Vietnam position on the anti - drug struggle


AFP: In a letter by President Bill Clinton to US Congress, it is written that Viet Nam is in the list of drug producing or major drug-transit countries. What is Viet Nam's reaction thereto?


Viet Nam is not a country that produces or transits narcotic drugs and other psychotropic substances but a country that has to bear with bad effects of this scourge.

Prompted by a deep understanding that narcotic drugs are a pressing threat to Viet Nam and the entire mankind, in spite of being a developing country and its shortage of financial resources, Viet Nam always gives high priority to preventing, countering and controlling narcotic drugs. Viet Nam's efforts in this area are acknowledged by the international community.

Domestically, Viet Nam has taken effective anti-drug measures. The Government established a National Committee on Drug Control directly headed and managed by a Deputy Prime Minister. Given its own efforts and international assistance, Viet Nam was able to reduce the area of opium plantation from 19,000 hectares in 1993 down to 500 hectares and is trying to prevent replanting. The treatment of drug addicts, despite difficulty, has recorded initial results thanks to a combined treatment in community and in rehabilitation centres. The enforcement of law and the struggle against drug crimes have proved effective. At present, we are drafting a legislation on drug control to submit to the National Assembly for approval at an early date.

Internationally, Viet Nam actively joins in international efforts in this field. Viet Nam is a signatory to three international conventions on drug prevention and control, namely the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Substances, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit traffick in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances; and co-operated with many countries and international organisations especially the United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP). Viet Nam has also actively participated in regional anti-narcotic programmes and together with ASEAN, Viet Nam is striving "For an ASEAN free of drugs by 2015".

It is Viet Nam's position that struggling to eradicate narcotic drugs is a long, arduous and complicated process, which requires firm and integrated measures, appropriate to each specific circumstance and object. In this process, trans-national and trans-regional co-operation is extremely important. It is our hope that countries and international organisations will intensify their specific assistance in regional joint efforts.