The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of India.
On November 24, the Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of India met virtually for the inaugural meeting of the Counternarcotics Working Group (CNWG). Mr. Sachin Jain, Deputy Director General, Narcotics Control Board, Ministry of Home Affairs, led the Indian delegation, while 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 action and resolved to continue their close coordination 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 strengthening their 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 their 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 to strengthen 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. In addition, both sides agreed to cooperate and assist each other in the area of drug treatment and awareness against drug abuse.
Both countries agreed to enhance their data sharing operations to combat the production, distribution, diversion, and export/import of drugs and precursor chemicals. They committed to continue these discussions at the next CNWG meeting in spring 2021.