22 June 2009

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

"Let Us Join Together to Help People Suffering from Drug Addiction"

Message on The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, 26 June 2009

VIENNA, 26 June (UN Information Service) - This year marks the centenary of drug control - 100 years since the Opium Commission met in Shanghai to stop an opium epidemic. In more recent years, United Nations conventions have helped to address the challenge of drug abuse and reduce its terrible toll on individuals, families and communities.

Drug abuse can be prevented, treated and controlled. I urge Member States to upgrade their preventive interventions and integrate drug treatment into public health programmes. The World Health Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime continue to work with Governments and other partners to scale up drug treatment world-wide.

I also urge full implementation of the United Nation Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the United Nations Convention against Corruption. These instruments can help in the effort to prevent and control drug-related crime that is posing a serious security threat in many parts of the world.

Greater development assistance and a strengthening of the rule of law are needed in countries that are vulnerable to the cultivation, production and trafficking of illicit drugs. Absent these essentials, these states risk instability and will face even greater challenges in reaching the Millennium Development Goals.

On this International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, let us join together to help people suffering from drug addiction and to reduce the number of dangerous places on this planet where drugs are produced, trafficked and consumed.

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