Cooperation with ASEAN Countries

In accordance with the resolution of the 17th Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly calling upon States to take cooperative measures at international, regional and sub-regional levels in the fight against narcotics, Myanmar is not only actively engaged in sub-regional cooperation with her neighbouring countries, but also taking part in the plan of action for cooperation among the members of the ASEAN in drug abuse control since she joined the ASEAN family.

Participation at the Meetings of the ASEAN Senior Officials on Drug Matters

Even before her admission to ASEAN as a full Member, Myanmar had keen attending, as observer, some of the ASEAN meetings related to drug abuse control. Myanmar sent two senior officials to attend the 18th Meeting of the ASEAN Senior Officials on Drug Matters (ASOD) held in Bangkok, Thailand from 21 to 25 August 1995 and the 19th ASOD Meeting held in Hanoi, Vietnam from 16 to 20 September 1996 as observer.

After becoming a full member of the ASEAN, Myanmar was represented by two senior officials at the 20th Meeting of the ASEAN Senior Officials on Drug Matters held in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam from 19 to 22 August 1997 and actively participated in the cooperative activities of ASEAN against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

Out of the following 10 projects on Drug control being implemented by ASEAN, Myanmar is participating in those proposals that are relevant for Myanmar.

(a) Training of effective Management in Preventive Drug Education Programme.

(b) ASEAN Training Seminar for Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Counsellors;

(c) Promotion of Drug Control Activities in the Workplace;

(d) Training of Trainers in Interpersonal Skills and Peer Support Counselling in Drug Education;

(e) ASEAN Training on Financial Investigation;

(f) Youth Empowerment against Drugs and Psychotropic Substances;

(g) Training on Intelligence, Operation, Management and Supervision;

(h) Enhancement of Community-Based Drug Prevention Activities;

(i) Promotion of Drug Abuse Prevention Activities among out-of-school youth;

(j) Seminar on Precursor Chemicals.

Cooperative Efforts against Transnational Crimes

The member States of the ASEAN share the concern about the pernicious effects of transnational crimes, such as illicit drug trafficking, money laundering, terrorism, arms smuggling, traffic in persons and piracy on regional stability and development. As such, the ASEAN Ministerial Meetings and Informal Summits held in 1996 and 1997 had adopted decisions to the effect that the time has come for ASEAN to focus its attention to fostering regional cooperation in combating such transnational crimes.

In consonance with those decisions, the first Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers of Interior / Home Affairs on Transnational Crimes was held in Manila, the Philippines from 17 to 20 December 1997. A five-member Myanmar delegation led by Minister for Home Affairs Col. Tin Hlaing participated at the Ministerial level Meeting. At the end of the Meeting, the Ministers issued an ASEAN Declaration on Transnational Crimes setting out the group's future activities and measures to address the problem of transnational crimes. It was also agreed to convene at least once every two years ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime and to hold a high-level Ad-Hoc Experts Group within one year to draw up an ASEAN Plan of Action on Transnational Crime.

At the Sixth ASEAN Summit held in Hanoi, Vietnam in December 1998, Myanmar has agreed to host the Second Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime.

Participation in efforts for achievement of Drug-free ASEAN by 2020

The Fifth ASEAN Summit held in Bangkok in December 1995 has agreed that ASEAN shall further enhance cooperation efforts against drug abuse and illicit trafficking, with special emphasis being given to demand reduction programmes and information exchange and dissemination, with the aim of creating a drug-free ASEAN. At the Second ASEAN Informal Summit held in Kuala Lumpur from 14 to 15 December 1997, the Heads of State/Government of the ASEAN countries agreed to adopt the ASEAN Vision 2020, which envisages:

"... a Southeast Asia free of illicit drugs, free of their production, processing, trafficking and use"

well before 2020.

With this goal in mind, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the ASEAN member countries including Myanmar signed and issued a Joint Declaration for a Drug-free ASEAN at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting held in Manila, the Philippines in July 1998 In that declaration, the Ministers resolved to achieve a drug-free ASEAN through, inter alia, the following measures:

- to seek all modalities to eradicate illicit drug production, processing, trafficking and use in ASEAN by the year 2020;

- to strengthen and promote linkage among existing regional institutional mechanisms involved in the fight against drug abuse and trafficking;

- to upgrade and expand regional and national data banks on illicit drugs, to include more information on drug-related activities;

- to expand awareness, education and rehabilitation programmes among the region's youth;

- to identify and promote alternative sources of livelihood for people who are expected to be adversely affected by the curtailment, and eventually, stoppage of drug production.

At the Sixth ASEAN Summit held in Hanoi, Vietnam in December 1998, the' ASEAN Heads of State/Government issued the Hanoi Declaration of 1998 indicating their commitment to strengthen and promote linkages among ASEAN institutional mechanisms in fighting against drug abuse and trafficking in order to eradicate drug production, processing, trafficking and use by the year 2020. Accordingly, Myanmar as a member State of ASEAN, is also taking part in the collaborative efforts in the narcotic drug suppression measures to achieve the goal as aspired to by the ASEAN.

Participation in Drug-related International Conferences, Meetings, Seminars, workshops and training courses:

Myanmar has participated in drug-related conferences, seminars and training courses, which will contribute to the international and regional cooperation efforts in combating drug menace.

After the assumption of State responsibilities by the State Law and Order Restoration Council, Myanmar sent a delegation headed by H.E. U Maung Maung Than Tun, Ambassador of the Union of Myanmar to the Federal Republic of Germany to attend the United Nations Conference for the Adoption of a Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances which was convened in Vienna in December 1988.

Similarly, the Inter-regional Meeting of Heads of National Drug Enforcement Agencies, which was convened in Vienna from 11 to 15 September, was attended by a Myanmar Delegation headed by the Ambassador.

The Seventh Special Session of the General Assembly on Narcotic Drugs held in New York in 1990 was attended by the Myanmar Delegation headed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs U Ohn Gyaw and the 20th Special Session of the General Assembly on Narcotic Drugs held in New York in June 1998 was attended by the Myanmar Delegation headed by Minister for Home Affairs Colonel Tin Hlaing. Moreover, Myanmar regularly participates in the meetings of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs held in Vienna, Austria.

Training Courses, Seminars and Study Tours

Myanmar has also participated in training courses, seminars and study tours that may contribute to the international and regional cooperative efforts in combating drug menace:

(a) Conferences 15 52   delegates
(b) Meetings 42 134 delegates
(c) Seminars 16 39   delegates
(d) Workshops 15 38   delegates
(e) Training/Seminars 5 6     delegates
(f) Training Courses 18 42   delegates
(g) Study Tours 8 8     delegates
Total 119 times 319 delegates

Responsible officials of the CCDAC conducted meetings for a total of 195 times with diplomats, UN agencies, institutions and individuals on matters of narcotic drugs.