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    16 March 2017

    INCB President urges Member States at 60 th session of Commission on Narcotic Drugs to implement gender-sensitive drug policies and ensure proportional responses to drug-related offences 

    VIENNA, 16 March (United Nations Information Service) - The importance of Member States taking concrete action to achieve the health and welfare aims of the international drug control treaties was stressed by the President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) Werner Sipp in his presentation to the 60 th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs today.

    Mr. Sipp presented an overview of the Board's treaty-monitoring work over the past year , including the INCB Annual Report for 2016, which focused on 'women and drugs'. Due to the significant discrepancy between the number of female drug users and the number of women who receive treatment for drug abuse, the disproportionate increase in overdose deaths among women, and the growing number of women being imprisoned for drug-related offences, INCB urges policy-makers to develop and implement more gender-sensitive policies in drug treatment, rehabilitation and social reintegration.

    Among the Annual Report's recommendations, the President emphasized the importance of international cooperation and of accurate and timely reporting to the Board, to improve the availability of drugs for medical purposes and better address illicit drug cultivation and production, drug trafficking and abuse. Additional INCB publications for 2016 include a Precursors Report and two technical publications on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, which can be found on the INCB website.

    INCB's condemnation of extrajudicial killing of people suspected of illicit drug-related activity was highlighted. Moreover, the Board called upon Member States that retain capital punishment to consider abolishing the death penalty for drug-related offences.  Elaborating upon a special topic in the 2016 Annual Report, INCB also held a side event on 'The need for proportionality: state responses to drug related offences', which reviewed the principles underpinning the three international drug control treaties, namely: the principle of a balanced approach, proportionality, and respect for human rights. The Board has reiterated that the drug control conventions do not require the imprisonment of people who use drugs or who commit minor drug-related offences.

    The Commission, upon the recommendation of the Board, placed  two precursor chemicals under international control, 4-anilino- N-phenethylpiperidine (ANPP) and N-phenethyl-4-piperidone (NPP), which are used in the illicit manufacture of highly-potent fentanyl-type end products. 

    Addressing the Commission during its high-level opening segment, President Sipp reiterated that the regulation of cannabis for non-medical purposes was not in compliance with the conventions. On behalf of the Board, Mr. Sipp appealed to the international community to continue efforts to support counter-narcotics action in Afghanistan, in the spirit of the common and shared responsibility to address the world drug problem.

    At the high-level opening segment on Monday, President Sipp urged all Governments to reinforce their efforts to meet the goals set out in the conventions and the political declarations adopted by the special sessions of the General Assembly on the world drug problem in 1998 and 2016, and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in 2009. With the 2019 landmark review approaching, he noted that the targets set by Member States were "ambitious, but achievable".

    The INCB Annual Report for 2016 will also be presented to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. The International Narcotic Control Board is the independent quasi-judicial body monitoring and promoting the implementation of the three international drug control conventions.  The 60 th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs is taking place in Vienna from 13 to 17 March 2017.

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    For further information, please contact:

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