Press Releases

The 5th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters - Chairman’s Statement

Published: 21 October 2016

1.         The Fifth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters (5th AMMD) was held on 20 October 2016 in Singapore. His Excellency Mr. Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security was the Guest of Honour at the Opening Ceremony of the 5th AMMD and officially opened the Meeting. The 5th AMMD was chaired by His Excellency Mr. K. Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, Singapore. The Meeting was attended by ASEAN Ministers responsible for drug matters, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Heads of Anti-Drug Agencies and their respective delegations.


2.         The Ministers recognised significant achievements made over the past four AMMDs, which had strengthened ASEAN's resolve against drug abuse and renewed the commitment towards the Drug Free ASEAN aspiration. The Ministers commended the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Drug Matters (ASOD) and its five working groups for their efforts in addressing the regional drug situation. They also acknowledged the contributions made through regional cooperative mechanisms, such as the ASEAN Airport Interdiction Task Force (AAITF), ASEAN Seaport Interdiction Task Force (ASITF) and ASEAN Narcotics Cooperation Centre (ASEAN-NARCO), including the establishment of the ASEAN Drug Monitoring Network.


3.         The Ministers commended ASEAN's coordinated response at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem including at the meetings leading to the momentous event. Of significance were the joint ASEAN statements delivered by Singapore at the 59th Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) on 14 March 2016 in Vienna, and Malaysia at the UNGASS on the World Drug Problem on 19 April 2016 in New York. The Statements asserted ASEAN's commitment to:

  • Remain united in our commitment to a vision of Drug-Free ASEAN, so as to provide our people and communities with a society free from drug abuse and its ill-effects;
  • Supporting the centrality of the UN international drug control conventions, and the role of the CND as the principal policy-making organ;
  • Respecting the sovereign right of countries in deciding the most appropriate approaches to address their national drug situations; and
  • Promoting cooperation with other regions, as part of a larger global effort to tackle the drug problem.

4.         The Ministers called on Member States to maintain ASEAN unity and solidarity in their participation at the UN CND and related meetings, especially during discussions on the future global drug plan that will succeed the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem. As an expression of our unity, the Ministers launched the green-and-white Anti-Drug Abuse Ribbon, which signifies health, vitality and strength. Member States are encouraged to use the symbol in preventive education activities and campaigns throughout ASEAN, spreading a common message among youths and communities to be resilient against drugs. 

5.         The Ministers acknowledged that illicit drug production, misuse and trafficking remains a challenge for ASEAN. In this regard, they noted with appreciation Thailand's Concept Paper proposing ASEAN Cooperation to Tackle Illicit Drug Production and Trafficking in the Golden Triangle. The Ministers tasked ASOD to consider the operational strategies in greater detail.


6.         In their statements, the Ministers also shared the following concerns:

  • Widespread misuse of illicit drugs, especially opiates and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS), in our communities;
  • New challenges, such as the emergence of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), and diversion of precursor chemicals;
  • Involvement of transnational criminal syndicates in the region, especially in the manufacturing and trafficking of illicit drugs;
  • Exploitation of new technology and the region's interconnectivity for illicit purposes;
  • Providing sustainable alternatives and poverty alleviation solutions for communities affected by illegal crop cultivation;
  • The continuing threat posed by smuggling of precursors into and the production and trafficking of illicit drugs from the Golden Triangle; and
  • Growing trend of trafficking of illicit drugs by sea in the region.

7.         In response to these challenges, the Ministers recognised the achievements of ASOD in implementing the ASEAN Work Plan on Combating Illicit Drug Production, Trafficking and Use (2009 – 2015), which has forged closer regional cooperation and integration. Moving forward, the Ministers appreciated the work of ASEAN Secretariat and ASOD in developing the Post-2015 ASEAN Work Plan, and thanked Indonesia and Thailand for hosting workshops to facilitate the important discussions on the new Work Plan.                   

8.         The Ministers adopted ASEAN Work Plan on Securing Communities Against Illicit Drugs 2016 – 2025 (ASEAN Work Plan 2016 – 2025) and its regional theme. Aligned with the ASEAN Political-Security and Socio-Cultural Blueprints 2025, the ASEAN Work Plan 2016 – 2025 will guide Member States activities and cooperation on drug matters. The regional theme of "Securing ASEAN Communities Against Illicit Drugs" provides the motivation for ASEAN to remain resilient and committed to protect our people and communities from the dangers of illicit drugs. The Ministers noted that the ASEAN Work Plan 2016 – 2025 will be reviewed in 2020 (Mid-Term Review) and 2024 (Final Review), accompanied by interim internal reviews in 2018 and 2022. 

9.         The Ministers recalled the institutionalisation of the AMMD on 27 October 2015, which raised the importance of the AMMD in providing political impetus and strategic guidance to regional efforts in combating the drug problem. To complete the institutionalisation process, the Ministers adopted the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters.


10.     In keeping with the ToR, the AMMD will be held every two years, hosted on a rotational basis as per ASEAN practice. Noting that Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore have hosted the AMMD, the Ministers welcomed the offer by Viet Nam to host the 6th AMMD in 2018.


11.     In concluding, the Ministers reaffirmed ASEAN's commitment to combat the drug problem in the region with a view to "Securing ASEAN Communities Against Illicit Drugs". 

12.   The Meeting was held in the traditional spirit of ASEAN solidarity and cordiality, in keeping with ASEAN's journey towards a region of "One Vision, One Identity, One Community".