JAKARTA, 4 December 2014 – “As organized criminal groups and drug traffickers are taking on a more global perspective in their operations, we must ensure that our responses to drug trafficking are equally innovative, equally prompt to adapt to changing and challenging circumstances, and equally global in our outlook,” ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh said yesterday in his statement at the Third ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters held yesterday in Jakarta.  In his opening remarks, Police Commissioner General Anang Iskandar, Head of the National Narcotics Board of Indonesia and Chair of the Meeting, emphasised the need to prevent drug syndicates and transnational crime organizations from taking advantage of ASEAN regional integration and connectivity. Despite the progress and achievements in the implementation of the ASEAN Work Plan 2009-2015, ASEAN still needs to do more and further strengthen its collaboration in addressing the threat and abuse of illicit drugs, he stressed.

Illicit drugs represent a multi-dimensional threat that requires actions not only by governments but also by industries and other relevant actors. Therefore, actions at the national and regional levels should be in tandem in terms of promoting public health, prevention, treatment and economic and social progress, Secretary-General Minh said.

As part of their deliberations, the Ministers shared the efforts and achievements of their respective countries as well as highlighted the need to have closer cooperation amongst Member States including intensified anti-drugs trafficking campaign to address current and future challenges. The Meeting also made strategic recommendations in working towards realizing ASEAN’s regional vision of being free from the menace of illicit drugs and its zero-tolerance approach.

In charting their future cooperation, the Ministers approved the Concept Paper on the Institutionalisation of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters in order to strengthen regional collaboration against drugs at the highest levels.

The Ministerial Meeting further adopted the Chairman’s Statement which appears here.