For information only - not an official document

3 July 2018

International Narcotics Control Board holds side event on drug control, human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals at United Nations Headquarters

VIENNA/NEW YORK, 3 July 2018 (UN Information Service) - At the margins of the Coordination and Management Meeting of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in New York, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) held a side event entitled "Drug control treaty compliance, human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals".

The event was opened by the President of the Economic and Social Council, Ambassador Marie Chatardova, who highlighted the important links between drug control policy and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Madam Chatardova applauded the focus on human rights in the work of INCB and noted with satisfaction the Board's efforts to strengthen its cooperation with civil society.

In his remarks to the side event, INCB President Dr. Viroj Sumyai emphasized the importance of compliance with the international drug control conventions and the public health implications of non-compliance, the relationship between drug control and human rights, the problem of overconsumption of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, and the legalization and regulation of the use of cannabis for non-medical purposes. The President stressed that "compliance with the international drug control treaties is vital for the realization of the right to health". Dr. Sumyai reiterated the Board's commitment to ongoing cooperation with Member States in monitoring and promoting implementation of the conventions, as well as with civil society.

The Chief of the INCB Secretariat's Narcotic Control and Estimates Section, Mr. Stefano Berterame, presented the substantive work of INCB towards ensuring the functioning of the international drug control system, in particular the Board's publications and various projects aimed at supporting the implementation by State Parties of the drug control treaties. Mr. Berterame also introduced Project OPIOIDS, a new initiative developed by INCB to support national authorities' efforts in preventing dangerous synthetic opioids and their precursors from reaching drug abuse markets.

The Chair of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Ambassador Alicia Buenrostro Massieu, made a statement at the event. An opportunity was provided for a discussion with representatives of Member States and civil society organizations present.

In closing the event, Dr. Sumyai emphasized the pressing need for a reinvigorated dialogue and cooperation among all relevant stakeholders towards the common goal of addressing the world's drug problem.

Following the INCB side event, President Sumyai presented the work of the Board, contained in its 2017 Annual Report and Precursors Report, to the Economic and Social Council. The thematic chapter of the annual report focused on improving the availability and quality of drug dependence treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration services as an essential component of demand reduction and as an element of the right to health. The annual report also included a focus on the relationship between drug control and human rights, and reiterated a number of positions of the Board, including that drug control measures must be proportionate, that the death penalty should not be applied for drug-related offences, and that extra-judicial actions are not permissible.


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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