For information only – not an official document

4 June 2024

International Narcotics Control Board calls on Governments to ensure access to internationally controlled medicines in countries and territories experiencing humanitarian emergencies, as 140th session concludes

VIENNA, 31 May (UN Information Service) – During the 140th session, the International Narcotics Control Board continued its work monitoring countries’ implementation of the three international drug control conventions and reviewed the functioning of the international drug control system for the licit international trade in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals.

The session commenced with a meeting of the Board’s Standing Committee on Estimates, which reviewed national estimates of licit requirements of controlled substances with a view to ensuring availability for medical, scientific and industrial purposes while preventing diversion, trafficking and misuse.

The Board noted with concern the public health situations related to access to and availability of internationally controlled medicines in a number of regions, including in countries and territories experiencing humanitarian emergencies. INCB is calling on Governments to take urgent action to ensure the provision of these medicines for use in the medical treatment of the affected populations.

The Board focused on scenarios and possible responses to the rapid expansion of synthetic drug manufacture, marketing and consumption, which will be covered in the thematic chapter of the INCB 2024 Annual Report to be released in early 2025. The Board held a dialogue with civil society dialogue on the issue, hearing the views of representatives of non-governmental organizations working in a variety of fields around the world. 

The Board held consultations with key partners, including the Chair of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the Director of the European Union Drugs Agency, and representatives of the World Health Organization, World Customs Organization and Interpol.

The Board also reviewed support provided to Member States under its precursors control and Global Rapid Interdiction of Dangerous Substances (GRIDS) programmes. These activities are helping to prevent the diversion and trafficking of precursor chemicals and dangerous non-medical synthetic opioids and new psychoactive substances. Also on the Board’s agenda was a review of training and awareness-raising activities carried out in the framework of the INCB Learning programme, which is aimed at improving the availability of internationally controlled substances for licit purposes through improved implementation of the three drug control conventions.


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. 

* *** *

For further information, please contact:

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

More press releases