The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of India.
On June 2, the United States of America and India virtually convened the second meeting of the Counternarcotics Working Group (CNWG). Director General Rakesh Asthana, Narcotics Control Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, led the Indian delegation. White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Assistant Director Kemp Chester, Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Jorgan Andrews, and Department of Justice Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Hodge jointly led the U.S. delegation. The delegations engaged in wide-ranging conversations focused on increasing collaboration on counternarcotics regulation and law enforcement. The two sides identified areas for joint actions and resolved to continue their close cooperation on this important issue.
Both sides exchanged views on the broad array of narcotics-related challenges facing the United States and India. They committed to a bilateral framework of policy engagements and expanded cooperation to help reduce the threat of illicit drugs in both countries. Both sides committed to the sharing of data, best practices, and lessons learned, including details regarding public health approaches to address substance use disorder and other consequences of drug use within our countries. Participants highlighted their commitment to strengthening cooperation in curtailing the illegal production, manufacturing, trafficking, and distribution of pharmaceutical and illicit drugs, as well as the precursor chemicals used to manufacture them. Participants highlighted respective efforts in combating drug trafficking in accordance with the rules and regulations of their respective countries and proposed to share best practices for countering synthetic opioids and precursor chemicals. The two sides also discussed initiatives in support of India’s regional leadership role in building capacity for counternarcotics initiatives in South Asia; countering regional cross-border drug trafficking and crime through enhanced sharing of operational intelligence; and expanding law enforcement cooperation on counternarcotics issues. Both sides also agreed to the sharing of expertise on dark-net, crypto-currency and postal/courier interdiction mechanism. In addition, both sides committed to use of a sub-working group to establish a framework for bilateral cooperation to address the drug threat within our countries. They committed to continuing these discussions at the next CNWG meeting next year.