"Building healthy and safe cities through prevention and treatment"

INCB participates at the 23 rd European Cities Against Drugs Mayors' Conference

Stavanger, 9 May 2016 - Mr. Raymond Yans, INCB Member and former President, participated at the 23 rd European Cities Against Drugs Annual Mayors' Conference, held in the city of Stavanger, Norway, on 9-10 May 2016.

Mr. Yans delivered a keynote speech on the selected topic of this year's conference, "Proactivity beats Reactivity-Examining the evidence for sound drug prevention in our cities". Discussions during the conference were to focus on the improvement of drug prevention efforts in European cities.

The Board member recalled that INCB has over the years repeatedly drawn the attention of Governments to the importance of prevention programmes and has dedicated several thematic chapters of its annual reports to this key element of drug control. Mr. Yans mentioned in this sense the INCB thematic chapters of 2009 on " Primary prevention of drug abuse" and 1997 on " Preventing drug abuse in an environment of illicit drug promotion".

In his keynote speech, Mr. Yans referred to the challenge of societies and cities' administrators to "find the right balance between ensuring the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes, while preventing abuse and reducing the risk of addiction".

While the conventions do not prescribe a specific prevention approach to be applied globally, "the conventions provide States with some flexibility to adopt measures such as treatment and rehabilitation as an alternative to, or in addition to, criminal sanctions for offenders, mainly those suffering from drug dependency", attested Mr.Yans.

The two-day conference also included contributions on behalf of WHO, UNODC, and civil society organizations such as the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and the World Federation Against Drugs, all in the presence of European Mayors and other governmental representatives. Mr. Yans has experience particularly relevant to this forum, having served as a Deputy-Mayor of the city of LiƩge from 1982 to 1989.

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