India and the US have agreed to enhance their collaboration on counternarcotics regulation and law enforcement, and identified areas for joint action and coordination on this “important” issue, a statement said on Tuesday.
During the inaugural meeting of the Counternarcotics Working Group (CNWG), held virtually on November 24, the two countries also agreed to enhance their data sharing operations to combat the production, distribution, diversion, and export/import of drugs and precursor chemicals.
The Indian delegation was led by Sachin Jain, Deputy Director General, Narcotics Control Board, Ministry of Home Affairs, while the US side was headed by White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Assistant Director Kemp Chester.
Along with the Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Jorgan Andrews, and Department of Justice Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Hodge jointly led the US delegation.
“The delegations engaged in wide-ranging conversations focused on increasing collaboration on counternarcotics regulation and law enforcement. The two sides identified areas for joint action and resolved to continue their close coordination on this important issue,” said a joint statement issued on Tuesday.
Noting that both sides exchanged views on the broad array of narcotics-related challenges facing the US and India, the statement said that the officials committed to strengthening their cooperation in curtailing the illegal production, manufacturing, trafficking, and distribution of pharmaceutical and illicit drugs, as well as the precursor chemicals used to manufacture them.
Participants highlighted their efforts in combating drug trafficking in accordance with the rules and regulations of their respective countries and proposed to share best practices for countering synthetic opioids and precursor chemicals.
The two sides also discussed initiatives to strengthen India’s regional leadership role in building capacity for counternarcotics initiatives in South Asia; countering regional cross-border drug trafficking and crime through enhanced sharing of operational intelligence; and expanding law enforcement cooperation on counternarcotics issues.
Both sides also agreed to cooperate and assist each other in the area of drug treatment and awareness against drug abuse, said the joint statement.