Officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states have pledged to strengthen cooperation on combating transnational crime, especially in the post COVID-19 era.
They made the pledge at the 15th ASEAN ministerial meeting on transnational crime (AMMTC). The ministerial meeting and related meetings were held from Sept. 28 to 30 via video conference in Brunei.
The ministerial meeting adopted a declaration on combating transnational crime in the post-pandemic era, which is expected to serve as foundation for ASEAN's planning to combat the latest crime trends, such as cybercrime and smuggling activities in border areas.
According to a statement released on Thursday, among participants in the meeting were ministers and other senior officials from ASEAN member states and the Secretary-General of ASEAN, and ASEAN Secretariat.
Haji Awang Halbi, Brunei's second minister of defense and head of the National Security Committee, said that Brunei will continue to support regional and international efforts to combat cross-border crimes, with a focus on related opportunities and challenges in the post COVID-19 era.
The official who chaired the meeting said that the AMMTC needs to further enhance the cooperation with ASEAN sectoral bodies and with ASEAN dialogue partners including China, South Korea, and Japan to support regional recovery efforts during the current COVID-19 crisis.
Officials at the ministerial meeting also agreed to adopt the ASEAN border cooperation roadmap which outlines measures to strengthen the security level in the border areas of the ASEAN region.