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February 14, 2019

Conference takes stock of existing challenges in educational institutions


February 14, 2019

Islamabad : A high level expert group conference on Wednesday took stock of existing challenges of drug abuse in educational institutions, shared regional perspectives, exchanged best practices and adopted appropriate recommendations to effectively curtail this menace.

The Conference - Preventing Drug Abuse in Educational Settings: Fostering Regional Cooperation and Partnership - from February 11 to 12 at Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) followed by a daylong training session was convened here at ANF Academy.

These events were convened in context of national campaign for implementation of Pakistan’s brokered United Nations Resolution on Strengthening Efforts to Prevent Drug Abuse in Educational Settings adopted during 61st session of UN Commission on Narcotics Drugs (CND) in March 2018. The conference was aimed to conclude a solid framework and promote exchange of experiences and good practices at regional level in collaboration with regional partners, local stakeholders and educational institutions to protect the youth from menace of drugs.

Representatives from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), senior officials from regional countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, representatives from Foreign Office, Ministry of Narcotics Control, Ministry of Federal Education, Ministry of Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Anti Narcotics Force attended the session.

In his address, ANF Director General, Major General Muhammad Arif Malik highlighted gravity of drug abuse in educational settings and various strategic measures at policy and tactical level initiated by government of Pakistan like suggesting amendments in Control of Narcotics Substances Act 1997, effective coordination amongst all stakeholders, focused enforcement measures in collaboration with Police and other Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), inclusion of essays on drug abuse in curricula and focused awareness campaigns against drug abuse in educational settings.

He appreciated the participants for their valuable input, mutual discussions and for adoption of recommendations for implementation in light of regional perspective of participating countries.

He reaffirmed that ANF would continue shouldering its responsibilities in saving our youth from abuse of illicit drugs and striving hard for providing them a Drug Free Society.

The conference culminated at training session in which all delegations along with representatives of various educational institutions participated and shared their experiences to counter spread of this menace among students/youth.

The training session was unique in its nature and an ice breaker on such an important subject.

Comprehensive presentations were delivered by UNODC regarding how to implement evidence-based interventions and strategies and results of implementation of evidence-based programmes in educational system globally.

The follow up group exercise for identification of drug use prevention programmes in educational settings, challenges and best practices were also excellent thought provoking opportunity to participants.

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