Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers on Tuesday joins parliamentarians from the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) for the 1st Meeting of the Advisory Council on Dangerous Drugs (AIPACODD) in Singapore in a bid to explore ways to rid the region of illegal drugs.
AIPA, or the ASEAN Parliamentary Assembly, is composed of parliaments from 10 ASEAN countries, namely, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
It aims to encourage understanding, cooperation, and close relations among Member-Parliaments as well as Observer Member Parliaments and other parliamentary organizations and plays an instrumental role in familiarizing the peoples of Southeast Asia with policies aimed at accelerating the realization of an ASEAN Community in 2015.
Barbers, chair of the committee on dangerous drugs in the House of Representatives, also chaired the 13th Meeting of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly Fact-Finding Committee to Combat the Drug Menace (AIFOCOM) held in Manila in July 2017.
“It was the Philippines that proposed the creation of AIPACODD last year because it used to be AIFOCOM which was just an ordinary fact-finding committee,” Barbers said.
During last year’s meetings in Manila, Barbers said ASEAN lawmakers approved a resolution turning AIFOCOM into the AIPA Advisory Council on Dangerous Drugs (AIPACODD) to strengthen its role as a political tool in the battle against dangerous drugs, and to work towards a drug-free ASEAN community.
On the other hand, the AIPACODD meetings in Singapore, which runs through June 18 to 21, are being held at Parliament House, Singapore with the theme, “Securing Drug-Free ASEAN Communities for Future Generations.”
Three draft resolutions are on the table for the adoption of delegates. These are the Proposed Resolution on Securing Drug-Free ASEAN Communities for Future Generations; Proposed Resolution on the Terms of Reference of the AIPA Advisory Council on Dangerous Drugs; and Report of the 1st AIPA Advisory Council on Dangerous Drugs.
On Monday, leaders of delegations called on Tan Chuan-Jin, president of AIPA and Singapore’s Speaker of the Parliament.
Jin will address the official opening of the meetings of the AIPACODD before it holds discussions on the agenda. Adoption of draft resolutions will be done on Wednesday.#