The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking recognises the severe impact that illicit drugs have on health, development, peace and security. According to the latest World Drug Report, around 269 million people used drugs worldwide in 2018, which is 30 percent more than in 2009, while over 35 million people suffer from drug use disorders. For two decades, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has been helping make the world safer from drugs, organised crime, corruption and terrorism. They are committed to achieving health, security and justice for all by tackling these threats and promoting peace and sustainable well-being as deterrents to them.
By resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, the United Nations’ General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse. This day is used to stimulate a sense of responsibility among people around the world, especially young people and teenagers.
Hence, the theme for the 2020 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking “Better Knowledge for Better Care” emphasises the need to improve the understanding of the world drug problem and how in turn, better knowledge will foster greater international cooperation for countering its impact on health, governance and security. The day is dedicated to eradicating drug abuse and neutralise the systemic challenges which sustain the illegal drug issues.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), tackle drug abuse as one of our youth issues so as to help young people to arise and extinguish the use of illegal drugs. We empower youth leaders and organisations to collaborate together to achieve a drug free generation. The collaboration is needed to implement new ideas and strategies to combat drug abuse including improvement of policies which support the achievement towards a Drug Free Generation.
We believe that something has to be done as a matter of national priority to restore the social fabric of our nation before it is too late to correct the situation from deteriorating further. The youth need to be empowered to take control of their lives and not let drugs control them. On this day, let us remain committed to peacefully and effectively addressing the challenge of illicit drugs based on the international drug control conventions, and their key principle of protecting the health and welfare of humankind.
We encourage young people, and member organisations to get involved in the social media campaign to mark this day.
We also call upon all young people to stand for a drug free generation!