The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed annually on 26 June, and aims to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving the goal of a world free of drug abuse. By resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, the United Nations’ General Assembly decided to observe this day 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 recognises the severe impact that illicit drugs have on health, development, peace, and security.
For more than 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. With the #CareInCrises campaign, UNODC is calling on governments, international organizations, civil society, and all stakeholders to take urgent action to protect people, including by strengthening drug use prevention and treatment, and by tackling illicit drug supply.
The World Drug Day is used to stimulate a sense of responsibility among people around the world, especially young people and teenagers. Health and justice sectors are under pressure and access to services and support is obstructed when we can least afford it. Hence, the theme for the 2022 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is ‘Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises’, and aims to advocate and protect the right to health for the most vulnerable, including children and youth, people using drugs, people with drug use disorders and people who need access to controlled medicines. A growing sense of global community and solidarity continues to emerge, as does the need to ensure health care and peace for all.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), address drug abuse as a youth issues and provide platforms for young people to arise and extinguish the use of illegal drugs. Through our activities and campaigns we call upon all young people to stand for a drug free generation. We also 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. 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 shall continue to encourage young people, and member organisations to get involved in the social media campaign to mark this day using #CareInCrises #SaveLives