News & Views : Annex ‘B ‘
Annex ‘B ‘
Jun 08, 2001
Press Release of the Ministerial Meeting of Signatory Countries to the 1993 MOU on Drug Control
The following is the text of the Press Release issued at the end of the Ministerial Meeting of six countries signatory to the 1993 MoU on drug control here on 11 May.
Drugs can no longer be conceived as a mere national problem and solutions can no longer be found by single countries alone. In front of the regionlisation of the drug problem, it is essential that Governments cooperate effectively to deal with the complex and changing problems of illecit drug production, trafficking and abuse in this part of the world. The responses must be national and regional .
It is according to this logic that the six signatories of the Greater Mekong Sub-region Memorandum of Understanding on Drug Control- namely Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam- held a Ministerial and Senior Officials level meeting in Yangon from 8 to 11 May 2001.
Ministers and high level senior officials from each of the six countries gathered in Yangon for a three day round of bilateral and multilateral meetings to take stock of progress made in subregion drug control operations and discuss ways of further strengthening their efforts in the fight against illicit drugs and drug-related crimes
In 1993 the Governments of Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, China and UNDCP signed a Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) on Drug Control under the belief that concerted international efforts were required to address the severe problems of illicit drug production, trafficking and abuse in the region. In 1995 Cambodia and Vietnam joined the regional anti-narcotics efforts and became parties of the regional group.
The first Ministerial Meeting of the six Governments and UNDCP, held in Beijing in May 1995, endorsed a Subregional Action Plan for Drug Control which today includes 14 subregional projects at a total cost of more than 26 m$. Funding for these projects has been provided primarily by the governments of Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union and Scandinavian countries.
This year’s meeting was opened by Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, Secretary-1 of the State Peace and Development Council and was chaired by Col Tin Hlaing, Minister of Home Affairs and Chairman of Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control. The meeting addressed progress made under the Action Plan, projects in the fields of drug abuse, reduction of illegal drug production and trafficking , law enforcement cooperation and also discussed further collective efforts to be launched at the cross-border, bilateral, regional and international levels. Issues such as cross-border law enforcement co-operation, drug control advocacy and capacity strengthening, precursors chemicals control, the epidemic increase of trafficking in and abuse of synthetic drugs ( in particular methamphetamines), legal co-operation, the spread of HIV/AIDS through injecting drug use as well as rural drug demand and povertyu reduction were other issues given high priority. Following its deliberations the meeting approved a revised Subregional Action Plan reflecting the discussed concerns and also signed a new regional project on ” Precursor Chemical Control in East Asia “with a budget of US$ 1,793,700 and a duration of 4 years. The participants discussed and agreed on basic principles of country partnerships and co-operative advocacy programmes to strengthen governments’ ownership of international programmes and civil society’s awareness and participation.
The participants further recognized the importance of integrating drug abuse prevention strategies into programmes for poverty alleviation, especially among ethnic groups in the highlands of Southeast Asia. A regional project idea to support this integrated approach was also endorsed.
The meeting elaborated also in more detail on the success of the development of a structure for law enforcement cooperation along the Chinese border to Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. The cooperation supported by UNDCP projects has resulted in successful joint operations against high level drug traffickers.
Furthermore this year’s meeting further built upon the recommendations for the enhancing of regional co-operation on drug control which resulted from the international Congress “In pursuit of a drug-free ASEAN 2015 “which was held in Bangkok on 11-13 October 2000.
On that occasion, ASEAN countries and China jointly endorsed the ACCORD Plan of Action- ASEAN and China Co-operative Operation in Response to Dangerous Drugs. Key elements of the Plan of Action are intended to give China and the ASEAN members, as well as other governments and organisations supporting the exercise, full ownership of the process. These include the provision of target dates for specific actions and the establishment of a monitoring mechanism that will measures the progress of all drug control activities in the region undertaken in support of the Plan of Action.
The six countries’ delegations were headed by:
Cambodia: Lt-Gen Em Sam An
China: Mr Yang Fengrui
Lao: Mr Soubanh Srithirath
Myanmar: Col Tin Hlaing
Thailand: Gen Thammarak Israngura
Vietnam: Pol Gen Le The Tiem
The next Ministerial Meeting will be held in Vietnam in May 2003.
Posted: Friday, June 08, 2001 5:10 PM