International Day against Drug abuse and Illicit Trafficking

The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is a United Nations International Day against drug abuse and the illegal drug trade.   The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed annually on 26 June, since 1988, a date chosen to commemorate Lin Zexu’s dismantling of the opium trade in Humen, Guangdong, just before the First Opium War in China.  The observance was instituted by General Assembly Resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987.

International Day against Drug abuse and Illicit Trafficking

The UN’s 2007 World Drug Report[1] puts the value of the illegal drug trade at US$322 billion a year. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) selects themes for the International Day and launches campaigns to raise awareness about the global drug problem. Health is the ongoing theme of the world drug campaign.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has, over the years, been actively involved in launching campaigns to mobilize support for drug control. The UNODC often teams up with other organizations and encourages people in society to actively take part in these campaigns.

Governments, organizations and individuals in many countries, including Vietnam, Borneo and Thailand, have actively participated in promotional events and larger scale activities, such as public rallies and mass media involvement, to promote the awareness of dangers associated with illicit drugs.

According to the UNODC, nearly 200 million people are using illicit drugs such as cocaine, cannabis, hallucinogens, opiates and sedative hypnotics worldwide. In December 1987 the UN General Assembly decided to observe June 26 as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The UN was determined to help create an international society free of drug abuse. This resolution recommended further action with regard to the report and conclusions of the 1987 International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Following the resolution, the years 1991 to 2000 were heralded as the “United Nations Decade Against Drug Abuse”. In 1998 the UN General Assembly adopted a political declaration to address the global drug problem. The declaration expresses UN members’ commitment to fighting the problem.

“Unless we reduce demand for illicit drugs, we can never fully tackle cultivation, production or trafficking. Governments have a responsibility to counteract both drug trafficking and drug abuse, but communities can also make a major contribution. Families, schools, civil society and religious organizations can do their part to rid their communities of drugs. Businesses can help provide legitimate livelihoods. The media can raise awareness about the dangers of narcotics.”

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