The Philippines shall host this year’s 10th ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) to be attended by senior officials from ten ASEAN member-countries in Makati City from October 25 to 29, 2010.
Expected to attend the high-level ASEAN meet are senior officials from ASEAN member states (AMS) namely, Brunei , Cambodia , Indonesia , Lao PDR, Malaysia , Myanmar , Singapore , Philippines , Thailand and Vietnam ; other country delegates of the AMS; representatives from dialogue partner countries and other international organizations.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, who shall deliver the keynote speech during the affair, said the activity aims to further strengthen regional cooperation and commitment against transnational crimes.
The eight transnational crimes identified in the ASEAN Declaration on Transnational Crime in 1997 are terrorism, trafficking in persons, piracy on the high seas, illicit drug trafficking, cyber crimes, intellectual property, money laundering, and arms smuggling.
Robredo said thePhilippines , which was chosen as the Lead Shepherd for Trafficking in Persons (TIP), has always been in the forefront of regional and local actions against trafficking in persons.
During the affair, there will be presentation of country reports and an adoption of the work program to implement the ASEAN Plan of Action to Combat Transnational Crime.
Different working groups shall also make a report on counter-terrorism and combating trafficking in persons. Also expected to make presentations are the Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons on the implementation of their work plan, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
“It is my hope that by the time this meeting comes to a close, we will be in a more strategic position to effectively address new and more sophisticated criminal threats, and closer to our goal of a peaceful and stable ASEAN region,” Robredo said.
DILG Undersecretary for Peace and Order Rico E. Puno, who is the chair of this year’s SOMTC, said the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) is the operating arm of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMC), the highest policy-making body on ASEAN cooperation in combating transnational crimes.
The SOMTC is instrumental in realizing the recommendations of the Vientiane Action Plan to develop the ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism which has been signed by all ASEAN member countries. ###