Talking ASEAN on “Drug Policies in Southeast Asia: Towards a More Humane Approach?”

JAKARTA – On Thursday, 13 October 2016, The Habibie Center hosted Talking ASEAN dialogue entitled “Drug Policies in Southeast Asia: Towards a More Humane Approach?” at The Habibie Center Building in Jakarta.
This edition of Talking ASEAN was moderated by Mr. Muhamad Arif (ASEAN Studies Program, The Habibie Center) and featured an expert panel made up of Irjen. Pol. Drs. Arief Wicaksono Sudiutomo (Deputy of Law and Cooperation, the National Narcotics Agency/BNN), Ms. Dwi Ria Latifa (Member of Commission III, House of Representative, Republic of Indonesia), Dr. Ali Wibisono (Lecturer, International Relations Department, University of Indonesia), and Mr. Ricky Gunawan (Human Rights Lawyer and Director of the Community Legal Aid Institute).

The objectives of this Talking ASEAN were to: (a) explore the current state of drug-related crimes in Indonesia and Southeast Asia in general; (b) find the possible best approach to drug-related crimes based on Southeast Asia countries’ experiences; (c) identify the the pros and cons of adopting ‘harder’ and ‘softer’ approaches to drugs; and (d) discover the challenges and opportunities for Southeast Asian countries to work together to improve regional drugs policies.


The first to speak was Irjen. Pol. Drs. Arief Wicaksono Sudiutomo who explained the scope of work that BNN has conducted as part of Indonesia’s national policy on drugs. Mr. Ricky Gunawan, as the second speaker argued, that it is time to change the approach on War on Drugs by embracing the existing evidence. This argument also echoed by Dr. Ali Wibisono, who emphasized that it is important to shift the approach from national security to human security, especially when most vulnerable groups are involved. The last one to speak, Ms. Dwi Ria Latifa, confirmed that it is a general consensus that drugs is an imminent threat to state or society.

This was followed by a Question and Answer session which heard a number of participants in the audience address questions to the resource persons.

To download a copy of the Discussion Report and the powerpoints presentations, please click here.

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Talking ASEAN on “Drug Policies in Southeast Asia: Towards a More Humane Approach?”

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