Delegates from Southeast Asian countries Thursday reiterated political commitment at high level to anti-drug efforts in the region as well as the world at the sixth Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
At the two-day meeting's opening ceremony, Vietnamese Minister of Public Security To Lam said Vietnam has enhanced bilateral anti-drug cooperation with other ASEAN member nations as well as with the bloc's partners, especially neighboring countries, while attaching importance to sub-regional collaboration in the combat, Vietnam News Agency reported.
ASEAN has adopted an action plan to prevent the spread of drug use in the ASEAN Community for the 2016-2025 period, as well as launched the ASEAN Cooperation Plan in the fight against illicit drug production and trafficking in the Golden Triangle area for the 2017-2018 period.
Latest statistics released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime show that at least 250 million people, or five percent of the world's population, are drug users. In East and Southeast Asia, the number of heroin users stands at over 3 million, while more than 5 million people are using synthetic drugs.
In Vietnam alone, some 900,000 people are related to drug use, with 225,000 monitored drug addicts. Nearly 21,500 drug trafficking cases were reported in Vietnam in 2017, up 14.5 percent against 2016, local daily newspaper Vietnam News reported.