Building on Prime Minister Modi’s visit just last month, the Biden-Harris Administration continues efforts to strengthen U.S.-India partnership in addressing synthetic drugs globally

Washington, D.C. – Today, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Dr. Rahul Gupta issued the following statement regarding the fourth annual meeting of the U.S.-India Counternarcotics Working Group (CNWG), which convened representatives from relevant agencies in both countries who are responsible for law enforcement, public health and regulatory systems, policy formulation, narcotics trafficking, and other drug-related matters.

“During India’s historic State Visit, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi affirmed a vision of the United States and India as a strong partnership of democracies working together with hope, ambition, and confidence,” said Dr. Gupta. “The leaders committed to strengthening our bilateral drug policy relationship, one that goes beyond just counternarcotics to one with a more forward-looking and affirmative vision – and we are working to deliver on that commitment. Together, we will prevent and treat addiction, disrupt the global trafficking of illicit drugs, and create safe, healthy, and prosperous communities for both nations.”

The meeting was opened by Dr. Gupta, Ambassador to the Republic of India Eric Garcetti, and Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Uzra Zeya. The U.S. co-leads for the meeting were ONDCP Senior Advisor Kemp Chester, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Lisa Johnson, and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Hodge. The Indian delegation was led by the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Director-General of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Satya Narayan Pradhan, and includes Deputy Chief of Mission for the Embassy of India Ambassador Sripriya Ranganathan, and Joint Secretary for the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Shri Prakash.

During the two-day meeting, part of which was held at the White House, the delegations discussed President Biden and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s joint commitment to work toward a broader and deeper bilateral Drug Policy Framework for the 21st Century. Under this framework, both countries plan to expand cooperation and collaboration to disrupt the illicit production and international trafficking of illicit drugs, including synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl and amphetamine-type stimulants and illicit use of their precursors.

The working group comes on the heels of Prime Minister Modi’s State Visit to the White House last month. Following the visit, and in accordance with the leaders’ commitment, the United States and India discussed the three key pillars encompassed within an expanded drug policy partnership: demonstrate global leadership in countering the illicit drug production and supply chain; create a sustainable and holistic public health partnership to prevent and treat addiction, including addressing workforce shortages and skilling requirements; and advance a secure, resilient, reliable and growing pharmaceutical supply chain as a model for the world.

Since 2020, the United States and India have been developing their counternarcotics relationship through a bilateral Counternarcotics Working Group. Both countries face the increasing challenges of a dynamic and sophisticated drug environment. This crucial and expanding partnership will not only deliver tangible results, but will serve as a model for how other nations can work together to ensure national security, and protect public health and safety.

India will host the next bilateral meeting in 2024.


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