Asean member states and dialogue partners have committed to enhance their cooperation efforts in combating transnational crimes in a bid to maintain the security at and across borders in the Asean region.
The 17th Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime and its related meetings kicked off in Vientiane yesterday in support of Asean-centred regional and international cooperation efforts.
Formally opened by Lao Minister of Public Security Major General SomkeoSilavong, the meeting was attended by delegates from 10 Asean member countries and dialogue partners including China, Japan, Republic of Korea, India, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Canada and the United States.
The meeting aims to enhance cooperation in combating transnational crime by improving security at borders and immigration checkpoints across the Asean region. In the crosshairs are crimes such as terrorism and people smuggling, trafficking in illicit drugs, protected wildlife and timber, money laundering, arms smuggling, sea piracy, cyber and economic crimes, official document forgeries and illegal immigration.
In his opening remarks, Minister of Public Security Major General Somkeo Silavong said the meeting was important to review the past implementation of cooperation among Asean and its dialogue partners. “We will also discuss the future plan for enhancing cooperation on transnational crimes to ensure it declines in its entirety,” he said.
He noted that transnational crimes remain a threat for socio-economic development as well as the public and societal security across the region.
"Cross-border crimes and transnational crimes pose a direct risk for social safety, security and socio economic development in Asean. None of us can ever solve these problems alone because the wrongdoers have adapted tactics frequently using high-tech devices and methods,” Somkeo said.
He added that it is priority for senior officials of Asean to join hands in combating various crimes to ensure the well-being of people in the region and continue to protect Asean member states from devastating impacts through speedier, tough and more effective responses in preventing such crimes.