A high-level INCB mission visited the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan from 8 to 10 May 2016. The mission was conducted by the President of the Board, Mr. Werner Sipp, accompanied by the Secretary of the Board and a member of the INCB secretariat. The purpose of the mission was to continue consultations with the Government of Afghanistan, which the Board had initiated in May 2000. At that time, INCB concluded that the situation in the country, if left unattended, seriously endangered the aims of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961 and decided to invoke Article 14 of the 1961 Convention with a view to promote cooperative at the international level.
The mission was received by H. E. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; the Minister of Counter Narcotics, H.E. Ms. Salamat Azimi; the Minister of Public Health, H.E. Dr. Ferozudin Feroz; and the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, H.E. Mr. Assadullah Zamir. The President of the Board also held consultations with Mr. Mohammad Hanif Atmar, National Security Adviser to the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Mr. Mohammad Shaker Kargar, Special Envoy of the President for the Commonwealth of Independent States and Senior Adviser to the First Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Consultations also took place with the Chair and members of the Parliamentary Commission on Counter Narcotics, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Afghanistan, and representatives of international organisations and the international community. During his short visit to Afghanistan, the President of the Board also undertook a visit to a treatment and rehabilitation centre accompanied by H.E. Ms. Azimi.
Deliberations focused on the current drug control situation, future prospects, the actions and initiatives of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as well as the cooperation of the international community.
The findings of the mission will be presented to the Board at one of its future sessions in the course of 2016.
From 4 to 7 April 2016, a mission of the Board visited the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. The mission was led by Ms. Jagjit Pavadia, Second Vice President of the Board, accompanied by Mr. Paul Rabbat, Chief of the Convention Evaluation Section of the INCB Secretariat. The objective of the mission was to discuss the implementation by the Socialist Republic Viet Nam of the three international drug control conventions.
The mission which was coordinated by the Standing Office on Drugs and Crime and held high level talks with senior officials from the Vietnamese Government. Meetings were held with H.E. Mr Vu Duc Dam, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the National Committee for AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution Prevention and Control as well as senior government officials from the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Public Security, Health, Justice, Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Industry and Trade, Information and Communication. While in the country, the mission also visited a drug treatment centre and held consultations with representatives of civil society groups.
The findings of the mission will be presented to the Board at its next session, scheduled to take place in May 2016.
The first mission of the INCB to the Sultanate of Oman was carried out from 3 to 5 April 2016. The mission was led by Major-General Ahmed Kamel Al-Din Samak, member of the Board accompanied by Ms. Hanifa Rebbani of the INCB secretariat. The objective of the mission was to discuss issues related to the Sultanate's implementation of the three international drug control treaties to which the Sultanate of Oman is party.
The mission held consultations with the Minister of Health, the Attorney General and senior officials from the Omani Government including, the Ministries of Health, Justice, Social Development and the Police Directorate. The mission met with senior officials at the Directorate General of Pharmaceutical Affairs and Drug Control and the National Committee for Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Affairs. The mission also had the opportunity to visit a detoxification / rehabilitation centre for drug users as well as the oncology department of the Central Muscat Hospital. The mission visited the office of the World Health Organisation in Muscat.
Discussions focused on the trends in trafficking and abuse of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors as well as measures taken or planned to address these issues, in particular, the legislative measures and administrative policies of drug control. Consultations also focused on issues related to the availability of controlled substances for medical needs such as opiates in palliative care as well as drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation services in the Sultanate.
The findings of the mission will be considered by the Board at is forthcoming 115 th to be held in May 2016, and will be reflected in the INCB Annual Report for 2016, which will be published in early 2017.