Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam (third from left) and delegates (Source: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam hosted a reception in Hanoi on October 18 for heads of delegations attending the sixth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters (AMMD-6). 

Dam said the consensus on opinions and actions reached, as well as initiatives tabled, during the AMMD-6 have laid an important foundation for Vietnam to successfully undertake the role of Chair of the AMMD for the next two years. 

According to Dam, despite the concerted efforts of ASEAN member states in actively working together to prevent illegal drug use and production, figures in these fields are still on the rise.

He expressed concern over the use of methamphetamines, citing that the rate of users of this kind of drug in several Vietnamese regions amounts to 70-80 percent. 

The host wished that ASEAN legal enforcement agencies will increase joint works to fight drug crimes; prevent the plantation of poppy, production, trade, and trafficking of drugs; and combat money laundering. He also hoped they would share experience in rehabilitation for victims of drug abuse. 

Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Prajin Juntong affirmed that drugs are a complicated and transnational issue, which therefore requires close coordination among countries towards a drug-free ASEAN community. 

He said over the past few years, ASEAN legal enforcement agencies have raided major drug production and trafficking cases via a supervisory mechanism on roads, waterways, and airways. 

ASEAN has built and adopted an action plan to prevent the spread of drug use in the ASEAN community for the 2016-2025 period, as well as launched the ASEAN Cooperation Plan in the fight against illicit drug production and trafficking in the Golden Triangle area for the 2017-2018 period. 

ASEAN member states also launching initiatives such as an information centre on drug prevention and control, and working groups on legal enforcements against drugs via airways and seaports. –VNA