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PIA Press Release

Global anti-drug experts converge in Manila for ACCORD meetings

Quezon City (17 July) -- International anti-drug agencies will convene for the 7th ACCORD Task Force Meeting on Law Enforcement and 6th ACCORD Task Force Meeting on Alternative Development from July 17-18, 2008 at the Hotel Intercontinental Manila, Makati City.

Delegations from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam will present their programs geared towards curbing the supply of illegal drugs and introducing alternative livelihood to deter farming of illicit crops. Present as well are representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat led by Mr. Keo Chhea, and from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

ACCORD or ASEAN and China Cooperative Operations in Response to Dangerous Drugs meetings are held annually in the areas of Civic Awareness, Demand Reduction, Law Enforcement and Alternative Development, which represent the pillars of action endorsed by 36 countries and 16 international organizations in pursuit of freeing the region from drugs.

For 2008, the Philippines was elected to chair the task force meetings on Law Enforcement and Alternative Development with the DDB serving as the focal partner of ACCORD. Held last week were that on Civic Awareness and Demand Reduction in Vietnam.

On the law enforcement side, discussions will revolve around new trends, outstanding issues, precursor control, dismantling of clandestine laboratories, and disposal of dangerous drugs and controlled chemicals.

Alternative development, on the other hand, is anchored on eliminating or significantly reducing the production of illicit crops by introducing licit means of livelihood and boosting rural progress. Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and Thailand will render updates on their opium and cannabis eradication efforts, with the UNODC leading a session on the marketing of alternative development products.

Sec. Vicente C. Sotto III, DDB Chairman and principal author of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, will address the delegation in the joint opening ceremonies, citing the successes of the Philippine Government in the seizure of 745 kilograms of high grade methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu" in Subic Bay Freeport, and in the pilot project on sericulture or silk production in Kapangan, Benguet.

The task force meetings aim to identify indicators, gaps, future priorities and progresses achieved in the attainment of a drug-free ASEAN and China by 2015.

As the country's core agency in formulating strategies and policies to curb the drug menace, the DDB maintains a holistic and balanced offensive, collaborating with various sectors in all levels. The event exemplifies the DDB's strengthened cooperation with its regional and international allies and counterparts. (DDB) [top]

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