The 17th trilateral-bilateral ministerial meeting on drug control cooperation between Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia took place in Vientiane on December 6.
The event creates a good chance for the three countries to review their past cooperation and learn from the experience in the implementation of the trilateral joint statement on drug prevention adopted at the previous meeting, as well as map out orientations and plans for the time ahead, said Lao Deputy Minister of Public Security Lt. Gn. Somvang Thammasith, who is also head of the Lao steering committee for drug control, combat, and prevention.
Sn. Lt. Gn. Le Quy Vuong, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Public Security, suggested the three neighbouring countries hold annual meetings to exchange their viewpoints and experience in jointly addressing drug-related issues, which are becoming increasingly complex both in the region and the world.
He reiterated the determination of Vietnamese drug prevention forces to work closely with Cambodian and Lao counterparts to crack down on crime in general and drugs-related one in particular for the peace, and healthy and sustainable development of each nation.
As drug trafficking not only affects social order and security, but also causes great economic losses and threatens national stability, the three countries agreed to increase collaboration and share responsibility to minimise cases of this in each society.
Participants recognised the remarkable efforts of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia in preventing drug smuggling at border gates and stressed the importance of sharing information and conducting investigations on illegal cross-border drug trading.
The three nations agreed to focus their endeavour on realising the post-2015 drug-free vision of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the goal of securing the ASEAN community against illicit drugs 2016-2025.
They recommended enhancing cooperation with other nations in ASEAN and actively collaborating within the framework of the 1993 Memorandum of Understanding on Drug Control in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region to implement the 10th sub-regional action plan (SAP 10) on drug prevention and control adopted at the MoU ministerial meeting in Phnom Penh in May 2017.
Delegates suggested giving priority to the implementation of measures against the cross-border trade of illegal drugs and enhancing coordination in the field, while supporting the operation of transnational drug offices and improving the capital of specialised agencies.
They agreed to raise awareness of people in the three countries about the risks of drug abuse and strive to build a drug-free border residential areas and border lines of peace and friendship.
The 18th meeting is scheduled to take place in Vietnam in 2019.