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Welcome to the Asian Regional Forum Against Drugs in Cochin, India the 25-27th of September 2019. 
 
The conference is a joint cooperation between World Federation Against Drugs and the Fourth Wave Foundation, Project Venda, with the United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime as Chief partner.
The Forum will focus on the Asian region and bring together Civil Society and country representatives from 48 Asian countries and various other nationalities – All working towards a drug free world.
The aim of the forum is to gather member organisations of WFAD and other civil society organisations in the region to share best practices and strengthen capacity in networking and advocacy work.

Read more on the website and register today!
WFAD Member, Centre for Peace Advancement and Socio-Economic Development (CPAED), implemented a youth-led substance and drug abuse program from July-December 2018, in ten drug affected communities of  Kaduna state, Nigeria, tagged “Community youth sensitization and re-orientation on danger of drug abuse and political thuggery” aimed at encouraging youth to play active role in fostering the understanding of substance and drug abuse and generate positive changes that will connect others for local action in fight against drug abuse to achieve sustainable  development.

With the goal of reducing the growing level youth perpetrated violence and involvement in substance and drug abuse, we delivered critical on-going integrated education, health, psychosocial and counseling support to help young people achieve positive health behaviours and live productive  lifestyle free from substance and drug abuse.   The effort is being launched in partnership with UNODC, Nexus Fund, Civil Society Network for Substance and drug abuse(CSNetSDA) and NDLEA who supported the successful implementation of the  program.

CPAED

The following brilliant intervention was made by Cecilia Hajzler, WFAD Member Celebrate Recovery, at the Civil Society Hearing February 26th in Vienna, Austria. 

My name is Cecilia Hajzler and I was born and lived in Serbia most of my life. Currently, for the past 2 years, I live and work in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After more than 20 years of addiction I started my recovery journey within a local community, in a recovery organization and have been in a long-term, stable recovery for 7 years. Since then, I have been involved in grassroots activities of recovery organizations in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Currently in NGO Celebrate Recovery my professional work is based on personal, lived experience of substance use disorder and recovery, but sharing my story is just an icebreaker that enables me to connect with people who seek help to recover. I have learned that it is necessary to continually improve my knowledge and skills through trainings and learning about examples of good practices in order to provide best service I can.
Today I'm talking not only because of my experience, but also through many evidence-based researches, that recovery from substance use disorder is possible.

I will try to address recovery problem on two levels, first, grass roots level and lived experience of drug user and person in recovery and second, I will highlight what decision makers should keep in mind when considering effective measures to reduce illicit drug use.
When I think back about myself while I was using drugs, I see a hopeless, broken person who has lost her identity and all her human dignity. Recovery gave me a new chance, helped me to remember who I used to be before drugs and to dream who I could become. It is not just about being clean from substances, it is about rebuilding your entire life, learning how to live your life by solving problems and not running away from them, fighting your battles daily and learning from them, improving and growing through education and then using all you have become to help others find their recovery pathway.

Read more: Intervention at the Civil Society Hearing February 26th in Vienna, Austria.

Youth for Human Rights International (member organization of WFAD, in Nigeria) organized a One Day Community Awareness Program on Drug Abuse with a view to eliciting the support of Traditional Rulers (local Chiefs/Kings) in Nigeria's Muslim dominated Northern Nigeria. 

The first session held at the Emirs Palace in Kano City, Kano State, Northern Nigeria, on Sunday, 20th January 2019.
Participants were drawn from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Secondary and Tertiary Schools and the Emirate Council.
WFAD-Nigeria collaborated and supported the event.

Report written by
Betty Peter Ekanem
"The meeting drew participants from member organizations of World Federation Against Drugs ( WFAD) in Nigeria, and a total of 14 organizations were in attendance.
Barrister Eze Eluchie, a serving Board member of WFAD presided over the meeting. In his opening remarks, he stated that WFAD has an unflinching passion for Nigeria and is conscientiously working as a pro- prevention body in the fight against drugs and substance abuse in Nigeria and the World at large. He therefore encouraged member organizations to align themselves with the overall objective of WFAD and further reverberate the message of prevention as a more holistic approach in the fight against drugs and substance abuse. He strongly noted that membership could be lost or declined an organization promoting legalization of drug use, this is consequent on the underlying connotations of legalization as an approach in the fight against drugs.

Subsequently, member organizations who have been dormant were asked to renew their membership and maintain an active organizational profile on the WFAD website as membership is activity based. Furthermore, members are to notify WFAD of their drug related activities and send reports directly to the WFAD Secretariat and copy Barister Eze Eluchie for accountability. WFAD seeks to identify with and support activities of member organizations in ways possible, hence members are advised to interface more with WFAD.
Going further, to enhance the interface with WFAD in Nigeria, a WhatsApp group is to be created comprising all member organizations in Nigeria for seamless coordination. More so, members are to work in collaboration and partnership as a concerted approach in promoting the cause of WFAD. Thus, a WFAD project should be planned and implemented in 2019 by member organizations.

In regards to the forthcoming WFAD congress in 2020, members are advised to start planning towards attending the forum. To this effect, members will be duly informed on the call for scholarship to attend the forum.
The meeting came to an end with a resolve from members to be more proactive in the fight against drugs."

nigeria meeting 1nigeria meeting 2
Read WFAD President Esbjörn Hörnberg's Statement at the Reconvened sixty-first session of CND in Vienna 5-7 december 2018.

"The way forward
Dear Chair and Excellences, colleagues and friends,
On behalf of two international networks, IOGT International and World Federation Against Drugs, with more than 300 Local and National Member Organisations globally, working with the full range from prevention to recovery I would like to make the following remarks:
Reduce drug use prevalence.

The overarching goal of every Member State’s drug policy should be reducing the prevalence of drug use. This will lead to lower numbers of problematic drug users, as well as a reduction in numbers of adolescents who are exposed to drug use in their peer group. Member States should monitor drug use prevalence regularly and adjust policies based on results to make prevention programmes more efficient.

Mobilize a million communities
Evidence-based prevention efforts are even more effective when they are synergistic and implemented by local communities. Local initiatives should involve local authorities and public services, schools, police, parent groups, community-based organisations, sports clubs, religious groups etc. The UNODC International Standards on Drug Use Prevention list a broad selection of recommended interventions that should be adopted by Member States as critical tools to promote health and development through community programmes.

Read more: Statement at the Reconvened 61st Session of CND

On the 1st-3rd of October the Somali Anti drug misuse act (SADMA), member organisation of WFAD, in Cooperation with the Swed University, Civil Society Network on Substance and Drug Abuse organized the second drug awareness program on Drugs and Substance Abuse Prevention in Somalia with the theme: 'Drugs and substance abuse'

The objectives of the meeting was to increase the awareness on
a. The effects of drugs in human health
b. How the drug is influenced on the studies process
c. Which systems are effected by drugs
d. How the medicine and indicators participate drugs

Alinoor Adan, the deputy director of Somali Anti Drug Misuse Act, spoke about objectives of the program. Alinoor Adan provided a short history of the World Federation against Drugs and the meaning of WFAD, time of establishment, vision and principles. Furthermore, he spoke about drugs, general information and its effects. Mentioning that substance abuse and drug dependency are problems of significant proportions in our society today. They are the leading cause of preventable illness, disability and death in Somalia. 

Alcohol/chemical dependencey is a disease that affects not only individuals but every component of the family, the workplace and the community. Chemical abuse not only includes alcohol and illegal drugs, but also prescription drugs such as tranquilizers, pain medications, sleeping pills, etc. 

Read the full report here.

Diana Joseph Vincent, Director of Fourth Wave Foundation, India and a Board Member of WFAD, speech during the cross-cutting session during the Intersessionals with the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Vienna 25-28 September 2018.

"Thanking the UNODC, the WFAD and everybody who thought this case would make some relevance here at this discussion. I represent a practical case on the map of the world, that is struggling with the similar problems that we are discussing here, but has managed to engage the communities to take ownership. Problem of dealing with drugs and addiction is not an abstract in the country of India. Kerala is a tourism state, the reality on the ground is that we are not ready for a crisis like this. We don’t have the facilities to deal with the numbers that’s being brought to our tables. We as a NGO work with children between the ages of 12 and young adults, 22, and when I say its alarming that we have epidemic numbers coming out of age groups of 10 and 12 year olds using narcotics, it is a classic case for the world to consider the other areas which are more exposed to this problem. As much as we work on high level discussions on policy at the country level, we fail miserably when it comes to actually enforcing the law to take control of our communities where this is being pushed.

And a classic number is out of a typical batch of 100 children we train we get 8 to 10 children coming back home or to our desk or to our counselling centres asking for help. 8 to 10% is high, and the forecast the next five years to come this number is going to multiply. What have we done? We have We teach them to take ownership of the problem by standing up for the issue. We talk to all cross sections of people, all stake holder groups in the community. Though we focus on only young children, we work only with the teens and young adults but the society has to take ownership. This important for us because the way its being discussed at young adult levels in the country, where they are exposed to internet, we are taking about an economy that is actually booming because of its start-ups and because of its IT connectivity but here is this problem that we are ignoring with having narcotics delivered to the door to youngsters.

Read more: Diana Joseph Vincent, Board member WFAD, speech during Intersessionals with the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Vienna 25-28 September 2018.

In my capacity of President of the WFAD, I attended three days of the Intersessionals covering Demand reduction and related measures, Ensuring the availability of and access to controlled substances exclusively for medical and scientific purposes, while preventing their diversion and Cross-cutting issues: drugs, and human rights, youth, children, women and communities.

We had from our side, Diana Joseph from Fourth Wave Foundation, India and a Board Member of WFAD as a panellist for the Cross-cutting Session. Other presentations from our perspective was given by Ms. Boi-Jeneh Jalloh (Sierra Leone), Foundation for Rural and Urban Transformation and  Mr. Wongayi Nyahuye. 

My impression from the first round was that there is quite a rift between the Member States. Really how the Chair will solve this and present a Document adopted by consensus to the Ministerial Segment in March is a Million Dollar Question.
 
Since Colombia elected a new President, their Drug Policy have shifted towards the US position, but on the other hand Mexico is taking their seat when coming to supporting the Global Commission on Drugs and their report “Regulation - The Responsible Control of Drugs ”.  In one of the last paragraphs they state, “If the international drug control framework is to be efficient, it must move away from the current repressive paradigm and better reflect the emerging focus on health, human rights and sustainable development. Crucially, reforms must introduce the possibility for member states to regulate drugs.”

This report was published the same day as Donald Trump, together with some 30 Countries presented ”Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem” in the UN in New York. The Global Call ended with:
 
“We further pledge to develop national action plans based on a four-pronged strategy:
(1) reduce demand for illicit drugs through education, awareness, and prevention of abuse;
(2) expand treatment efforts to save lives and promote recovery;
(3) strengthen international cooperation across judicial, law enforcement, and health sectors; and
(4) cut off the supply of illicit drugs by stopping their production, whether through cultivation or manufacture, and flow across borders.
We encourage the CND and each signatory Member State to provide updates on progress made, lessons learned, and best practices at the Sixty-Second Session of the CND in March 2019. ”

This Call was mentioned in a number of statements from Member States in Vienna, but there was no response from i.e. the European Union, because they were divided in the question of supporting the Call.

Read more: Intersessionals with the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Vienna 25-28 September 2018. Written by Esbjörn Hörnberg

WFAD member Ajit Baral has been cycling around a vast number of countries to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and to advocate for environmentalism.

“I am awaring people around the world that HIV AIDS can be transmitted by any means not only through sexual contact and those people living with it are humans as well so treat them like humans” Ajit writes. Ajit Baral has been published in numerous newspapers and interviews as well as TV-stations and radio channels around the world.

"I don’t claim to change everyone in this world but I can at least resemble the change. I want to take this step of change as a domino effect. I believe that if at least I change a single person then he or she can change two and they resemble the change and change others and likewise."
Cycling around the world with a mission, Ajit Baral and his companions many obstacles, financial struggles play a very important role according to Ajit, as they need to raise funds to apply for Visa, as well as pay for bike repairs, lodging and food. 

If you would like to fund Ajit Baral and his mission, follow this link to gofundme




DRUG FREE AUSTRALIA 
Parliamentary speech of the Honorable Dennis Hood, Government of South Australia, Australia, Wednesday 5th September, 2018. 
On the fifth of September, 2018, The Hon. D.G.E. Hood rose to speak about the important work of Drug Free Australia, member of the World Federation Against Drugs, in the Parliament House. 
 
"Drug Free Australia's vision is to ensure communities, including members of parliament, are well informed about the harms of drug use and are empowered with knowledge to assist in effective policy information. Indeed, many members in this place may have received emails from Drug Free Australia from time to time, which I personally have found to be very helpful and quite informative, given I hold views that are largely in accordance with their own, in particular on how we should treat the issues of trafficking, sale and manufacturing of illicit substances.

Members may not be aware that the chairman of Drug Free Australia is Major Brian Watters, who was actually the chair of former prime minister John Howard's Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD), which served as his drug advisory from 1996 through to 2007. During this particular period, I am informed that the national cannabis use was halved, amphetamine use was cut by 40 per cent and heroin use decreased by 75 per cent. Major Watters was also Australia's representative to the United Nations' International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) throughout most of these years, which is an impressive accolade for one.

As part of their work, and in recognition that legislators require reliable, accurate and up-to-date information with regard to the prevalence of substance abuse in our nation, Drug Free Australia provides briefs to parliamentarians whenever specific issues call for evidence-based clarity. Part of the organisation's work with members of the federal parliament and state parliaments is undertaken through its participation in parliamentary inquiries, where its submissions are often cited at the reporting stage." 

Read the full speech here
 


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