For information only – not an official document

7 June 2024

International Narcotics Control Board President presents 2023 reports to Economic and Social Council


NEW YORK/VIENNA, 7 June (UN Information Service) – The President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Professor Jallal Toufiq, presented the Board’s 2023 reports to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Management Segment meeting on Wednesday at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The INCB annual report reviews the functioning of the international drug control system and highlights critical developments in the area of drug control. The INCB President, in referring to the thematic chapter of the report, highlighted the role of the Internet, including social media, in drug trafficking & use. Noting that criminal groups use the dark web and exploit legitimate e-commerce and other platforms to traffic drugs and precursor chemicals used to manufacture drugs, he emphasized that the online sale of highly potent fentanyl and other synthetic opioids is a serious public health threat. “Social media platforms increasingly serve as local illicit marketplaces for drugs, with devastating consequences for young people, including children,” stressed Professor Toufiq. While acknowledging that encryption and jurisdictional issues hinder the monitoring and prosecution of these activities, he referred to real-time counter trafficking tools developed by INCB to help authorities identify traffickers who are exploiting Internet-based and e-commerce services. The INCB President also referred to opportunities offered by the Internet and social media, including how telemedicine can improve access to treatment services and recommending the use of social media platforms for drug use prevention campaigns.

The INCB annual report confirms the persistent disparities in the consumption of opioid analgesics, such as morphine, for the treatment of pain, with very low consumption levels in most of Africa and parts of Asia often not sufficient to meet the medical needs of the populations. The INCB President noted that, at the same time, countries in North America continue to battle the dire consequences of the opioid overdose epidemic. The Board is calling on governments to take urgent action to ensure timely provision of internationally controlled medicines in countries and territories experiencing humanitarian emergencies.

Also in the report, INCB urges States to ensure access to voluntary, evidence-based treatment services, address systemic disparities and ensure inclusivity, and continue to focus efforts to combat stigma and discrimination. INCB is calling on Governments to close compulsory treatment facilities and focus efforts and resources on evidence-based treatment and alternatives to incarceration.

The INCB President raised the issue of the apparent tension between the provisions of the drug control conventions and the trend towards legalization of the non-medical use of cannabis, noting that this issue needs to be addressed by the signatories to the drug control conventions.

The 2023 INCB reports contain recommendations for governments and international and regional organizations to advance the implementation of the three international drug control conventions and progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 3 on health and well-being and SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions.


INCB is the independent, quasi-judicial body charged with promoting and monitoring Government compliance with the three international drug control conventions: the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Established by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the thirteen members of the Board are elected in a personal capacity by the Economic and Social Council for terms of five years. 

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For further information, please contact:

INCB Secretariat
Tel.: (+43-1) 26060-4163
Email: incb.secretariat[at]

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