ASEAN senior officials on drug matters (ASOD) gathered at their 35th meeting and related events in Makati City, the Philippines from July 1 to 4.

The meeting looked at how to strengthen border, air and seaport control and promote joint operations, adopt the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)’s international standards on drug use prevention, and increase access to alternative models on treatment and rehabilitation.

Besides issues involving the facilitation of partnership programmes with local non-governmental and civil society organisations, dialogue partners and international organisations, they also exchanged information about the emergence of new psychoactive substances.

Back-to-back coordination meeting with its dialogue partners was held with a view to seeking a greater bilateral dialogue and cooperation to combat drug threat in the region.

They also discussed follow-up decisions and recommendations made by ASEAN member states, as adopted by the first Special Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters in Thailand in August 2012 and the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters in Brunei in September 2013.

The annual ASOD meeting is meant to monitor the realisation and coordination of drug policies and action plans, towards a drug-free ASEAN by 2015.-VNA