For information only - not an official document

9 May 2019

The International Narcotics Control Board and Civil Society Discuss Young People and Drugs

VIENNA, 8 May 2019 (UN Information Service) - The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has held its second meeting with the Vienna Non-Governmental Organization Committee on Drugs (VNGOC), on the topic of 'Young People and Drugs.' Representatives of civil society and the members of the Board discussed the importance of preventing drug abuse among young people and measures to reduce harms and treat drug use among youth.

INCB President Viroj Sumyai opened the dialogue by recalling that children and youth have an equal right to live healthy lives, free from the challenges associated with drug abuse. The President emphasized that implementation of the international drug control conventions positively contributes to the health and welfare of all, including young people.

The Chair of the VNGOC, Jamie Bridge, gave opening remarks, introducing the in-person and video interventions from civil society representatives, which had been selected by the Committee following an open call for applications. The participating Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) presented a broad range of perspectives and experiences on the complex factors contributing to the use of drugs by young people, and how policies and programmes affect youth. 

With civil society representatives expressing appreciation for the Board's growing cooperation with civil society, the meeting was an opportunity for an informal exchange of experiences, ideas and good practices between NGOs and the Board.

There was consensus that prevention and treatment approaches should work together, and should be effective and evidence-based and centred on the individual person's needs and circumstances. It was also announced that, in recognition of the urgent need to help governments and civil society step up their efforts to prevent and treat drug abuse among young people, INCB had decided to prepare a thematic opening chapter for the 2019 Annual Report on 'Young People and Drugs', to be published in early 2020.

The President of the Board closed the inclusive and in-depth discussion with thanks to the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs for its role in selecting the participants and facilitating a productive dialogue. The INCB Members further noted that they appreciated hearing the experiences and lessons of the civil society participants, including young people themselves, on how best to empower and engage with young people on this important topic. All participants expressed the hope that further discussions on topics of mutual interest could take place in the future.

The video statements made at the meeting have been made available by the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs:  


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.

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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INCB Secretariat
Telephone for media inquiries: (+43-1) 26060 4163