Findings of World Drug Report 2022 Highlighted at Special Launch Event in Islamabad on the margins of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

30th July 2022, Islamabad: A special event for the launch of World Drug Report (WDR) 2022 was held on 29 June in the federal capital of Pakistan while commemorating World Drug Day. This year the launch of WDR was brought forward to the 27th while expanding the canvas of awareness raising under the campaign #CareInCrises ‘Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises’, the theme selected to mark World Drug Day.

While addressing the launch event Mr Shazain Bugti, Federal Minister for Narcotics Control, stated that International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking reminds us to express our resolves of achieving drug-free status in our country and in the entire world. He also emphasized the need for safe, gender sensitive drug treatment and prevention services, with no stigma being attached to those receiving it.

A detailed online power point presentation highlighting the key finding of the World Drug Report was presented by Dr Kamran Niaz, Epidemiologist Research Section, UNODC Vienna. This also touched upon the global market trends of cocaine, harms from drug use, use of different drugs among men and women, impact of drugs on environment, drugs and conflict, impact of drugs on the environment, and impact of COVID 19 pandemic on drug use and drug trafficking. Joining online from Vienna Ms Campello, Chief Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation Section, noted that the challenges associated with drug use are both global and country-specific. She lauded the collaboration between UNODC and the Government of Pakistan in the fields of drug prevention and treatment, capacity building, and developing quality assurance systems for drug treatment services.

Ms Humaira Ahmed, newly-appointed Secretary Ministry of Narcotics Control, appreciated UNODC’s contributions in the launch of World Drug Report 2022 and the event on 26 June marking World Drug Day. She informed the audience that the Ministry had formulated an Anti-Narcotics Policy; and highlighted the need for a comprehensive, multisectoral, cross-border response to deal with the drug problem. She urged all concerned to come forward with concerted efforts to render the world safe from this menace. Mr Sabino Jalal, Joint Secretary also commented that the Ministry was committed to making Pakistan a safer place, free from all kinds of narcotic drugs; and particularly in educating, sensitizing, and protecting the youth from falling prey to drugs.

UNODC Country Representative Dr Jeremy Milsom read the UN Secretary General’s and the Executive Director Ms Ghada Waly’s messages on both events; and highlighted the importance of strengthening science-based treatment and support services for drug users; viewing them as victims needing  treatment rather than punishment, discrimination, and stigma - including treatment for those living with infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis.

Prior to the special event of the WDR launch, the Ministry of Narcotics Control, Government of Pakistan and UNODC jointly organized a walk and cycle rally in Islamabad on 26 June. Despite this being the most humid and warmest of days, people from all walks of life, the international community, national counter parts, civil society, students, housewives, children, and the media all came out to affirm the importance of drug prevention and awareness, signing a giant billboard and chanting slogans of saying ‘No!’ to drugs during the activity. Officials from the Ministry of Narcotics Control, Anti-Narcotics Force, UNODC, and WHO also participated. World Health Organization and Nestle Pakistan partnered with UNODC to provide cycles, T-Shirts, caps, water, and juices for the participants. The city was decorated with streamers and banners carrying drug awareness messages. 


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