May 7, 2024

Increasing Social Capital Through Addressing Protective Factors of Drug Use: Side Event at UN International Center, Vienna

Vienna, Austria – Planet Youth took part in the sixty-seventh session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) at the UN International Center in Vienna, with a side event titled “Increasing Social Capital Through Addressing Protective Factors of Drug Use” The Side event was hosted by Iceland, and co organized with Public Health Canada and Movendi International.


Along with the side event Planet Youth set up an exhibition in the Rotunda building at the UN International Center, with the title: „A system of drug demand reduction“. The exhibition illustrated the driving forces behind the Icelandic Prevention Model and displayed how it is being implemented around the world.

The side event took place on the 18th of March 2024, drawing a diverse audience who were keen to get to know more about this crucial topic. The panel of speakers included Rosamund Dunkley M. Sc., Director of the Division of Mental Health Promotion and Wellbeing at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Dunkley presented Canada’s public health approach to preventing substance-related harms, shedding light on effective interventions and policies.

Jon Sigfusson, Chairman of Planet Youth, delivered a focused overview of Planet Youth’s work promoting community well-being, emphasizing the importance of coalition building in combating drug use.


Kristina Sperkova, International President of Movendi International, addressed the challenges hindering the effective implementation of upstream prevention strategies. Sperkova’s insights provided valuable perspectives on navigating barriers to achieving comprehensive drug prevention efforts.


The event came to an end with closing remarks from Iceland, delivered by Jons Sigfusson on behalf of the Ministry of Health. Sigfusson underscored the importance of collaborative action and reiterated Iceland’s commitment to move forward with evidence-based approaches to drug prevention and social development. The insights drawn from this side event will inform and inspire global efforts in the pursuit of effective substance use drug prevention, guided by data and powered by cooperation of many stakeholders in society.