ASIA-PACIFIC FORUM AGAINST DRUGS
Working towards a “Drug Free Society for Our Children”
The National Council Against Drug Abuse (NCADA) of Singapore organised the Asia-Pacific Forum Against Drugs (APFAD) on 27 August 2015. The Forum brought together local and foreign participants from government agencies, non-government organisations (NGOs) and civil society groups, all with a common purpose of discussing how best to address the worrying global trend of drug liberalisation and the relentless lobbying of the pro-drug groups.
The upcoming United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS-WDP) in April 2016 will discuss the future of the global drug regime. NCADA is concerned with the weakening of global attitudes against drugs and the push for more liberal drug policies. To protect our children’s future, there is a need to strengthen the resilience of our society and youths against illicit drugs, and unite anti-drug advocates in the Asia-Pacific region to stand together to emphasise the relevance and importance of a drug-free society.
APFAD aims to rally people across the Asia-Pacific region against drugs and raise awareness of the lobbying efforts by pro-drug groups. Close to 200 participants from 18 countries mainly from the Asia Pacific region, attended the forum. Foreign and local speakers addressed various aspects of the drug abuse situation. Among them was Secretary General for the European Cities Against Drugs, Mr Erik Leijonmarck, who spoke about how anti-drug advocates could constructively engage in the global drug policy debate at UNGASS-WDP 2016. Dr Kevin Sabet, the Director of the Drug Policy Institute in Florida, elaborated on the challenges posed by efforts to regulate the use and production of cannabis.
Mr Victor Lye, Chairman of NCADA, rallied the APFAD participants to adopt an APFAD Declaration as a statement of common purpose. He said: “All of us have a stake in building a drug-free society for our children. We are very encouraged by the support of participants at the Forum today. In every ground-up initiative, we all know that the beginning is the hardest. However, given the importance of our cause, we shall persist in our efforts. I hope APFAD participants will uphold the APFAD Declaration in their home countries and promote the green and white anti-drug ribbon as our collective symbol for the anti-drug cause through social media and other channels. We need to secure strong support from our people to build a drug-free society for our children. We need to stand together to oppose the legalisation of drugs and speak up for our children at the UNGASS-WDP in April 2016.”
NCADA will make the APFAD Declaration available on its website by September so that like-minded individuals and the community can also speak up and make a similar stand against drugs. A copy of the APFAD Declaration is provided at Annex for reference.
National Council Against Drug Abuse (NCADA)
27 August 2015
Photo 1: Chairman NCADA Mr Victor Lye giving a speech at the APFAD. Photo credit: Home Team News
Photo 2: Guest of Honour Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs, together with Chairman NCADA Mr Victor Lye and foreign delegate Mr Chun Young Koo at the APFAD. Photo credit: Home Team News
Photo 3: Participants at the APFAD. Photo credit: Home Team News
*The full news release can be viewed here.
* Click here to watch a video on the highlights of the APFAD.