Welcome address by Catharina Tarras-Wahlberg, the Deputy Mayor of Stockholm
Your Majesty, ambassadors, dear friends and colleagues,
It is a special pleasure for me to say welcome back to those of you who attended the first conference of the European Cities Against Drugs when the organisation started its work here in Stockholm ten years ago, as well as a warm welcome to those of you representing cities that have joined ECAD later.
There is a need for great understanding, co-ordination, creativity and leadership to face short-term and long-term drug related problems. Co-operation is a key term, on the local as well as on the regional, national and international levels.
Therefore, it is encouraging to find that so many representatives from far and near have joined us here for a few days to exchange views and learn more from each other.
'Drugs policy at crossroads' is a demanding theme for the conference, covering a vast number of areas that all deserve critical attention if we are to find ways forward to combat drugs and drug use.
Knowing that you have a great interest and represent expertise on drug-related issues I am convinced that you will be able to share experiences and develop strategies for the future work to combat drugs and drug addiction.
But UNICEF also reminds of the fact that the future of a child is written with a pencil not carved in stone. To give children a greater possibility to grow up to healthy and whole people more grownups that take responsibility are needed. UNICEF calls for WORLD PARENTS for those children. Than I thought that all of us who take active part in the fight against drugs really in a way can see ourselves as the ECAD parents for the children that need us.
Apart from interesting key note presentations and discussions, we have also chosen to offer you a wide variety of study visits to introduce you to some of the drug related projects that exist in the Stockholm area. I believe that these study visits will provide opportunities for further co-operation between the ECAD member cities.
Once again - You are all very welcome to Stockholm. I wish you a productive and rewarding conference and hope you will make many new acquaintances during your stay in Stockholm and find it worthwhile to return on later occasions.