Closing Address by Ms. Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir
Dear colleagues, Former president of Iceland, Ms Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, ladies and gentlemen
The word "slavery" has been repeated on several occasions during this conference. Drug-abuse is modern day slavery and drug producers, drug traffickers and drug dealers are encouraging this slavery through their dirty trade, thereby increasing their own wealth by destroying the health of our cities most valuable assets - our citizens, and especially our young citizens.
Our mission is to fight drugs. We are against drugs but not against the drug addicts. We want to create a situation where drug addicts get an opportunity to build a drug-free life, not a free drug life.
Consequently, those promoting more tolerant views on drug, varying from decriminalisation of personal use of drugs, via establishment of coffee shops, injection rooms, to outright legislation of drugs, are a threat to any effort to stem the source of drugs.
Throughout the conference we have listened to competent speakers who all agree that drug-related problems pose very serious threats to democratic societies worldwide - a fact that even citizens in our countries should be aware of.
It is only through comprehensive efforts, covering all layers of our societies, that we can hope to create a situation where drug use will remain a marginal phenomenon.
That is our real challenge!
The efforts of movement to legalize drugs are well-organized and well financed.
However, they lack the support of an absolute majority of European citizens who are not prepared to be fooled by the idea that easy access to drugs would be of benefit to anybody.
We must not forget that those who might be targets of the drug dealers are at the same time our most valuable allies - our citizens, and in particular our teenagers. We must win them for our cause. We must focus on educating parents and their children to build strong relationships within and between families to do everything it takes to destroy the activities of those trafficking and dealing in drugs as well as those promoting easy access to drugs through decriminalisation or legalization.
Both groups are threats to the future of our children and thereby threats to the development and improvement of a basic human right - freedom from drugs.
I commend all of you for the work you are doing and urge you to continue your important tasks.
In that work you can count on Reykjavík as a reliable ally.