New Delhi: Union Minister for Home Affairs, Amit Shah, will be inaugurating the two-day Conference on Combating Drug Trafficking for BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) partner nations in New Delhi tomorrow, 13 February.
In pursuance of the commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 4th BIMSTEC summit held at Kathmandu in 2018, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is organizing the conference. It is believed that this platform will provide an opportunity to all member-nations to deliberate on the increased threats posed by drug trafficking and the collective steps that are required to negate the threats by learning from the best practices adopted by member-countries.
Delegations from each BIMSTEC Nation have been invited to participate in the conference. Various Central and State drug law enforcement agencies of India and other stakeholders have also been invited.
In the changing drug trafficking scenario, Asian countries are increasingly being affected by drug trafficking and BIMSTEC, being the key link between South Asian and South East Asian Nations, is one of the most effective platforms to tackle this global threat, stated a Press communication from the Ministry of Home Affairs today.
The BIMSTEC is a regional organization comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal, viz. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand besides India, constituting a contiguous regional unity.
The Ministry stated that regional maritime connectivity and trade through the Bay of Bengal are imperative for the shared prosperity and economic growth of the entire BIMSTEC region, and added that while providing unhindered maritime access, security challenges at sea and coastlines are a threat.
One of the most prominent of such challenges is the drug trafficking through sea, stated the Ministry, adding that it necessitates collaborative efforts at sea, including further strengthening of effective coordination in operations and information sharing amongst partner nations, to combat this menace. The Ministry believes that recent seizures of methamphetamine (1,156 kgs and 371 kgs) by NCB establishes the fact that Bay of Bengal region is impregnated with the drug trafficking menace.
NCB is the apex agency for exercising powers and functions of the Central Government under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, and is also the nodal agency for matters pertaining to drug law enforcement in India. It coordinates actions taken by various agencies of Central and State Governments related to drug law enforcement in the country and matters pertaining to drug abuse. NCB is also the nodal agency of the Government of India at the international level in all matters pertaining to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.