MINISTER of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar attended the 3rd Asean Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters (AMMDM) in Jakarta, Indonesia on December 1 to 4.
The 3rd Asean Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters was officially opened by Yusuf Kalla, Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, and was chaired by Anang Iskandar, Head of the National Narcotics Agency, Republic of Indonesia.
The Minister of Energy at the PMO, as the head of Brunei Darussalam’s delegation, in his speech reiterated the commitment of Brunei Darussalam in cooperating with Asean countries. Pehin Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin further stated the country’s success in implementing community-based treatment programme at Al-Islah Centre (Pusat Al-Islah) which welcomes voluntary admission.
The Minister also mentioned the vision of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for the country to continue to strive continuously in combating illicit drug issue that not only threatens security and order, but also the economics and social state of the country.
He also suggested for Asean countries to review existing strategies in overcoming drug crimes, to be informed on gaps and challenges, and subsequently derive anti-drug policies which are more holistic and balanced towards Asean post-2015 anti-drug strategies.
The Minister encouraged Asean countries to outline realistic key performance indicators for member countries to achieve and to incorporate them in their respective national strategies.
He further stated that current challenges, such as the new psychoactive substance (NPS), need to be dealt with immediately and to be included in future anti-drugs strategies.
In a statement by the Chairman, Asean ministers are satisfied with the productive discussions regarding the issues and achievements of Asean, following concerns on the increasing threats such as the production, trafficking and abuse of controlled drugs in the region and its surrounding.
Thus, Asean unanimously voiced out commitment and to always be ready to strengthen regional cooperation and to continue working hard to combat drug crime.
Ministers also agreed that the regional aspiration of “Drug Free Asean” that symbolises commitment and resilience towards “zero tolerance approach” to ensure citizens and residents are protected from drug abuse, needs to be strengthened for post-2015 anti-drug strategy.
There was also a shared view in regards to existing challenges and new challenges such as ‘New Psychoactive Substance’ that has risen, and commitment from Asean countries need to be practiced in terms of operation and concrete actions.
It was further emphasised in the meeting that action against threats and drug abuse is an ongoing process that requires the implementation of effective measures and more coordination in the future.
The meeting also highlighted and stressed the need to implement a new paradigm in handling dangerous drugs with new strategies and approaches that can balance between treatment and rehabilitation, and prevention by law enforcement.
The AMMDM is preceded by a meeting with senior officers held a day before the AMMDM is held to discuss and elaborate on the development of the draft “ASEAN Drug-Free 2015”; institutionalisation of “Asean Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters” and the way forward.
Also present with the delegation was Dato Paduka Haji Hamdan bin Haji Abu Bakar, Permanent Secretary (Security and Enforcement) at the Prime Minister’s Office; Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Haji Mahmud bin Haji Saidin, Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to the Republic of Indonesia, and senior officials from the Prime Minister’s Office and Narcotics Control Bureau.
Brunei Darussalam was the host for AMMDM in 2013 and the next AMMDM meeting will be hosted by Malaysia in 2014.