The 14th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC 14) was held in the form of videoconference on November 26 under the chair of General To Lam, Vietnamese Minister of Public Security, Head of Vietnam’s AMMTC Delegation.
The following is the Joint Statement of the AMMTC 14: Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN against Transnational Crime:
|Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Minister of Public Security To Lam and other delegates at the event.
1. We, the ASEAN Ministers/High-Level Representatives from Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, responsible for transnational crime matters, convened the Fourteenth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (hereinafter referred to as the 14th AMMTC) to consolidate and further strengthen regional cooperation in combating transnational crime. The 14th AMMTC was held virtually on 26 November 2020 and chaired by the AMMTC Leader of Viet Nam, General To Lam, Minister of Public Security of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
2. The Meeting was preceded by the Preparatory ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) for the 14th AMMTC, which was held virtually on 25 November 2020, and chaired by Lieutenant General Nguyen Thanh Son, SOMTC Leader of Viet Nam and Director General of Foreign Relations Department, Ministry of Public Security of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
3. We highly appreciated the proposal of Viet Nam for hosting the Meeting with a theme “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN against Transnational Crime”, which reflected to the strong commitment and determination of the Ministers in the fight against transnational crime amidst the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The 14th AMMTC theme also reflected the active contribution of the Ministry of Public Security of Viet Nam to the Viet Nam’s ASEAN Chairmanship theme of “Cohesive and Responsive”.
4. We expressed our sympathies and condolences for the loss of lives and property caused by natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic in the ASEAN Member States over the past year. We are committed to join hands in solidarity, and to maintain close coordination to overcome these difficulties and pledged to do our utmost to contribute toward the expeditious return to normalcy in the post-COVID-19 world.
5. We took note of the Report by Thailand as the outgoing Chair of the 13 th AMMTC. The Report highlighted the significant progress achieved by the ASEAN Member States in combating transnational crime, namely (i) the inauguration of the ASEAN Plus Republic of Korea Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC + ROK) Consultation, (ii) the adoption of the Work Plan of the ASEAN Plan of Action to Prevent and Counter the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (PCRVE) Work Plan (Bali Work Plan) 2019-2025, (iii) and the endorsement of the alignment of the SOMTC and AMMTC chairmanship with the ASEAN chairmanship beginning in 2021.
6. We took note of the outcomes and progress of meetings under the purview of AMMTC, including the 20th SOMTC held virtually on 24 September 2020 and the updates on the ASEAN Directors-General of Immigration Departments and Heads of Consular Affairs Divisions of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs Meeting (DGICM) provided by DGICM-Myanmar, as the incumbent Chair of the DGICM.
7. Following the commitment of the ASEAN Leaders at the Special ASEAN Summit on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the 36th and 37th ASEAN Summits, we reaffirmed our commitment to further strengthening our cohesion in combating transnational crime in the context of COVID-19 pandemic, which had negatively impacted every aspect of our society and increased risks for vulnerable communities, especially women and children. The efforts made by the ASEAN Member States, including by strengthening cross-sectoral and cross-pillar cooperation in implementing regional initiatives to combat transnational crime demonstrated the adaptivity and resourcefulness of law enforcement agencies to the “new normal” in implementing the ASEAN Plan of Action in Combating Transnational Crime (2016-2025). It was also a testament to the strong solidarity, unity and resilience of the ASEAN Member States in maintaining peace, security and stability in the region and in the world.
8. We commended the efforts undertaken by Viet Nam to draft the Concept Paper on the Establishment of a Direct Communication Link (DCL) in the AMMTC to enable timely exchange of transnational crime information and cases and establish operational procedures to handle relevant incidents in emergency situations. We look forward to further discussion on the draft Concept Paper.
9. We commended the SOMTC-Malaysia for its efforts and significant role in the development and progress of the Terms of Reference of SOMTC and the Terms of Reference on SOMTC Working Group on General Transnational Crime Matters (WG on GTCM). We looked forward to the finalization and adoption of both TORs.
10. We noted with satisfaction the progress made by Thailand related to draft Concept Paper entitled “ASEAN Border Management Cooperation Roadmap”.
11. We took note of the adoption of the Work Plan of the ASEAN PoA to Prevent and Counter the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism 2019-2025 (Bali Work Plan) at the 13th AMMTC and looked forward to its implementation, including through the convening of ASEAN Regional Workshop on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) and the 2nd ASEAN Partners Meeting for the Implementation of the Bali Work Plan 2019 – 2025 in 2021.
12. We welcomed Brunei Darussalam as the incoming chair of AMMTC and SOMTC and look forward to the convening of the 15th AMMTC and Its Related Meetings in 2021, which will mark the beginning of the alignment of SOMTC and the AMMTC chairmanships with the ASEAN chairmanship.
13. We expressed our sincere appreciation to the Government and the Ministry of Public Security of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam for the excellent efforts and arrangements for the first-ever virtual 14th AMMTC. The Meeting was held in the traditional ASEAN spirit of solidarity and cordiality.By Phung Linh