A Message from Member of the State Administration Council, Chairman of the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control, and Union Minister for Home Affairs Lt-Gen Yar Pyae during 2024 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking


May all the citizens of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar be filled with happiness and joy.
Since the United Nations General Assembly designated 26 June as the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (World Drug Day), it has been the 37th occasion that the celebrations have been commemorated in various countries around the world to promote cooperation and elimination of drug abuse.
The drug problem is emerging as a complicated challenge that is seriously affecting the lives of millions of people around the world. The production and trafficking of drugs is somehow related to transnational crimes of money laundering, arms smuggling and terrorism, which is seriously affecting the national security, stability and law and order. Drug use also greatly affects physical and mental health and is causing a loss of human resources around the world.
The State Administration Council is accelerating the development of the country, while efforts are also being made by all sides to control the drug problem that hinders the development of the country.
Myanmar is severely facing challenges related to opium poppy cultivation, synthetic drug production and drug abuse. To address these issues, the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control systematically established various working groups and took its role as a national duty.
After evaluating the existing 1993 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law to be in line with international standards and norms, it was amended and enacted on 14 February 2018. Similarly, the amendment of 1995 Rules relating to Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances was also announced on 13 December 2023. In addition, the National Drug Control Policy, which includes a multipronged approach, was adopted and announced on 20 February 2018, and the National Drug Control Strategic Plan is also being developed.
In order to effectively carry out our drug law enforcement activities, we have purchased and installed advanced modern detection equipment and are taking action to identify drug trafficking activities effectively. The Drug Enforcement Division under the Myanmar Police Force has 11 sub-divisions and 71 task forces, and they are being deployed all over the country to carry out effective drug control measures.
In 2023, Myanmar saw a slight increase in illegal opium poppy cultivation. Therefore, the persuasion by the Myanmar Tatmadaw, Myanmar Police Force, and various departments to local ethnic communities in drug prevention efforts through educational activities has led to the destruction of a total of 6,181 acres of poppy fields during the 2023-2024 opium poppy cultivation season. The alternative development management sector is continuously carrying out the implementation of opium alternative development activities, the crop substitution sector, and the livestock breeding sector.
Even though opium cultivation and production were a major problem in Myanmar, now, like any other country in the world, Myanmar is also severely faced with the production, trafficking and distribution of synthetic drugs. In order to reduce the production of synthetic drugs, Synthetic Drug Production reduction can only be achieved by effectively controlling the illegal entry of controlled precursors and non-controlled chemicals.
Therefore, Myanmar has prescribed 39 types of chemicals as controlled substances and is conducting strict inspections to prevent any diversion of these chemicals. Likewise, we communicate with foreign countries through the Pre-Export Notification (PEN) system to export precursors and ensure that the chemicals don’t get diverted anyway.
Since Myanmar cannot produce chemicals, but geographically, it is located among industrialized countries that produce chemicals, and these precursors are illegally flowing into drug production sites from the border areas with various means. Even though some ethnic armed organizations in Myanmar have denied their involvement in drug activities, in reality, they illegally import chemicals across the border into the areas they control by working together with foreign chemists to produce drugs.
While the State Administration Council is accelerating its fight against drugs activities, it has been found that the terrorist insurgents are taking advantage of the current political instability to burn down towns and villages, expanding their force, destabilizing the areas where their ethnic groups live by carrying out destructive activities to cause economic decline. People are being denied access to education in cities and villages.
To ensure uninterrupted transportation and regional stability, to prevent and suppress illegal drug trafficking by terrorist insurgents and to prevent the smuggling of arms and ammunition, ethnic armed organizations that want peace, military personnel, and the Myanmar Police Force are working together with concerted efforts on security measures.
In terms of law enforcement measures, the country overall carried out 40 drug special operations from 2013 to 2024. In 2023, “Operation 39” was carried out on a nationwide scale, and since huge quantities of narcotic drugs and essential precursors used in the drug production process were successfully seized, Operation 39/24 is also currently being carried out.
Despite the success of the prevention and suppression activities, effective punishments are set to be imposed on the main culprits caught, and since some of the offenders have been found to be committing more crimes after being released from punishment, assets obtained from the defendants’ drug offences will be effectively confiscated as public funds.
As every seized drug and its related substances are burned during the commemoration of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on 26 June each year, over K936 billion worth of narcotic drugs and its related substances were burned in various places of Yangon, Mandalay and Taunggyi on 26 June 2023.
Recognizing that “prevention is better than cure”. Drug risk prevention awareness activities were implemented for young students in high and elementary schools and out-of-school camps. In order for the entire public to be fully aware of the danger of drugs, awareness-raising activities are being carried out by the five working groups of the Department of Information and Public Relations, Myanma Radio and Television News, press agency, Printing and Publishing, Public Relations and Psychological Operations Directorate with oriented approaches.
To provide treatment for individuals addicted to drugs and reduce subsequent risks, Myanmar has established 29 major clinics, 56 minor medical clinics and 90 methadone clinics across the country. They have given treatment to 26,595 drug addiction patients, and 23,875 individuals were given methadone treatment in 2023. In order for the drug addicts to reintegrate back into the community, the Ministry of Relief and Resettlement has established 14 rehabilitation centres and is continuously developing them as well.
Myanmar has been actively engaged in fighting against drug activities in collaboration with neighbouring countries, including the United Nations, ASEAN member states, Mekong regional countries, BIMSTEC member countries and international drug control agencies. The country has close ties with UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) based in Yangon, AFP (Australian Federal Police), DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), NNCC (National Narcotics Control Commission) and ONCB (Office of Narcotics Control Board) by enhancing its existing cooperation mechanism.
Furthermore, in 2023, the country successfully hosted the 24th Myanmar-Thai Bilateral Meeting on Drug Control Cooperation, the 44th ASEAN Senior Official Meeting on Drug Matters, and likewise in 2024, the country also hosted the 7th Myanmar-India DG Level Talks on Drug Control Cooperation, ASEAN Development Action Plans Workshop for ASOD Focal Points and 16th ASEAN Drug Monitoring Network Meeting. Thus, Myanmar itself is accelerating its concerted efforts on drug law enforcement activities with the international community as well.
Therefore, to mark this year’s 37th International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, all countries are entitled to carry out comprehensive preventive measures according to the theme “The Evidence is clear: invest in Prevention”, sent by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
As the national government is trying to increase its momentum in various ways to prevent the danger of drugs that hinder the peace and stability of the Union, the rule of law, modern development, safe and smooth road communication, and I also urge all ethnic people to cooperate with goal-oriented and balanced approach and assist with the strength of unity.

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14 July 2024