Fifth Global Conference on Drug Prevention
Global Drug Prevention Network
Rome - September 2003
In the Eternal City of Rome we who are more than
500 delegates from 84 nations convening at this Global Conference,
reaffirm our commitment to building and protecting the Common Good (‘Res
Publica’), by creating and cherishing drug-free communities throughout
addressing this complex matter, which is of vital importance to every
nation, Conference has participated in a wide variety of presentations
reflecting (inter alia) cultural, ethical, scientific, medical,
social, political and spiritual dimensions of the subject. We come
from Western and Eastern Europe, North/Central and Latin America, the
Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australasia, Canada,
Scandinavia – and maybe more. We represent many diverse faiths and
beliefs, but we are united in our support of Core Principles (set out
below) as well as specific initiatives (in the attached Schedule):
pursuit of the ‘Common Good’ should define and guide the actions of
‘Culture of Disapproval’ of drug abuse* should be nurtured in all
at large should honour ‘Moral Imperatives’ for responsible and
constructive citizenship, striking a balance between the rights of the
Individual and those of Society.
validated science should underlay and inform all strategy, policy and
Whilst we have pride in our past achievements, our focus is on the
future – and our future lies with our children. For them, and for all
society, we pledge to strive for an environment in which each and
every person in our world has the best chance to fulfil their
potential, in the best of all possible health, and we pledge to create
value in acknowledgement of the gift of life with which we have been
blessed. We confirm the superiority of love, in relation to the
education and building of our society: a superiority which has become
a social, political, cultural and spiritual commitment.
on behalf of the plenary assembly, which endorsed this
Declaration by acclamation.
‘drug abuse’ we reaffirm we mean any use of illegal substances and any
inappropriate use of legal substances).
ROME DECLARATION –
SEPTEMBER 2003 Attachment
SCHEDULE OF INITIATIVES
Conference resolves to progress initiatives in support of the Core
Principles, including but not limited to the following:
Conference commends and supports our host nation, Italy, in its
current renewal and strengthening of its policies against drug
Conference reaffirms the Declarations of all previous Global
Prevention requires to be properly and fully recognised for its
enormous potential; work to achieve this must be expanded. There
must be a development of a positive, pro-active drug policy agenda
which becomes the dominant policy initiative.
The whole community suffers from the problems of drug abuse,
therefore the whole community must be consciously involved in the
Youth are an important part of the solution, and yet they are too
often marginalised, or exploited as ‘tokens’. Their significant
potential as agents for positive change must be better recognised
and utilised. Improved methods of reaching and empowering youth, in
partnership with adults, must be created.
The total solution must be an optimized but flexible mix of all
policies and practices, relevant to each nation’s culture. No one
aspect of this should be allowed to dominate or otherwise jeopardise
the orderly development and delivery of any other aspect.
Conference has recognised the significance of Culture in the drug
abuse/drug prevention equation; action must therefore be taken to
constructively influence culture in various ways.
The impact of drug abuse upon the individual – not only in the
physical sense but ‘anthropologically’ – must be a key
consideration; impacts on mental, intellectual, cultural, spiritual
and bio-ethical components must all be addressed.
Impacts on the brain deserve special emphasis, and not just at the
eventual stage of dependency. The early stages of use – especially
by the young – must be more widely recognised for their serious
Conference reaffirms its opposition to legalisation and other forms
of drug law relaxation, and – in consequence – its opposition to
any initiatives which, overtly or covertly, serve such negative
The fullest support should be given to the Vienna Declaration, which
seeks to unequivocally support the UN Conventions on drugs, notably
by the collection of 25 million supporting signatures by the year
Funding for prevention, and for demand reduction in general, needs
to be moved to the top of the priority list, and significantly
increased in amount.
International Aid programmes aimed at Producing Countries need to
explicitly elevate the priority for Demand Reduction programmes and