International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

26 June, 2015

Today marks the 27th annual International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, also known as World Drug Day, a United Nations sponsored awareness day that serves as a reminder of the goals of creating an international society free of drug abuse. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has selected this year’s theme – ‘Lets develop our lives, our communities, our identities without drugs’ – and has launched campaigns to raise awareness about the global drug problem.

Today the UNODC will launch the 2015 World Drug Report and host and live stream a briefing on the International Conference on Alternative Development (ICAD II) as part of a special event of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The report will provide an overview of the major developments in drug markets, ranging from production to trafficking, including development of new routes, as well as consumption.

Despite increased efforts by the international community, the global drug problem continues to constitute a serious threat to public health, safety and security; it undermines socioeconomic and political stability and sustainable development in source, transit and destination countries. For example, China estimates that drug abuse has caused annual economic losses of over $80 billion and led to over 49,000 drug related deaths in 2014. Today countries around the world will use the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking to raise awareness of the political, socioeconomic and security challenges posed by the global drug industry. Ghana, through the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) and in partnership with the Ministry of the Interior, will mark World Drug Day to sensitise and raise awareness of the harmful effects of drug use and drug trafficking to individuals and communities. Since 1990 Ghana has consistently partnered with the international community in various ways to combat the growing drug industry both within and outside the African continent. Over the past years NACOB uses the occasion of World Drug Day to organise awareness programmes for schools, religious bodies and corporate organizations which later climax with a grand durbar to read solidarity messages from the various partners.

The end of the first century of drug control (started in Shanghai in 1909) coincided with the closing of the UNGASS decade (launched in 1998 by a General Assembly Special Session on Drugs). These anniversaries stimulated reflection on the effectiveness, and the limitations, of current drug policy.

This year, as part of our long term series of events addressing the need to develop a balanced and proportional approach to drugs policy, we will be exploring the possibility of convening a roundtable event to identify the opportunities and challenges for future progress in the lead-up to UNGASS 2016.

More information will be available in due course and to keep up to date with forthcoming events, please sign up to our newsletter.

Related events

Conference: How can international drugs policies succeed? (2007)

Conference: International drugs policy: setting the agenda for UNGASS 2008 (2006)

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