The timely implementation of the current programmes and work plans to combat transnational crime was the main focus of discussions of ASEAN senior officials at their recent meeting in Brunei. During the 14th ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) and its Related Meetings in Bandar Seri Begawan officials from the region deliberated on the progress of work in this area and also exchanged views on emerging transnational crime threats.
The Senior Officials focused their discussion on the full implementation of the relevant provisions of the ASEAN Political Security Community Blueprint by 2015 and also the SOMTC Work Programme which lists eight areas of transnational crime including counter-terrorism, trafficking in persons and money laundering. They also exchanged views on regional strategies in combating transnational crime.
The Meeting commended the headway in programme implementation, the successful convening of the inaugural Working Group on Cybercrime, and the progress being made in the drafting of the ASEAN Convention on Trafficking in Persons (ACTIP) and the Regional Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons (RPA). The discussion was underlined by an emphasis on capacity building especially for front-line personnel and investigators and the use of technology in addressing transnational crime.
Leveraging on the capability of ASEAN Dialogue Partners to assist the region in addressing transnational crime was also looked at. In this regard, SOMTC held consultations with Australia, China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia, the United States and the Plus Three. The consultations focused on accelerating the implementation of existing Work Plans while also developing milestone documents that would serve as basis for more practical cooperation in combating transnational crime.