For information only – not an official document
9 June 2022
NEW YORK/VIENNA, 9 June (UN Information Service) – The President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Jagjit Pavadia, presented the INCB 2021 annual report to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Management Segment on Wednesday, 8 June 2022.
The INCB 2021 annual report reviews the functioning of the international drug control system and contains recommendations for Member States, United Nations bodies and other international and regional organizations on improving implementation of the three international drug control conventions.
The thematic chapter of the 2021 report focused on illicit financial flows related to drug trafficking and their impact on development and security. Ms. Pavadia said: “Such flows serve as the lifeblood for organized criminal groups engaged in drug trafficking. Curbing these illicit financial flows is therefore essential to addressing drug trafficking around the world.”
Impacts of illicit financial flows include corruption, violence, instability, and the stifling of development. Ms. Pavadia stated that Africa loses approximately 3.7 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to such flows every year, urging the Council to take this issue into account when considering development priorities.
The President also highlighted the link between social media and drug use to the Council. She noted with concern that social media platforms can glamorize drug use and provide new opportunities for drug purchases, particularly engaging young people, who are the main users of social media. INCB encourages governments to consider using social media for drug prevention programmes and to work with service providers to prevent misuse on their platforms.
The INCB President drew attention to global inequities in availability of medicines containing controlled substances, with 82.6 per cent of the world’s population consuming only 17 per cent of the total amount of morphine used for pain management. Availability of controlled psychotropic substances used in the treatment of anxiety disorders and epilepsy is still confined to high-income countries, even though a much greater number of people in low- and middle-income countries suffer from these conditions. INCB supports Member States in improving the situation through capacity building activities of the INCB Learning programme.
On guidance provided in the report on the differences between “depenalization”, “decriminalization” and “legalization”, Ms. Pavadia said that “the use of alternatives to conviction and punishment, as provided for by the conventions, can form an integral part of a balanced and human-rights based approach to drug policy”. In closing, Ms. Pavadia stressed that full implementation of the drug control treaties will contribute to progress on the 2030 Agenda and to the protection of human rights.
The President also highlighted the findings of the INCB 2021 Precursors Report calling for the enhancement of national precursors control and regulatory frameworks, noting that the Board has a treaty-based function in the scheduling of precursors used in illicit drug manufacture.
In March 2022, on the recommendation of the INCB, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs placed three fentanyl precursors under international control. With its Global Rapid Interdiction of Dangerous Substances (GRIDS) Programme, INCB continues to build the capacity of Member States to prevent trafficking in new psychoactive substances and non-medical synthetic opioids.
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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