The Ministry of Narcotics Control (MNC) held National Stakeholders Meeting today on Pakistan sponsored resolution titled “Strengthening Efforts to Prevent Drug Abuse in Educational Settings” under chairmanship of the Secretary MNC. The resolution was adopted by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) on Pakistan’s initiative in its 61st Session held in March this year in Vienna, Austria.

Mr. Arif Nawaz Khan, Secretary MNC, welcomed the participants and Syed Khalid Gardezi, Senior Joint Secretary MNC, gave briefing on the resolution. The meeting was aimed at sensitizing the stakeholders on the challenges posed by drug use and abuse in educational settings, which can seriously undermine the national pursuit for providing opportunities for the health and well-being of children and youth. The objective of the meeting was to develop a national implementation strategy to curb the menace of drug use in educational institutions through a national consultation process.

Various important implementation aspects i.e. development of curricula for all levels of education, effective nation-wide coordination mechanism among stakeholders, introducing reach-out partnership programmes involving teachers, students and parents, trainings of teachers and staff, increased awareness raising and social partnership, review and amend legislation to make it more effective and deterrent, and effective enforcement by law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies were thoroughly discussed in the meeting. The participants came up with valuable inputs; and pledged to play their due role toward effective and meaningful implementation of the Resolution. It was also highlighted that curbing the menace of drugs particularly from educational settings at every level is a “Shared Responsibility”; and it is incumbent upon everyone to secure the future of youth in Pakistan. The implementation status of the resolution will be showcased in upcoming 62nd session of the CND next year.

It was phase-1 of the National Stakeholders Meeting. Representatives of the concerned Federal Ministries, law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and departments, LEAs of the Governments of the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir participated.  The next phase of consultation process will be carried out in Karachi with representatives of the Governments of Sindh, Balochistan and NGOs.