Australia's National Drug Strategy beyond 2009: consultation paper
International contribution and cooperation
The National Drug Strategy articulates Australia's commitment to assisting international drug control efforts. Over the life of the Strategy Australia has been active in ensuring that its commitments under International action plans and drug conventions are being met and implemented.
Australia's approach to border management is intelligence and risk based. In utilising this approach, Australia's diverse border environment in terms of its geographical location/remoteness, lengthy unpopulated coastline and limited international entry points presents both opportunity and challenge with respect to control of the international supply of many illicit drugs. With constantly changing and adapting international narcotic trade patterns, it is vital for Australian to maintain ongoing exchange of information and operational cooperation with our international partners.
International cooperation in law enforcement has been successful in curbing the supply of illicit drugs. Law enforcement efforts throughout the 1990s contributed to a significant decrease in the availability of heroin. There are indications that Australia’s synthetic drug market continues to be predominantly supplied by domestic production using precursor chemicals sourced both domestically and from overseas. Strong international partnerships and participation in international law enforcement activities and initiatives coordinated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime continue to assist in the reduction of the overseas supply of precursor chemicals destined for diversion into illicit drug manufacture.
The physical border is increasingly becoming a secondary layer for risk assessment and intervention. Border management agencies continue to work with source and transit countries to ensure that risks to Australia's border – and appropriate mitigation strategies, are identified and implemented before the risk presents at the Australian border. Australia should continue to look for opportunities multilaterally, regionally and bilaterally to make a joint contribution to reducing the supply of drugs. Australia can learn from the experience and efforts of our international counterparts. We also provide technical assistance and support where regional countries request it, particularly in the Pacific.