For information only - not an official document

7 May 2018

International Narcotics Control Board meets with civil society

VIENNA, 7 May (UN Information Service) - This morning the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) held a meeting with civil society representatives on the "the use of cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes". The meeting brought together a number of representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), selected by the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC), and members of the Board. 

In his opening address, INCB President Viroj Sumyai emphasized the significant role played by civil society in ensuring the implementation of the provisions of the three international drug control conventions, and fulfilling the health and welfare objectives of the conventions, particularly in the areas of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. The INCB President further underscored the importance of productive cooperation with civil society for the purpose of advancing the common goal of addressing the world's drug problem.

The INCB President expressed appreciation for the cooperation developed with the Vienna NGO Committee over the years, including through an annual informal dialogue at the margins of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and the meetings with NGOs during INCB country missions. The Board had decided to build upon this cooperation by listening to what NGOs have to say about the medical and non-medical uses of cannabis.

Chair of the VNGOC Jamie Bridge, in his remarks, introduced the VNGOC and the newly reformed Civil Society Task Force on Drugs. This was followed by interventions of the representatives of ten civil society organisations, identified by the Committee from the many applications received from across the world. The INCB members heard the views and experiences of the NGO representatives, some in person, others through pre-recorded video messages. The NGO presentations covered a wide range of different perspectives and issues - including medical cannabis use and patient advocacy, policing, economics, the rehabilitation of cannabis users, the UN drug control conventions, and varied perspectives on the regulation, legalization and commercialization of cannabis.

The President of the Board expressed his thanks to the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs for its role in facilitating the selection of NGO representatives and Mr. Bridge thanked the Board for hosting the event which was moderated by the Director of the United Nations Information Service Vienna, Martin Nesirky.


The Vienna-based International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) 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.

The Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC) was established in 1983 to provide a link between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the Vienna-based agencies involved in setting drug policy: the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

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For further information, please contact:

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

Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs
Email: info[at]