TUARAN – Wildlife trafficking is a serious crime besetting the region and the world considering the scale of its implications to development, peace and security.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said there is an urgent and shared responsibility to address this critical issues.
Speaking during the ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Combating Wildlife Trafficking at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort Tuaran, here today, he added that there must be an integrated, multidimensional and international collaboration to face the challenges on combating the wildlife trafficking issues.
“We intend to highlight the role of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) as a vehicle to promote trust and confidence building in the region as well as to build capacity and expertise of its member towards the maintenance of peace and security in the region,” he said.
Anifah disclosed that recently at the 9th East Asia Summit, the Heads of State and Government of 17 countries including Malaysia has adopted the EAS Declaration on Combating Wildlife Trafficking.
In the Declaration, it outlines 21 agreed actions for implementation to combat wildlife trafficking.
“Among others, the Declaration encourages ASEAN and its external partners to support development that optimizes cooperation on crime prevention ad criminal justice response to combat illicit trafficking and illegal trade of wildlife,” he said.
He added that the Declaration also calls for capacity building of countries in the area of combating wildlife trafficking and illegal trade of wildlife and wildlife products.
He informed that the workshop is to provide sustained momentum for a strong political support towards the collective efforts in combating wildlife trafficking more effectively.
The workshop is in conjunction with Malaysia’s Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2015 and as part of Malaysia’s commitment to the Hanoi Plan of Action to implement the ARF Vision Statement.
Malaysia and the United States of America are co-hosting the ARF workshop from March 30 to April 1. -SayangSabah