which remains open to numerous security challenges with the rise of the terrorist threat and its links with cross-border organized crime networks.
Hammouchi underlined that the greatest challenges facing the world today are those linked to the expansion of the terrorist threat, due to the emergence of regional groupings of terrorist organizations, particularly in the Sahel-Sahara countries.
“The Arab region is also confronted with increasing flows of irregular migrants as part of organized criminal networks, which often rely on the security infiltration of checkpoints at the national borders of States, in addition to the increasing risks linked to challenges posed by drug and psychotropic substance trafficking networks, particularly with the proliferation of many synthetic drugs which push many users to commit violent crimes,” he added.
In this regard, Hammouchi noted that security services have witnessed, during the post-Covid phase, an increase in cybercrime indicators and the proliferation of fraud and cyber-extortion cases, which constitutes a serious threat for national economies, the security of countries and the personal data of citizens, with the emergence of numerous complex crimes, highlighting the need to form a joint security front to fight the terrorist threat and criminal networks, to eradicate rear training bases, to dry up financing sources, and to fight the refuges of criminal networks.
Furthermore, he emphasized the importance of the issues covered during this conference, which make the connection between the security aspect and the need to coordinate efforts and exchange experiences, in order to ensure an effective fight and a resolute response to all phenomena and the use of new technologies in terrorist operations, as well as the humanitarian dimension, through the integration of a coordination mechanism between Arab countries to promote the social role of the police and allow it to optimally exercise its security missions.
The Director General of National Security and Territorial Surveillance also reiterated Morocco’s commitment to supporting Arab and international cooperation and strengthening mechanisms to combat terrorism and different forms of organized crime.
At the start of this meeting, Hammouchi presented to the participants a video which highlights Morocco and its security forces as well as the various aspects of development and modernization in the Kingdom under the wise leadership of HM King Mohammed VI. This video was broadcast during the presentation of the Moroccan candidacy to host the 93rd session of the General Assembly of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), which will be held in Marrakech in 2025.
For his part, Secretary General of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers, Mohammed Ben Ali Koman, expressed his sincere thanks and deep gratitude to His Majesty King Mohammed VI for His sustained efforts in the service of Arab issues and the strengthening of international peace and security and for the continued attention paid by the Sovereign to joint Arab action in security issues.
He pointed out that Morocco’s organization of the 2030 World Cup, alongside Spain and Portugal, reflects the trust in its national authorities, which will certainly contribute to strengthening the radiant image of Arab countries.
Lastly, Interpol President, Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi, praised the sustained development of Morocco as well as the efficiency and professionalism of its security institutions which make the Kingdom a haven of security and peace and a reliable partner in the efforts to build a more secure and stable world.
This conference was marked by a presentation on the Moroccan experience in the fight against cybercrime, in particular the legal and regulatory framework and the mechanisms for combating this crime. In a similar presentation, the Qatari security delegation highlighted Qatar’s experience in organizing and securing the 2022 FIFA World Cup.