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Pavel Bém

Dr. Pavel Bém is a Czech politician, a former member of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, and a former Mayor of both the City of Prague and the Prague 6 District. 

He is currently also a member of the National Drug Commission within the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic, and an advisor to the Prime Minister on drug issues.

Pavel Bém studied medicine at Charles University in Prague, specializing in psychiatry and subsequently devoting most of his career to drug abuse prevention, treatment and drug policy. He is one of the founders of the Czech drug policy and a pioneer in developing the public health-oriented drug policy in former Czechoslovakia as well as in other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America. Dr. Bém served many years as a Czech “Drug Tzar” (National Drug Coordinator). He spent 20 years in various policy roles and high management functions at international, national as well as local levels, focusing mainly on the development of cost-effective public health strategies and harm reduction services. He has served for various governmental as well as international bodies (such as the EU, UN, WHO, Council of Europe, Pompidou Group, and the PHARE Programme).

He was twice elected as a Vice-President of the Committee of the Regions of the European Parliament. As a Member of the Czech Parliament, he has successfully submitted and introduced the national law relating to medical cannabis.

Since 2012, Pavel is also a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a self-constituted body of former Presidents, Head of States, politicians and other high-profile individuals aiming to end the war on drugs, and to introduce more humane drug policy reforms throughout the world.

Currently, he also serves as a trainer, clinician and teacher at the 1st Medical Faculty of the Charles University (Prague), and as Head of the Department for Psychotherapy and Family Therapy at the Addictology Clinic. He works as a supervisor certificated by the European Association for Supervision (EAS).

His other interests include extreme skiing, scuba diving, piano playing and mountaineering: he has climbed four of the 14 mountains that are higher than 8,000 metres above sea-level – including Mount Everest and K2.