Prime Minister Urges Unity to Tackle Illegal Drug Trade
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has implored for Lao citizens to unite in an effort to join the global fight against the illegal drug trade.
Monday, June 26, 2017 marked the 30th anniversary of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
In an effort to crack down on the illicit drug trade amid Lao communities, the prime minister has addressed the global problem, stressing the dangers it evokes amongst humanity by arousing opportunities for crimes and corruption.
Deeming the drug trade a hindrance to socio-economic development, PM Thongloun has stressed that the illegal activity must be suppressed and has outlined seven measures to tackle the issue.
The PM has explicitly informed all party committees and authorities at all levels and sectors to consider drug prevention, control and solution efforts as their obligation and duty. During an address, the prime minister stated, “The task must be taken as a focal task associated with grass-root political building affairs.”
Urging for a vast improvement in the organizational structure regarding drug inspections, relevant authorities have been ordered to take definitive action in preventing and suppressing traffickers, as well as identifying targeted traffickers regardless of their nationalities.
Prime Minister Thongloun has requested increased cooperation with international communities, particularly neighboring countries, with the aim to exchange information that will help prevent and eradicate production, trade and transport of drugs.
Authorities have been directed to implement awareness-raising campaigns in the communities, targeting young adults to educate them on the risks and consequences of drug abuse. PM Thongloun has advised relevant sectors to continue offering those who previously cultivated opium and marijuana, other alternative incoming-generating endeavors in an effort to deter them from returning to planting illegal crops as a source of income.
The Prime Minister realizes that action must be taken to treat and rehabilitate drug abusers, while offering real world skills that will help their return to society. To achieve this, the prime minister emphasized that existing drug rehabilitation centers require a dire upgrade in professional competence of staff and medical doctors, along with facilities, equipment and funding.
In past years, the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and government have approached the prevention of addictive drug use as a critical issue. Officials have carried out multiple campaigns in an effort to inform young adults in Lao society of the dangers of indulging in addictive drugs.