Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to start by thanking the Government of Japan for its work in drug use prevention, and I would like to thank Prime Minister Kishida for his words of support.
But government efforts alone are not enough. Civil society and young people can also make a very important contribution to prevention.
Last July, I met with the board of the Drug Abuse Prevention Centre in Tokyo and was very inspired by their commitment to serve over the years. So I promised to join the celebration of 30 years of DAPC fundraising.
I am here to applaud the generations of young DAPC volunteers in Japan who have collected 6.8 million dollars for drug use prevention over the years. I am here to recognize their dedication to helping their peers around the world escape the harm of drugs, which is truly inspiring.
UNODC shares DAPC’s sustained commitment to preventing drug use by young people. Together, UNODC and DAPC have been supporting youth-focused drug use prevention activities in low- and middle-income countries since 1994. Today the world is realizing that prevention is the solution.
For 30 years, our DAPC grants programme has enabled NGOs and community-based organizations around the world to launch and scale up activities to prevent drug use, promote healthy lifestyles and empower young people.
In the last ten years alone, DAPC grants have supported 139 projects in 55 low- and middle-income countries in every region of the world.
Those projects reached approximately 166,000 direct beneficiaries, and almost 4 million indirect beneficiaries.
All of our projects are guided by the UNODC/WHO International Standards on Drug Use Prevention, which are firmly grounded in scientific evidence.
To give you a better idea of the impact of your grants across the globe, allow me to mention a few concrete examples:
We should never underestimate the power of prevention. Investing in the healthy development of young people is an investment in our common future.
The theme of today’s event, “value yourself”, is an important message for young people everywhere.
I’m pleased that participants in the CND Youth Forum are with us today so they can hear from peers who have benefited from DAPC grants. It is a good opportunity for sharing effective strategies and sparking new ideas.
I would like to thank DAPC for its longstanding support. DAPC’s work is a model that I hope many countries will replicate. UNODC is proud of our partnership, and we look forward to many more years of fruitful collaboration to prevent drug use by children and young people.