US hosts India for Counternarcotics Working Group Meeting


The meeting included representatives from top officials from both India and the US….reports Asian Lite News

The United States hosted the Indian government at the US Department of State for the fourth annual US-India Counternarcotics Working Group (CNWG) meeting.

According to the US State Department the US and Indian delegations addressed drug regulatory issues, law enforcement cooperation and collaboration, coordination in multilateral fora, and drug demand reduction efforts. “This year’s CNWG builds on India’s participation in Secretary Blinken’s virtual ministerial launching the Global Coalition to Address Synthetic Drug Threats earlier this month. The two delegations also discussed recommended actions on advancing the US-India drug policy relationship for the coming year,” the State Department said in its release.

The meeting included representatives from top officials from both India and the US.

This included, Narcotics Control Bureau Director General SN Pradhan and Ambassador of India to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu, from India and Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Uzra Zeya, US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti, the White House’s Director of National Drug Control Policy Rahul Gupta, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Lisa Johnson, from the US.

“The delegations look forward to continuing to collaborate on the wide range of counternarcotics efforts and to holding the next CNWG in India in 2024,” the state department added.

“Important convo w/Indian partners at today’s US-India Counternarcotics Working Group meeting. Pleased to build on @SecBlinken’s successful launch of the Global Coalition to Address Synthetic Drug Threats earlier this month & continue collaboration toward solving this global crisis,” Uzra Zeya said in her tweet.

While addressing the meeting, US special envoy Uzra Zeya said that New Delhi’s role is critical in combating the spread of synthetic drugs.

“The Synthetic drugs significantly and directly impact the populations of both India, US and also countries around the world, claiming countless lives and perpetuating harmful stigma for those who live with addiction,” Zeya said, adding that the “scourge of synthetic drugs is a shared challenge faced by many of us that requires a global solution”.

“India is a global leader in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, and consequently is a critical, global leader in combating the spread of synthetic drugs,” she added.

The Under Secretary called on the two countries to prevent the spread of fentanyl and other synthetics in our countries and abroad, riding on the resilient bilateral relationship between the two nations.

Notably, Fentanyl is considered a highly potent synthetic opioid, which is primarily used as an analgesic. Since 2018, fentanyl and its analogues have led to the most drug overdose deaths in the US.

US Special envoy further said that the grouping was able to stop the shipment of over 500 packages to the United States from India containing illicit prescription drugs, medical devices, and synthetic precursors. The more we work together, the more we can accomplish.

Earlier in June, more than 500 shipments of prescription drugs and medical devices were seized by the US authorities in a joint operation with India.

This action was taken under ‘Operation Broader Sword’, a bilateral multi-agency enforcement operation against illicit pharmaceuticals, devices, or precursor chemicals.

In April this year, Rahul Gupta, Director of Office of National Drug Control Policy had also hailed the role of India and the US in the direction.

The US health official had said that the two counties share a robust working relationship on addressing the major challenge posed by fentanyl drugs. (ANI)

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