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drug use prevention
youth and drugs

Young People Promote UNODC’s Drug Use Prevention Standards through the Modeling of Commission of Narcotic Drugs

On 10-11 November  2023, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), jointly with the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), the United Nations Resident Coordinator Office in Turkmenistan (UN RCO), the Regional Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Central Asia (OHCHR) and US Agency of International Development (USAID) “Safe Migration in Central Asia” program with the support of the Government of Turkmenistan organized the 1st Turkmenistan Ashgabat Model United Nations (TAMUN) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan for 100 students from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The purpose of TAMUN is to provide young people with opportunities to enhance and strengthen their knowledge and understanding in subject areas such as human rights, peace and security, as well as the prevention of drug abuse and violent extremism, crime prevention, and criminal justice.

Youth organizations and leaders from Central Asian countries contributed significantly to the Conference’s preparation. Young experts from the Westminster International University in Tashkent (WIUT SU) were invited to co-organize the Conference. They introduced the participants to the Model United Nations (MUN) world, including the MUN rules and procedures.

The leaders of the “Regional Network of Youth Organizations and Youth Champions of Change in Central Asia for drug free, healthy, safe and secure societies” also made significant contribution to the event and facilitated the simulation of Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) session on drug use prevention.

During the CND, 25 participants engaged in discussions on the topic of "Drug Use Prevention among Youth in Central Asia" and collaboratively devised youth-driven solutions aimed at fostering a future free from drugs. The main reference documents for these discussions were UNODC/WHO International Standards on Drug Use Prevention and the UNODC’s Handbook on Youth Participation in Drug Prevention Work.

The participants delved into prevention strategies grounded in scientific evidence, exploring programs designed for families, schools, and communities to promote growth and well-being. The CND simulation served as a platform for these discussions among students, drawing conclusions that underscored the critical importance of youth-driven drug use prevention.

Consequently, a youth-driven Resolution was presented to both UNODC and government organizations, delineating key priority areas:

  • Implementation of evidence-based drug use prevention programs and advocacy for International Standards on Drug Use Prevention with policymakers.
  • Establishment of "youth-cells" in local communities, educational institutions, and government organizations.
  • Empowerment of leaders and members of the “Regional Network of Youth Organizations and Youth Champions of Change in Central Asia for drug free, healthy, safe and secure societies” through enhanced knowledge and skills via cascade training and workshops.

The Youth Resolution serves as the voice of the youth and will inform the discussions of the CND Youth Forum taking place in March 2024.

Leaders of the Regional Youth Network took the opportunity to present an overview of the “Regional Network of Youth Organizations and Youth Champions of Change in Central Asia for drug free, healthy, safe and secure societies”, outlining its objectives, anticipated outputs, and expected results during interviews with national Turkmen TV channels. They actively encouraged youth to become members of the Regional Network, emphasizing the role of active leadership in their societies for drug use prevention.

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