|Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Tong Thi Phong gives a speech at the third Meeting of the AIPA Advisory Council on Dangerous Drugs
During her opening speech at the online meeting, Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Tong Thi Phong stated that non-traditional security threats such as the environment, high-tech crime, food security, water security, epidemics, and drugs, are both urgent and permanent, long-term, global, and regional issues of shared concern.
The danger of drugs globally and in Southeast Asia is becoming increasingly complex, causing severe long-term health consequences, threats to economic security, and many social issues for all countries involved. Most notably, amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic which began early this year, plenty of nations worldwide, including ASEAN member states, are facing a "dual” non-traditional security threat which requires solidarity and a combined response efforts from all nations.
The country’s guidelines, policies, and law remain in line with the common view held among ASEAN members, with there being no tolerance for drugs, no acceptance of the trend of legalising drug use, and balancing solutions aimed at reducing supply and demand as members strive towards the goal of building a drug-free ASEAN community. Furthermore, the Vietnamese legislature has constantly redoubled its efforts to revamp the law and strengthen supervision with regard to this area.
For this year, the National Assembly of Vietnam chose to run the conference with the theme, "Turning words into action towards a drug-free ASEAN community" as a means of integrating AIPA's joint efforts to build a cohesive and adaptive ASEAN that fights drug use in society.
Strategies aimed at drug prevention and control must be adjusted in an attempt to adapt to the new situation, with the prime focus being on directing the expansion and the scope of detoxification schemes. This includes community-based rehabilitation with the aim of helping drug users integrate back into society and enjoy a drug-free life.
Vice Chairwoman Phong asked delegates to discuss and share their respective national experiences in terms of drug prevention, control, and addiction treatment. Meanwhile, AIPA members also conducted a review and evaluation of the implementation of commitments, whilst strengthening the role of parliaments and parliamentarians in realising commitments as a means of building a sustainable, safe, and healthy ASEAN community for all.
Le Van Thanh, Deputy Minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, suggested stepping up international co-operation in terms of drug prevention and combat, especially drug preventive measures and treatment steps that have were recommended by the United Nations General Assembly on drugs back in 2016.
Upon facing up to the trend of drug legalisation and recommendations by the World Health Organization to remove marijuana and its extracts from the UN control list, the nation affirmed its support for the views of ASEAN regarding the attitude of no tolerance for drugs. The country therefore rejects the trend of legalising drug use, and remains steadfast on its commitments to building a drug-free ASEAN Community.