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World Drug Day in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh (Cambodia), 2 July 2012
- On the morning of 26 June, more than 10,000 people gathered in Phnom Penh's National Olympic Stadium to celebrate the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Attendees included members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of government ministries and institutions, armed forces, civil servants, students and the public.

In his welcoming remarks, His Excellency General Ke Kim Yan, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), reminded guests that the theme of the event, "Global Action for Healthy Communities without drugs", was created by UNODC.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior H.E. Sar Kheng expressed the need of continued international development assistance: " I appeal to developed countries and concerned United Nations agencies to continue to support and strengthen national mechanisms to monitor illicit drugs in countries like Cambodia that are short of the technical capacity, human resources and materials necessary for drug-related law enforcement and health matters."

In a speech delivered on behalf of the Prime Minister Hun Sen, deputy PM Sar Kheng also highlighted the importance of community based drug treatment, which is an initiative strongly supported by UNODC: "Ministries and institutions at the national and sub-national level must continue to pay extra attention to expand the services of community based treatment for users of illicit drugs. In this respect, Ministries and other concerned institutions and other law enforcement agencies must work in collaboration in order to allow the users of illicit drugs to receive treatment, care, and prevention of HIV/AIDS with confidence and trust in their communities."

The event, organized by the National Authority for Combating Drugs, also aimed to deliver a strong anti-illicit drugs message to young people. "Don't waste your valued time to try illicit drugs even once. Do everything for your health and future. Say "No" to drugs," urged Deputy PM and Minister of Interior H.E. Sar Kheng.