A group of 50 youth from more than 30 countries gathered in Vienna from 12 to 13 March at the Youth Forum to share their experiences and visions regarding drug use prevention and to learn more about the global policy making structures and working mechanisms.

During the Youth Forum outstanding youth leaders discussed the drug use challenges they are facing in their communities and with their peers, which are influencing their health and wellbeing. The group had the opportunity to exchange the good practice examples related to the drug use prevention from the countries they are coming from and to acknowledge the role of social media to promote healthy lifestyles and not to glamorise drug use.

Resulted from the participatory active group sessions, the youth group formulated joint statement presented in front of more than 500 delegates on 13 March at the plenary of High-Level Review of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action on international cooperation towards an integrated and balanced strategy to counter the world drug problem.

The Youth Forum participants called upon the policy makers to be more focused on evidence based treatment for people affected by drug addiction rather than to criminal sanctions and isolation, to support parents and guardians to strengthen the communication with their children and to provide social and economic support and services to the most vulnerable population.

The statement was well received by the delegates, strikingly concluded with the one voice remark from the Youth Forum representatives" We want and we can help. We call on the Commission on Narcotic Drugs to keep on working with us on this issue that is crucial to our health and well being".


Please click here for the full text of the Youth Forum 2014's statement