| TEHRAN, 17 February 2014 (UNIC)—Representative of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Iran, Leik Boonwaat’s praised the Iranian Non Governmental Organizations’ efforts in drug demand reduction, here on Monday.
“The active engagement of NGOs has contributed substantially to the success of demand reduction activities in the country,” he said
Addressing the opening ceremony of “The Regional Consultative Meeting Towards Networking of Drug Demand and Harm Reduction NGOs”, 17- 19 February 2014, the UN official said the Iranian Drug Control Headquarters has been encouraging the involvement of NGOs in drug demand reduction and harm reduction issues.
He pointed out that NGOs in Iran are working in all areas of demand reduction and HIV control.
Boonwaat said NGOs mobilise communities, in favour of the prevention of drug use, provide treatment as well as rehabilitation for individuals. He added that NGOs are providing commendable services in drop in-centres and outreach programmes accessing hard to reaching drug users in many parts of the country.
“The NGOs play also an active role in advocacy and raising awareness in support of drug control,” UNODC official said.
“In the last 15 years the Islamic Republic of Iran has attained groundbreaking achievements in programmes to contain the problems of HIV and drugs in the various areas of prevention, treatment and care in communities and prisons,” Boonwaat said adding that millions of Iranians have taken part in drug prevention programmes and hundreds of thousands of Iranians suffering from drug use have access to drug treatment and harm reduction services.
The purpose of the Regional Consultative Meeting towards Networking of Drug Demand and Harm Reduction NGOs is to support the formal networking of the regional non-governmental organizations active in the field of drug demand reduction and harm reduction.
NGO representatives from Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have participated in the three-day seminar at Iranian Centre for International Conferences.