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South-east Asia integration could worsen drug problem

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Subject

Illegal drugs in South-east Asia.

Significance

Seizures of illegal methamphetamine drugs in the Greater Mekong sub-region are at record highs, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said on July 6, calling for a coordinated response to South-east Asia’s 40-billion-dollar illegal narcotics trade.

Impacts

  • Corruption and inadequate legal frameworks will enfeeble enforcement efforts.
  • Cross-border deals will be needed to establish appropriate regional medical and security capacity to counter illegal narcotics.
  • Tackling Myanmar’s illegal drugs would be aided by a peace deal with ethnic minority militias, but prospects are poor.
  • Controversial anti-drug efforts that bring accusations of rights abuses could hinder international free trade talks.
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