Your Majesty, Your Excellencies, Honored Guests, Prominent Speakers and Moderators, Distinguished Delegates and Friends. Welcome to Stockholm and the third World Forum Against Drugs.
My name is Sven-Olov Carlsson, and I am president of the World Federation Against Drugs.
Firstly, I would like to thank our musician Dennis Camits for his wonderful singing at this official inauguration of the 3rd World Forum Against Drugs. It was a very nice start to the conference. Thanks!
Four years ago, 2008, the first World Forum Against Drugs took place here in Stockholm. 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.
The World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD) is a global multilateral community of non-governmental organizations and individuals. The aim of WFAD 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.We have since 2009, when World Federation Against Drugs was founded, built a global network of non-governmental organizations and individuals and today we have more than 70 non-governmental organizations as members.
The work of the World Federation Against Drugs is built on the principles of universal fellowship and basic human and democratic rights. We believe that working for a drug-free World will promote peace and human development and dignity, democracy, tolerance, equality, freedom and justice.World Federation Against Drugs bases its work on the UN Conventions. Experience tells us that a balanced and restrictive drug policy limits the problem of drug abuse. The key to success is to prevent the problem, the success of treatment is rather limited although treatment must be a part of a balanced policy.
Misuse of illicit drugs is normally initiated in close friendship relations at a relatively early stage of the drug "career". Therefore it must be a top priority to work with early intervention for a drug policy to be successful in order to limit the spread of misuse of illicit drugs.
The strength of the international drug control system is its universality.But drug policies are too important to be left to drug experts and to governments alone. It is a society-wide responsibility that requires society-wide engagement. This means working with children, starting from parents and teachers, to ensure that they develop self-esteem. This means supporting family-based programmes because prevention begins at home. This means advocacy. As non-governmental organizations we can play a crucial and a very important role in this matter.
We will now have three days together to listen to speeches in plenary and special sessions, and do a lot of networking in between. All of that will be very exciting for me and my fellow organizers. I hope it will be equally exiting and interesting for all of you too.
This World Forum Against Drugs is the 3rd of its kind. The Forum is a result of much hard work done by the many people involved, but we could not have done it without generous financial support from the Swedish government, the Ministry of Health and the City of Stockholm. We are also very grateful to the private companies that have sponsored the Forum.
I would like to express our sincere thanks to Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden for her strong commitment to work against Drugs and her support to World Federation Against Drugs during the years. I would like to thank Her Majesty in particular for her willingness and support in being the patron for this 3rd World Forum Against Drugs as well as the Forum’s we organized in 2008 and 2010. Her Majesty’s support has been very important and is highly valuated.It is now my honour and privilege to give the floor to Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden to formally open the 3rd World Forum Against Drugs.Thank you.