Report Of The Seventh Meeting Of The AIPA Fact-Finding Committee (AIFOCOM) To Combat The Drug Menace
05 October 2017
ASEAN INTER-PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY
REPORT OF THE SEVENTH MEETING OF THE AIPA FACT-FINDING COMMITTEE (AIFOCOM) TO COMBAT THE DRUG MENACE
1 The Seventh Meeting of the AIPA Fact Finding Committee (AIFOCOM-7) to Combat the Drug Menace was held from 22 to 25 April 2010 in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.
2 The Meeting was attended by delegations from AIPA Member countries:
Brunei was led by Hon. Mr. Haji Sulaiman bin Ahai; Cambodia was led by Hon. Mr. Hou Sry; Indonesia was led by Hon. Mrs. Susaningtyas Nefo Handayani Kertopati, Lao PDR was led by Hon. Prof. Dr. Phonethep Pholsena; Malaysia was led by Hon. Datuk Md. Sirat Bin Abu; Singapore was represented by Mr. Sithuraj Ponraj, senior assistant clerk; the Philippines was led by Hon. Mr. Roque R. Ablan Jr.; Thailand was led by Hon. Asst. Prof. Perayot Rahimmula; and Viet Nam was led by H.E. Mrs. Tong Thi Phong.
Special Observer Myanmar was represented by Mr. Thiha Saw, Myanmar Embasssy to Viet Nam minister counselor. Experts from the United Nations Office of Drug and Crime; Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs; and Ministry of Public Security of Viet Nam were also present.
3 The list of delegates is attached as Annex A.
4 The Opening Ceremony of the Seventh Meeting of the AIPA Fact-finding Committee (AIFOCOM) to Combat the Drug Menace was opened by H.E. Mrs. Tong Thi Phong, Vice President of the National Assembly of the S.R. Viet Nam, on Friday, 23 April 2010, 09.00 A.M at the InterContinental Asiana Saigon Hotel .
5 In her Opening Speech, H.E. Mrs. Tong Thi Phong, Vice President of National Assembly of the S.R.Viet Nam, warmly welcomed all distinguished guests and delegates to the important meeting. She expressed that it is an honor for Viet Nam to host the event. It is the third meeting of the AIPA that the Viet Nam National Assembly convened during its AIPA presidency for 2009-2010. The first was the meeting on “The role of Women Parliamentarians in the Law-making Process” in October, 2009, followed by the meeting on “Post-crisis Period and Sustainable Development” in March, 2010.
6 Mme. Phong informed that the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam National Assembly adopted the Law on Drug Prevention and Combat in 2001 and amended this law in 2008. The Vietnamese Government then released the guidance on the implementation of the National Assembly’s Laws and Resolutions, issued instructions on law enforcement concerning drug prevention and combat, and established a National Committee on drug prevention and combat headed by the deputy prime minister. She said that at the multilateral level, Viet Nam fully and proactively participated in the United Nations’ cause of drug prevention and combat and worked with other ASEAN countries to develop the vision for a drug-free ASEAN in 2015. Viet Nam ratified three international conventions on drugs. By ratifying the three conventions, which are the UN’s single Convention on Narcotic Drug in 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances in 1971, and the Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in 1972, Viet Nam indicated its determination to fight illegal drugs and to usher in a series of international cooperation programs on drug prevention and combat.
7 Irrespective of the encouraging outcomes of international cooperation for drug prevention and combat, she said, challenges still lie ahead for the ASEAN countries. Illegal drug trafficking and substance abuse are grave concerns of the Member Countries. Transnational drug gangs, whose members are of different nationalities, some of whom are identified outside ASEAN, become major challenges for drug combat agencies and the ASEAN governments. Fully aware of the transnational nature of this dangerous crime, ASEAN countries built cooperation programs to combat it. The efficacy of these programs, however, remains limited due to differences in law and policies among ASEAN countries.
8 She stressed that we should build a legal framework on drug prevention and combat, as well as discuss orientations for AIPA cooperation, to make the AIFOCOM more effective. She said that members of AIPA parliaments and experts at home and abroad should take these opportunities to exchange views and share experiences and practices in the law-making process for the improvement of each country’s legal system and policies, and to suggest recommendations to improve the AIFOCOM’s effectiveness for a drug-free ASEAN. Our initiatives and recommendations would lay an important foundation for ASEAN lawmakers to build and improve legal documents, with a view of heightening community awareness. The report of the meeting would be submitted to the 31st AIPA General Assembly in Ha Noi this September.
9 The text of the Opening Speech is attached as Annex E.
10 Before the Opening Address, Hon. Mr. Nguyen Van Son, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly of the S.R. Viet Nam, delivered his Welcome Remarks.
11 Chairman Nguyen Van Son emphasized that drug-related crimes continue to see complicated and unceasingly sophisticated developments. Illegal drugs, he said, is also interconnected with other crimes, including money laundering, weapons smuggling, establishment of transnational organized criminal groups, and financing terrorism and acts of violence. Consequences caused by drug-related crimes are social instability, and threatened economic development and social security. He noted with satisfaction, though, that ever since, combating illegal drugs has always drawn the attention of AIPA Member Countries. AIFOCOM meetings have provided regional Member Parliaments (MPs) with a forum to share information and experience in combating the drug menace within the working agenda of member parliaments. Through such discussions, lessons learned, which can be applied in each country, include proposals to law making and improvement process. They also include strengthening supervision over drug prevention, control and combat as well as recommendations to ASEAN MPs and governments to harmonize legal provisions among member countries.
12 The text of the Opening Speech is attached as Annex D.
Agenda and Programme of Activities
13 The Meeting considered and adopted the following documents:
(a) Agenda items for the Meeting (Annex B);
(b) Programme of Activities (Annex C);
Presentation on “Illicit Drugs in East and Southeast Asia: Situation and Response,” by Mr. Jason Eligh, United Nations Office of Drug and Crimes (UNODC) Country Manager
14 The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime told the assembly that the advent of new technology and the development of the ASEAN member states have also spawned the growing problem of illegal drugs.
15 With the operation of transnational syndicates, which use advance communication and transportation facilities, drug dealing is no longer restricted by international borders. In the ASEAN region, In the past, Myanmar was the largest producer of opium, followed by Lao Peoples Democratic Republic. There is, however, a significant decrease in the production of opium, particularly due to lower yields in Myanmar and Lao, and the proactive efforts of their governments and all societies on the eradication of drugs.
16 The situation requires a sharpened response, and the UNODC suggested as possible solutions regional cooperation arrangements, Computer-based Training (CBT), Border Liaison Offices (BLO), container control program, and evidence-based drug treatment. In terms of regional cooperation arrangements, like the AIFOCOM and the ASEAN and China Cooperative Operations in Response to Dangerous Drugs (ACCORD), the ASEAN member states have done a good job. CBT, which provide training modules, is also needed because trans-national organized groups use high technology authorities must not be left behind. BLOs, on the other hand, improve information and intelligence exchange, providing real-time response, particularly on cross-border shipments, compared to how intelligence was communicated prior to BLOs. A container control program is likewise seen as a solution in addressing the drug problem. It is because in 2006, for example, only two percent of the 420 million container movements across the planet were inspected in any manner. Container movements are expected to grow to 450 million by 2012.
17 For evidence-based drug treatment, methadone maintenance therapy is seen to work for opiate dependence, and that public health interventions for drug users actually support public security goals. According to the report, compulsory detention centers for drug users is not a drug treatment.
18 The text of the presentation is attached as Annex F.
19 The Second Session started at 2:00 pm on Friday, April 23, 2010, and chaired by Hon. Datuk Haji Roslan B. Awang Chik, Senator of Malaysia; and Hon. Prof. Dr. Phonethep Pholsena, Head of Laos Delegation. AIPA Members Countries and Special Observer Myanmar presented their Country Progress Reports.
Country Report by AIPA Delegations
20 Brunei Darussalam reported that it has come up with strategies toward demand and supply reduction, and addressed the need for the passage of pertinent laws. Its main anti-drug agency is the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
21 In demand reduction, it implemented preventive drug education and supervision programs, which include random urine testing for drugs. Harm reduction approach, like methadone substitution treatment, for drug addicts is, however, not adopted by Brunei Darussalam.
22 Nationwide civic awareness campaigns that reach even the rural parts of the country were also conducted, like lectures, dialogues, exhibits, media campaigns.
23 In supply reduction, the state heightened national border controls on entry points for legal and illegal shipments. To date, one foreign lady has been arrested by the NCB for trafficking in around 1081 grams of heroin.
24 In 2009, four Bruneians, allegedly acting as couriers, were arrested in Australia and China. The year before, one Bruneian was caught in Madrid, Spain for allegedly trafficking drugs into the country. All five departed from Malaysia.
25 In terms of drugs use, Brunei can be categorized as a “consumer” country, as illegal drug sources are from abroad entering through air, land and sea routes. Of particular concern is that traffickers have established their own secret routes and have improved their ways of smuggling contraband.
26 To control the entry of illegal drugs, the NCB established border checkpoints, particularly the increase in the number of sources and listening posts in entry points; identified drug routes: made patrols (both land and sea); added more personnel, especially the creation of a special squad; and provided better equipment and training in intelligence gathering, collation, analysis, and dissemination.
27 The NCB also conducted joint operations and exchanged information with other law enforcement agencies.
28 In terms of legislation, Brunei Darussalam has amended its Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) to accommodate the changing illegal drugs situation.
29 The full text of the Country Report of Brunei Darussalam is attached as Annex G.
30 Due to the world economic crisis, climate change, spread of HIV/AIDS and other infected diseases, many drug criminals has shifted to other ways at destroying the world. For Cambodia, however, drug criminals still continue the trafficking and distribution of illegal drugs. The main problem is their attempt to make Cambodia an illegal drug-producing country.
31 Based on the five-year National Plan on drug control (2005-2010) and recommendations made by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun, Sen, Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia, NACD increased multilateral cooperation with relevant ministries, municipal and provincial drug control committees, and authorities of communes and districts; and cooperation with international organizations and developmental partners, promoting education on and dissemination on the impact and dangers of illegal drugs.
32 Responding to the attempt of drug criminals, Cambodia heightened its cooperation with national and international law enforcement officers for measures against all big, medium, and small-scale production of illegal drugs; suppressed exploitation and distribution in the country of illegal drugs and their transition to other third world countries.
33 Faced with the prospect of its people being under the influence of illegal drugs, state and private educational and treatment centers have been strengthened, with the capacity to allow each center to be able to treat, rehabilitate and integrate into communities the drug dependents. This pertains to health care and improvement of the welfare of persons under the drug influence of drugs, supported by families and relatives and the whole citizenry.
34 Even though, key achievements were made by NACD, a lot remains to be done to effectively and successfully implement the National Strategic Plan by 2010.
35 The full text of Cambodia’s Country Report is attached as Annex H.
36 Indonesia reaffirmed its commitment to combat drug abuse and trafficking of illegal drugs, which dangerously threaten the future generations of every country. The negative consequences of drug abuse affect not only individuals who abuse drugs but also their families and friends, various businesses, and government resources.
37 Indonesia continuously confronts issues relating to narcotics and dangerous substances, including efforts to uncover several clandestine psychotropic laboratories. The suspects constitute part of syndicates operating regionally and internationally. This indicates that Indonesia serves as an area that illicitly produces ATS and for the circulation of narcotics and dangerous substances, particularly those smuggled through air and sea. To address this, Indonesia has improved efforts to monitor and oversee the entry points, both at seaports and airports.
38 To effectively combat the drug menace, Indonesia has ratified the United Nations Conventions regarding the eradication of the drug menace and established the National Narcotics Board, whose tasks are to formulate and implement national policies on the prevention and eradication of the drug problem, as well as coordinate the evaluation of national policies on drug-related issues. The Board is intended to encourage the society’s involvement in the prevention and eradication of drugs; enhance system and methodologies for the rehabilitation of drug users; provide accurate database on the abuse and trafficking of drugs; and strengthen international cooperation to establish solutions to drug problems in Indonesia.
39 The House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia has passed the Law on Narcotics, which provides clear guidelines on how to prevent and eradicate narcotics; and amended it (from Law No. 22 in 1997 into Law Number 35 in 2009). The new law is meant to prevent the increasing usage of narcotics that has become rampant, both quantitatively and qualitatively, that victims now include children and teenagers.
40 Indonesia highlighted the importance of optimizing law enforcement resources in every AIPA member state in support of the prevention and eradication of drugs abuse, through three ways. First, law enforcement should shift its focus from drug users to drug traffickers because drug addiction is a health matter. People who take drugs need medical help, not criminal retribution. Attention should be devoted to heavy drug users because they cause the greatest harm not only to themselves but also to society. The second way is to effectively deal with urban problems. Drug deals, like most other crimes, take place in urban settings controlled by criminal groups. Indonesia believes that the problem can be solved by addressing the problem on slums and dereliction in our cities, through renewal of infrastructures and investments in people, especially by assisting the youth, who are vulnerable to drugs and crime, through education, job opportunities, and sports programs. Third, governments must make use, individually and collectively, of the international agreements against organized crime, corruption, and the trafficking of people and smuggling of migrants, by ratifying and implementing the UN conventions and protocols.
41 Indonesia calls upon all AIPA member parliaments to formulate laws aimed at combating the drug menace and to work closely with their governments to take comprehensive measures to address the drug menace.
42 Indonesia encourages AIPA member states to assist the development of drug treatment monitoring systems, in ways that will facilitate not only the greater understanding of the drug situation within countries but also between and among countries, for a better understanding of regional and global trends.
43 Regional cooperation could be enhanced by harmonizing several articles in the laws, regulations and procedures, among the ASEAN countries.
44 On the Methadone Substitution Treatment for drug addicts, Indonesia has implemented the Methadone therapy program, which has even become one of the consistently improved programs in reducing the use of illegal drugs. However, this therapy still faces a number of legal obstacles in its implementation because of the lack of coordination among law enforcers and the Ministry of Health, and the overlapping of a number of related laws, such as Law No. 35 Year 2009 on narcotics, Law No. 5 Year 1997 on psychotropics, Law No. 29 Year 2004 on medical practices.
45 The full text of Indonesia’s Country Report is attached as Annex I.
46 Lao PDR reported that illegal drugs remain as a serious threat to Lao society and traditions. There are four illegal drugs in Lao: opium poppy, amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS), cannabis, and heroin.
47 As for opium poppy production, in 2006, Lao PDR wás declared as free from opium cultivation. However, a 2009 survey showed that, opium and poppy production has increased by 15 pêrcent compared to 2005 figures. This is caused by many reasons, which include poverty and the economic situation, because the people could not find an alternative way to opium and poppy production as source of livelihood. Thêre is also the illegal drug market integration with other countries in the region. Lao PDR is likewise a land–locked country.
48 To solve these problems, the Lao government has taken various measures, and sought international, and regional cooperation for support to combat the drug menace. For example, it ratified the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in 1973; signed bilateral agreements on cooperation with China, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Myanmar, etc.; and worked closely with the UNODC, UNAIDS, WHO, UNDP, and other international organizations
49 Lao PDR also adopted good practices and experiences to combat the drug menace during the last decades as follows: (1) political will and commitment of the government; (2) ensured participation of all shareholders; (3) partnership ?r joint efforts and collaboration with AIPA Members Countries and international organizations; and (4) capacity building for government staff and community leaders who work on drugs control.
50 Lao PDR recommended that to combat the drug menace, governments should have an appropriate way to sustain the alternative development and drug demand reduction; ensure food security and environment sustainability for the communities; enhance partnership and cooperation with UNODC and other international organizations and financial institutions; and strengthen border relations, bilateral agreements and international conventions.
51 Lao PDR will continue to enforce the New National Drug Law by formulating and disseminating the country’s first comprehensive National Drug Control Master Plan to all level of society. The National Assembly of Lao PDR will continue to work closely with concerned authorities to support and monitor the implementation of the master plan and actions made by the government and communities.
52 Lao PDR expressed its sincere thanks to íts neighboring countries, the UNODC, donor countries and international organizations for their support in combating the drug menace. It also urged all AIPA Member Countries to continue their joint effort to combat the drug problem, which common in all countries of the region and of the whole world.
53 The full text of Laos’s Country Report is attached as Annex J
54 The drug menace is on the rise that it now reached a critical stage. The problem has to be taken seriously since drug abuse is the numb?r one enemy òf the country. Not only that drug abuse harms individuals and communities, it also has negative effects on the country. Indirectly, it tarnishes the country’s international image. The problem is not only on the drug addicts but most especially on the traffickers who smuggle illegal drugs into and out of the country.
55 Malaysia considers the problem critical and requires immediate action to solve it wisely through continuous efforts so that there is transparency in combating the drug menace.
56 The current scenario pictured by the media is that foreigners are the cause of drug menace in the country. However it cannot be denied that our citizens have contributed to the problem and ?re threats to the country as well. The trend today, according to the Narcotic Crime Investigation Department (NCID), is that our country is used as the transit point for drug trafficking. The syndicates have been using the airports as entry and exit points for their activities. The number of arrests made involving foreigners has increased for this year as compared to the year before. The biggest arrest made, so far, involved Iranians and the type of drugs seized were Methamphetamine or Shabu.
57 The use of various methods shows that the syndicates will do anything just to smuggle drugs into the country. Aside from that, our country is faced with the large number of Indonesians, Thais and Myanmese arrested for being involved in the abuse and trafficking of Ganja (cannabis), heroin and syabu. Ganja (cannabis) trafficking is controlled by Indonesians (Aceh Province) and Thais. Filipinos, Chinese, and Singaporeans are behind the trafficking of ATS, ketamine and heroin. West Africans and South Americans were identified as involved in trafficking heroin and cocaine. Since there is no demand for cocaine in Malaysia as it is costly, international syndicates, made up of Nigerians, have made Malaysia the transit country for cocaine to Thailand and other countries.
58 Malaysia said now is the time for it to change its strategy in combating the drug menace by making new approaches, which includes dealing with the problem at the grassroots level. Malaysia must strive to stop the entry of drugs into the country. Thêre has to be a collective effort by various quarters, especially by the Narcotics Department. The Narcotics Department has already been tested and has proven to be successful in crushing the syndicates through the seizure of millions of Ringgit worth of drugs. The responsibility to curb social problems and drug abuse caused by foreigners lies not only with the police, it needs cooperation by all quarters. It is undeniable that the influx of foreigners has exposed Malaysia to threats and has placed national security at risk. In summary, Malaysia said there must be international cooperation and networking among regional enforcement agencies so that not only can intelligence information be shared but ideas can be exchanged as well.
59 The full text of Malaysia’s Country Report is attached ás Annex K.
60 The problem of illegal drugs in the Philippines continues to pose a significant threat to national security. In January 2009, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo directed law enforcement agencies to mount a stronger and more concerted campaign against illegal drugs. The primary drug in the Philippines is Methamphetamine Hydrochloride, followed by Marijuana, Cocaine and Ecstasy. Since 2000 up to the present time, bulk trading of methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as “shabu”, continues with the Philippines as a trans-shipment point to Japan, Australia, the United States and some European countries. In 2009, a total of 8,810 anti-drug operations were conducted which resulted in the arrest of 8,468 personalities and 7,253 cases filed in court.
61 The legislative framework to address drug abuse in the Philippines is in place as provided for by Republic Act No. 9165, “The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002”. It laid down an extensive legal framework for drug enforcement in the Philippines. Moreover, it mandates drug abuse education in schools, the establishment of Provincial Drug Education Centers, development of drug free workplace programs and other demand reduction strategies. In February 8, 2010, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Administrative Order No. 279, creating an inter-agency task force for the prevention of Filipinos from being used as drug couriers by international drug trafficking syndicates.
62 The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is the lead counternarcotics agency. It is the main implementing arm of the “National Anti-Drug Strategy” formulated by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB). The PDEA has instituted important programs to supports it anti-drug strategy. This includes Operation “Private Eye,” which encourages “whistle blowers” on illegal drugs, the PDEA through the provision of the Presidential Anti-Graft Fund, has put up a 1 billion peso fund to finance a reward system.
63 An equally important project of the PDEA is the Court Watch Project. To ensure the speedy prosecution of drug cases, the PDEA created a PDEA Special Legal Action Group (SLAG)/legal retainers to provide legal assistance to operations units. These legal retainers helped in greatly ensuring the successful prosecution of cases against drug personalities. The SLAG ensured proper documentation of all case folders to make sure that the cases would stand in court. In support of the PDEA mandate to take custody of all drug evidences for proper disposition, a PDEA storage facility was established. A portable incinerator enables PDEA to facilitate the destruction of drug evidence upon issuance of a court order.
64 There are forty five (45) Department of Health (DOH) accredited drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation centers in the Philippines. The primary mode of treatment is the therapeutic community approach. Other modes of drug abuse treatment such as Methadone Substitution Treatment is not used due to the fact that the major addiction drugs in the Philippines; Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu), Marijuana and Ecstasy, do not fall under the drugs counteracted by methadone treatment.
65 The full text of the Country Report of the Philippines is attached as Annex L.
66 Although Singapore is vulnerable to the drug scourge due to its proximity to the Golden Triangle, tough laws and vigorous enforcement have kept the local drug situation under control. A total of 1,883 drug abusers were arrested in 2009 as compared to 1,925 in 2008. The drug abusers arrested were mainly repeat abusers (71 percent of the total number of abusers arrested), with 553 as new abusers (29 percent) compared to 508 (26 percent) in 2008.
67 The drug traffickers in Singapore generally operate small scale, with the majority trafficking drugs in small amounts and relying mainly on cash and drug exchange between the seller and buyer. Syndicated drug trafficking activities are comparatively less sophisticated than in other countries and have been kept in check by rigorous and effective enforcement conducted by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), whose sustained enforcement efforts resulted in the break-up of 28 drug syndicates in 2009.
68 Singapore adopted an integrated multi-agency and multi-pronged approach based on harm prevention measures, including (i) a high-profile preventive education; (ii) vigorous and swift enforcement; (iii) treatment and rehabilitation to reform addicts; and (iv) after-care program to reintegrate reformed addicts back into society. While respecting other countries’ decision to employ whatever strategies deemed suitable to deal with local issues, Singapore does not advocate harm reduction measures (opioid substitution therapy such as methadone substitution therapy, needle/syringe exchange programs or drug consumption rooms) as they condone and facilitate drug taking and contradict Singapore’s zero tolerance drug policy. This approach has been validated by practical success: the number of drug abusers arrested has fallen by more than 69 percent since 1994, leaving Singapore relatively drug-free, with the drug situation under control.
69 Singapore also cooperates actively with foreign law enforcement agencies on a bilateral basis and is a party to all three multilateral UN conventions aimed at fighting the drug problem. Much of its success in fighting drugs would not have been possible without such cooperation. Singapore hopes to continue to forge closer cooperation and work with its partners and the community to combat drug trafficking on both the domestic and global fronts.
70 The full text of Singapore’s Country Report is attached as Annex M.
71 Thailand’s drug control strategy is from the idea of disconnecting drug demand from drug supply and observance of the principle that “drug addicts are patients who are in need of treatment while drug traffickers are those who must be punished under the judicial process.”
72 The country is trying to control and reduce the nationwide drug problems with íts “five fences” strategy to prevent drug smuggling into the country along the target border areas, to strengthen and build drug immunity in the target villages/communities, to implement integrated social order programs to strengthen the societies nationwide, to make safeguard the new generation of youths against drugs, and to strengthen family institution to be more immune to drugs and be a good fundamental unit of society. Decisive action and suppression must be carried out carefully within legal limits without violence and to ensure it does not lead to other problems.
73 As a signatory to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, Thailand first enacted the Act on Measures for the Suppression of Offenders in an Offence Relating to Narcotics B.E. 2534 (1991) as a criminal forfeiture law, which allow authorities to manage properties seized and forfeited during drug criminal cases. Under the said law, 2,009 cases were filed for financial examination in 2009 alone. The total value of assets seized was at 929.5 million baht.
74 Thailand has collaborated and cooperated with Lao PDR and Cambodia in strengthening measures on asset forfeiture relating to drug cases. On the multilateral efforts, Thailand proposed during the 33rd meeting of the Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies of Asia and the Pacific Region (HONLEA) on asset forfeiture on drug cases that it should be implemented in integration with drug laws and tax measures.
75 Thailand has five laws passed to control chemical substances. They are the Narcotic Act B.E.2522 (1979), Psychotropic Substances Act B.E. 2518 (1975), Import and Export Act B.E.2522 (1979), Hazardous Substances Act B.E. 2535 (1992), and Commodities Control Act B.E.2495 (1952). Pre-Export Notification (PEN) is also conducted to discourage diversion of precursors and essential chemicals for the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
76 On the treatment òf drug addicts, the use of methadone as a substitute for heroin treatment is proven to not only help unburden drug dependence but also prevent HIV/AIDS infection among needle-sharing abusers. Currently, there is no less than 3,000 patients nationwide undergoing this kind of treatment.
77 Thailand believes that all member countries should offer full support in favor of the enactment òf a law concerning mutual legal assistance. Budgetary support for drug control efforts should be provided to the national focal points of each ASEAN countries.
78 The full text of Thailand’s Country Report is attached á Annex N.
79 Drugs control in Vietnam has been put under the close and strong leadership of the National Assembly and the Government. Numerous practical measures, such as improved specified organizational and legal systems, have been worked out and put under way. Action plans and programs have been developed into the National Target Programs and received budgetary priorities from the Government.
80 A significant point in 2009 is that the amount of heroin illegally trafficked into Vietnam increased by 27 percent compared to the previous year, when the amount of methamphetamine increased 11 times. A new trend in the drug crime situation in Vietnam during the past year is the increase in criminal activities of international drug criminal gangs, especially those originating from Africa. Last year, 14,237 drug cases were investigated and 21,086 drug offenders were arrested. Compared to 2007, the number of drug cases increased by 866 (6.47 percent) and the arrested offenders by 305 (1.46 percent). By the end of 2009, the number of newly recorded addicts nationwide was 146,731, which is 26,872 (15.47 percent) lower compared to 2008 figures. The most common pattern of drug use is through injection. A pilot program on methadone-based treatment in some treatment facilities recorded initial results, helped reduce the rate of HIV transmission and drug use as well as drug-related crimes. Last year, 43,386 time/persons were treated and recovered; of which, 10,167 time/persons were newly admitted.
81 Viet Nam also suggested recommendations to improve the efficiency of the AIFOCOM, particularly for its activities to be reformed so that the country reports on drug prevention should be made based on a framework agreed upon among the Member States. Viet Nam likewise proposed that there should be a theme to be focused on for each annual meeting, and that the AIPA should research and develop mechanisms to supervise the implementation of its resolutions, especially those on drug prevention.
82 The full text of Viet Nam’s Country Report is attached as Annex O
83 To further strengthen the eradication of narcotic drugs, Myanmar formed eleven work committees. National strategies were aimed at designating the prevention and suppression of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as a national responsibility, with emphasis on carrying them out this with added momentum from all sides; and gradually eliminating poppy cultivation in line with the improvement of the socio-economic conditions of the national races in border areas. The following three tactics have been adopted: Law Enforcement, Supply Elimination, and Demand Reduction. As law enforcers, the Police, the Customs Department, Special Anti-Narcotics Units, and local authorities are taking the following measures: collection of baseline data on annual poppy cultivation and drugs consumption, destruction of poppy fields and of opium refineries.
84 Facing and combating the illegal drugs is part of the history of Myanmar. There are some salient points listed below showing that drugs is not just a problem, it is a threat that creates social instability.
- To clearly view the narcotic drugs as an major threat for human being
- The Economies of the people of (country/countries/ regions) is vital
- Cooperation in poverty reduction in the region (Economic assistance)
- Assistance in Financial aids of the region and of the world
- Exchange in information
- Sharing in technology
- Education ( including health)
- Setting up the appropriate rehabilitation system
- Effective use of aids
- Strong political wills in cooperation
85 To cope with the problem, cooperation among countries by assisting each other should be unconditional. Political will also plays a vital role. Narcotic drugs ?re not only the scourge and problem of Myanmar, but also of all the countries of the world. A single country striving on its own will not be successful. Myanmar is always ready to cooperate with the international community in the drive for the eradication of narcotic drugs.
86 The full text of Myanmar’s Country Report is att?ched ás Annex P.
87 The Third Session was held at 9 AM. on Saturday, 24 April 2010, which discussed and adopted the following:
(a) Draft resolution on facilitating the implementation of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) resolutions on preventing and combating illegal drugs and on improving AIFOCOM activities. (Annex R)
(b) Report of the Seventh Meeting of AIFOCOM
88 The meeting was held in the traditional spirit of ASEAN hospitality and solidarity.
89 The meeting was officially closed by Hon. Mr. Nguyen Van Son, Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee, National Assembly of the S.R. Viet Nam, at 04.45 pm on Saturday, 24 April 2010.
90 In his closing speech, Hon. Mr. Nguyen Van Son stated that in view of the seriousness of the drug menace, AIPA and AIFOCOM have made various resolutions and recommendations on regional drug prevention and combat. However, the implementation of those resolutions and recommendations has been sluggish. To increase parliamentary contribution to regional effort to combat the drug menace, the meeting reiterated AIPA’s commitment to the development of a drug-free ASEAN Community in 2015 through the improvement of legal frameworks and the creation of an enabling environment for ASEAN member governments to successfully implement national and regional action plans to prevent and combat illegal drugs. The meeting also proposed a set of actual recommendations to enhance operational effectiveness of the AIFOCOM, the AIPA Caucus, and the AIPA Secretariat. These proposals and recommendations would serve as important reference of leaders of AIPA Member Parliaments and the General Assembly for their consideration and resolution.
91 The full text of the Closing Remarks is attached ás Annex Q.
92 The ASEAN Secretariat did not participate in the Meeting but sent a position paper on ASEAN Effort in Combating Illicit Drug Trafficking.
93 The full text of the ASEAN Secretariat is attached ás Annex S.
94 Leaders of the delegations signed the Report of the Seventh Meeting of the AIPA Fact-Finding Committee (AIFOCOM-7) to Combat the Drug Menace.
95 The Report was presented by the Chairperson to the AIPA secretary general, being the representative of the AIPA president.
Done in Ho Chi Minh, Viet Nam, the Twenty Fourth Day of April, the year Two Thousand and Ten.
|For BRUNEI DARUSSALAM||_____________________|
|For LAO PEOPLE’S
|For VIET NAM||_____________________|