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    UNIS/NAR/1431
    9 February 2021

    International Narcotics Control Board concludes 130th session

    VIENNA, 9 February (United Nations Information Service) – The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has finalized its 130th session in Vienna. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, INCB continued its regular work monitoring the functioning of the international drug control system and supporting States in implementing their obligations under the international drug conventions. At the opening of the third hybrid session, President Cornelis de Joncheere emphasized the commitment of the Board to ensure the functioning of the international system for the licit trade in controlled substances, and to support States in accessing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Over the past week, the Board discussed the need to ensure that Member States have appropriate tools for the international supply of controlled medicines during crisis situations, such as the ongoing pandemic. Further, the Board was working with Member States, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other partners to update existing guidelines to ensure access to internationally controlled medicines during emergency situations.

    The outcome of the Board’s recent expert group meeting on control and monitoring requirements for cannabis and cannabis-related substances for medical and scientific purposes was studied. In this regard, the Board decided to continue working with Member States through a series of consultations with special attention given to countries that produce cannabis and related substances for medical purposes.

    Recent activities under the Board’s Global Rapid Interdiction of Dangerous Substances (GRIDS) Programme were reviewed. The Programme continues to work with Member States in enhancing their law enforcement capacity to detect and identify new psychoactive substances and to promote cross-border cooperation and information sharing through the use of INCB’s specialized tools and projects.

    On 3 February, INCB briefed Member States on the content of its 2020 Annual Report and Precursors Report, which will be launched worldwide on 25 March 2021, together with a special report marking the 60th and 50th anniversaries of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The 2020 Annual Report includes a thematic chapter focusing on the hidden epidemic of drug use among older people. The report also includes an analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the availability of controlled substances for medical purposes and on illicit drug use and trafficking.

    During the session, the Board held consultations with the Chair of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Dominika Anna Krois, and the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Ghada Waly, as well as with representatives of the World Health Organization and UNAIDS. President de Joncheere expressed the Board’s commitment to strengthened cooperation with partners towards addressing the world drug problem and achieving the aims of the international drug control conventions, related instruments and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 3 on health and wellbeing.

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    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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    For further information please contact:

    INCB Secretariat
    Telephone for media inquiries: (+43-1) 26060 4163
    Email:  incb.secretariat[at]un.org 
    Website:  www.incb.org