The National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) convened its inaugural nationwide meeting, in collaboration with its partner organisations, to devise strategies, methodologies, and initiatives in the battle against substance abuse, as it impacts society.

Tha authority aims to facilitate a timely and effective response, aligning with the agenda of the seventh-mandate government.

The NACD’s general secretariat reported that the meeting occurred on September 15. Attendees included Deputy Prime Minister Neth Savoeun, Minister of Interior Sar Sokha, Minister of Justice Koeut Rith, Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Heng Sour, Minister of Health Chheang Ra, and representatives from various specialised bodies, along with provincial governors.

These individuals constitute the recently established anti-drug committee under the new government.

An NACD statement explained that the gathering focussed on realising the initial phase of the Pentagonal Strategy.

The objectives encompass fortifying and refining institutions to continue the promotion and enhancement of anti-drug campaigns.

This includes the treatment and rehabilitation of users and the formulation of apt and effective measures to curb illicit drug use.

“The inaugural gathering, attended by dignitaries, vice-presidents and other members, aimed to identify critical issues and strengthen the effectiveness of our efforts in combating drug-related issues in Cambodia,” the NACD said.

During the meeting, Savoeun expressed gratitude to the NACD for their previous accomplishments. He expressed optimism that the outcomes of the meeting would play an essential role in guiding the fight against drugs.

Similarly on September 15 in Kampong Thom, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport – in cooperation with officials from the NACD, the National AIDS Authority (NAA), the provincial police chief, the provincial Department of Public Works and Transport, and other representatives of the provincial administration – held a conference aimed to share information on curbing the use of e-cigarettes, illicit drugs, HIV/AIDS, and traffic accidents across the province.

The event united 250 participants, including school principals, health education instructors, students affiliated with the Cambodian Red Cross, and members of the Councils for Children and Youth from three high schools in Stung Sen district.

Ly Veth, provincial deputy governor, underscored the threat posed by drugs to human resources and society.

He recommended that police officers continue to enforce the safe village-commune policy, commune guidelines, and the three don’t principles of drugs.

The first principle is not to get involved, meaning officers should refrain from dealing drugs, distributing drugs, using drugs, and colluding with drug dealers.

The second advises against intervening in drug cases, which means officers should not hinder the enforcement of drug-related laws, even if the offenders are family members, relatives, or friends.

The final principle underscores non-forgiveness, emphasising a steadfast commitment to enforcing drug-related laws. It is crucial for all police officers to consistently uphold the law, demonstrating honesty and professionalism by respecting and complying with legal regulations.

During the conference, Soeur Socheata, education ministry secretary of state, expressed her gratitude to the leaders of the NACD, the NAA, and the all provincial authorities for their cooperation.

She explained that the collaboration aims to nurture and transform human resources into capable human capital, equipping people with robust knowledge, skills, physical fitness, good morals, and a strong sense of patriotism.