The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) will enhance cooperation to effectively meet the challenges posed by non-traditional security issues, according to the ASEAN Secretariat.

ASEAN’s Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) reaffirmed the commitment to combat this security challenge in Siem Reap, Cambodia on June 8-11.

To counter the increasing incidences of transnational crimes and to institutionalise the ASEAN cooperation framework, the meeting unanimously agreed to adopt the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) and the ASEAN Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (APA) which will be sent to the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime for endorsement.

The senior officials discussed the rise of violence and brutality committed by extremist organisations and radical groups in Iraq and Syria. They noted Malaysia's plan to host a Special Ministerial Meeting on the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism to address the challenges posed to ASEAN.

Further, they discussed the complexity of irregular migration and the suffering of the victims who fall prey to human trafficking and people-smuggling crimes. As this issue needed urgent attention, they noted Malaysia's intention to host an Emergency Ministerial Meeting on the Issue of Irregular Movement of People in Southeast Asia on July 2.

The SOMTC also held consultations with Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia, the United States and the Plus Three.

All dialogue partners agreed to enhance and deepen cooperation with ASEAN in efforts to suppress transnational crime in the region.

In addition, the senior officials met Representatives from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Australia-Asia Program to Combat Trafficking in Persons (AAPTIP) and International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to further strengthen cooperation and collaboration with these organisations.-VNA