Member countries of the Memorandum of Understanding on Drug Control in the Greater Mekong sub-region reached in 1993 (MOU 1993) held a ministerial meeting in the Lao capital city of Vientiane on May 24.

MOU partners include Cambodia , China , Laos , Myanmar , Thailand , Vietnam and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

In his opening speech, Lao Prime Minister Thoongsing Thammavong expressed his hope that the meeting will find out methods to effectively scotch drug problems.

The Lao government is ready to back joint efforts of the international community and the UNODC in drug control, the PM said.

The participants agreed on the need to maintain the MOU as a forum where regional countries discuss information, exchange experience and enhance cooperation.

They also put stress on the need to adjust the scale of activities and deploy several prioritised projects within the framework of the MOU.

The get-together discussed and adopted a regional plan of action and set out a host of targets and long-term methods to effectively settle issues regarding drug production, trafficking and abuse in the next two years.

At the event, Deputy Minister of Public Security Lieut. Gen Pham Quy Ngo, who led the Vietnamese delegation, underscored the endeavours and resolve of the Vietnamese Government and relevant agencies in drug control.

The Vietnamese Government has developed the programme on drug control into a national target programme while implementing an array of methods to drive back the issue, Ngo noted.

He stressed the need for synchronously efforts to reduce drug demand and supply in the region, underlining the important role of regional cooperation in the battle, especially cooperation between countries sharing the common border.

Vietnam commits to doing its best to reach targets and requirement laid out in the plan of action 2011, he said.

Between 1995 and now, a total of 16 ministerial-level meetings were held rotationally in six member countries of the Greater Mekong sub-region./.