Attorney General Eric Holder is traveling to Auckland, New Zealand, for the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Quintet of Attorneys General of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The central theme of the Quintet meeting will be strategies for combatting sexual violence against women and children. The Attorneys General will be exchanging best practices for domestic investigations and prosecutions of these serious crimes, as well as working to improve their joint response to transnational sexual violence, including in the contexts of human trafficking, online child pornography and armed conflicts.
“The Quintet of Attorneys General is one of our most important channels for enhancing cooperation with key allies in the fight against terrorism and transnational crime,” said Attorney General Holder. “One of my highest priorities as Attorney General has been to work to prevent and to punish sexual violence against women and children. I greatly value this opportunity to meet with my counterparts from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – countries with which we share both common values and a common legal tradition – to discuss how we can improve our cooperation, with each other and with countries around the world, in the vital effort to fight sexual violence against women and children.”
Under the leadership of Attorney General Holder, the Justice Department has made significant strides in punishing and preventing sexual violence as well as assisting victims of sexual violence, including through the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Protocol (SAFE), the Sexual Assault Backlog Initiative, the Defending Childhood Initiative, the expanded Project Safe Childhood as well as the Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online. Fifty countries now participate in the Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online which Attorney General Holder co-founded with European Union Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom in 2012.
The Quintet will also focus on other forms of violent crime, including gun violence, as well as on victims’ rights and on the use of technology in prosecutions. In addition, experts will report on the Quintet’s ongoing collaboration against cybercrime and on the use of asset forfeiture to halt the financing of criminal and terrorist groups.
The goal of the Quintet meetings is to seek practical steps that can be taken to improve the abilities of the five countries to investigate and prosecute criminal and terrorist activity. Themes of prior Quintet meetings have included: the use of national security information in terrorism prosecutions; improving mutual legal assistance to fight cybercrime; strategies for countering violent extremism; and cross-jurisdiction actions against organized crime groups.
The U.S. Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime specifically references the importance of supporting multilateral senior law enforcement exchanges to promote the sharing of criminal intelligence and enhance cooperation, such as the Quintet of Attorneys-General and the Strategic Alliance Group, established with the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Prior meetings of the Quintet have taken place in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and Canada.
On his return trip from New Zealand, Attorney General Holder will meet with U.S. Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), and other officials to review ongoing law enforcement collaboration between the Department of Justice and PACOM, and to plan future cooperation in the region. The Attorney General and Admiral Locklear will continue their discussions on how they are working collaboratively to counter terrorism, transnational crime and narcotics trafficking in the Pacific region.