JAKARTA - The multi-agency task force set up to tackle the growing problem of drug use among Singaporean youth had its first meeting two weeks ago, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the third Asean Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters in Jakarta, Indonesia, Mr Masagos told his counterparts that regional and global trends have affected Singapore, with a rise in the number of young drug abusers turning to "non-traditional" drugs such as "Ice", cannabis and new psychoactive substances. The Taskforce on Youths and Drugs, which he co-chairs, was set up to address the problem.
The work of eradicating drug problems requires strong bilateral, regional and international cooperation, and Asean must be united and steadfast in the front against drugs, he said in the country statement he delivered, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
The meeting was attended by Asean ministers overseeing the drug situation or their representatives. Mr Masagos was accompanied by officials from the Central Narcotics Bureau and MHA.
MHA said that the meeting concluded with the ministers expressing "grave concerns" about the escalating threat of production, trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs in the region and through the region; and reaffirming their commitment towards a "Drug Free Asean".
Next year, Singapore will host the 36th Asean Senior Officials Meeting on Drug Matters.