For information only - not an official document

31 October 2012

International cooperation and shared responsibility in international drug control are key in efforts towards a world free of suffering caused by drugs, says President of International Narcotics Control Board as 105th session commences

VIENNA, 31 October (UN Information Service) - The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) commenced its 105th session in Vienna on 30 October 2012. During the session, INCB will review the achievements and challenges at the national, regional and international levels in the implementation of the international drug control conventions. Upon opening the session, the President of INCB, Raymond Yans, stressed that "governments must continue to strengthen their efforts in the licit control of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and in preventing the diversion to illicit channels of these drugs, as well as the precursor chemicals used in their illicit manufacture, in order to prevent and reduce the suffering caused by drug abuse and drug trafficking". "I cannot over-emphasize the importance of international cooperation and shared responsibility in facing all facets of the global drug problem," said Mr. Yans. The INCB President said that the Board would also be reviewing the availability of internationally controlled medicines, with a view to ensuring that appropriate levels of medicines are available in each country for the treatment of pain and illness. Mr. Yans took the opportunity to underline the need for increased efforts, at the national level, in drug demand reduction. Preventing the first instance of illicit use of drugs by young people should be a major target for every government. Efforts in prevention and treatment of drug abuse, and in rehabilitation and reintegration of drug dependent individuals, are key to drug control efforts, which should be balanced between supply and demand measures.

During the first two days of the session, the INCB Standing Committee on Estimates will review national requirements for controlled drugs, in order to ensure access to medicines for medical and scientific purposes while avoiding the accumulation of excessive stocks, which could be vulnerable to diversion to illicit channels. The President noted that access to controlled medicines is limited in many countries, a result of various factors, including inadequacies in the capacity of national authorities responsible for licit drug control. In this regard, INCB encourages the international community to provide assistance in enhancing national capacities in this area. The Committee will also review national licit requirements for precursor chemicals, which have many day-to-day uses in industry but which are also frequently used in the illicit manufacture of drugs.

During the plenary session, INCB will analyze the drug control situation globally, as well as in specific countries. The Board will continue working on its Annual Report for 2012 and its Report for 2012 on the control of precursor chemicals, as well as its two technical publications on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

In order to promote full compliance with the drug control treaties, each year the Board conducts missions to countries that are parties to the conventions. During its 105th session, INCB will review the findings of its recent missions to Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, the Republic of Korea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal and Saudi Arabia.

As part of its consideration of concerted international action against drug abuse and trafficking, INCB will receive reports from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), ICPO/INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO). During the session, INCB will also hold discussions with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Bureau of the 55th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) is the independent, quasi-judicial body mandated to monitor compliance with and implementation of the United Nations drug control conventions.  The current president of the Board is Mr. Raymond Yans (Belgium) and the current members are: Hamid Ghodse (Iran, Islamic Republic of), Wayne Hall (Australia), David T. Johnson (United States), Galina Aleksandrovna Korchagina (Russian Federation), Marc Moinard (France), Jorge Montaño (Mexico), Lochan Naidoo (South Africa), Rajat Ray (India), Ahmed Kamal Eldin Samak (Egypt), Werner Sipp (Germany), Viroj Sumyai (Thailand), Francisco Thoumi (Colombia).

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For further information please contact:

Raechelle Newman
Drug Control Officer, INCB Secretariat
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5638
Email: raechelle.newman[@]