Vietnamese delegation attends 21st SOMTC
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The SOMTC is held annually with the attendance of senior officials from ASEAN states to discuss issues related to transnational crime prevention. The 21st SOMTC takes place from July 27 to 29. SOMTC 21 includes a plenary session and ten consultations with the bloc’s dialogue partners (namely China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, Russia, the EU, New Zealand, the U.S., Canada, and India).
|The Vietnamese delegation attending the event.
As the coordinator of the ASEAN-Japan partnership, Vietnam chairs the 17th SOMTC+Japan Consultation on July 28.
At the plenary session on July 27, the ASEAN senior officials exchanged information about the fight against transnational crimes in their countries and in region over the past time.
According to them, amidst the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the governments of regional countries had to focused forces on fighting the infectious disease, criminals increased illegal activities, especially cyber crime.
However, the travel restrictions and social distancing measures also reduced physical operations of transnational criminal groups to some extent.
Addressing the plenary session, the representative of the Vietnamese delegation emphasized that, although Vietnam’s law enforcement agencies gave priority to the fight against the pandemic, they still maintained forces for crime control and prevention. As a result, investigation agencies successfully handled cases of transnational crimes of many kinds.
|The delegates at the event.
As an ASEAN member state, Viet Nam is committed to actively and responsibly participating in ASEAN cooperation frameworks in general and the regional fight against transnational crime in particular.
The Vietnamese delegation also made some recommendations on increasing regional cooperation in combating transnational crimes.
First, ASEAN law enforcement agencies should maintain and strengthen cooperation in the fight against transnational crime. Second, in the current challenging COVID-19 situation, ASEAN member states should focus on cooperation in border management and cybersecurity, thereby preventing criminals from taking advantage of the pandemic to increase their illegal opertions across the borders and in cyberspace.
Third, ASEAN should also enhance exchange of information about transnational crimes, especially drug-related crime, cybercrime, hi-tech crime while facilitating joint crime investigations among member countries.
Fourth, it should enhance cooperation with its dialogue partners in capacity building and foreign language training for law enforcement officers, and ask its dialogue partners to support regional countries with special equipment for fighting transnational crime, while encouraging its partners to assist ASEAN states in containing the COVID-19 pandemic by providing COVID vaccines, improving COVID vaccine manufacturing capacity, and transferring COVID vaccine production technologies.
Finally, the Vietnamese delegation requested other ASEAN countries to support Vietnam’s initiatives in the SOMTC/AMMTC framework so as to strengthen regional cooperation in combating transnational crime within ASEAN and between ASEAN and its dialogue partners.