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UNODC Launches campaign against drug use

Author: Vientiane Times Reporters
Published: 21/11/2011
Newspaper section: International Cooperation

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime held a concert and fun activities over the weekend to launch a campaign on the dangers of drug abuse.

The event took place at the newly opened section of the Talat Sao Mall in Vientiane. Under the slogan "Smart youth never caught by drugs" an impressive concert attended by UNODC youth ambassadors attracted many people. UNODC Representative to Laos Mr Leik Boonwaat said at the opening of the concert "We are gathered here today to learn more about the dangers of drugs, particularly the scourge of amphetamines (known in Laos as yaaba).

On this important occasion  would like to show my deepest gratitude to the government of Laos and its continuous commitment to our programme, and to Mr Khampor and his team who have kindly agreed to host this event, and to Dr Chantharavady Chounlamany for the presentation." Mr Leik also expressed his gratitude to UNODC youth ambassadors Athisak Rattanavong, Tee Oudalay, Alouna Thavonsouk, Noutha Ladsavonglao and Maylaong Sisanon.

A highlight of the event was a performance by the modern dance group Lao Bangfai, who entertained the audience with their athletic break dance. This was followed by a reading of Lao poetry and performance by a youth group advocating heritage preservation from the Vientiane Education Department, who staged an interpretation of the Lao classic Sangsinxay.

Each of the youth ambassadors then performed, and the concert wrapped up with the whole group singing the campaign's theme song "Ya Long Thang" (Don't Miss the Track). "In some ways Laos may be in a better position to defend itself against the onslaught of amphetamine than its neighbours. You live in a more traditional society, families function, and young people are better integrated.

I'm pleased with this new drug awareness campaign and I wish to congratulate the government and assure you of UNODC's support, however much remains to be done," Mr Leik said.

He hoped the campaign would result in better awareness, to inspire young people to stay away from drugs, to value themselves and be able to contribute to a bright future, not only for young people but also for the country as a whole.

"If my talk today can inspire even one young man or women to overcome the temptation to try drugs then I will be happy. Let us all say no to drugs and yes to sports, good grades and good ealth," Mr Leik said.

"It's important for youth to make the right choice in life, the choice between destroying your life or becoming a productive member of the community with a bright future. It's important to work together to prevent dangerous drugs from threatening your life, your school and your community."