Datin Hajah Masni binti Haji Mohd Ali, President of Persatuan Basmi Dadah (BASMIDA), will be attending the inaugural Asia-Pacific Forum Against Drugs (APFAD) in Singapore on August 27 that is hosted by the National Council Against Drug Abuse (NCADA) of Singapore.

The forum advocates zero tolerance against drugs, BASMIDA said in a press release. The NCADA was formed in January 1995 as an advisory council to Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs and upholds Singapore’s zero tolerance stance against drugs.

The press release said that Datin Hajah Masni will be attending the inaugural forum because BASMIDA shares NCADA’s zero tolerance stance against drugs. “BASMIDA will work together with other like-minded anti-drug advocates to organise early and resist the pro-drug liberalisation agenda at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGAS) on drugs 2016.”

The theme of the AFPAD is “a drug-free Asia-Pacific for our children”. It will be attended by about 100 participants from both government and non-government organisations in the Singapore and Asia-Pacific region.

The press release said that, “The theme is especially appropriate because we should be concerned about the effects of adult drug abuse on children and need to highlight Article 33 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) that states: ‘State Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislative, administrative, social and educational measures, to protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as defined in the relevant international treaties, and to prevent the use of children in the illicit production and trafficking of such substances.’

“The right of children to be protected from narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances is a basic human right under international law. Almost all countries are signatories to the CRC. Hence protecting children from illicit use, production and trafficking of drugs is not an option for State Parties to the CRC. It is an obligation which is universal. The best interest of the child must be a primary consideration. State Parties must create an enabling environment for protecting children from illicitly using drugs. For this to happen, the most conducive policy goal is to ensure a drug free society.”