For information only - not an official document
1 February 2016
VIENNA, 1 February (UN Information Service) - At the opening of its 115 th session, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) reiterated the importance of a balanced approach to drug control policy and practice, in order to work towards the health and welfare objectives of the three international drug control treaties.
INCB President Werner Sipp said: "As the international community prepares for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem, to take place in April, INCB wants to contribute actively to the global debate. "Mr. Sipp acknowledged that, "while there has been some criticism of the international drug control system, the problem has not been the treaties themselves but the fact that the treaty obligations have not been met in a consistent or balanced manner, for instance without adequate resources being devoted to preventing or treating drug abuse". He emphasized: "The international drug control conventions and the Political Declarations continue to provide a solid foundation for efforts to address drug abuse, drug trafficking, and illicit drug cultivation and production. But they need to be fully implemented."
Noting the dual objective of the treaties to ensure the availability of controlled drugs for medical and scientific use while preventing abuse, the INCB President recalled that the overarching aim of the treaties is to benefit the health and welfare of mankind, which - in view of UNGASS preparations - is the key theme of the thematic chapter of the INCB Annual Report for 2015. The Annual Report will be launched globally on 2 March 2016, together with the INCB Precursors Report for 2015.
On 3 February, INCB will release a special publication on the "Availability of Internationally Controlled Drugs: Ensuring Adequate Access for Medical and Scientific Purposes". At the same time, an article by members of the Board and its secretariat will be published in the medical journal The Lancet under the title "Use of and barriers to access to opioid analgesics: a worldwide, regional, and national study".
INCB is meeting in Vienna from 1 to 5 February 2016 to continue its work monitoring the implementation of the three drug control conventions. During the session, the Board will deliberate upon its recent missions to China and Uruguay and review treaty compliance by Member States.
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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