Opening of joint INCB-UNODC international conference on
Precursors Control in Asia

Without precursors chemicals, the manufacture of illicit drugs is extremely difficult. The concept is simple and there are tried and tested controls which continue to be effective preventing manufacture of illicit drugs. However, in an area that is in constant evolution, where international drug traffickers seek to keep one step ahead of authorities by using new methods and technologies, it is crucial that cooperation remains both responsive and effective to deal with these challenges.

With this in mind, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), in partnership with UNODC and the authorities of Thailand, opened today in Bangkok a three-day international conference entitled "Precursors control in Asia: Addressing the challenges".

Some 100 leading Government officials participants from the Asia region and beyond attended the event, including Deputy Minister of Counter Narcotics of Afghanistan, Mr. Ibrahim Azhar, INCB President Mr. Raymond Yans, and INCB Board member, Professor Viroj Sumyai, and UNODC's Regional Representative for South East-East Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Jeremy Douglas.

The conference offers an opportunity for representatives, senior government officials and experts to learn from each other and share experiences on preventing diversion of precursor chemicals and overcoming challenges that are common to all.

In his opening remarks, the INCB President expressed his concern about "evolving and worrying trends identified in the INCB's Precursors Report, which point to a rapidly evolving paradigm in precursors control and the illicit drugs trade, where new substances are used to make both traditional illicit drugs as well as new ones."

During the opening session of the conference many high-level officials expressed support for the development of new multilateral mechanisms, particularly in the field of information sharing, and the need to collectively improve responsiveness, efficiency and effectiveness when it comes to preventing diversion of precursors used in the manufacture of illicit drugs in Asia and beyond.  Days two and three of the conference will see participants agree on recommendations on how best to address themes on: developing closer Government - Industry Cooperation; enhancing operational intelligence exchanges; tackling domestic diversion; and addressing the threat posed by new psychoactive substances and non-scheduled chemicals.


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