Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    2 January 2013

    United Nations Drug Control Body Saddened by
    Death of Former Board President Hamid Ghodse

    VIENNA, 2 January (UN Information Service) - The following statement was issued by the President of the International Narcotics Control Board, Raymond Yans on behalf of INCB:

    I was deeply saddened to learn the passing away of Professor Hamid GHODSE, member of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) since 1992 and its President in the periods 1993-1994, 1997-1998, 2000-2001, 2004-2005, 2008, 2010-2011, on 27 December 2012 after a short illness.

    Professor Ghodse had made an unparalleled contribution to promoting international drug control and protecting the health of people all over the world over more than twenty years of membership of the INCB.

    The international community has lost a true champion of the basic principle of preventing the damage that drug abuse does to our young people and our societies, by always upholding the ideal of promoting the health and welfare of mankind, as enshrined in the international drug control conventions. Over the two decades of his membership of INCB, which commenced in 1992 and continued uninterrupted until his untimely death, Professor Ghodse undertook many initiatives that had a major impact in preventing drug abuse, promoting treatment, rehabilitation and social integration of persons suffering from drug addiction, and encouraging States to adopt measures to ensure the adequate availability and rational use of medicines for the treatment of pain, mental illness and other health problems.

    The Board and the international drug control community has suffered an irreparable loss. His enormous knowledge and expertise, tenacity and compassion will be very sorely missed in the work of the Board and also within the United Nations, academic and other fora, as well as in the international NGO community, where issues of drug control and drug abuse prevention are discussed, and with whom Professor Ghodse had established a constructive dialogue over the years on behalf of the Board.

    In his international work, Professor Ghodse interacted with heads of states, senior ministers, diplomats, health professionals, drug dependent persons, their families, professionals providing care, pharmacists, social workers, law enforcement officials and many others. Professor Ghodse´s motivation was to promote wellbeing. He always showed the deepest compassion for the suffering of people affected by drug abuse and worked passionately to bring about changes to reduce such suffering worldwide. He touched the lives of many, from those being treated for drug addiction, to health professionals in the field, academia and the international community.

    As a member of the International Narcotics Control Board Professor Ghodse made major contributions to heighten the relevance of international cooperation among the community of nations in matters of international drug control, to which he brought his unique and outstanding academic and scientific knowledge, combined with remarkable leadership, wisdom and elegant diplomacy. Professor Ghodse's legacy and vision in the field of international drug control will provide guidance and inspiration to generations to come.

    On behalf of the Board, its Secretariat and the international community, I express the deepest heartfelt condolences to Professor Ghodse's surviving wife and members of his family.

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    For further information please contact:

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