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Asean officials discuss ways to combat drug trafficking

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Deputy Prime Minister Ke Kim Yan, who is also the head of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) speaks during a three-day meeting on Asean Senior Officials on Drug Matters (ASOD) in Siem Reap on Wednesday. Photo supplied

Asean officials discuss ways to combat drug trafficking

More than 200 officials from Asean member countries gathered in the Kingdom on Wednesday to discuss ways to combat drug trafficking.

The officials are attending a three-day meeting under the theme Asean Senior Officials on Drug Matters (ASOD) in Siem Reap province. Held from Wednesday through Friday, the meeting aims to find more effective means to address drug-related issues.

Meas Virith, the secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) under the Ministry of Interior, said on Wednesday that the officials discussed issues including treatment and rehabilitation, law enforcement, and research into and practice of legal crop planting.

He said officials had yet to adopt new measures to combat drugs during the first day of the meeting. However, Cambodia will continue to implement action plans adopted during the previous Asean on Drug 2016-2025 meeting to ensure security in the bloc.

“We are discussing ways to achieve our common goal and benefits within Asean,” he said.

Through its Facebook page on Wednesday, NACD’s General Secretariat quoted Deputy Prime Minister and NACD chairman Ke Kim Yan as saying in the meeting that Cambodia had been paying full attention to the implementation of its anti-drug campaign.

“The planting, producing, trafficking and use of drugs, both in our region and the world, have persisted. The illegal practice has caused insecurity, disrupted social order, affected national economic development and people’s well-being,” he said.

To achieve Asean’s common goal, Kim Yan requested stronger collaboration in strengthening technical capacity and the sharing of information on cross-border drug trafficking to eliminate such organised crimes.

Meas Sovann, the president of Drug Addict Relief Association of Cambodia (Darac), said the prevention and fight against drugs would achieve better results if partner countries from Asean can maintain strong cooperation.

“For this issue, no one can rely solely on the other and no one can be blamed. All stakeholders must work hard together. Everyone at the grassroots level must also join hands, at least by providing tip-offs to the authorities,” he said.

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