MANILA, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Southeast Asian ministers converged in Manila on Monday to discuss steps on how to strengthen regional strategies and cooperation to combat transnational crimes.
A statement from the Philippine government said the four-day ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crimes (AMMTC) will be chaired by Catalino Cuy, officer-in-charge of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
One of the highlights of the event is the second special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Rise of Radicalization and Violent Extremism (SAMMRRVE), which will be convened "to provide a platform for ASEAN member states to exchange experiences, views, and ideas on the best practices in handling the issues of radicalization and violent extremism."
Considered as transnational crimes are terrorism, illegal drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, arms smuggling, money laundering, sea piracy, cybercrime, economic crime, environmental crime, intellectual property theft and smuggling of cultural property.
According to a report of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2016, transnational crime is booming in Southeast Asia, aided by rapid regional economic integration and patchy cross-border police work.
Cuy said the Philippines "is proud and honored to host this year's meet considering that the Philippines is also very active in promoting and taking action against transnational crimes, particularly trafficking in persons."
"We take great pride in hosting this year's AMMTC and the ASEAN Summit. We all recognize the magnitude and complexity of combating transnational crime and what we will do in the next four days will be crucial in our collaborative effort against this regional concern," he said.
The Philippines is this year's chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Ministers and officials of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea will actively participate as dialogue partners, the statement read.
ASEAN groups 10 member states, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.