Analysis by J Nastranis
NEW YORK (IDN) – The Mekong Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Drug Control, a framework that incorporates law enforcement, criminal justice, alternative development, and health responses in six countries in East and Southeast Asia continues to be of critical importance more than twenty-five years after it was signed.
Despite significant efforts, the six MOU countries – Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam – that constitute the Greater Mekong Sub-region continue to face challenges in stemming the flow of illicit drugs and precursor chemicals in, to and from the area.
After a decade of steady declines, the illicit cultivation of opium poppy has increased each year since 2006. Today, cultivation is concentrated in Myanmar and Lao PDR. Synthetic drugs, particularly methamphetamine in pill and crystal forms, have emerged as the primary drug threat in the Sub-region. The diversion and subsequent trafficking of precursors chemicals, and the emergence of new psychoactive substances, also continue …