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Experts converge in Imphal for UNODC meet on narcotics
 IMPHAL, Sept 30 - A two-day conference cum workshop ‘Developing a Comprehensive Approach to Combating Illicit Trafficking of Afghan Opiates & Drug Situation in the North East’ began in Imphal on Monday.

 The conference is being organised by the Manipur government and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Regional Office, South Asia.

Governor Dr Najma Heptulla, regional representative Sergey Kapinos of UNODC, South Asia, Chief Secretary Dr J Suresh Babu, Manipur DGP LM Khaute, Deputy Director General B Radhika of Narcotics Control Bureau and Prof Dr Atul Ambekar of the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, AIIMS were present at the inaugural function.

Delegates from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, UNODC experts and representatives from the eight Northeastern states, top police officials and government officials were also present.

Dr Heptulla called for stronger cooperation and coordination among law enforcement agencies, and also expressed concern over the drug situation in the North East and neighbouring countries. She suggested that UNODC take the initiative to establish a South Asia Regional intelligence sharing mechanism, in addition to integrated border management mechanisms to counter illicit trafficking.

Kapinos said the workshop was part of UNODC’s regional project to strengthen drug law enforcement capacities in South Asia. Ambekar and B Radhika provided an overview of the drug situation in India, with presentations on law enforcement and health perspectives.

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