For information only - not an official document

1 November 2018

INCB begins its 123 rd session, examining new legislative developments to comply with the conventions

Vienna, 1 November (UN Information Service) - The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) opened its 123 rd session today in Vienna, Austria.

During this session, which will conclude on 16 November, the Board will consider, among other issues, the entry into force of Bill C-45 legalizing cannabis for non-medical purposes in Canada. Prior to the session, the INCB President had expressed the Board's concern about the impact of this development on the international consensus embodied in the international drug control conventions and the related commitments made by the international community at the special session of the General Assembly in 2016, as well as on public health and well-being.

As part of the session, on 6 November 2018, the Board will meet with Member States on the occasion of its 50 th anniversary to discuss the international drug control system, challenges and the way forward.

On 7 November, responding to the invitation of the Chair of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the President of the Board, Dr. Viroj Sumyai, will participate in a meeting of the Commission and speak on ways and means to promote and facilitate compliance by States with their obligations under the international drug control conventions.

Opening the 123 rd session, the President stressed that "the Board must seek every opportunity to enhance the dialogue with Member States to promote the goals and the implementation of the drug control conventions towards the health and welfare of our fellow humans and the pursuit of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals".

In consideration of its cooperation with Member States, the Board will analyse the functioning of the international drug control system and its implementation at the national level as well as advance proposals to Governments to improve how their national drug control systems operate. More specifically, INCB will review the movement of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals for licit requirements and the supply of opiate raw materials as well as the demand for opiates for medical and scientific purposes.

The Board will also review its recent missions to Armenia, Botswana, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Nepal, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The Board will subsequently provide the respective Governmentwith its recommendations, a summary of which will also be reflected in the INCB Annual Report for 2018.

During its session, the Board will finalize its Annual Report for 2018, the thematic chapter of which will focus on the use of cannabis and cannabinoids. The Board will also publish in 2019 a special report on the availability of internationally controlled drugs for medical and scientific purposes, as well as its 2018 annual report on precursors, and technical publications on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, all of which will be finalized during the present session.

Before the plenary session, the Board's Standing Committee on Estimates met on 30 and 31 October 2018. The Standing Committee reviewed the reported statistics and estimates for the licit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and examined the national annual legitimate requirements for precursors of amphetamine-type stimulant.

As part of its follow-up on the fulfilment of the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) outcome document, the Board will hold consultations with key international actors, such as the Chair of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and ICPO/INTERPOL.


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.

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For further information, please contact:

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