Fri 29 Oct 2004
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
Myanmar’s new prime minister, Lt. Gen. Soe Win, in his debut at a regional meeting Friday promised to join with other regional countries in breaking the ”vicious cycle of human trafficking.”
Speaking at the opening of a meeting of the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Trafficking, COMMIT, in Yangon on Friday, Soe Win reaffirmed Myanmar’s commitment against human trafficking and said his country is willing work with the region to ”make a dent in the ever-increasing crime of human trafficking.”
”We can and we will show the world and challenge the traffickers that we mean business. With our resolve, we will break the vicious cycle of trafficking in the region,” Soe Win said.
COMMIT, the first-ever ministerial level meeting attended by ministers from six countries along the Mekong river — China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam — will sign a memorandum of understanding to improve cooperation among the countries in conducting anti-human trafficking operations.
Soe Win hailed the meeting as a ”significant milestone” that ”marked a concerted and coordinated” effort by the governments of the Greater Mekong sub-region to ”unitedly stem the tide of human trafficking.”
According to official figures, Myanmar arrested 795 human traffickers in 412 cases between July 2002 and June 2004, in which 335 offenders were imprisoned.
The COMMIT meeting was jointly organized by Myanmar’s Home Affairs Ministry and the U.N. Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region.
The Greater Mekong Sub region has a population of around 240 million people sharing long, porous borders.
Soe Win became prime minister after Gen. Khin Nyunt was sacked two weeks ago by Myanmar’s junta for failing to stem corruption.