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Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 27 July 2017 he was Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport.

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 27 July 2017 he was Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport.

Speech by Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport Gabriel Wikström at UNGASS Listen FIRST Seminar

Published

UN Special Session of the General Assembly - UNGASS 2016
New York, United States of America, 19 April, 2016

Check against delivery.

Your Majesty, Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

First my thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to bring us all together this afternoon.

Our theme - preventing drug use.

A core responsibility for member states under International Drug Control Conventions.

Well, I am a minster for health.

And as all doctors know, prevention is always better than cure.

Prevention that works, of course.

So I want to share with you some of the work we do in Sweden.

First of all, and in line with the International Standards, we combine prevention for all substances including alcohol, tobacco, doping and narcotics in a comprehensive national Strategy.

Which brings simplicity. And it sets goals and targets.

Having one strategy really helps.

It help teachers and social workers, professionals and NGO's at the level that counts - locally.

Which is where our young people find themselves, of course.

One strategy helps create wider awareness.

It means clarity - clear guidance and tools.

All of which help better protect young people.

So it's a national strategy to support local work.

And follows up that local work at regional and national levels.

Because we believe for prevention to work, it must be universal and reach everyone.

Because so much about drug-taking is about social norms.

So effective prevention means supporting norms with a positive influence on the choices young people face.

So their schools have a very important role to play.

But this is not about the odd hour to lecture children on the dangers of drugs.

Or even just information or campaigns – although we do use them, of course.

It is about an ongoing, everyday dialogue between adults and children on the issues involved.

Because creating and building resilience is long term - and needs depth.

So schools – and the children - are supported by a network with health and social services, and civil society.

As are parents. Universal prevention means parents too.

Support for parents in being parents – something that was never easy, let alone today.

This is done through local parent networks. It can be in person, in groups or online.

All this work with children and parents, schools and the local level helps make prevention universal.

Which we believe is what has helped us keep our very low, and even falling, levels of drugs use.

Just as they are for alcohol and tobacco.

***

And for all of us – but above all for children – you cannot have anything more universal that that most basic of human needs: to understand - and to be understood.

And the best way to understand is to listen.

Listening is called the first duty of love. Helping set limits is too.

Which take knowledge and skills. And understanding.

Which is the power in helping parents - all parents - in listening FIRST to their children.

So I/we/Sweden fully support/s this initiative and the Campaign which is launched today to highlight that prevention is a key component in the UNGASS declaration.

Thank you!

Contact

Helena Paues
Press Secretary to Minister for Health care, Public Health and Sport Gabriel Wikström
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 27 July 2017 he was Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport.

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 27 July 2017 he was Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport.