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Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders have all agreed to link arms in campaigning towards a drug-free region, and reaffirmed their commitment to fight against terrorism among other security threats.

The chairman released a statement upon the conclusion of the 28th and 29th ASEAN summits, saying that drug problems were talked about in the previous meetings that were held in Malaysia, Austria, and the United States.

“The statement reaffirmed ASEAN’s join commitment to a zero-tolerance approach in realizing the regional vision of a drug-free ASEAN,” the statement said.

It has been said by Philippine officials that President Duterte, in his first international engagement since he assumed office, would push for a drug-free ASEAN. The ASEAN leaders have also promised to be more assertive in their cooperation on information dissemination and exchange of intelligence among the drug control and law enforcement agencies in the scope of the region.

Furthermore, they are planning to adopt a plan of action that aims to combat transnational crimes in 10 priority areas which are: terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking, arms smuggling and sea piracy, money laundering, international economic crime, cybercrime, wildlife and timber trafficking. 

With regards to fighting extremism and terrorism, the leaders reaffirmed their pledge to strengthen coordination and cooperation through the implementation of the ASEAN Convention on Counterterrorism and the ASEAN Comprehensive Plan of Action on Counterterrorism.

“In this regard, we extended our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims of the attacks. We strongly condemn extremism and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations…,” the ASEAN leaders said.

They also adopted nine documents during the summit, including One ASEAN, One Response declaration on disasters; declarations on the adoption of the initiative for ASEAN Integration Work Plan, master plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, decent work promotion, reinforcing cultural heritage cooperation and strengthening education for out-of-school children and youth; joint statements on biodiversity conservation and climate change, and lastly, a declaration of commitment on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Aside from these, they also pledged to strengthen their economic ties and to improve the business environment.

ASEAN Leaders to work together for drug-free region ASEAN Leaders to work together for drug-free region Reviewed by FNPH Correspondent on Friday, September 09, 2016 Rating: 5

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