Asean joins hands to fight drug trade in region

A regional drug-busting agency will be established to tackle narcotics trafficking in the Asean+3 region by sharing information, preventing crimes and suppressing drug-related activities.

The proposed Asean Narcotics Cooperation Centre (Asean-Narco) will be based at the Office of the Narcotics Control Board in Bangkok's Phya Thai district, said Permpong Chaovalit, secretary-general of the ONCB.

Presiding over the opening ceremony of the Asean+3 (China, Japan and South Korea) workshop yesterday, Permpong said the participating countries would discuss the cooperation, which includes the establishment of this centre. The workshop will wrap up tomorrow.

The processes of this project are divided into three phases, he said.

The first phase will focus on building a network among countries to secure information, create an "Asean Drug Report" and set an agenda for resolutions. The second phase will further develop the cooperation, so countries could set guidelines for information linkage as well as related procedure and coordination to ensure sustainability and consistency.

The last phase will develop a database to help monitor and continuously develop cooperation among countries, which would lead to the establishment of a "Centre of Excellence", he added.

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