Friday, December 4, 2009

Address at the Opening of the 7th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and the 4th ASEAN

Address at the Opening of the 7th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and the 4th ASEAN plus Three Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (7th AMMTC and 4th MMTC+3)

Siem Reap, November 17, 2009

Your Excellency, SAR KHENG, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior of the Kingdom of Cambodia,

Your Excellency, Pehin Dato Haji Adanan Yusof, Brunei’s Minister of Home Affairs and the Chairman of the 6th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting,

Your Excellencies, ASEAN Ministers and Heads of Delegates,

Your Excellencies, Ambassadors to the Kingdom of Cambodia,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, Cambodia and I take great pride in hosting the 7th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and the 4th ASEAN plus Three on Transnational Crime that will be held for two days. On behalf of the people and the Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, heads and members of delegates as well as distinguished national and international guests attending this important meeting.

Once again, may I take this opportunity to congratulate the ASEAN for its achievements, especially the adoption of ASEAN Constitution which reflected the vision of those who founded the ASEAN since 1960s. Moreover, key principles of the ASEAN Constitution are designed to promote and maintain peace, security and stability, streamline pro-peace culture, strengthen democracy, strengthen governance and state of law, protect human rights and dignity, and make ASEAN a drug-free and nuclear-free region, and so forth.

The Constitution’s essence indeed acts as a roadmap for ASEAN members to realize the vision and spirit of the 12th and 13th ASEAN Summit on developing its security policy with the following three characteristics, 1) an association that respects the common value and standard based on laws and principles, 2) an association with solidarity, peace, stability, and shared security responsibility, and 3) an association that move forwards in the wake of global integration.

Development cannot be sustained in the absence of peace and security. Security situation can have a great influence on development. Terrorism and transnational crime still remain a big challenge for our region and individual country. Furthermore, global economic crisis, globalization and technological advancement have put direct pressure on security, especially the threat of transnational crime both at regional and global level. Within this spirit, our anti-transnational crime dialogue today is both timely and urgent as we have clearly seen the impact of transnational crime on global and regional growth. Fighting transnational crime, therefore, requires joint effort among all of us. In this connection, the gathering of ASEAN ministers of security and anti-crime affairs can be regarded as a joint search of solutions for transnational crime, which has threatened the people’s life, social security, and economic development.

We all remember the September 11th event, a crossroad of transnational crime, more particularly, terrorism. This brutal and inhuman act remains to be seen and threatening people around the globe. In this context, ASEAN, as a regional organization, has long been alerted and established necessary mechanisms for fighting and preventing transnational crime. These legal mechanisms include:

The ongoing Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime, the Senior Official Meeting on Transnational Crime, and some other appointed Organizational Meetings such as the ASEAN Police Chief Meeting and Senior Official Meeting on Drug. These forums have directly served the efforts made by each member states and the common efforts of ASEAN in fighting against all kinds of transnational crimes.

It should be noted that tremendous successes that ASEAN has achieved, especially the fighting against transnational crimes cannot be separated from the closer cooperation that ASEAN has built so far with partners, in particular with the plus three countries such as China, Japan and Korea. This valuable relation and cooperation along with the serving mutual interest, have clearly shown the vision of ASEAN as a regional organization, in building network with various partners in the world, including the United Nations, European International Criminal Police Organization aiming to become a unified global forces to solve global issues such as transnational crimes, which we recognized that it could happen anywhere with no boundary.

In fact, the result of the cooperation between ASEAN and the plus three countries, especially the implementation of the prepared plan of action, has achieved fruitful results by complementing the needed human resources, capacity building for investigation and technology as well as the exchange of practical experiences in the forums organized so far, is the actual needs of ASEAN members state including Cambodia. The continuous monitoring of various mechanisms for the implementation of the plan of action of the plus three and the building of partnership between ASAEAN and the plus three countries will make the possibility, capacity, and efficiency of the fight against transnational crimes between ASEAN and the plus three countries more fruitful.

At the same time, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the results of the Ministerial Meeting between the United Nations and International Criminal Police Organization and the 78th Conference organized in Singapore on 11-14 October 2009, which issued a ministerial declaration on the need to integrate the roles and responsibilities of the police in the mission to maintain peace of the United Nations in the countries that have just recovered from the conflict and war, in which the detailed plan of action will be submitted for discussion during the United Nations Forum in the future before adoption.

In this regard, based on the Cambodia’s direct experience from the war and with the presence of the peace keeping mission of the United Nations, it has clearly shown that the key to effective peace keeping mission is to primarily paid attention to the implementation of law, social order and basic freedom of the people and their rivals involved in the conflict and war, those roles which belong to the police force. In this spirit, we can understand that in maintaining national security, social order and transnational cooperation, the police still have an extra responsibility, which is to participate in the peace keeping mission of the United Nations. The receiving of this new obligation requires the support in political will from the member states and mobilizing appropriate resources for the training of the police forces to be deployed for this humanitarian mission.

The kingdom of Cambodia, as a member of ASEAN, has been integrating itself in all sectors according to the context of the globalization in order to strengthen good governance, ensure social stability and the development of national economy, aiming to fully participate in the process of nation building and cooperating with ASEAN member states based on the vision as set out in the ASEAN charter. Similar to some other countries that the threat of the transnational crimes can be an obstacle in realizing this objective, therefore Cambodia so far has been highly committed to preparing legal framework and proper operating mechanism to prevent, investigate and suppress the transnational crimes as follows:

1. Legal Framework

Realizing the inter-connectedness of the transnational crimes and the need of law enforcement agency, Cambodia has prepared “Law on Terrorism”, “Law on Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing”, “Law on Management and Control of Drugs”, “Law on the Management of Explosives”, and “Criminal Code Law”, which have been recently adopted by the National Assembly…etc. These important laws have been adopted by the National Assembly and have been promulgated by the King of the Kingdom of Cambodia, that through the efforts made by the national police of Cambodia and the related law enforcement agencies as well as the international cooperation makes us succeed in the work of preventing general crimes, investigate and crack down criminal organizations and a number of international terrorism networks. At the same time, Cambodia has been adhering to international legal frameworks by being signatory member of the 12 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols in conducting investigation and combating transnational crimes and fill out any possible loophole which might exist the context of Cambodian law.

2. Operating Mechanism

In addition to implementing reforms and building operational capacity of police force and law enforcement agencies, Cambodia has been paying great attention to domestic inter-agency cooperation by establishing “National Committee for Counter Terrorism”, “National Anti-Drug Authority”, “National Committee on Management of Weapons, Explosives and Ammunition” and “National Committee for Combating Trafficking, Smuggling, and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Women” …etc. These mechanisms have so far coordinated and actively implement their works and made remarkable achievements. These mechanisms have also promoted the cooperation of inter-agencies who are members and international operating partners in the same areas in exchange of information and experience at the regional and international forums as well as human resource development which are the key factors in controlling transnational crime situation that is changing very rapidly due to modern technology and globalization at the present.

Close cooperation between law enforcement agencies of member states in the region and the world, coupled with domestic inter-agency cooperation, will enable us to be successful in preventing, investigating and combating transnational crimes.

The ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (7th AMMTC) and the Fourth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime + Three (4th AMMTC+3) are the evidence reflecting our commitment and strong will to seek all methods and common strategy to protect national security and lives of our innocent people from the intrusion of ruthless and criminal groups.

I strongly believe that all assigned organizations of ASEAN will continue to closely cooperate with one another to facilitate active participation of all member states of ASEAN toward realizing those visions as set out in the ASEAN Charter.

Before closing, I would like to thank Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen who are heads and delegates of ASEAN member states and the Plus Three countries, China, Japan and South Korea, international and national guests who participate in the Seventh ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (7th AMMTC) and the Fourth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime Plus Three (4th AMMTC+3), and wish all of you a comfortable stay in Cambodia and a chance to visit Angkor Wat, the magnificent Khmer’s heritage.

May I now announce the opening of the meeting and wish it a fruitful success.

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