Taiwan hosting FBI law enforcement conference for first time
Taipei, June 10 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Paul Abbate, associate deputy director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), on Monday formally opened a one-week FBI training program for senior law enforcement officers in the region, which is being held in Taiwan for the first time.
In Tsai's speech at the formal opening of the FBI National Academy's 22nd Asia-Pacific Chapter Conference, she said the choice of Taiwan as the host country was "testament to Taiwan's importance to rule of law in the international community."
"Taiwan is committed to achieving a Free and Open Indo-Pacific region," she said. "We are working with like-minded partners throughout the world to make the region a safer and prosperous place."
Tsai said Taiwan has signed memorandums of understanding with the U.S., the Philippines, Nauru and Palau on law enforcement, and its intelligence sharing networks stretch across East and Southeast Asia.
As a reliable partner and a force for good in the world, Taiwan is committed to combating international crime, she said.
In Abbate's address, he said the FBI's vision for the Indo-Pacific excludes no one.
"We seek to partner with all law enforcement agencies that respect national sovereignty, fairness, and the rule of law," he said. "Our goal is for all nations to live in prosperity, security and liberty."
Law enforcement must ensure that each country in the Asia-Pacific region is free to determine its own course, "even the smallest country," said Abbate, the highest ranking FBI official to ever visit Taiwan in an official capacity.
Also speaking at the opening, Raymond Greene, deputy director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), said that despite Taiwan's many contributions to the global community, it unfortunately is excluded from international bodies like the World Health Organization, International Civil Aviation Organization, and INTERPOL.
"In this interconnected world, Taiwan's absence not only harms its 23 million people, but also increases risks to all countries," he said.
That is why Taiwan's participation in the FBI National Academy network is important to the world's collective safety and security, Greene said.
The one-week training session in Taipei is a follow-up program for law enforcement officers who have participated in a 10-week professional course of study that is usually held in the U.S.
Some 170 senior law enforcement agents from more than 20 countries in the Asia Pacific region are attending the conference.
According to information from the FBI National Academy, it has trained more than 50,000 officers from around the world since the 10-week program was launched in 1935.
Officers from Taiwan's Investigation Bureau and National Police Agency have been participating in the 10-week training course in the U.S. since 1961, and some 36 of them have graduated from the program, according to the Ministry of Justice.
The FBI National Academy's 22nd Asia-Pacific Chapter Conference is being held in Taipei until June 14 under the theme "Combating Organized Crime in the Asia Pacific Region through Global Partnerships, Networks and Education."
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