Press Releases

    26 June 2002


    VIENNA, 26 June (UN Information Service) -- The United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) is holding events worldwide today in recognition of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Every year, 26 June is celebrated with a special theme to commemorate the signing of the declaration adopted at the International Conference against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in 1987. This year's theme, "Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS", emphasizes the importance of ODCCP in education and prevention efforts to halt the spread of the disease associated with injecting drugs.

    "In countries as far apart as Brazil, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Myanmar and West Africa, ODCCP assists local authorities and other partners in implementing drug abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention projects, especially among at-risk teenagers. Hundreds of thousands of teachers and students have been provided preventive education through ODCCP media campaigns, communication workshops, educational games, theatre pieces, video presentations and radio programmes" said ODCCP Executive Director, Antonio Maria Costa.

    ODCCP emphasizes the connections between all parts of the drug issue -- drug abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention, education and strengthening law enforcement. Marking the 26 June, ODCCP presented a "full cycle of activities to prevent and combat drug abuse", including the signing of a number of new projects:

    • ODCCP, as a partner of UNAIDS, is spending US$2.7 million to implement HIV/AIDS-related activities in 2002-2003. Programmes will target priority regions, such as Africa (East and West), South and Central Asia, Russia and Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Caucasus, and South America and the Caribbean.
    • The Austrian Government intends to make EUR 2 million available to ODCCP to support drug control projects in Afghanistan.
    • ODCCP recently launched a project providing assistance to the Turkish International Academy against Drugs and Organized Crime (TADOC) to support computer-based training and increase the number of law enforcement officials from countries in the region trained at the Academy.
    • ODCCP plans to use funds contributed by the Spanish Government generated by the forfeiture of assets seized in drug trafficking cases to support a demand reduction project in Iran.

    Today also marks the global launch of ODCCP's two video spots aimed at young people using football to emphasize the message of "Sports. Not drugs". The 30-second videos feature young boys and girls heading a football to each other accompanied on screen by the messages "Use your head" and "Sports. Not drugs". The video spots, which include a music soundtrack, are available in 20 languages and can be viewed on-line at Other 26 June activities include the release of the Global Illicit Drug Trends 2002 report and the publication of an informational postcard educating youth about the connection between substance abuse and HIV/AIDS.

    Additionally, ODCCP field offices have organized public events worldwide, ranging from a Suzuki Concert in Bangkok to a celebration in Mexico headed by President Vicente Fox Quezada, around this year's theme of "Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS".

    * *** *