For information only - not an official document

9 February 2018

INCB concludes 121st session, calls on States to implement international drug control conventions in accordance with human rights

Vienna, 9 February (UN Information Service) - At the closing of the 121st Session of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) today, INCB President Dr. Viroj Sumyai called on States to implement the international drug control conventions in accordance with the rule of law and human rights instruments. The Board urged Governments to reflect on their national strategies to ensure they place due emphasis on the prevention of drug abuse, as well as on the treatment, rehabilitation, recovery and reintegration of those affected by drug abuse disorders. The President underlined that treatment programmes must respect the integrity of the individual and be evidence-based.

During the one-week session, the Board focused on intensifying cooperation with national competent authorities and international organizations. Discussions took place with the World Health Organization on possible country-level collaboration, including on how to ensure that medicines and the required know-how to administer them are made available in countries where they are currently lacking.

INCB also discussed how the Internet has been used for the trafficking of drugs, particularly fentanyls, which have been a major contributor to the opioid overdose crisis in North America. Together with UNODC, the Board looked into how this threat could be counteracted and prevented.

The President held an open meeting with Member States briefing them on the work of the Board over the past year and on matters related to treaty compliance. The President emphasized the key role INCB country missions played in furthering dialogue and understanding of the situation at the country level and urged Governments "to respond promptly and positively to INCB invitations to host country missions given the fact that they represent the best way to strengthen cooperation and dialogue with Governments and provide better support and tailored recommendations".

The Board also discussed the outcome of its missions to Australia, Guyana, the Russian Federation and Switzerland to whose Governments the Board will soon transmit its recommendations.

INCB also held consultations with the Executive Director of UNODC, focusing on the critical situation in Afghanistan and the need to prioritize technical assistance on the ground.

In preparation for the 61st session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, consultations also took place with Alicia Guadalupe Buenrostro Massieu, Chair of the Commission, to discuss the follow-up to the Special Session of the General Assembly (UNGASS) 2016 and the upcoming Commission session, which will take place in Vienna from 12 to 16 March 2018.

INCB also put the finishing touches to the launch of its Annual Report 2017, which focuses on treatment, rehabilitation, recovery and social reintegration of people affected by drug use disorders, making recommendations to Governments to improve services in this field. The Annual Report also explores the links between human rights and drug policy and discusses implications for national responses to the drug problem in the context of the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Both the INCB Annual Report 2017 and its Precursors Report, which focuses on article 12 of the 1988 Convention, will be launched in Vienna on 1 March 2018.


The Vienna-based Board is an independent body, established by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, mandated to monitor and support Governments' compliance with the three international drug control treaties. Its 13 members are elected by the Economic and Social Council to serve in their individual capacities for a term of five years.

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