At the opening of the meeting (Photo: VNA)
Singapore (VNA) – The ASEAN adopted a Work Plan on Securing Communities against Illicit Drugs for the 2016-2025 period during the fifth Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters that concluded in Singapore on October 20.

At the two-day event, about 100 delegates who are heads of the national committees for drug prevention and combat from the10 member countries also agreed to launch the green and white ribbon as the symbol of the fight against drug abuse.

Member countries were encouraged to use the symbol in their drug prevention education campaigns and activities.

Addressing the event, Singaporean Deputy Minister Teo Chee Hean underscored that drug production, abuse, transport and trafficking is a challenge for ASEAN, requiring closer cooperation among countries as well as a strong enough mechanism.

Participants agreed that the Golden Triangle remains a “hotspot” of drug production, while acknowledging Thailand ’s proposal on an ASEAN cooperation project in combating the illegal drug production and transport in the area.

They reiterated the ASEAN Joint Statement during the 59 th session of the Commission of Narcotic Drugs in Vienna , Austria on March 14, 2016 as well as at the Special Session of the UN General Assembly in New York on April 19, 2016.

They also called on member countries to continue maintaining solidarity and unity at these sessions and other related events.

Speaking at the meeting, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Public Security Senior Lieutenant General Le Quy Vuong voiced concern about new trends reflecting differences and even contradictions in drug prevention and control policies around the world.

Vietnam shares the ASEAN’s common stance of intolerance to drug and pursues a long-term goal of building a drug-free region which is suitable to the drug prevention and control policies of the Vietnamese Government, he stated.

Along with fostering intra-bloc cooperation, ASEAN should expand its partnership with countries outside to make full use of international resources, contributing to fulfilling the Work Plan, he stressed.

He highlighted the need for the association to continue showing solidarity and unity in raising viewpoints on drug control globally, contributing to the joint efforts of the world community in the field.

Vietnam has worked hard to join ASEAN activities in the work, he said, noting that Hanoi successfully hosted the sixth conference of ASEAN working group on prevention and control of drug trafficking through aviation on May 9-12, 2016 while fulfilling all commitments to the region.

Currently, Vietnam is finalising a national programme on drug prevention and control for the 2016-2020 period in line with the Work Plan, said Sen. Lieut. Gen. Vuong, adding that the Vietnamese Government also pledges to continue working with other ASEAN countries in the fight.

The country will seriously implement anti-drug initiatives and joint efforts as well as decisions of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters, he declared.

This meeting marked an important milestone in the institutionalisation of the biennial Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters.

Vietnam will host the sixth event in 2018.-VNA