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International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

June 26, 2012

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking falls on June 26 each year to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society. This day is supported by individuals, communities and various organizations all over the world.

What do people do?

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.

Public life

The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

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.

Symbols

The United Nations’ logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches are a symbol for peace, and the world map represents all the people of the world. It has been featured in colors such as white against a blue background or gold against a light purple background.

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Categories: Public Health
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