Greater Mekong sub-region serious on drug control
Member countries of the Memorandum of Understanding on Drug Control in the Greater Mekong sub-region reached in 1993 (MOU 1993) held a ministerial meeting in the Lao capital city of Vientiane on May 24.
MOU partners include Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). In his opening speech, Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong expressed his hope that the meeting would find out methods to effectively handle drug-related problems. The Lao government is ready to back joint efforts of the international community and the UNODC in drug control, the PM said. The participants agreed on the need to maintain the MOU as a forum for regional countries to discuss information, exchange experience and enhance cooperation.
They proposed adjusting the scale of activities and deploying several prioritised projects within the framework of the MOU. They also discussed and adopted a regional plan of action and set out a host of targets and long-term methods to effectively prevent drug production, trafficking and abuse in the next two years. At the event, Deputy Minister of Public Security Lieut. Gen Pham Quy Ngo, who led the Vietnamese delegation, underscored the great efforts of the Vietnamese Government and relevant agencies in recent years. The Vietnamese Government has developed the programme on drug control into a national target programme with an array of methods, Ngo noted. He called for co-ordinated efforts to reduce drug demand and supply in the region, emphasizing the important role of regional cooperation in the battle, especially cooperation between countries sharing the common border.
Vietnam is doing its best to fulfil targets and requirements laid out in the plan of action for 2011, he said. Since 1995, 16 ministerial-level meetings have been held rotationally in six member countries of the Greater Mekong sub-region.