The 8th World Forum Against Drugs and the 27th ECAD’s Mayors’ Conference will be held in Hybrid Format in Gothenburg, Sweden and will stretch over 1.5 days on June 13th and 14th. The programme includes an extensive list of speakers from international organisations, research institutes, and grassroot organisations who will be joining us in person and virtually.


*Please note that all times are in the Central European Summer Time (CEST)


Inauguration by Ghada Fathi Waly, the Director-General/ Executive Director of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV)/ United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) since 1 February 2020, following her appointment by Secretary-General António Guterres. She holds the rank of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. Ms. Waly’s work experience includes 28 years in the field of poverty reduction and social protection. She served as Minister of Social Solidarity of Egypt from March 2014 until December 2019. She also served as the Coordinator of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Social Justice and chaired the Executive Council of Arab Ministers of Social Affairs in the League of Arab States from 2014 to 2019. 

Dr Abiola O. Olaleye

Abiola O. Olaleye is the Senior Programme Officer, Epidemiology and Drug Research, Division of Social Welfare and Drug Control, African Union Commission (AUC). Abiola has 17 years of progressive work experience with national and international organisations including Clinton Foundation and FHI360.

Ali Reunanen

Ali is 66 years old and have lived drug-free and honest over 28 years with the help of the 12 step program and CRIS. Over the years, he has had the opportunity to build a whole new fantastic life with both goals and meaning. He has trained as an alcohol and drug therapist and worked with underlying problems and trauma treatment.

Amy Ronshausen

Amy Ronshausen is the Executive Director of both Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. and Save Our Society From Drugs (S.O.S.), national nonprofit organisations that work prevent substance abuse, increase access to evidence based treatment, and promote sustained recovery. She is the International President of WFAD since 2019

Asia Ashraf

Asia Ashraf is the national trainer UTC for the UNODC and Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Program and is internationally certified addiction professional (ICAP-II) from GCCE, Sri Lanka. She is currently serving as Director Rehabilitation and Consultant Psychologist at Greenfield Hospital of Psychiatry and founder of Peace Inn.

Augusto Nogueira

Augusto Nogueira is the founder member and current President of ARTM (Association of Rehabilitation of Drug Dependencies of Macau). For the last 19 years, he had been consistently working to improve the conditions of the people that use drugs to access the treatment and in the Harm Reduction advocacy.

Billy Batware

Billy Batware is a Programme Officer at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), responsible for the Civil Society Unit’s work on transnational organised crime and drug policy. Before joining UNODC, Billy founded and managed several civil society initiatives, among them the United for Education and Sustainable Futures.

Corina Giacomello

Corina Giacomello is a consultant of the Pompidou Group in the project Children Whose Parents Use Drugs and is an associate professor of the Autonomous University of Chiapas, Mexico. She conducted research and authored the publication “Children Whose Parents Use Drugs, Promising Practices and Recommendations”.

Dave Higham

Dave Higham Founder and CEO Of the Well Communities. Dave established The Well with his own money. In the last four years, The Well has grown to become one of the leading providers of Lived Experience Recovery Organizations in the country. The Well has now broadened its reach, establishing communities in Cumbria, Lancashire & Liverpool Sefton.

Dr David Best

Dr. Best is Professor of Addiction Recovery at Leeds Trinity University, Honorary Professor of Regulation and Global Governance at The Australian National University and Adjunct Associate Professor of Addiction Science at Monash University (Melbourne). He is also chair of the Prisons Research Network of the British Society of Criminology.

Devon de Koker

Mr. de Koker is a Social Worker in Private Practice and he specialises in drug use interventions. He is involved in the rendering of clinical counselling services in the drug use field, supervision of addiction practitioners, training, advocacy, and intervention development. He is passionate about professional drug use services and being a voice for marginalised people who use drugs and their families.

Diana Joseph

Managing Trustee of Fourth Wave Foundation India, Diana Vincent, has over 15 years of experience working with international organisations. She has been actively championing the cause of Inclusion with focus on Children with Special Needs and Childs Right to Education and a substance abuse free environment.

Dichen Choden

Ms Dichen Choden is a high school teacher and youth counsellor by profession, with 17 years’ experience in the field of drug demand reduction, youth, and a special interest in suicide prevention. She has managed, implemented, and monitored projects in Afghanistan and Iraq. She is an Internationally Certified Addiction Professional (ICAP I) and a Global Trainer of the Universal Prevention Curriculum.

Dr Fernando Salazar Silva

Fernando Salazar Silva is a Certified Master Trainer in courses of the Universal Prevention Curriculum, at coordinators and implementers level, and has retrieved the Global Training in Drug Demand Reduction. Fernando Salazar Silva has undergone various academic, research, and monitoring activities.  

Jessica de Maeyer

Jessica De Maeyer is coordinator of the EQUALITY//Research Collective and lecturer at the department of social educational care work at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Ghent, Belgium.  EQUALITY is an interdisciplinary research centre that aims to counter the social exclusion of human beings in vulnerable living situations and to improve their quality of life and the guarantee of human rights.

Johan Maertens

Johan Maertens is trained as psychotherapist in several methods and disciplines. He founded many healthcare centres for drug addiction treatment and prevention and centres for ambulatory psychotherapeutic treatment for individuals, groups, and couples. He initiated social and cultural projects in his city of Birth Bruges and founded, with others, the Rotary Action Group for Addiction Prevention

Joke Verreth

At Mobile School vzw, Joke coordinates the StreetSmart Impact tool. She combines over six years of experience in training local youth work teams with the drive to support organisations worldwide in tracking and increasing their impact on vulnerable children and youth.

Kavita Ratna

Kavita Ratna is presently the Director, Advocacy for the Concerned for Working Children (CWC), which has been thrice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for its excellence in child participation practice. She has been engaged with child rights advocacy since 1990 and holds numerous national and international portfolios and has been a resource person for diverse international development organisations.

Kevin Sabet

Kevin Sabet is an affiliate of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies and the Medical School at Yale University, dubbed by NBC News as the “prodigy of drug politics,” author, consultant, and advisor to three U.S. presidential administrations, Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D., has studied, researched, written about, and implemented drug policy for 25 years. He is currently the President and CEO of SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)

Margaret Lilja

Margaret Lilja is a Data Specialist and lecturer at Icelandic Center for Social Research and Analysis (ICSRA). She is currently a lecturer at Reykjavik University in the Department of Sport Science and served as an adjunct at the University of Iceland. Margret is one of the key players in the Icelandic Model locally, providing a vital link between ICSRA and the municipalities and schools around Iceland.

Melike Simsek

Melike Simsek was born in Istanbul. She received her BA degree in psychology from Istanbul Bilgi University, completed her graduate study in Mental Health and Psychological Therapies at Queen Mary University of London and still doing Phd studies in clinical psychology. Melike has been working as a psychologist specializing on substance use disorders for more than 10 years.

Patrick Kennedy

During his time in Congress, Patrick J. Kennedy co-authored the landmark Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Federal Parity Law), which requires insurers to cover treatment for mental health and substance use disorders no more restrictively than treatment for illnesses of the body, such as diabetes and cancer.

Peter Moilanen

Peter Moilanen is head of Drug Policy Centre in Sweden, also known as Narkotiskapolitisk Centre (NPC), which is a network and think tank working with analysis, debate, and education. One of its 14 members is the Swedish Council on Alcohol and Drugs (SLAN). Peter has been the Secretary-General for IOGT-NTO in Sweden and head of IOGT-NTO’s alcohol- and drug policy, prevention, and social work.

Rima Saade

Rima is currently an Executive Director and international relations of Nusroto Al-Anashid Association.  She is Passionate for humanitarian activities, social services and charitable works, 20 years of experience in the service of prisoners, 16 years of experience in the service of drug users, being a co-founder member and currently Manager of Drug Rehabilitation Center for Male and Female

Dr Robert duPont

For 50 years, Robert L. DuPont, MD has been a leader in substance use disorder treatment and prevention. He was the first Director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse and the second White House Drug Chief. He is the founding President of the Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc., a non-profit research and policy organisation that identifies and promotes powerful new ideas to reduce drug use.

Robert Leventhal

Robert Leventhal is the Division Chief, U.S. State Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Office of Global Programs and Policy.  Mr. Leventhal supervises teams dedicated to advancing U.S. interests in, but not limited to, addressing corruption, synthetic opioids, drug prevention/treatment/recovery, and police peacekeeping operations through development and implementation of policy, diplomatic, and programmatic initiatives in those areas.  

Slim Lidén

Slim Lidén is the founder and secretary-general of NGO “Smart International”. To affect the actual behaviour of the youth, he initiated a primary prevention programme – The Contract Concept – that affected the very behaviour of the kids and did it long-term. Lidén is honoured “Advanced member of ISSUP” and was promoted “Preventer of the Year” (Sweden) in 2013.

Susan Thau

Sue Thau is a Public Policy Consultant representing Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). She is nationally recognised for her advocacy and legislative accomplishments on behalf of the substance abuse prevention field. She has an extensive background in public policy and has held high positions at the federal, state, and local levels.

Tijs van Steenberghe

Tijs Van Steenberghe is a researcher, social worker and photographer. He currently works at the EQUALITY//ResearchCollective and the department of Education, Health and Social work at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Ghent.

Tina Bierud

Tina Bierud is a Social Worker who has worked with people with challenges related to substance abuse and mental health issues for more than 20 years. She has been a manager at Jegersberg farm rehabilitation- and competence centre for the last five years.

Dr Wadih Malouf

Wadih has joined UNODC in 2005, and currently is a Programme Manager currently coordinating a global programme on Prevention that includes promoting the UNODC WHO International Standards on Drug Use Prevention and developing and piloting evidence based programmes on family and life skills globally. He holds a PhD in Mental Health and Drug Addiction Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Dr Wouter Vanderplasschen

Wouter Vanderplasschen (PhD) is associate professor and head of the Department of Special Needs Education (Orthopedagogiek) at Ghent University (Belgium). He is a senior researcher in the field of substance abuse treatment and recovery. For the past 20 years, Wouter Vanderplasschen has studied the accessibility, effectiveness and quality of care in substance abuse treatment and addiction recovery in general.

Carlton Hall

Carlton Hall is the President and CEO of Carlton Hall Consulting LLC (CHC) , a multi-faceted, full-service consulting firm designed to provide customized solutions and enable measurable change for communities, organizations, families and individuals. Carlton Hall has been providing intensive substance abuse prevention focused and community problem solving services to the United States of America for the last 25 years.

Anja Busse

Anja Busse is the Programme Officer at the Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section of the UNODC Drug Prevention and Health Branch – has been involved since 2005 in the implementation of UNODC’s global projects on drug dependence treatment and care in different functions.

Sven Pfeiffer

Sven Pfeiffer is a Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). His area of specialization is human rights and gender-based discrimination and his work focuses on violence against women and the treatment of women in contact with the criminal justice system.