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News Analysis: ASEAN commits joint efforts in tackling non-traditional security threats

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HANOI, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The 17th ASEAN summit and related summits with partners that closed here Saturday sent a strong message that ASEAN is committed to enhancing cooperation to tackle non-traditional security challenges.

The three-day series of summits witnessed various rounds of discussion on dealing with non-traditional security challenges among the ten-member ASEAN countries, as well as between ASEAN and its partners.

The world is experiencing profound changes with emerging challenges like terrorism, arms trafficking, money laundering, economic crimes, internet crimes, deadly natural disasters, often referred to as non-traditional security challenges, said leaders at the meetings.

It requires dialogue and cooperation from all the countries incorporating political, diplomatic, legal and technological efforts to tackle non-traditional security challenges, the leaders said.

As Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung put it at the opening ceremony of the 17th ASEAN summit, non-traditional security threats have become a major challenge to the region. "ASEAN and partners must join hands to tackle various non- traditional security challenges to ensure the regional sustainable development," said Dung.

ASEAN has set up cooperation mechanisms to tackle non- traditional security challenges. In the past decade, ASEAN summits issued two joint statements on anti-terrorism and a counter- terrorism center was set up in Malaysia for research and training.

When natural disasters like tsunami, earthquake, typhoon and flood occur, it has been a common practice for ASEAN countries to cooperate at various levels to deal with the aftermath of the disasters.

At the Chairman's Statement of the 17th ASEAN Summit passed on Saturday, ASEAN leaders said countries in the region should continue efforts in enhancing cooperation on food safety, access to health services, communicable diseases, pandemic preparedness and response.

ASEAN countries, with different comparative advantages in areas such as capital, technology, experience, will be able to deal with non-traditional security challenges more effectively through pragmatic cooperation, leaders attending the summits believed.

The 17th ASEAN summit draws ten ASEAN members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam, and ASEAN partners including China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India, Russia and the United Nations, among others.

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