The 135 national races who are proud to identify themselves all as Myanmar and who
inhabit the golden land of Myanmar as one monolithic nation, are cognizant of the fact that
the problem of narcotic drugs, imposed them over their protests nearly 175 years ago, has now
developed into a menacing demon threatening the entire family of nations.
The people of Myanmar share the awareness as well as the grave concern of the international community relative to the menace of illicit drugs. The people of Myanmar are in anguish over the widespread suffering wrecked by illicit drugs on human societies, especially on the younger generations, across the great continents of the globe. The untold suffering and the anguish caused by the abuse of drugs relate to all the peoples of the entire world. Myanmar will do its utmost with whatever resources it possesses to fight this menace threatening humanity.
The Government of the Union of Myanmar, treating the issue as a national task, has keen steadfastly exerting vigorous efforts to bring an end to the poppy cultivation, production and drug abuse throughout the successive eras, sacrificing lives and limbs of scores of citizens, in particular members of the Armed Forces In these endeavours, Myanmar has also been taking cooperative measures both at the regional and international level.
Currently, the Government of the Union of Myanmar has launched a bold and ambitious scheme for the total elimination of the opium poppy from the soil of the country. This is not merely a stopgap measure nor is it a quixotic or whimsical undertaking.
Under the master plan adopted by the Government, multifaceted programme for the development of the border areas and national races are already underway for the improvement of infrastructures and sector-wise development activities. By uplifting the social life and economic status of the people of the border areas, the gradual but certain elimination of the poppy would come within the given timeframe. It would change the pattern of living and livelihood of the inhabitants of the border areas where poppy plants thrive. There is no other viable solution nor is there an easy way out of labyrinth of problem involved, save economic and social uplift which would uproot the poppy plant from the life of the people in the border areas.
However the problem of narcotic drugs is a global problem which cannot be adequately tackled by countries or regions acting alone. It is a global problem that needs cooperation on a global scale. It is a problem that must be resolved in a holistic manner.
It needs to be resolved not only from the production side but also from the demand reduction side. While enforcement activities are important, they need to be accompanied by public awareness are habilitation measures. Destruction of poppy fields, which in many cases constitute the only source of income for the people in remote and poverty ridden areas of many developing countries, must be accompanied by programme to provide alternative livelihoods for those people. It is with this consideration in mind that the government of the Union of Myanmar had embarked upon its ambitious 15-year plan. This would mean devoting its scarce and limited resources to implement this very important project. Myanmar is prepared to do so. It regards the eradication of this scourge of the humanity not only as d national endeavour but also as an international duty.
At the same time international cooperation is vital if national efforts, such as the one Myanmar has embarked upon, is to meet with success. Timely assistance from international sources would go a long way to ensure the success of Myanmar's 15-year plan to eradicate the problem of narcotic drugs.
The people of Myanmar have taken it upon themselves, as a national endeavour to rid their country of the opium forever, as they owe it to themselves and to posterity The brave fight will continue with whatever resources available.