ASEAN Cooperation in Combating Transnational Crime Moving Towards 2015 and Beyond
Dr Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN, highlighted the achievements of the AMMTC and the challenges that lie ahead for all Sectoral Bodies under its purview, especially the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC), the ASEAN Directors-General on Immigration Departments and Heads of Consular Affairs Division of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (DGICM). He encouraged ASEAN Member States to instill a sense of urgency in all Sectoral Bodies and mechanisms of ASEAN to intensify ASEAN community building, in this case especially in cooperation on combating transnational crime.
The Meeting was presented with Member States’ progress reports on combating transnational crimes in their countries. AMMTC Ministers also noted that the most progressive achievements are in the areas of counter-terrorism, with the ASEAN Convention on Counter-Terrorism (ACCT)’s entry into force on 27 May 2011 and trafficking in persons, currently exploring the feasibility of developing an ASEAN Convention on Trafficking in Persons (ACTIP).
“As we embark full speed toward the ASEAN Community 2015, we must make sure that our integration will also be safe and secure from transnational crimes of all sorts. Our community must not only be prosperous, but peaceful and free from drugs and crimes,” said Dr Surin.
Dr Surin Pitsuwan concluded that it is critical for the AMMTC to maintain its proactive role in responding to challenges facing the region. Sectoral Bodies under the AMMTC should develop greater practical cooperation in the context of moving beyond declarations of common positions and eventually achieve the ultimate goal of establishing regional peace and stability.