Vientiane (Lao PDR), 30 August 2016 – The synthetic drug market in East and Southeast Asia is continuing to expand, accounting for a large and growing proportion of global methamphetamine production, trafficking and use. Alarmingly, high purity crystal methamphetamine is increasingly available in the region, with seizures up nearly five times over the last 5 years.
In response to the situation, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in partnership with the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), has organized a regional conference on the synthetic drug market and related national and regional strategies in Vientiane August 30 – 31. Senior-level delegations from countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and East Asia, as well as international organizations, partner governments and agencies, are participating. The conference was arranged to coincide with the coming ASEAN Summit in Vientiane which some delegates will also attend for political security community discussions and negotiations.