4 April 2005

Japanese Youth Donations Exceed Four Million Dollars

VIENNA, 4 April (UN Information Service) -- A group of six high school students selected as this year’s Young Civic Ambassadors by Japan’s Drug Abuse Prevention Centre (DAPC) today presented to Sumru Noyan, Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), their latest contribution of US$185,000. Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director, UNODC, also met the young ambassadors and praised DAPC for their continuous support, which has surpassed US$4 million over the last 11 years.

“UNODC’s appreciation for the young ambassadors is not only for the millions of dollars they have donated over the years, but also for their enthusiastic delivery of anti-drug messages to young people across the world. Their efforts demonstrate how much a group of motivated young people can achieve when they decide to stop talking and start doing,” said Mr. Costa.

Since 1994, DAPC has been raising funds for anti-drug efforts, and each year six to eight of the most active participants are labeled Young Civic Ambassadors and come to Vienna to present their contribution to UNODC.  DAPC plans to continue this fund-raising campaign in support of the goals set by the 1998 UN General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem.

This year’s young ambassadors were Naoko Konda, Yuuji Nakaya, Kana Minatani, Rika Shibaike, Yukiko Sugiyama, and Satomi Shimabukuro.  Before leaving for Vienna, they met with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi who also heads the Japanese Commission for Promotion of Measures to Prevent Drug Abuse. The Prime Minister praised their contribution to the global efforts against drug abuse.

Japan’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Vienna, Ambassador Yukio Takasu, attended the ceremony at the Vienna International Centre (VIC), and emphasized the importance the Japanese Government attaches to the young ambassadors’ actions. “DAPC activities are valuable because they promote youth participation in drug abuse prevention and serve as a model for youth awareness and fund raising campaigns against drug abuse,” said Ambassador Takasu.

Director of DAPC, Shunzo Abe, accompanied the Young Civic Ambassadors during their visit to the VIC.

DAPC’s contribution to UNODC is used for supporting NGOs in developing countries by providing grants ranging from US$5,000 to US$20,000. More than 300 grants have been awarded to NGOs in over 90 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe in grass-roots activities for drug abuse prevention.


For more information, contact:
Kathleen Millar
Deputy Spokesperson UNODC
Tel.: +43 1 26060 5629
Email: press@unodc.org