ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh has underlined the need to boost the cooperation between ASEAN member nations and between the bloc with other countries in the fight against drug-related crime.

Addressing the Third ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters held recently in Jakarta, he said as organised criminal groups and drug traffickers are taking on a more global perspective in their operations, ASEAN must ensure that their responses to drug trafficking are equally innovative, equally prompt to adapt to changing and challenging circumstances, and equally global in their outlook.

Chair of the conference Anang Iskander, head of the National Narcotics Board of Indonesia, said despite the progress and achievements in the implementation of the ASEAN Work Plan 2009-2015, ASEAN still needs to do more and further strengthen its collaboration in addressing the threat and abuse of illicit drugs.

He emphasised the need to prevent drug syndicates and transnational crime organizations from taking advantage of ASEAN regional integration and connectivity.

Ministers shared the efforts and achievements of their respective countries and made strategic recommendations in working towards realizing ASEAN’s regional vision of being free from the menace of illicit drugs and its zero-tolerance approach.

The conference also approved the Concept Paper on the Institutionalisation of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters in order to strengthen regional collaboration against drugs at the highest levels.-VNA