The Synchronizing Trade and Security Plans in Support of ASEAN 2025 conference was hosted by the Thai Government in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on March 3 and 4 in Bangkok, Thailand. The event, focused on issues related to border management in order to handle major security challenges in the face of the region’s economic expansion, attracted the participation of ministers and senior officials from ASEAN member states.
In his opening remark, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha stressed that over the past few years, Thailand and other regional nations have had to deal with many cases involving drug trafficking and transnational crimes. He then stressed the need for a common strategy on border protection that would help strengthen the stability and security of the region, thus facilitating development and border trade growth.
At the event, the delegates agreed that, ASEAN, with a total population of nearly 650 million, is one of the largest economic communities in the world. The region has been investing heavily in transport infrastructure and border trade development's initiatives. However, those initiatives can create loopholes for illegal trading and transnational crime activities, which poses a challenge for ASEAN and its members to build common strategies and mechanisms to solve the issue.
Speaking at the event, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Thanh spoke highly of the organization of the conference. He briefed delegates on Vietnam's efforts in ensuring security in border areas with ASEAN member states, contributing to controlling transnational crimes and to socio-economic development. However, Deputy Minister Nguyen Van Thanh said that transnational crimes in cross-border area, including those related to drug and commodity smuggling, human trafficking, high technology, terrorism and piracy, are still posing huge threats to the region's stability and development. Thus, he gave some recommendations for ASEAN member countries to curb transnational crimes.
Especially, the Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Public Security stressed the need to complete the legal framework for preventing and fighting transnational crimes while also urged ASEAN member countries to step up experience sharing, intensify cooperation with ASEAN’s dialogue partners, and to organizes other workshops to share experience in this field. In his speech, Deputy Minister Nguyen Van Thanh also reaffirmed Vietnam's commitment, as an active and responsible member of ASEAN, to join the region's efforts to prevent and fight transnational crimes.
During his stay in Thailand, Deputy Minister of Public Security Nguyen Van Thanh also met with UNODC Director for Operations Miwa Kato, and worked with the Secretary-General of the National Security Council of Thailand and Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police.