VIENNA, 18 October 2012 - Cutting the supply of illicit drugs to young people is the focus of an OSCE-organized conference which started in Vienna today.
The use of illicit drugs worldwide has escalated in recent years, creating huge profits for criminal groups operating across borders. The current drug problem and illicit distribution of drugs in particular affects primarily young people who are most vulnerable and easy to influence.
The two-day event organized by the OSCE Transnational Threats Department brings together more than 100 experts, law enforcement and government officials, as well as representatives of international organizations. They will discuss the emergence of new trafficking routes, new methods for the supply of illicit drug to young people, including the use of modem technology to boost illicit drugs usage and make drug culture attractive for young people. They will also look at the ways to further enhance law enforcement activities to tackle the problem.
Ambassador Eoin O’Leary, the Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council, said in his opening remarks: “The supply of illicit drugs is an ever-growing criminal problem, transnational in nature with linkages to many other criminal activities.” He added: “These criminal elements are constantly looking for opportunities to increase their illegal income and expand their customer base. Where else to focus than the young and vulnerable who have the potential to become long-term customers?”
Lamberto Zannier, the OSCE Secretary General, stressed the importance of the event as an opportunity to build stronger international and regional co-operation to combat the overall supply of illicit drugs. “I am confident that today’s conference will enable us to better outline the course of OSCE engagement in the fight against illicit drug supply to young people and to strengthen our co-operation in order to save the future of the coming generations from the scourge of drug abuse,” he said.
The event is a part of the OSCE’s activities aimed at strengthening law enforcement and criminal justice co-operation, providing support to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to combat illicit drugs in the OSCE area through raising awareness and mobilizing communities to respond to this threat. The work is carried out in accordance with the OSCE’s concept for combating the threat of illicit drugs and the diversion of chemical precursors.