1. We, the ASEAN Ministers overseeing the issues of transnational crime, gathered on 29 November 2005 in Ha Noi, to strengthen our commitment to enhance cooperation on combating transnational crime. The Meeting was preceded by a Preparatory Senior Officials Meeting for the 5th AMMTC held on 28 November 2005.
2. We welcome the adoption of the Vientiane Action Programme, in particular, programme areas and measures under the ASEAN Security Community and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, which, inter alia, envisage an enhanced coordination among ASEAN bodies responsible for combating transnational crime.
3. We view with concern the growing linkages of transnational crime, the increasing sophistication of their modus operandi and their destructive capability, which pose a direct challenge to the attainment of peace, progress and prosperity of ASEAN and the realisation of ASEAN Vision 2020. In light of this, we are committed to accelerate the implementation of the Work Programme to implement the ASEAN Plan of Action to Combat Transnational Crime.
4. We also view with concern the growing challenges of terrorism and other transnational crimes, including illicit drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, money laundering, arms smuggling, sea piracy, international economic crime and cyber crime. We therefore note with appreciation the decision of the 5th Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) to review the Work Programme to maintain its relevance and adequacy in responding to the challenges posed by the aforementioned crimes. We subsequently endorsed the revised Work Programme. We take note of the transfer of the Lead Shepherdship for the arms smuggling component of the revised Work Programme from Brunei Darussalam to Cambodia.
5. We held a Retreat to candidly exchange views, and agreed on the need for a more systematic and comprehensive Work Programme. We agreed on the need to enhance the coordination amongst our relevant national agencies, and to ensure that their efforts are in line with the Work Programme. Furthermore, we agreed on the need to maximise our direct lines of communication for the timely exchange of intelligence and information. We recognise that time lines need to be set for specific activities in the Work Programme.
6. We recognise the need for an effective legal mechanism to enhance cooperation to combat transnational crime and welcome the conclusion and signing of the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters on 29 November 2004 in Kuala Lumpur. We welcome the decision of Myanmar and Thailand to sign the Treaty during the 11th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur on 12 to 14 December 2005. We call for all Member Countries who have not done so to ratify the Treaty so that it can be adopted as an ASEAN Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. In this regard, we take note that Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam have ratified the Treaty.
7. We also recognise the importance of the establishment of an ASEAN Convention on Counter-Terrorism as articulated in the Vientiane Action Programme, and call for close cooperation among concerned ASEAN bodies to establish a Joint Drafting Group for the Convention.
8. We acknowledge the efforts of several ASEAN Member Countries who have ratified all or some of the twelve Conventions and Protocols relating to terrorism which are already in effect. We encourage ASEAN Member Countries who have yet to do so to consider early accession to the said Conventions as well as signing and ratifying the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
9. We welcome the strengthening of extra-regional cooperation in combating transnational crime and acknowledge the progress that has been made in this area, in particular the adoption and signing of Joint Declarations on Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism with our Dialogue Partners. We look forward to more concrete activities to implement the Joint Declarations.
10. We welcome the outcomes of the Second International Congress of the ASEAN and China Cooperative Operations in Response to Dangerous Drugs (ACCORD), which was held on 20 October 2005 in Beijing, China, with a view to expediting the realisation of our desired goal of a Drug-Free ASEAN by 2015.
11. We take note with appreciation the briefing by the Chairman of the 25th ASEAN Chiefs of National Police Conference (ASEANAPOL) on police cooperation and activities in combating transnational crime in the region. We also welcome the outcomes of the 25th ASEANAPOL held on 24-25 May 2005 in Bali and the Multilateral Meeting of the ASEAN Chiefs of National Police, which was held in Jakarta on 17-18 November 2005.
12. We welcome the progress made in ASEAN Plus Three cooperation in combating transnational crime and look forward to the convening of the Second ASEAN Plus Three Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime on 30 November 2005.
13. We welcome the kind offer of Brunei Darussalam to host the 6th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime in 2007.
14. We express our deepest appreciation to the Government and the people of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam for the warm and generous hospitality accorded to us and our respective delegations. We also express our sincere appreciation to the ASEAN Secretariat for its invaluable assistance in facilitating ASEAN cooperation to combat transnational crime.