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ASEAN security experts meet in Cambodia to strengthen small weapon control cooperation

(Xinhua)

09:49, March 29, 2012

PHNOM PENH, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The ASEAN security officials gathered here on Wednesday to seek effective measures for cooperation to prevent disasters caused by illegal arms smuggling and trafficking, said Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sar Kheng.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the three-day ASEAN workshop on Small Arms, Light Weapons and Unexploded Ordnances Control, Sar Kheng said the meeting was very important to identify effective measures for controlling these illicit weapons and to learn and share experience in management and safe storage of the weapons. "Arms can be used for national defense and public security, but arms can also be perilous means to wars and public insecurity. Therefore, without proper management, these weapons will become a powerful precursor for tragedy,"he said. "The meeting reveals our determination in reducing disasters caused by arms and unexploded ordnances in order to ensure safety and security in ASEAN."

He said the workshop would not only enhance the effectiveness of cooperation to fight the smuggling and trafficking of illegal weapons, but also signify the collective wills of ASEAN in implementing the United Nations conventions, protocols and action plans related to the elimination of illegal trades in the weapons.

During the workshop, experts from ASEAN countries presented topics on situations, measures and procedures as well as good experience in collecting, confiscating and managing small arms, light weapons and unexploded ordnances and approaches for preventing the proliferation of arms. "The workshop would strengthen regional cooperation in prevention, control, investigation, and to suppress the illicit trade and proliferation in small arms and light weapons as well as unexploded ordnance," said Sieng Lapresse, undersecretary of state of Cambodia's Interior Ministry.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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