International Day Against Drug Abuse And Illicit Trafficking

INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST DRUG ABUSE AND ILLICIT TRAFFICKING

26 June 2017

By resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, the General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.

Supported each year by individuals, communities and various organizations all over the world, this global observance aims to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society.

Listen First

Building on the success of last year, the theme for 2017 is: “Listen first – listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.” It is an initiative to increase support for prevention of drug use that is based on science and is thus an effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities.

The UN General Assembly held a Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in April 2016. This Special Session marked an important milestone in achieving the goals set in the policy document of 2009 “Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem”, which defined action to be taken by Member States as well as goals to be achieved by 2019.

The outcome document recommends measures to address demand and supply reduction, and to improve access to controlled medicines while preventing diversion. The recommendations also cover the areas of human rights, youth, children, women and communities; emerging challenges, including new psychoactive substances; strengthening international cooperation; and alternative development. The text puts new emphasis on proportionate national sentencing policies and practices for drug-related offences, and features a strong focus on prevention and treatment.

THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON DRUGS AND CRIME (UNDOC) SPEAKS

Statement of the Executive Director on the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, 26 June 2017

The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking recognises the severe impact that illicit drugs have on health, development, peace and security. Around 190,000 people die due to illicit drugs every year. But the damage visited upon lives and communities does not stop there. Drug use damages health in the form of debilitating HIV, hepatitis and tuberculosis, while drug trafficking nourishes money laundering, and deadly terrorism. Corruption, the great enabler of organized crime, exists throughout the drug supply chain.

In a collective response to these challenges, last year, countries unanimously agreed on an outcome document of the UN General Assembly Special Session containing over 100 recommendations to counter the world drug problem. These recommendations, forged by international consensus, stress the need for affordable science-based treatment and care, especially in prisons and for measures reducing the spread of HIV and other infections.

The recently released World Drug Report 2017 examines another worrying phenomenon: the nexus between drugs, crime and terrorism and reveals a shifting pattern of relationships. To use just one example, terrorists and non-state armed groups profit from the drug trade. By some estimates, up to 85 per cent of opium cultivation in Afghanistan occurs in Taliban-influenced territory. As new threats appear, including spreading methamphetamine and new psychoactive substances, old ones continue to thrive. Business models are evolving too, with cybercrime and the darknet increasingly playing a role.

Once viewed as a marginal actor on the development stage, drugs and crime are now viewed as a disturbing obstruction to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly Goals 3 on health and Goal 16 on peaceful societies. Our response is to work closely with partners to prevent drugs and crime not simply profiting from, but also fuelling, the instability that undermines development, peace, and human rights.

UNODC, on this day, remains 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.

 


World Blood Donor Day

WORLD BLOOD DONOR DAY, 14 JUNE 2017

What can you do? Give blood. Give now. Give often

Every year, on 14 June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD). The event, established in 2004, serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.

Blood is an important resource, both for planned treatments and urgent interventions. It can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with a higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. Blood is also vital for treating the wounded during emergencies of all kinds (natural disasters, accidents, armed conflicts, etc.) and has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and peri-natal care.

A blood service that gives patients access to safe blood and blood products in sufficient quantity is a key component of an effective health system. Ensuring safe and sufficient blood supplies requires the development of a nationally coordinated blood transfusion service based on voluntary non-remunerated blood donations. However, in many countries, blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety.

Focus of this year’s campaign

The lives and health of millions of people are affected by emergencies every year. In the last decade, disasters have caused more than 1 million deaths, with more than 250 million people being affected by emergencies every year. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and storms create considerable needs for emergency health care, while at the same time, often destroying vital health facilities as well. Man-made disasters such as road accidents and armed conflicts also generate substantial health care demands and the need for front-line treatment.

Blood transfusion is an essential component of emergency health care. Emergencies increase the demand for blood transfusion and make its delivery challenging and complex. Adequate supply of blood during emergencies requires a well-organized blood service, and this can only be ensured by engaging the entire community and a blood donor population committed to voluntary unpaid blood donation throughout the year.

Slogan: What can you do? Give blood. Give now. Give often

This year’s campaign will focus on blood donation in emergencies. In crisis or emergency situation, the natural human response is “What can I do? How can I help?”. Therefore, the slogan for the 2017 campaign is: What can you do?, with the secondary message: Give blood. Give now. Give often.

The campaign underlines the role every single person can play in helping others in emergency situations, by giving the valuable gift of blood. It also focuses on the fact that it is important to give blood regularly, so that the blood stock is sufficient before an emergency arises.

The objectives of this year’s campaign

  • to encourage all people to strengthen the emergency preparedness of health

services in their community by donating blood;

  • to engage authorities in the establishment of effective national blood donor

programmes with the capacity to respond promptly to the increase in blood demand during emergencies;

  • to promote the inclusion of blood transfusion services in national emergency

preparedness and response activities;

  • to build wider public awareness of the need for committed, year-round blood

donation, in order to maintain adequate supplies and achieve a national self-sufficiency of blood;

  • to celebrate and thank individuals who donate blood regularly and to encourage

young people to become new donors as well;

  • to promote international collaboration and to ensure worldwide dissemination of

and consensus on the principles of voluntary non-remunerated donation, while increasing blood safety and availability