Message from Dr Arif Alvi President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
(On the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking* on 26th June 2022)
The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed annually on the 26th of June to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving a world free of illicit drugs. The day is celebrated across the globe to prevent drug abuse and raise awareness about the alarming threats it poses to society, especially the youth. The World Drug Report 2021, published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), indicates that deaths attributed to drug-related disorders have almost doubled over the past decade. The youth, which makes up nearly 60% of Pakistan's total population, remains especially vulnerable to drug abuse. We must strengthen our commitment to address the challenges stemming from drug abuse and illicit trafficking and protect our youth from the threat of illicit drugs. Students and parents must be sensitized through workshops and seminars with the help of the media, civil society, and educational institutions. To this end, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) can play an important role and it has been directed to implement a strict policy to counter drug abuse in higher educational institutions. Today, we also celebrate the tremendous efforts Pakistan has made in collaboration with international organizations to address drug-related challenges. International cooperation has helped limit the proliferation of new psychoactive substances used by younger generations. I commend the Ministry of Narcotics Control for the measures it has taken to combat the trafficking of illicit drugs in our society and mitigate the detrimental impacts of drug abuse. Pakistan has also achieved the status of a poppy-free state which is a reflection of the proactive approach taken by the Ministry of Narcotics Control/Anti-Narcotics Force. Only with cooperation and collective commitment will we achieve our vision of a world free of this menace. We are committed to making Pakistan a model country, in the region and beyond, in this fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.