Senior officials from the Greater Mekong Sub-Region begin three days of talks in Vietnam today to enhance multilateral strategies to combat the region’s growing and evolving drug threat.
Representatives from Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, accompanied by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), are sitting down in Hanoi, where they will update the Mekong MOU Sub-Regional Action Plan that binds the six nations’ counter-narcotics efforts.
A UNODC statement called the meet “an ideal platform” to address the region’s “operational challenges related to the production and trade in drugs and precursor chemicals”.
According to the UNODC, the latest data show the flow of illicit drugs and precursor chemicals on the uptick in the region, with the production and trafficking of methamphetamine and heroin estimated to generate $31 billion for organised criminal groups.
Synthetic drugs, particularly methamphetamine, remain the largest drug threat to the region, and supply is growing, according to the UNODC. The emergence of new uncontrolled psychoactive synthetic drugs is also impacting the region.