The Jakarta Post
The illicit trade of arms is the main trigger of transnational crimes that must be addressed, according to Ministry of Interior of Senior Official Meetings on Transnational Crimes (SOMTC) leader of the Kingdom of Cambodia HE Lapresse Sieng.
'Arms smugglers only want to make money. They don't care about human beings. They make the world turn into something that we see in TV every day, it's full of crisis everywhere,' he said.
ASEAN's geography mostly consists of long borderlines and large island areas that are vulnerable to arms smuggling. Various states in the region have experienced armed conflicts worsened by illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons that facilitate insurgents.
Drawing from his experience as a victim of civil war in Cambodia, Sieng asserted the importance of combating arms smuggling as a priority for ASEAN, especially in the terms of strengthening border security in the region.
'ASEAN has already cooperated with the EU on the possibility of drafting a convention against arms smuggling sometime in February 2016. Japan is also interested in helping us in this matter,' Sieng told thejakartapost.com at the ASEAN secretariat recently.
With the new phase of the EU-ASEAN-Interpol Migration and Border Management Program, Sieng hoped for a more comprehensive and proactive program for tracking the movement of arms throughout the region. It is interconnected with the master plan of ASEAN connectivity, aiming at making the region borderless, through social, cultural, economic and security collaboration.
'If we're able to tackle this illicit trade of arms, there's a possibility that we can slow down the war and refugee crisis around the world,' said Sieng. (dan)
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