An INCB mission visited Iceland from 25 to 27 March 2014. The mission was conducted by the First Vice-President of the Board, Dr. Galina Korchagina, accompanied by Ms. Beate Hammond of the INCB Secretariat. The purpose of the mission was to discuss specific issues related to the country's implementation of the three international drug control conventions, to which it is party. This was the first mission of the Board to Iceland.
The mission met with senior officials from the Ministry of Welfare, the Directorate of Health, the Icelandic Medicines Agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, the Ministry of Interior, the Directorate of Customs and the Metropolitan Police. The mission also had the opportunity to visit Vogur Hospital which is managed by SAA, the National Centre of Addiction Medicine. Meetings were also held with representatives from the Icelandic Red Cross as well as FRÆ, the Center of Drug and Alcohol Prevention.
Deliberations focused on recent developments in drug trafficking and abuse in Iceland, the Government's cooperation with INCB, measures taken by the Government to control narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and the chemicals needed for their illicit manufacture and policies to reduce the demand for illicit drugs and to treat and rehabilitate drug users. The consumption of methylphenidate in Iceland was also discussed with the national authorities.
The findings of the mission will be reviewed by the Board at its forthcoming session in May 2014 and will be reflected in the INCB Annual Report for 2014, which will be published in early 2015.
The President of the International Narcotics Control Board, Mr. Raymond Yans, and the Secretary of the Board, Mr. Andrés Finguerut, visited the Vatican on 28 to 29 January 2014, as part of INCB's ongoing cooperation with Parties to the international drug control conventions.
The INCB President and Secretary met with Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, Undersecretary for Relations with States, to exchange views on the world drug situation and drug control policy of the Holy See. A meeting with Monsignor Zygmunt Zimowski, President of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, provided an opportunity to discuss the issue of prevention, particularly among youth, and access to pain medications and psychotropic substances, including through the Church's vast network of health care facilities. The critical situation regarding access to controlled medicines in some regions of the world, e.g., in Africa, was also highlighted.
Mr. Yans also had a brief meeting with His Holiness, Pope Francis.