High Level Meeting of Interior Ministers of IOR adopts Colombo declaration to Counter Drug Trafficking
The High Level Meeting of Interior Ministers of Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to Counter Drug Trafficking was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It had adopted Colombo declaration.
The delegates from 18 littoral states of the IOR have resolved to work towards making the region a “Drug Free Zone”. Indian delegation was led by the Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir.
- The high-level meeting was attended by 18 littoral states of the IOR which included seven Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Home Affairs/Interior.
- It was also attended by seven international organizations and UN agencies engaged in counter-narcotics initiatives in the region.
Features of Colombo declaration
- Narcotic drug trafficking in the IOR poses a threat to peace and security in the region and its possible link to organized crime and funding of terrorism.
- It stresses upon need for coastal states to cooperate more closely on enforcing maritime law, providing mutual legal assistance and sharing information in narcotic drug trafficking.
- It also calls for the expansion and development of communication through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC’s) Indian Ocean Prosecutors Network.
- It called on the littoral states of the IOR to meet on an annual basis within the framework of the Southern Route Partnership (SRP) of Indian Ocean Forum on Maritime Crime (IOFMC).
- These states must assess and report on the drug trafficking threat in the IOR and develop a coordinated approach to counter such threats.