On 3 June 2024, the competent bodies to combat drug trafficking of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) held a meeting via videoconference. The meeting was chaired by Kazakhstan and attended by representatives of the SCO Secretariat.
Welcoming remarks were delivered by Head of the Department for Combating Drug Crime of the Interior Ministry of the Republic of Kazakhstan Khadzhi-Gali Imazhanov and the SCO Deputy Secretary-General Shukhrat Sobirzoda.
The meeting was attended by Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau of the Republic of India Satya Narayan Pradhan, Deputy Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Republic of Kazakhstan Seyedmohammad Hosseini, Deputy Head of the Department for Combating Illegal Drug Trafficking of the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China Shan Yehua, Head of the Service for Combating Illegal Drug Trafficking of the Interior Ministry of the Kyrgyz Republic Ulanbek Sultanov, Director of the Anti-Narcotics Force of the Ministry of Narcotics Control of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Syed Sijjeel Haider, First DeputyHead of the Main Directorate for Drug Control of the Interior Ministry of the Russian Federation Kirill Smurov, Chief of Staff of the Drug Control Agency under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Faizullo Ubaidullo Abdullozoda, and Director of the National Information and Analytical Centre for Drug Control of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sadirdin Boydedayev.
During the meeting, the participants discussed the drug situation in the SCO member states, prospects for international cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking and drug abuse, as well as measures to strengthen interaction between SCO anti-drug agencies.
The heads of the delegations reaffirmed their readiness to support and strengthen the international drug control system based on the three basic UN conventions on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
They also emphasised the need to promote effective cooperation under the SCO Agreement on Cooperation in Combatting Illegal Drug Trafficking, Psychotropic Substances and Their Precursors, as well as the SCO Concept for the Prevention of Abuse of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. These were recognised as key tools for coordinating the efforts of states.
The officials expressed concern about the global drug problem, above all, the ongoing risks of growing illicit production of opiates and synthetic drugs in Afghanistan and the Golden Triangle zone, as well as their distribution. These pose a serious threat to the health, safety and wellbeing of the SCO population. In this regard, they expressed their readiness to cooperate in the fight against drug threats, both bilaterally and multilaterally.
It was highlighted that the rapid spread of synthetic drugs and new psychoactive substances, as well as their abuse, pose a serious threat to regional security and stability. They also noted the increasing illegal turnover of chemicals used in drug production.
The participants emphasised the importance of countering the use of up-to-date information, telecommunication technologies and electronic financial systems in drug trafficking and the laundering of drug proceeds, which have a negative impact on national, regional and global security.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the parties approved the composition of the working groups for the next meeting of the SCO competent bodies to combat drug trafficking. The date and venue for the next meeting were also agreed upon and are to be approved by the SCO Secretariat.
The meeting concluded with the parties reaffirming their commitment to cooperation and coordination in the fight against the drug threat in the SCO space.