The 6th Annual Meeting of the Foundation for a Drug Free Europe (FDFE) was held this 18 September 2019 in the bibliotheque of the Cercle des Voyageurs, 18 rue des Grands Carmes, 1000 Brussels.
The Meeting entitled: Knowing, Understanding and Solving the Drug Problem in Europe , took place in the wake of the UN International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking. It was organized by the FDFE with the support of Say No To Drugs Belgium and the Fundacion para la MEJORA de la Vida, la Cultura y la Sociedad (UN ECOSOC Status – Madrid).
The attendees were mainly Embassies and Permanent Representations. We had been particularly honored by the presence of H.E. the Ambassadors of Colombia and H.E. the Ambassador of Laos.
The following countries were represented: Albania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Burundi, Colombia, Estonia, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Laos, Mongolia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Sri Lanka and USA.
And some other civil organization leaders from Belgium.
This is in front a floor of some 50 people that the morning session started with the FDFE Representative of Belgium welcoming the attendees and presenting the FDFE. He continued by an overview of the drug problem in the world, based on the data from the UNODC World Drug Report 2019 and more specifically in Europe using the EMCDDA 2019 Report data both reminding that the drug problem and the adverse health consequences were more important and widespread than previously thought! Were mentioned also: – the National Comprehensive Programme for the Voluntary Substitution of Illicit Crops of Colombia increasing from 54,000 families in 2017 to 99,000 families in 2018; – the EU4Monitoring Drugs (2019-2021) concerning the European Neighborhood Policy area; – the Southeast European Law Enforvement Center (SELEC) combating trans-border organized crimes.
The FDFE Representative put the stress on the importance of education and responsibility at all levels from parents to governments which in addition are in charge of the implementation, among others, of the Article 33 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989).
Then he gave the floor to the FDFE President who gave an extensive scientifically based information on the cannabis and exposed all the false data spread about it by some groups having vested interests to get it legalized. Indeed, he went in detail over the « light » cannabis, the medical one and the « miraculous »and « harmless » CBD!
The second part of the day, after the lunch break ,was reserved to the practical and on the ground presentations of our European say No To Drugs Teams. The country they represented were: Spain (3 videos), Czech Republic, France (a national anti-alcoholic association), Switzerland (Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich areas), Germany (Hamburg), United Kingdom (London), Italy, Belgium and Greece. Useless to say that there were impressive and amazing presentations to get the drug prevention data out and reaching the youth, parents, authorities and the public at large. Several moving testimonies from parents were given showing the importance and interest for these drug prevention education actions.
After each session there were some pertinent questions from the attendees that were well answered. And the Meeting ended up by a convivial networking an free exchange of data. All the attendees were thankful for the data gotten and received our drug prevention education materials.