Speakers' Profiles and Presentation Materials


Should you wish to use any of the presentations, do attribute the materials to the respective speakers.
Day 1 Speakers - 7 November 2019


“Say Nope To Dope” – Will Big Marijuana come to New Zealand in 2020?

Mr Bob McCoskrie, Director of Family First New Zealand

Bob McCoskrie has a Master of Commerce with Honours from Auckland University, and a Diploma of Teaching from the Auckland College of Education. He taught accounting, commercial law and tax law at Manukau Polytechnic, before becoming Director of YFC (Youth for Christ) South Auckland based in Otara. In 1994, he set up the Papatoetoe Adolescent Christian Trust (PACT) working with at-risk youth and their families in schools and the South Auckland community. 

Bob McCoskrie

At the same time as New Zealand attempts to go SmokeFree in 2025 and rightly boots Big Tobacco out of the country, they are in the process of possibly putting down the welcome mat for Big Marijuana with a referendum on legalising cannabis in 2020. The supporters of dope are now peddling the same myths that Big Tobacco did. Hear how family groups in New Zealand are trying to avoid the country being sucked in again.   

Currently in the thick of action, Family First will share it’s campaign journey towards the upcoming referendum, and its efforts to prevent the legalisation of cannabis in New Zealand.


Towards a Drug-Free Singapore - Singapore's Anti-Drug Control Strategy and Insights from NCADA's Media Campaign

Ms Elaine Loo, NCADA Council Member

Elaine Loo has been a member of the National Council Against Drug Abuse since 2017.  Supported by a committee, she leads the Council’s Media Campaign, providing strategic and executional input for how the campaign should roll out and evolve. 

Elaine Loo

Learn about Singapore’s national drug-control strategy, its effectiveness and NCADA’s role in preventive drug efforts. The session will elaborate upon the insights and lessons learnt from NCADA’s communication journey towards a Drug-Free society.  Specifically, the concept of NCADA’s Media Campaign, its strategic objectives and some desired outcomes.


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Lessons Learned from Marijuana Legalization in the United States

Mr Luke Niforatos, Chief of Staff  & Sr. Policy Advisor of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM)

Luke Niforatos serves as the Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor at SAM, described by the New York Times as the “well-coordinated opposition” to legalization. 
Luke’s background is in nonprofit community healthcare, having helped manage Federally Qualified Health Centers and worked on health disparities. 

Luke Niforatos

Learn about marijuana legalization in certain states of the U.S. and how this policy has impacted public health, prevention, crime, policy, and other outcomes. The session will also cover SAM’s efforts to expand a harm prevention approach to drug policy and what the successes and failures have been across the country.

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Harm Prevention: Recovery-based Multipronged Approach

Prof Stella Quah, Adjunct Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School

Stella Quah (Ph.D) is the Adjunct Professor, Health Services and Systems Research, at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore. Prior to joining Duke-NUS in July 2009, she was Professor of Sociology at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Her research areas are medical sociology, social epidemiology, sociology of the family and social policy. 

Stella Quah

Scientific evidence from different fields of knowledge demonstrate that the use of psychoactive substances leads to addiction (substance use disorder) and inflicts serious harm on the addicted individuals, their families and their larger community. Harm prevention is a multipronged approach comprising all concerted efforts by civil society, the government, and the private sector, to eradicate the harm that drug addiction exacts upon both individuals and communities, through prevention, rehabilitation and treatment. The harm prevention approach is evidence-based and incorporates current biomedical and psychosocial research on addiction and its predictors.

Why do we need a multipronged approach? Four decades of research and studies show that the problem of psychoactive substance use disorder requires comprehensive and multipronged solutions. Focusing only on individual addicts ignores the drug-promoting socio-cultural environment, the multifactorial nature of drug addiction, and the pathway to addiction. The final common pathway towards substance addiction comprises biological, psychological and sociocultural dimensions and follows three stages: misuse, abuse and addiction. Examining why individuals enter this path and proceed along it, research demonstrates that the biological, psychological and sociocultural dimensions of substance addiction are interlinked and that young individuals and those with a genetic predisposition to drug addiction are particularly vulnerable. 


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Civil Society and Evidence-based and Effective Prevention of Drug Use

Ms Mirella Dummer Frahi, and Ms Giovanna Campello, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Mirella Dummar Frahi is the Civil Society Team leader of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  She holds a Master’s degree of Political Science from the Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), where she graduated presenting a thesis on the Islamic perspective of the international rule of war. In 1989, after one year in the private sector, she joined the United Nations, starting with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and followed by the United Nations drug control programme (UNDCP). From 1998 to 2002, she worked in Pakistan -- covering Afghanistan as Programme Coordinator for the NGO “Society for the Preservation of Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage (SPACH)” and served two years with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). In June 2002, she returned to Vienna to take up new functions in the Spokesperson office of UNODC. 
Mirella Dummar Frahi

Giovanna Campello has more than 20 years of experience with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in supporting Member States and stakeholders at all levels in improving their drug prevention response applying and contributing to scientific evidence. Most notably in this context, she has led the publication of the International Standards of Drug Use Prevention in 2013 and the UNODC/WHO second updated edition in 2018. 
Giovanna Campello

This session will discuss the role of civil society organisations in promoting and delivering evidence-based and effective prevention of drug use, based on the UNODC/WHO International Standards on Drug Use Prevention. Some highlights about how the Standards can be used to improve drug prevention practice will also be presented. In addition, tools used to strengthen global networks and the way forward in implementing the 2019 Ministerial Declaration will be presented. 

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Download Giovanna Campello's presentation
Day 2 Speakers - 8 November 2019


The CADCA Model for Strengthening Communities Globally to Prevent and Reduce Illicit Drug Use

Mr Eric Siervo, Vice President of International Programs at Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)

In his successful 11 years as Vice President of International Programs, part of CADCA team, Mr Siervo has served as a trainer and senior manager of the International Programs Department.  This experience in the theoretical and practical application related to the development of effective drug prevention community coalitions around the world. Currently, in his role, he oversees, directs and supervises all the daily operations of CADCA's programs worldwide. These responsibilities include the administration of CADCA's international training, delivery systems, which focuses on the effective development of drug prevention community coalitions. Additionally, Mr Siervo is also the main point of contract for national governments, state department personnel, government and non-governmental organisations.

Eric Siervo

CADCA’s Model for community problem solving is designed to create partnerships between governments and civil society through the development of community coalitions capable of preventing and reducing substance misuse at the local level.  CADCA’s training programs provide local communities with the basic knowledge, skills and abilities to mobilize and organize local communities through civic engagement and to develop the necessary structures and capacity to form an effective drug prevention community coalition. 

Through CADCA trainings, community leaders and residents also learn the essential competencies that help to create a safer, healthier culture needed to bring about reductions – at the community level – in substance misuse rates through individual and environmental behavioural change strategies.  Currently, there is a global movement of over 5,000 community coalitions throughout all 50 states and territories in the United States and in 27 countries throughout the Western Hemisphere, Africa, Central and Southeast Asia that have adapted and adopted the model to their local context working towards creating safer, healthier and drug free communities.  


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Project VENDA: Community, the Key for Drug Prevention

Mr C.C. Joseph, Director of 4th Wave Foundation

C.C. Joseph: Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker and Social Catalyst who has travelled the world over. From North America, Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa and afar, C.C. Joseph has revolutionized individuals across the world to unlock the depth of their innate goodness and potential. Joseph has more than 14 years of experience in creating and implementing professional, educational, and social initiatives for national and international organisations. 


C.C. Joseph

Project VENDA by the Fourth Wave Foundation, adopts a multi-stakeholder approach to turn interventions into a community movement.  Fourth Wave Foundation shares its experience in collaborating with various levels and types of stakeholders to equip children with the values, skills, and knowledge needed, to protect them from a range of risk situations.

The primary focus of Project VENDA, (VENDA is the vernacular for NO), is to empower Children to say NO to the menace of drugs that’s eating at the core of their future. 
Project VENDA’s Philosophy - A community is where a child grows and we as adults need to be held accountable if our children do not gain essential knowledge regarding their wellbeing and cannot articulate a value position. 
Project VENDA works closely with the community and has been able to make its interventions into a movement within the communities we have worked with. 


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Recovery Oriented Systems of Care in Balkan Countries

Mr Boro Goic, Founder of Celebrate Recovery

After successfully completing rehabilitation, Boro Goic has been actively involved in the recovery field since 2002. Boro Goic established the NGO Celebrate Recovery, with the aim to help individuals and families recover from drug addiction. He is active in grass root activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and region as well. In 2013 Boro Goic became Chair of Recovered Users Network, a unique European platform which represents the voices and rights of previous users. Furthermore, Boro Goic has been part of a global drug policy debate as a representative of recovered users and advocates for balanced and recovery oriented drug policies on national, European and UN level.


Boro Goic

“Choose Recovery” is a research and outreach project by the NGO Celebrate Recovery. The project is approaching its fourth year of implementation in Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro.  Celebrate Recovery representative will share findings on its outreach work since the project’s conception, as well as its multidisciplinary approach to facilitate the recovery and re-integration for drug addicts. “Choose Recovery” operates on the tenet that drug addiction intervention cannot be executed in isolation, and demonstrates the importance of outreach to NGO services to address the problem more fully.

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A Contemporary TC Model for Asia: Five Elements of the Model and Healthy Family Operating Systems

Mr Martin Infante, Chairman of Self Enhancement for Life Foundation (SELF)

Martin R Infante is the Founder and President of Self Enhancement for Life Foundation (SELF), a Therapeutic Community (TC) approach for the treatment and rehabilitation of substance and non-substance dependents.  


Martin Infante

Learn how SELF Philippines had developed the Therapeutic Community (TC) approach for the Asian setting by involving the family in the treatment process. The speaker will elaborate on five elements that define the model, and talk about establishing Healthy Family Operating Systems used in community-based programs as a bid towards effective aftercare.

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