The fact that Taiwan has remained off a US list of major drug-producing or drug-trading countries for six consecutive years shows that the nation's fight against narcotics has garnered international recognition, Pres-ident Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday.
Chen was referring to the 2006 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released in March by the US State Department. He made the remarks in a written address to a national anti-drug conference held by the Executive Yuan.
Chen said that drug abuse and its accompanying crime can seriously undermine a country's image, competitiveness and public order.
While many new drugs have appeared in recent years, drug users and drug traffickers are starting at a younger age and the ratio of repeat and serial offenders is also rising in Taiwan, Chen said.
Also, needle-sharing among drug users has accelerated the spread of HIV, he said.
To promote a national campaign against narcotics, the Executive Yuan has made anti-drug operations a major part of its measures to improve the country's law and order, has worked out a program aimed at reducing the hazards of narcotics and AIDS and has declared last year through 2008 "years of national combat against narcotics," Chen said.
Meanwhile, the Executive Yuan has adopted four strategies, including drug prevention, drug rejection, drug withdrawal and a crackdown on drugs, and holds regular briefings on drug control and prevention, he said.
The president urged the private sector to continue to work with the government to achieve the goal of making Taiwan a drug-free country.
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