The officials of India and United States of America met virtually for the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-India Counternarcotics Working Group (CNWG) on November 24, 2020. The Indian delegation was led by Shri Sachin Jain, Deputy Director General, Narcotics Control Board, Ministry of Home Affairs, while Mr. Kemp Chester, Assistant Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Mr. Jorgan Andrews, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. State Department and Ms. Jennifer Hodge, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice jointly led the United States delegation. The respective delegations engaged in wide-ranging deliberations 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 India and United States. 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 regulation of their respective countries and proposed to share best practices for countering synthetic opioids and precursor chemical diversion. 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 drugs trafficking and crime through enhanced sharing of operational intelligence; and expanding law enforcement cooperation on counternarcotics issues. Both sides also agreed to cooperate and assist each other in the arena of drug treatment and awareness against drug abuse.
India and United States agreed to enhance their data sharing operations to combat the production, distribution, diversion, and export/import of drugs and precursor chemicals. Both sides agreed to continue these discussions at the CNWG meeting in the spring of 2021.