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17th ECAD Mayors’ Conference:

European Cities Against Drugs met on Gozo (Malta) on September 23-25, 2010 for its 17th conference aimed to give support to each other and get inspired in the everyday anti-drugs fieldwork.

10 new Maltese Local Councils joined the ECAD network during the Conference: Birzebugga, Gharb, Gzira, Kalkara, Marsarskala, Qrendi, San Giljan, San Gwann, Ta’Xbiex, Xghajra. Welcome!

Besides the fully packed Conference work programme, the participants enjoyed also cultural and social events, visiting Dwejra with its Azure window and Citadel in the main Gozitan town of Victoria.


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On the photo below you see the ECAD Award 2010 winner, representative of the city of Veliky Novgorod (Russia) Olga Vasiljeva.

Thank to all ECAD members, speakers and the Maltese hosts for a rich in content, well organized, fun and memorable meeting!

All speeches and other materials are published on our site, under “Conference Papers”.

Read Press Release ECAD AWARD 2010 Here


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Jörgen Svidén, ECAD Director:

ECAD’s Mayors Conference 2010 finally took place in Malta, September 23-25. The Conference was first planned to be held in April but due to the well known ash cloud it had to be postponed.

Around 150 delegates from 66 cities, 17 countries, participated in the event on the beautiful island of Gozo, that took a false start on the 22nd with a meeting both in the Advisory Board and in the core group of Youth in Europe. The first day of the Conference, with the theme “Empowering our citizens to healthier lifestyles”, started with welcoming speeches from Junior Minister for Consumer Dr. Chris Said, Shadow Minister Dr. Buontempo and ECAD’s Chairman Cllr Jim Corr. Thereafter the President of the INCB, Prof. Hamid Ghodse held an interesting and encouraging speech, amongst other issues on how it can be possible to achieve the goal of a drug-free Europe, with a focus on demand reduction and primary prevention as a key component of drug control, in particular at the local/city level. Dr. Evgeny Bryun, Director of Moscow Research and Practical Centre on Addictions, followed by giving some interesting examples of Moscow’s strategy and methods for demand reduction. The audience also got a lecture about the Maltese Police Drug Squad’s work and challenges from Assistance Police Commissioner Neil Harrison. After a refreshing lunch the day continued with Mr. David Turner, Chair of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs, who gave an enthusiastic and appreciated overview of the results from the 53rd CND meeting in the UN. Prof. Charli Eriksson ended the first days Conference with a lecture on Evidence and Practice in Drug Prevention. After ECAD’s Plenary Session the Maltese hosts offered a much appreciated social program with a concert from a youth orchestra in Gozo, followed by a marvelous dinner hosted by the Office of the Prime Minister.

The Second day started with a lecture on the medical aspects of substance abuse from Dr. Anton Grech, an overview of Caritas Malta’s work by Ms. Roberta Fenech and a summary of the work of OASI, a treatment center in Gozo, by Director Manwel Cordina. Frans Koopmans, Director of Communications of De Hoop Foundation, then gave an inspired speech on an Integral Approach to Addiction. In the following Mayor’s Forum, the audience was addressed by Paula Kokkonen, Deputy Mayor of Helsinki, Anniken Hauglie, Commissioner from Oslo, Rumen Vidov, Mayor of Vidin, Sean O’Grady, Councilor of Killarney. The Mayor’s Forum is an appreciated standing part of the Conference, where leading persons from member cities give inspirational views of what is happening in their respective cities.

Mr. Rodrigo Paris, First Secretary of the Colombian Embassy to Great Britain, then showed a film and talked about Shared Responsibility, the environmental and social repercussions that global cocaine consumption brings to Colombia. There were many in the audience who believed this to be a new and most interesting aspect of drug abuse, which for sure will have impact in a number of cities around Europe in due time.

The next part of the Conference was the five parallel workshops: How to evaluate drug prevention by Prof. Charli Eriksson, Providing Hope: Experience & Practice of De Hoop Foundation by Frans Koopmans, New Russian Drug Policy Strategy Proposal: Advantages and Shortcomings by Prof. George Zazulin, Open Drug Scenes in Oslo—the Work of the Police & Co-operation with the Oslo Municipality by Deputy Chief of Police in Oslo Sveinung Spolheim and COPE: the Community Parent Education Programme—Parental and drug preventive education for young Roma parents by the Consultants at Staffanstorp Municipality Ulla-Britt Hedenby and Ingrid Bolmgren together with Project Leaders Micika Petrov & Goran Bogdanov.

The day concluded with a Signing ceremony of the ten new Maltese cities in ECAD. ECAD is proud and honored to welcome these Maltese cities in its organization and grateful to Pembroke City and Malta, for its marvelous work in order to recruit the cities. The more cities ECAD consist of, the stronger our organization will be!

The Conference ended with conclusions from Mr. Jim Corr, followed by a guided tour of the Gozo Island and a reception at the Gozitan Citadel, hosted by the Prime Minister.

ECAD thanks the Maltese hosts for their great hospitality and for making this Conference a success. We also thank all the speakers and participants for making the Conference so good. The Mayor’s Conference is an excellent opportunity to learn, meet colleagues and others from all over Europe, strengthen already existing contacts and to make new ones. It is also a perfect moment to tighten our organization and last but not least to have some fun. I do hope that you all had a good time during the Conference in all these aspects!