ASEAN and China Cooperative Operations in Response to Dangerous Drugs (ACCORD) 8th Task Forces Meetings on Civic Awareness and Demand Reduction
Jakarta (Indonesia), 19 August 2009 - The National Narcotics Board (BNN) of Indonesia organised and hosted international Task Forces meetings on Civic Awareness and Demand Reduction during 5-6 August 2009 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The purpose of the meetings was to discuss ACCORD member states' progress in meeting the goals of the ACCORD Plan of Action in these two thematic Pillars.
The Eighth Task Force meetings, held over two days, were attended by representatives of drug control agencies from Brunei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. Representatives from ASEAN Secretariat and UNODC acted as Joint Secretariat in both the meetings.
During the Civic Awareness Task Force meeting, the representatives from each country provided information on national activities, campaigns, and best practices aimed at raising awareness on the multiple threats posed by drug consumption and abuse.
The Demand Reduction Task Force meeting focused on activities, national programmes and best practices adopted in each country to achieve the goals of the ACCORD Plan of Action.
During the plenary session, UNODC presented the 2009-2012 Regional Programme Framework with a focus on its linkages to the ACCORD Plan of Action. Furthermore, the ASEAN Secretariat provided an update on developments in the Plan of Action on Combating Illicit Drugs Production, Trafficking and Use under the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Drugs (ASOD). The need to avoid possible duplication between ACCORD and ASOD is considered as the main priority.
This forum offered a good opportunity to reiterate one of the main elements emerging from the 52nd Commission on Narcotics Drugs: the need to shift the focus of policy interventions from public security to public health. The increased cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) on treatment packages was highly commended.
The Plan of Action was initiated in 2000 and endorsed by 36 countries and 16 international organizations. It was adopted at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in 2001 and at the United Nations General Assembly at its 56th session. The main objectives of the Plan are to strengthen regional coordination, monitor regional progress, and provide policy-level commitment to reach the goal of "Drug free ASEAN and China" by 2015. UNODC and the ASEAN Secretariat serve as the Joint Secretariat of the ACCORD process.
The Plan contained four pillars:
- Proactively advocating civic awareness on dangers of drugs and social response;
- Building consensus and sharing best practices on demand reduction;
- Strengthening the rule of law by an enhanced network of control measures and improved law enforcement co-operation and legislative review;
- Eliminating or significantly reducing the supply of illicit narcotic crops by boosting alternative development programs
Task Forces were formed for each of the Pillars since 2001 and have always met annually.