On 6 March in Vienna, on the sidelines of the 63rd session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov met with Rakesh Asthana, Director General of India's Narcotics Control Bureau.
The parties discussed the progress of the SCO Anti-Drug Strategy for 2018-2023 and the action plan for its implementation. They also shared updates on the drug situation in the SCO Member States. Vladimir Norov thanked his counterpart for his valuable participation in the joint high-level event "UN and SCO: Countering Drug Trafficking via Darknet."
The Secretary-General highly praised India's initiatives the aim of which is to establish cooperation within the SCO to prevent financial flows related to illicit drug trafficking, as well as initiatives focusing on teaching narcologists modern methods of prevention and treatment of addiction to psychoactive drugs, rehabilitation and re-socialisation of persons suffering from drug addiction.
Rakesh Asthana noted that the illegal drug traffic posing a threat to India is coming from both Afghanistan and the Golden Triangle. Therefore, it is in New Delhi's interests to intercept any supply channels for prohibited substances and develop efficient measures, including stronger security at maritime and land borders, intensive exchange of intelligence data and prevention of drug trade in the hidden segment of the internet.
Mr Asthana stressed that multilateral anti-drug cooperation within the SCO has high practical value in terms of sharing best practices between participants and availability of professional training for employees of competent authorities.
The parties also covered India's involvement in the Web international anti-drug operation planned during Russia's SCO Presidency, and the Meeting of the Heads of the SCO Member States' Counter-Narcotics Agencies.