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    16 May 2017

    INCB convenes for its 119th session, electing new President and Bureau Members

    VIENNA, 16 May (UN Information Service) - The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) is holding its 119th session in Vienna and has elected a new President, Dr. Viroj Sumyai. The Board welcomed four new Members, elected by the Economic and Social Council, including Professor Sevil Atasoy and Dr. Galina A. Korchagina, who have both served on the Board in the past, in addition to newcomers Luis Alberto Otarola Peñaranda and Dr. Cornelius de Joncheere. Dr. Viroj Sumyai, elected President for a one-year term,  thanked the former President of the Board, Mr. Werner Sipp for his leadership, as well as the other outgoing Board Members whose terms had expired, Raymond Yans, Dr. Sri Suryawati and General Ahmed Kamal Eldin Samak for their service and commitment to INCB.

    Dr. Sumyai set out three key priorities for his term as President of the Board:

    (i) improving access to and availability of opiate pain medications, especially in low- and middle-income countries;

    (ii) working with governments towards improving the availability and quality of treatment services for people dependent on drugs; and

    (iii) encouraging application by States of the principle of proportionality in responding to drug-related crime, particularly through using alternatives to imprisonment, such as treatment and rehabilitation. 

    The session will run until 26 May, during which time the Board will hold consultations with the President and Bureau of the Economic and Social Council, the Chair of the Commission on Narcotics Drugs, and the World Health Organization.

    Through its Standing Committee on Estimates, the Board will examine national estimates of requirements for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes, to ensure that people have access to medicines for the treatment of pain and illness, while preventing the risk of diversion to illicit channels and abuse. The Board will also review efforts to prevent diversion of precursors used in the illicit manufacture of drugs and latest developments concerning the emergence of new psychoactive substances, measures to counteract them and the threat to public health.

    The Board will continue reviewing the compliance of over two hundred countries and territories with the three international drug control treaties. Particular consideration will be given to Afghanistan, where the deteriorating safety and security situation has been noted with concern by the Board as this greatly impacts the authorities' ability to address the illicit supply of drugs originating in the country, and whose population is being gravely affected by the drug abuse epidemic. 

    The composition of the INCB Bureau following the 16 May elections:

    •           Viroj Sumyai - President of the Board

    •           Wei Hao - First Vice-President of the Board

    •           Jagjit Pavadia - Second Vice-President of the Board and Chair of the Standing Committee on Estimates, Member of the Committee on Finance and Administration

    •           Cornelius P. de Joncheere - Rapporteur, Member of the Standing Committee on Estimates, Member of the Committee on Finance and Administration

    Officers elected by the Board:

    •           Galina Korchagina - Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Estimates

    •           H. H. Sevil Atasoy - Chair of the Committee on Finance and Administration

    •           Raúl Martín del Campo Sánchez - Member of the Standing Committee on Estimates

    •           Luis A. Otárola Peñaranda - Member of the Standing Committee on Estimates

    •           Francisco E. Thoumi - Member of the Standing Committee on Estimates

    •           David T. Johnson - Member of the Committee on Finance and Administration

    Further biographical details as well as information on the functions, work and reports of the International Narcotics Control Board are available at


    The International Narcotic Control Board is the independent quasi-judicial body monitoring and promoting the implementation of the three international drug control conventions.

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    For further information, please contact: 
    INCB Secretariat 
    Telephone for media inquiries: (+43-1) 26060 4163 
    Email: secretariat[at]