Regional Conference on Enhancing Cooperation on Border Management in ASEAN: Preparing for a Safer and More Integrated Community
25 September 2015
Bangkok (Thailand), 26 August 2015 - High-level regional integration and public security representatives from ASEAN Member States convened in Bangkok on the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to discuss effective border security in an era of rapidly increasing connectivity in Asia.

Southeast Asia is undergoing a process of rapid change. With the ASEAN Community set to be established in 2015, bringing the region's 630 million people together in one of the world's largest trading blocks, ASEAN countries are investing heavily in new road, rail and port infrastructure. In addition, initiatives are being supported to ease border and visa restrictions and facilitate an increase in cross-border movements of labour, capital and goods.

However, while increased connectivity will accelerate trade and overall economic growth in the region, experts at the conference are concerned that this new reality also poses challenges for governments trying to secure their land borders and ports against non-traditional security threats like transnational trafficking and smuggling. "With crime groups already generating illicit money flows exceeding $100 billion per year, increased connectivity will require additional safeguards including common approaches of security agencies to land border and port management, specialized training and cross-border communication", remarked Mr. Jeremy Douglas, UNODC Regional Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. He went on to comment "put in perspective, the value of transnational crime already exceeds the gross domestic product of several ASEAN countries. We cannot wait longer with putting in place shared mechanisms."

SourceUNODC website    (Click here to read more)