Mission to Saudi Arabia

INCB visited Saudi Arabia from 27 to 29 September 2005, to examine the drug control situation in the country and the measures taken since the Board's previous mission in 1992. The mission was conducted by Prof. Dr. Sevil Atasoy, Member of the Board, accompanied by Mr. Darmen Zhumadil, Drug Control Officer of the INCB Secretariat.

The mission met with senior officials of the Saudi Government, including the Director of General Administration of Narcotics Control, the Director of the Drug Control of the Border Guard Services, the Directors of Psychiatric Health and of Import Licensing of the Ministry of Health, the Legal Councillors of the Youth Welfare Headquarters, Director of Psychological Guidance of the Ministry of Education, the Councillors of the Ministry of Justice, the Chief Inspector of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, and Police and Customs authorities. The mission also visited the Central Forensic Laboratory of the Ministry of Health.

The mission discussed various issues including the changes in legislative basis, structure and distribution of drug control functions among competent authorities involved, the availability of narcotic drugs for treatment of pain, the trends in trafficking and abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, measures and national policies to address these issues, treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts, precursor control, regional and international cooperation, and reporting and cooperation with the INCB.

The findings of the mission will be reflected in the forthcoming INCB Annual Report, to be published in early 2006.

 

Mission to Cape Verde

An INCB mission visited Cape Verde from 26 to 29 September 2005. The mission was conducted by Dr. Rainer Wolfgang Schmid, Second Vice-President of the Board, accompanied by Ms. Beate Hammond, Drug Control Officer of the INCB Secretariat. It was the first Board mission to Cape Verde.

The objective of the mission was to discuss with the authorities legislative and administrative measures as well as policies aimed at strengthening control for narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and the chemicals used in their illicit manufacture. The mission also reviewed action taken by the Government to address illicit trafficking of cocaine through the islands and efforts to prevent drug abuse and treat drug abusers.

The mission met the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Justice, the Minister for Health as well as the Attorney-General of Cape Verde and other senior officials in ministries or other government entities involved in the fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

The findings of the mission will be reflected in the forthcoming annual report of the Board, to be published early 2006.

 

Mission to Zambia

INCB visited Zambia from 15 to 18 August 2005, to examine the drug control situation in the country. The mission was conducted by Dr. Philip O. Emafo, First Vice President of the Board, accompanied by Ms. Midori Kanda, Drug Control Officer of the INCB Secretariat. The last mission to Zambia took place in 1996.

The mission met with the Minister of Home Affairs, the Minister of Finance and National Planning, as well as senior officials of the Ministries of Health, Justice, Foreign Affairs, and Police and Customs authorities. The mission visited the Chainama Hill Hospital, which provides treatment, psychotherapy and counselling for drug-dependent patients. The mission also held discussions with Prisons Care and Counselling Association (PRISCCA), an NGO involved in rehabilitating prisons and prisoners.

The mission discussed issues including the availability of narcotic drugs for treatment of pain, the illicit cultivation of cannabis, drugs of abuse, current drug control legislation and plans for introducing precursor control legislation.

The findings of the mission will be reflected in the forthcoming INCB Annual Report, to be published in early 2006.

 

Mission to Swaziland

INCB visited Swaziland from 11 to 12 August 2005, to examine the drug control situation in the country. The mission was conducted by Dr. Philip O. Emafo, First Vice President of the Board, accompanied by Ms. Midori Kanda, Drug Control Officer of the INCB Secretariat. The last mission to Swaziland took place in 1985.

The mission met with senior officials of the Ministries of Health and Social Welfare, Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Finance, Foreign Affairs, as well as the Commissioners of Police and Customs. The mission also visited the Manzini National Psychiatric Hospital, which provides treatment, psychotherapy and counselling for drug-dependent patients.

The availability of narcotic drugs for treatment of pain, the illicit cultivation of cannabis, drugs of abuse, current drug control legislation and plans for strengthening anti-money laundering legislation and introducing precursor control legislation are among the issues discussed by the mission with the Government.

The findings of the mission will be reflected in the forthcoming INCB Annual Report, to be published in early 2006.

 

Mission to Lesotho

INCB visited Lesotho from 8 to 9 August 2005, to examine the drug control situation in the country. The mission was conducted by Dr. Philip O. Emafo, First Vice President of the Board, accompanied by Ms. Midori Kanda, Drug Control Officer of the INCB Secretariat. This is the first Board mission to Lesotho.

The mission met with senior officials of the Lesotho Government, including the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, as well as senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Police and Customs. The mission also visited the Thaba Bosiu specialized drug abuse and treatment centre.

Issues discussed by the mission included the role of the Lesotho Narcotics Bureau in drug control, the availability of narcotic drugs for treatment of pain, the illicit cultivation of cannabis, drugs of abuse, current drug control legislation and plans for introducing precursor control legislation.

The findings of the mission will be reflected in the forthcoming INCB Annual Report, to be published in early 2006.

 

International precursor control workshop held in Kenya

For the first time ever in Africa, an international workshop dealing exclusively with precursor control issues was held in Mombasa, Kenya, from 12 to 15 July 2005. Organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for East Africa in cooperation with INCB, and hosted by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of the Ministry of Health of Kenya, the "Regional stakeholders' awareness workshop on precursor chemicals" brought together key representatives of the national regulatory authorities, the anti-narcotics police and customs authorities of Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Uganda and Tanzania, as well as representatives of East African trade and industry, to address the inadequate controls over precursors in Eastern Africa and elaborate measures to prevent their diversion. Mauritius and Somalia, which had also been invited, were unable to attend.

 

Substantive session of Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

On Thursday, 21 July 2005, Professor Hamid Ghodse, President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), addressed the substantive session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) highlighting, inter alia, the worrisome drug control situation in Afghanistan.

"The unlimited and uncontrolled availability of drugs has contributed to a significant rise of drug abuse in the country with increasing use of injection as the mode of administration. Opium poppy cultivation overshadows legal forms of agricultural production and the illicit drug industry fuels widespread corruption," the President said. "The drug control situation in Afghanistan, poses a severe threat to national security with the potential of even endangering the country's political transition," he added. As a direct result of the situation in Afghanistan, some 20,000 young people die prematurely every year.

INCB has invoked article 14 of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs with respect to Afghanistan, a powerful provision of that Convention which could lead to the imposition of official sanctions against that nation if or when it becomes necessary. "Article 14 will remain invoked until there is a marked improvement", the President said.

Emphasizing that the international community has an important role to assist the Government of Afghanistan in its efforts, the President expressed support for the draft resolution on Afghanistan which was adopted by ECOSOC and calls for the international community to provide support to Afghanistan with a view to ensuring effective implementation of its Counter-Narcotic Implementation Plan.

Taking advantage of his presence in New York, the President also met the Permanent Representatives or Chargés d'affaires of some of the countries that are not yet parties to one or more of the international drug control treaties (Andorra, Bhutan, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Timor Leste and Tuvalu) to discuss accession to the international drug control treaties.

"Accession of all countries to these treaties and full implementation of their provisions is a prerequisite for effective drug control worldwide," the President said.

Further meetings were held with Ambassador Jan Eliasson, President elect of the General Assembly and ECOSOC President, Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan. The President also conferred with Ibrahim A. Gambari, the recently appointed Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Under-Secretary-General Mr. Mark Malloch Brown, Chef de cabinet of the Secretary-General.

 

Mission to Bulgaria

INCB visited Bulgaria from 30 May to 1 June 2005, to examine the drug control situation in the country as well as measures taken by the Government since the last INCB mission in 1995. The mission was conducted by Dr. Robert J.J. Ch. Lousberg, Member of the Board, accompanied by Ms. Gisela Wieser-Herbeck, Drug Control Officer of the INCB Secretariat.

The mission met with senior officials of the Bulgarian Government, including the Minister of Health and Chairman of the National Drugs Council, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Deputy Minister of Economy, the Deputy Minister of Interior and high level officials from the Customs Agency, Police and the Ministry of Justice. The mission also met representatives of WHO and of the Delegation of the European Commission in Bulgaria and visited the Sofia Municipality Centre for Addictions and the NGO Initiative for Health Foundation.

Issues discussed by the mission included the National Strategy for Drugs Control and the role of the National Drugs Council. The mission specifically discussed the present state of control of drugs and precursors, the drug abuse situation in Bulgaria, relevant legislation, measures against money laundering, the availability of controlled drugs required for medical treatment and the state of cooperation between the Bulgarian authorities and neighbouring countries.

The findings of the mission will be reflected in the forthcoming INCB Annual Report, to be published in early 2006.

 

World Health Assembly

On Friday, 20 May 2005, Professor Hamid Ghodse, INCB President, addressed the 58th session of the World Health Assembly on cancer prevention and control, highlighting the fact that the consumption of narcotic drugs was still characterized by large disparities around the world. "Developing countries, which represent about 80 per cent of the world's population, account for only about 6 per cent of the global consumption of morphine," the President said. He welcomed the adoption of a draft resolution entitled "cancer prevention and control" which urges Member States to ensure the medical availability of opioid analgesics according to the international treaties and recommendations of the World Health Organization and INCB. Furthermore, meetings were held with the Ministers of Health of Afghanistan, Liberia and South Africa, the Deputy Minister of Health of the Islamic Republic of Iran and with several other delegations. The President also met the WHO Regional Directors for Africa, for the Eastern Mediterranean, for Europe and the WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia. The President was accompanied by Mr. Koli Kouame, INCB Secretary, and Ms. Beate Hammond, Drug Control Officer of the INCB Secretariat.

 

Mission to the Russian Federation

INCB visited the Russian Federation from 16 to 18 May 2005, to examine measures taken by the Government in drug control since the last INCB mission in 2000. The mission was conducted by Ambassador Melvyn Levitsky and Dr. Robert J. J. Ch. Lousberg, Members of the Board, accompanied by Mr. Pavel Pachta, Deputy Secretary of the INCB Secretariat.

The mission met with senior officials of the Russian Government, including the Director of the Federal Drug Control Service of the Russian Federation, the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cooperation in the Fight against Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime, the Head of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service and several high level officials of the Ministries of Health and Social Development, Interior and Justice, and the Federal Customs Service. The mission also visited the National Scientific Centre of Narcology.

Issues discussed by the mission and the Government included the national drug control strategy and the priorities of the Government's policy on the prevention of drug abuse and the suppression of the illicit drug traffic. Specific topics included the coordination of drug control efforts, relevant legislation, treatment of addicts, measures against the illicit drug traffic, measures against money laundering, control over licit distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and measures against the diversion of precursor chemicals.

The findings of the mission will be included in the forthcoming INCB Annual Report, to be published in early 2006.

 

Mission to Paraguay

INCB visited Paraguay from 4 to 8 April 2005 to examine measures taken by the Government in drug control since the last INCB mission in 2000. The mission was conducted by Professor Hamid Ghodse, President of INCB, accompanied by Ms. Margarethe Ehrenfeldner, Drug Control Officer of the INCB Secretariat.

The mission met with senior officials of the Paraguayan Government, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Health and Social Affairs, the Minister of Interior, the Minister of Justice and Work, the Attorney-General, the Minister of Finance, and officials from the National Anti-Drug Secretariat and the Customs Directorate.

Issues discussed by the mission and the Government included the illicit cultivation of cannabis in the country, drug and precursor trafficking, the drug abuse situation, control over the trade and distribution of pharmaceuticals and precursors to prevent their diversion into illicit channels and other measures to counter illicit activities related to drugs, including strengthening of relevant legislation, law enforcement and the judicial system, as well as plans for prevention of drug abuse.

The findings of the mission will be reflected in the forthcoming INCB Annual Report, to be published in early 2006.

 

Mission to Mexico

A mission of INCB visited Mexico from 17 to 20 January 2005, to examine measures taken by the Government in drug control since the last INCB mission, in 1996. The mission was conducted by Mr. Madan Mohan Bhatnagar, First Vice-President of INCB, and Dr. Elisaldo L. Carlini, member of INCB, accompanied by Ms. Margarethe Ehrenfeldner, Drug Control Officer of the INCB Secretariat.

The mission met with senior officials of the Mexican Government, including the Attorney-General and the Minister of Health, and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Centre of Planning, Analysis and Information against Crime, the Federal Board of Sanitarian Risk Prevention and the National Council against Addictions, as well as non-governmental organizations active in prevention and treatment of drug abuse, such as the Youth Integration Centre.

Issues discussed by the mission and the Government included the illicit cultivation and manufacture of drugs in the country, drug and precursor trafficking, the drug abuse situation, control over the trade and distribution of pharmaceuticals and precursors to prevent their diversion into illicit channels and other measures to counter illicit activities related to drugs, including strengthening of legislation, law enforcement, actions against money laundering, prevention of drug abuse and treatment of addicts.

The findings of the mission will be reflected in the forthcoming INCB Annual Report, to be published in early 2006.

©1995-2018 International Narcotics Control Board