The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF),

Recalling:

- the purpose of the ASEAN Charter of 2007 article 1 paragraph 8 which highlights the importance to respond effectively, in accordance with the principle of comprehensive security, to all forms of threats, transnational crimes and transboundary challenges;

- the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988, in particular article 12 on substances frequently used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances;

- the Political Declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its twentieth special session on the World Drug Problem, in which Member States established 2008 as a target date for States to eliminate or reduce significantly, among others, the diversion of precursors,

- United Nations General Assembly Resolution S-20/4 B adopted on 10 June 1998 in which Member States decided to promote the exchange of experience relating to police, customs and other administrative investigation, interception, detection and control of diversion of precursors,

- the Bangkok Political Declaration in Pursuit of a Drug-Free ASEAN 2015 adopted at the International Congress “In Pursuit of a Drug-Free ASEAN 2015: Sharing the Vision, Leading the Change” held in Bangkok, Thailand from 11 to 13 October 2000, which declared continued political will and commitment to reduce the illicit supply of drugs, particularly Amphetamine-Type Stimulants (ATS);

- the Beijing Declaration adopted at the Second International Congress of the ASEAN and China Cooperative Operation in Response to Dangerous Drugs (ACCORD) held in Beijing on 18 -20 October 2005, which among others, notes with deep concern that the illicit manufacture, traffic, distribution of ATS is spreading radiply and endorsed the Regional Joint Action against ATS-related Crimes Initiative;

- the Siem Reap Declaration adopted in May 2005 which notes with concern the rapid increase of ATS abuse among children, the youth, and persons in labour-intensive activities;

- the Resolution 50/5 of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs adopted at its 50th Session in March 2007 entitled “Identifying sources of precursors used in illicit drug manufacture”, which among others invites the International Narcotics Control Board, with Member States, relevant international bodies and existing initiatives such Project Prism, to continue to identify the main sources of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and 1-phenyl-2-propanone supplied to the main regions manufacturing ATS, the methods of diversion employed and the trafficking routes used;

- the Resolution 50/6 of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs adopted at its 50th Session, “Promoting Collaboration on the Prevention of Diversion of Precursors”, encouraging the Asian Collaborative Group on Local Precursor Control (ACoG) and the International Forum on Control of Precursors for ATS (IFCP) to take forward the ACoG/IFCP Work Program;

- the Resolution of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (50/10) adopted at its 50th Session on the “Prevention of Diversion of Drug Precursors and Other Substances Used for the Illicit Manufacture of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances” which emphasised the heightened concern about the diversion of non-controlled substances to circumvent legal controls;

- the 2007 Report of the International Narcotics Control Board, in particular recommendations 12, 13 and 14 in which the board calls upon all competent authorities effecting seizures or intercepting shipments of precursors to investigate those cases; encourages governments to register for and use the PEN Online system; and requested all competent authorities to provide information on annual legitimate requirements of the precursor chemicals as stipulated in article 12 of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances; and

- the ASEAN Regional Forum Seminar on Narcotics Controls on 19-21 September 2007 and the Sixth ASEAN Regional Forum Inter-Sessional Meeting on Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime on 21-22 February 2008 in which this Statement was proposed and discussed.

Recognizing that different challenges in reducing the supply of ATS are faced by ARF participants, but that common characteristics of the manufacture of ATS exist among ARF participants, principally the reliance of the illicit manufacture of ATS on the availability of precursor chemicals used also in licit manufacture, as well as the increased misuse of non-controlled substances in the illicit manufacture of ATS;

Reaffirming the importance of applying national precursor controls with effectiveness throughout the region and the world, as a means of avoiding the displacement of diversion points across national borders;

Acknowledging the role of ACCORD and ACoG in striving to improve the control of ATS precursors in the region through enhanced collaboration on regulatory, administrative and legislative controls and practices;

Notes with concern the continued availability of precursors for illicit drug manufacture and the illicit supply and demand of ATS, including its spread to other parts of the world;

Calls upon Member States to continue cooperation with the International Narcotics Control Board as the principal body and global focal point for the international control of precursors to ATS and illicit drugs such as heroin;

Urges competent national authorities of ARF participants to work in cooperation with each other and with existing mechanisms to strengthen the control of precursors to illicit drug manufacture, including:

a. the International Narcotics Control Board,

b. the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime,

c. the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime,

d. the ASEAN Senior Officials on Drug Matters,

e. the ASEAN-China Cooperative Operations in Response to Dangerous Drugs,

f. the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Regional Centre for East Asia and the Pacific and

g. ACoG;

Calls upon ARF participants to promote the objectives of ACoG in particular to identify opportunities for cooperation and support for building capacity in the region to respond to the threats of diversion of precursors into illicit drug manufacture;

Calls upon ARF participants to promote the ACCORD Plan of Action and its four pillars as well as to implement the follow-up activities related to the Regional Joint Action on ATS and Their Precursors;

Decides to promote collaboration among ARF participants on activities implemented by existing mechanisms including ACCORD and ACoG.