05 October 2017
Increasing efforts to effectively implement AIPA resolutions and ASEAN agreements relating to law enforcement for the drug-free ASEAN: The 11th AIFOCOM 12 – 16 May 2014, Vientiane, Lao PDR
The Eleventh Meeting of the AIPA Fact Finding Committee (AIFOCOM) to Combat the Drug Menace was held from 12th to 16thMay 2014 in Vientiane, the landmark capital of Lao People’s Democratic Republic. The meeting was attended by delegations from AIPA Member Parliaments and representative from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Permanent Secretary of Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision (LCDC) / Representative of the ASEAN Senior Official on Drug Matter (ASOD). In her Opening Speech, H.E. Mme. PanyYathotou, President of National Assembly of Lao People’s Democratic Republic and President of AIPA highlighted that drug is a chronic problem that is hard to solve all at once in ASEAN region as well as world-wide.
In the past, though regional and international organizations and governments have gradually strengthened and linked legal, financial and educational measures to combat and prevent drug production, use and trafficking; drug is still a menace and a huge threat to national security, political stability, social harmony and development progress. Facing the threat and danger of drug menace to human of all genders, ages and generations; one organization or country alone cannot solve the problem. It is therefore necessary for parliaments to enhance their roles in passing suitable laws and overseeing their enforcement, to increase closer cooperation and collaboration aiming at concretely and effectively implementing laws and international commitments.
Madame Pany also outlined a string of recommendations in her speech for AIPA Member Parliaments to intensify the fight against drugs menace which includes:
(1) Increasing efforts to effectively implement AIPA resolutions and ASEAN agreements relating to law enforcement for the drug-free ASEAN.
(2) Intensifying information sharing on situations, legal instruments and practical measures.
(3) Revising existing national laws in order to proceed with appropriate amendment.
(4) Raising Public awareness especially for the youth and students to say “No” to drug.
(5) Encouraging governments and concerned organizations to be more committed in addressing drug issue under their roles and responsibility.
Furthermore, Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) presented facts and findings on the development and challenges of drug-related issue in ASEAN region. Illicit proceeds generated by major transnational organized crime types in East Asia and the Pacific are approximately US$90 billion at an annual level, of which more than one-third are generated by illicit drug trafficking (US $31.3 billion). Illicit proceeds generated by trafficking of methamphetamine account for more than half of the total illicit drug proceeds (US $16.3 billion). There is also a continuous expansion of opium poppy cultivation in the Golden Triangle for the last eight years. A total area of over 62,000 hectare of opium poppy cultivation took place in the Golden Triangle in 2013.
UNODC Regional Programme 2014 – 2017 includes the first integrated regional programme, rapid regional consolidation which needs to support frameworks and networks that align with national responses, improve the ability of states to respond to rule of law and security challenges and develop through extensive research and consultations. It has also mapped assistance for Southeast Asia in a way of having a great interest between UNODC mandates and the work being carried out by ASEAN sectoral bodies, strategic partnerships between several non-ASEAN countries and ASEAN Member States and necessity of augmenting ASEAN’s efforts in relation to drugs and crime issues prior to the ASEAN Community 2015.
Presentation from Permanent Secretary of Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision (LCDC) / Representative of the ASEAN Senior Official on Drug Matter (ASOD) further enlighten the delegation at the 11th AIFOCOM Meeting on what endeavors that ASEAN leaders could implement. Tasking relevant Ministers to make annual report, to share information and best practices, to enhance cooperation and coordination with internal and external parties, and to speed up the implementation of ASEAN Work Plan on Combating illicit drug productions are some of the ways which are instrumental in the fight against drug menace in the respective ASEAN Member States.