Presentation by Mr. Gary Lewis
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Partnership Forum on Transnational Organized Crime in Bangkok

Bangkok (Thailand), 4 February 2010 - The UNODC Regional Centre for East Asia and the Pacific hosted the Partnership Forum on Transnational Organized Crime, in Bangkok from 27 to 29 January 2010. The event represented a unique opportunity to foster a joint regional response to the threats posed by transnational organized crime.

The Forum was attended by more than 100 senior delegates from the 10 States members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as China and the Republic of Korea. At the Forum, participants discussed a set of concrete actions to assist Governments in the area of international cooperation in criminal justice, border control, countering the smuggling of migrants and the fight against the sexual exploitation of children.

The proposed programme contributed to achieving some of the actions contained in the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint and drew on the UNODC Regional Programme Framework for 2009-2012. The need to increase the pace of effective cooperation in legal matters among Governments was specifically highlighted by H.E. Sayakane Sisouvong, Deputy Secretary-General of the ASEAN Political-Security Community, who saluted 2010 as "the year of action".

In his opening remarks, UNODC Regional Representative Gary Lewis stated that the purpose of the Partnership Forum was to agree on a set of concrete interventions to counter the growth of transnational criminal groups in South-East Asia. "The need of the hour," said Mr. Lewis "is to, first, know the threat better, second, sharpen our technical capacity to act and, third, cooperate better across the region".

During the three-day event, participants were divided into four working groups to discuss in detail four projects. After a positive and constructive dialogue, the delegates agreed on the content and the overarching objectives of the proposed programme.

The positive outcome of the Partnership Forum will now pave the way for final programme approval and to the implementation of four projects in all participating countries.