The U.S. government sponsored an August 10-23 regional assessment mission by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to help inform the design of the Lao Drug Control Master Plan 2016-2020. The mission was led by Dr. Bounpone Sirivong, Deputy Head of the Lao Commission for Drug Control and Supervision along with Mr. Marcus Baltzer, a consultant with UNODC.
As part of the assessment, LCDC together with UNODC held a series of meetings with local government officials across Laos including the Provincial Committee for Drug Control and Supervision, the Provincial Public Health Department, and the Provincial Drug Control Police, Provincial Justice Department. They also met with law enforcement officials at the Xong Mek border crossing. The meeting addressed implementation of the previous comprehensive national drug control master plan from 2009-2015, focusing on achievements, lessons learned, and challenges faced. These recommendations will help LCDC draft the comprehensive drug control master plan for 2016-2020.
“The consultative process will help LCDC ensure that the Drug Control Master Plan will meet the needs of all stakeholders in ways that are practical and cost effective” said Mr. Kou Chansina, Chairman of LCDC. The Master Plan aims to address the day-to-day realties of current and former opium farmers, of drug users, and of people who are affected by the flow of illicit drugs, said Mr. Kou.
The assessment group plans to meet again in September.