Shri Rajnath Singh to inaugurate the BRICS Heads of Drug Control Agencies Working Group Meeting tomorrow

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh will inaugurate the second anti-drug Working Group meeting of Heads of Drug Control Agencies of BRICS countries here tomorrow. The meeting is being organized by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). Besides the delegates from the member countries, the Ambassadors of the respective countries shall also be attending the inaugural session. The Directors General of Border Guarding Forces and the Paramilitary are also likely to attend the inaugural session along with the heads of the Intelligence and Investigative Agencies like the Intelligence Bureau and the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The BRICS, an association of five major emerging economies comprising of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, had started as a forum for future economic cooperation and for reforming Financial Institutions. The seventh BRICS summit was held in July, 2015 in Russia and India shall be hosting the eighth BRICS summit in October, 2016 in Goa.

In accordance with the ‘eThekwani Declaration’ adopted during the BRICS summit in March 2013 at Durban, South Africa, it was decided to explore, besides economic issues, various new areas of cooperation among the member States, including drug related issues. It was decided that the heads of anti-drug agencies of the five member countries may meet regularly under the aegis of the BRICS anti-drug working group meeting. In keeping with the spirit of the eThekwani Declaration, the first anti-drug working group meeting of BRICS countries was organized at Moscow, Russia in November, 2015.

The Indian delegation shall be headed by Shri Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Director General, Narcotics Control Bureau and shall comprise of officers from the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of Health and Family welfare and Narcotics Control Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs.

The delegates from the participating countries shall be deliberating over important drug related issues over the entire day. The agenda items which would come up for discussion would include improving information exchange mechanisms on illicit trafficking of synthetic drugs and new psychoactive substances including early detection of new psycho active substances, maritime drug trafficking, diversion of precursors and controlled chemicals for manufacturing of illicit synthetic drugs etc. The agenda would also focus on capacity building and training of personnel of enforcement agencies as well as rehabilitation and re-socialization of persons who were addicted to drugs.

The meeting would also evaluate the drug abuse situation in the member countries and analyze the legislations of BRICS member states as well as devise modalities to share the best practices of enforcement and demand reduction being followed in the member countries.