Activity

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
 


International Day against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking (IDADA) day celebrations take place annually on the 26th of June. It is marked to celebrate the gains made by all stakeholders dealing with drug abuse & illicit trafficking including drug abuse survivors. 

This year KEYNET* and CCABO-Kenya* joined hands as organizers to create the first ever International Day celebration in Kakamega County. The event was held at Shianda P.A.G Church compound of Mumias East Sub County a location which is one of the most prone area to violent extremism and drugs trafficking percentage in Kakamega. The larger Mumias/ Butere district borders Bungoma and Busia County which is well known for trafficking drugs and illicit brews to the country.

The Kakamega County IDADA celebration activity was within the organization’s Advocacy program that targets vulnerable persons, youth and children to live health life. The program aims at Community social mobilization and advocacy for health and hygiene promotion and also create demand for increased uptake of key health and hygiene promotion interventions. The event was partially facilitated by County Government of Kakamega and NACADA.

The theme of day was: #LISTEN FIRST! Listening to Children & Youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.

Read more: International Day against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking celebration in Kakamega County

On May 16, 2018 Esbjörn Hörnberg was elected International President of World Federation Against Drugs 
From 2003 Mr Hörnberg serves as the Executive Director of IOGT International, an umbrella organization with 160 members in 60 Countries.DSC 0114

Mr Hörnberg was up till March 2018 the Chairperson of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs and was also the Chair of the Civil Society Task Force on Drugs, set up as the key entity to secure Civil Societies engagement and coordination in order to effectively include Civil Society Organisations voices in the UNGASS on Drugs 2016.

From 1994 to 2012 he was Secretary General of International Institute of the IOGT-NTO-movement, a foundation working with development in Africa, South- and Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Now he serves as the Senior Advisor to the management and board.

Mr Hörnberg was secretary in the civil society group working with WHO and UNODC on the project “Global Initiative” 1991 – 1996.

Before working with international issues, Mr Hörnberg was working 17 years as a civil servant, in the sectors of education, social welfare and community administration.

At the Congress of WFAD Esbjörn delivered the following statement to the members present at the congress. Continue to read the full speech.

Read more: Esbjörn Hörnberg is our new International President

Speech at the Inauguration of the 6th World Forum Against Drugs, Monday, 14 May 2018, Gothenburg, Sweden
Mr. Sven-Olov Carlsson, International President, World Federation Against Drugs Sven-Olov Calrsson 2
 
Your Excellencies, Honored Guests, Prominent Speakers and Moderators, Distinguished Delegates and Friends,
 
Ten years ago, 2008, the first World Forum Against Drugs took place in Stockholm, Sweden.

One of our major goals with the Forum was to reach out to non-governmental organizations on all continents and invite their members to a world conference where they could share experiences and talk about a vision of a drug-free world.

The Forum was a success.

One of the outcomes of the first Forum was that The World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD) was established 2009 as a global non-governmental organization. In 2010 World Federation Against Drugs organized the 2nd World Forum Against Drugs. Every second year thereafter we have organized World Forum Against Drugs 2012, 2014, 2016 and now 2018, the 6th World Forum Against Drugs here in Gothenburg take place.

I would like to thank Her Majesty Queen Silvia in particular for her willingness and support in being the patron for this 6th World Forum Against Drugs as well as the Forum’s we have organized before. Her Majesty’s support is very important and is highly valuated. I would also like to extend our sincere thanks to the Swedish Government, Ministry of Health and the City of Gothenburg for their financial support to enable this Forum.

The World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD) is a global multilateral community of non-governmental organizations and individuals. The aim of World Federation Against Drugs is to work for a drug-free world. The members of World Federation Against Drugs share a common concern that illicit drug use is undercutting traditional values and threatening the existence of stable families, communities, and government institutions throughout the world.

Read more: Sven-Olov Carlsson's Opening Remarks at the 6th World Forum Against Drugs

Jo Baxter, Vice President of WFAD and Director for Oceania has produced a regional report on illicit drugs for WFAD 2018. 
The conclusion? Demand is the key driver of drug use, the culture of demand can be changed. 

"Only clear and unambiguous policy frameworks, along with policy implementation which ensures Demand Reduction and Prevention – along with effective drug exiting Recovery Programs – will see the health, community and familial outcomes that societies focused on reducing drug use can achieve" 

Read the whole report here.  


On May 7, 2018, INCB held a meeting with representatives from the civil society on the topic of medical and non-medical user of cannabis. 

WFAD was one of the representatives that was invited to share our opinion on the use of cannabis for medical and non-medical use. 

Below is the statement that was delivered by Linda Nilsson. 

The Use of Cannabis for Medical and Non-Medical Purposes

Dear board and secretariat of INCB, dear colleagues form the civil society,

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak to you today and give our input on the use of cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes. I welcome this discussion and the inclusion of civil society as a vital part of the discussion.

I represent World Federation Against Drugs, an umbrella organization consisting of over 200 member organization from all over the world. The members of WFAD are different in size, areas of work, political priorities but we all support the vision of a society free from the non-medical use of narcotic drugs.

WFAD supports and is guided by the 1961, 1971 and 1988 UN drug control conventions as well as the UNGASS outcome document form 2016. As the monitoring and supporting body of the UN international drug control treaties, INCB has an important task to assist member states to implement the conventions in the best possible way. I will do my best to raise some of the voices from our membership on this topic. The majority of WFAD members are from the global south. I will focus my remarks on the consequences of legalization and commercialization of non-medial cannabis for vulnerable populations.

WFAD regards the non-medicinal use of narcotic substances, including cannabis, as a severe public health problem that creates significant problems for individuals, families, communities, nations and the society at large. Cannabis is an addictive and impairing drug that and can cause both physical and mental health problems.

The discussion on cannabis should therefore be around how we can reduce the non-medical use of cannabis.

Instead of this public health approach, we see a worrying trend to move towards legalizing cannabis for non-medical or recreational purposes. Legalizing cannabis will result in more cannabis use, an outcome not in line with the intentions of the conventions. Increased cannabis use will result in more people suffering from adverse health and mental problems from cannabis. Prevalence of cannabis use disorders will increase. This is in part because legalization invites the creation of a commercial for-profit industry – Big Marijuana – that is incentivized to cultivate life-long cannabis users. I have no doubt that Big Marijuana like that of Big Tobacco will find efficient distribution channels and marketing strategies to reach users of all ages of their addictive products. Efficient distribution will increase availability of the drug, its social acceptability, and as a result, increase its use.

Read more: INCB Civil Society Hearing

Click here to read more and register!

The City of Gothenburg and the World Federation Against Drugs have the honor to invite you to the 25th ECAD Mayors’ Conference and the 6th World Forum Against Drugs, two important events that will take place jointly on May 14-15 in Gothenburg, Sweden. International cooperation on drug policy faces many challenges. The UN Drug Conventions are clear on what goals drug preventive work must have. Still, there are different views on how this work should be carried out in practice.

The Gothenburg events will go in-depth on the best practices and strategies for implementing the updated international standards for prevention. More specifically, we will learn more about recovery as a goal for treatment, how the criminal justice system can work with providers of treatment and other services for drug users, why it is important to take gender aspects into consideration when providing treatment – just to mention some of the topics. We look forward to seeing you all in Gothenburg.

Ann-Sofie Hermansson
Mayor, City of Gothenburg

Sven-Olov Carlsson
International President, World Federation Against Drugs



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