23 October 2012 - Following the launch of UNODC's regional programme for South-Eastern Europe earlier this year, Executive Director Yury Fedotov today visited the Serbian capital of Belgrade. His visit is part of UNODC's continuing work in the country and of that related to the regional programme, which aims to provide, among other things, assistance in drug abuse prevention, treatment and care.
As part of the visit, Mr. Fedotov participated in a public conference organized by the municipality of Zvezdara in Belgrade to highlight UNODC's programme entitled "Prevention of drug use, HIV/AIDS and crime among young people through family skills training programmes in low- and middle-income countries", which was launched in mid-2010. Participants addressing the audience included Assistant Minister Vesna Fila from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Member of City Parliament Milena Bicanin, and Municipality President Edip Serifov.
During the session it was noted that the programme assists in creating stronger and more resilient families through effective strategies in preventing drug use, criminal or violent behaviour and HIV and AIDS as well as other risky behaviours.
With young people from stable family backgrounds seeming to be better equipped to make healthy choices when faced with potentially risky situations, the programme can contribute to the healthy development of children and youth. While the primary outcome of the programme is to promote the health of young people, an added goal is long-lasting results in the form of well-adjusted adults.
"Supporting parents - in terms of communication, supervision, parental involvement and organization - helps promote families that are better equipped to tackle the various obstacles that they face as children develop into young adults", said Mr. Fedotov. "By the end of this year, more than 450 Serbian families will have benefited from this UNODC programme and I am delighted to hear that the feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive".
The regional programme works to help Governments to counter drug trafficking and organized crime, enhance integrity and justice and provide treatment and care for drug users, including those infected with HIV and affected by AIDS. The programme further aims to promote regional cooperation, including with the European Union and regional bodies.