Save youth from the drugs web
By Amin Hosni

Her Royal Highness Princess Hjh Masna yesterday made a fervent appeal to parents and teachers as well as those who played an important role in the communications and education sectors to help save the youth from the scourge that is drug abuse.

Princess Hjh Masna addressing the opening ceremony of the 23rd International Federation of Non-Governmental Organisations for the Prevention of Drugs and Substance Abuse (IFNGO) World Conference expressed serious concern over the recent findings of some Bruneians being used as 'mules' for smuggling millions worth of illegal drugs in foreign countries.

"It is important that in educating our young generation on the perils of drug abuse, we must also emphasise the dangers of being manipulated by traffickers who now exploit all forms of ICT to search for 'mules' to carry drugs.

"If traffickers are able to use the Internet to deceive adults, imagine the threat they pose to our youths and children, who now grow up with the Internet as an integral part of their daily lives," stressed Princess Hjh Masna in her address during the opening ceremony held at The Empire Hotel and Country Club.

The Princess pointed out that efforts must be sustainable and programmes must be structured in a manner that ensures drug abusers will permanently break away from the vicious cycle, adding that it was imperative that the provision of support should not be confined to addicts alone but also to their families, employers and educators.

Princess Hjh Masna applauded the conference theme 'Global Best Practices and Sustainable Programmes in Drug Abuse Prevention', saying it was of great relevance and "truly encapsulates how we all may wish to move forward".

"With the current global economic situation in mind, prevention remains the ideal, cost-effective and most sustainable measure that we can take to protect our communities and educate our children on the threat posed by drug abuse," Princess Hjh Masna said.

Princess Hjh Masna believed that NGOs have the opportunity to play an important role in terms of community outreach activities that help reinforce the efforts taken by the respective governments, while emphasising that cooperation and assistance of NGOs is needed to enhance existing regional and international cooperation initiatives.

She concluded her Sabda saying that the number of guest speakers that have been invited to the conference illustrated the position of youths 'as vital stakeholders in the work of the conference and the IFNGO', and hoped that participants would benefit greatly by exchanging views and sharing knowledge and ideas brought by the speakers.

Asean member countries have committed to develop a drug-free Asean by 2015. - Borneo Bulletin (30th June 2009)