Mission to the Plurinational State of Bolivia

A high-level INCB mission visited the Plurinational State of Bolivia from 15 to 16 December 2011. The mission was conducted by the President of the Board, Prof. Hamid Ghodse, and Member of the Board, Dr. Camilo Uribe Granja, accompanied by a member of the INCB Secretariat and a UN Legal Officer. The last mission of the Board to Bolivia took place in 2007. The purpose of the mission was to exchange views on matters relating to the implementation of the provisions of the international drug control treaties with the highest authorities of Bolivia.

The mission was received by His Excellency, the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Mr. Evo Morales Ayma, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cults, Mr. David Choquehuanca Céspedes in a private meeting. The mission also met the Ministers of the Consejo Nacional de Lucha contra el Tráfico Ilícito de Drogas - CONALTID, (National Council on the Fight against Illicit Drug Trafficking) and other Ministers with responsibility for drug control, including the Minister of Defense, Mr. Rubén Saavedra Soto; the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Wilfredo Chavez; Minister of Justice, Ms. Nilda Copa Condori; the Vice-Minister for Foreign Relations and Cults, Mr. Juan Carlos Alurralde Tejada; and the Vice-Minister for Social Defense and Controlled Substances, Mr. Felipe Cáceres Garcia. In addition, the mission met with key decision makers and senior officials from the Fuerza Especial de Lucha contra el Narcotráfico FELCN (Special Counternarcotics Police Force of the Bolivian National Police), and observed a coca bush eradication exercise in Chaparé.

Deliberations concentrated on Bolivia's denunciation of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in June 2011 and its serious implications for international drug control. The findings of the mission will be reviewed by the Board at its next session in February 2012.

 

Mission to Turkey

An INCB mission visited Turkey from 28 to 30 November 2011. The mission was conducted by Dr. Carola Lander, member of the Board, accompanied by Ms. Raechelle Newman, Drug Control Officer in the INCB Secretariat. The purpose of the mission was to discuss Turkey's implementation of the three international drug control conventions, to which it is party. The last mission of the Board to Turkey took place in 2003.

The mission met with senior officials from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Customs and Trade, and the Turkish Grain Board of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock. The mission also met with representatives from two non-governmental organizations, as well as the United Nations Resident Coordinator and the World Health Organization Representative.

Discussions held with senior officials during the mission focussed on the policies of and measures taken by the Government of Turkey to address drug abuse and illicit trafficking in drugs and precursor chemicals. The mission discussed with the national competent authorities the licit control of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals, including the licit cultivation of opium poppy, and the Government's efforts to improve the availability of internationally controlled substances for medical purposes. Regional cooperation in drug control and the country's ongoing cooperation with the Board was also addressed.

The findings of the mission will be reviewed by the Board at its 103rd session in January/February 2012 and will be reflected in the INCB Annual Report for 2012, which will be published in early 2013.

 

Mission to Serbia

An INCB mission visited the Republic of Serbia from 18 to 20 October 2011. The mission was conducted by
Dr. Galina Korchagina
, member of the Board, accompanied by Mr. Paul Rabbat, Drug Control Officer in the INCB Secretariat. The last mission to the Republic of Serbia took place in 2001. The Republic of Serbia is party to the three international drug conventions and the purpose of the mission was to discuss specific issues related to the country's implementation of these conventions.

The mission met with senior officials from the Ministry of Health, The Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and the Customs Department of the Ministry of Finance. The mission also visited a special hospital for the treatment of addictions and met with representatives from two non-governmental organizations.

Discussions with senior stakeholders during the mission focussed on legislative and administrative measures and policies taken by the Government to improve the availability of controlled substances for medical purposes, Government action to address drug abuse and illicit trafficking including those related to precursor control, regional cooperation in drug control measures and the Republic of Serbia's continued cooperation with INCB.

The findings of the mission will be reviewed by the Board at its next session in November 2011 and will be reflected in the INCB Annual Report to be published in early 2012.

 

Mission to Mexico

A high-level INCB mission visited Mexico from 11 to 14 October 2011. The mission was conducted by the President of the Board, Prof. Hamid Ghodse, accompanied by Ms. Margarethe Ehrenfeldner, Chief of the Psychotropics Control Section of the Board's Secretariat. The last mission of the Board to that country took place in 2005. The purpose of the mission was to review the national drug control policy in Mexico and efforts to implement the three international drug control conventions, to which Mexico is party.

The mission met with the Attorney General, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Minister and the Vice-Minister of Health, the Admiral and Secretary of the Navy and key decision makers and senior officials from the Armed Forces (Army and Navy), the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS), the National Commission against Addiction (CONADIC), the Ministries of Justice, Interior and Public Security, as well as from the police and customs authorities. The delegation visited the National Intelligence Centre of the Ministry of Public Security, the Forensic Laboratory of the General Attorney's Office, the National Institute for Psychiatry of the Ministry of Health, a governmental drug prevention and treatment centre and a Non-Governmental Organization specializing in drug abuse prevention and treatment.

Deliberations concentrated on recent developments in drug trafficking and abuse in Mexico, measures taken to control narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and the chemicals needed for their illicit manufacture and demand reduction policies. The availability of opiates for medical needs in Mexico was also discussed with the national authorities and this topic was further highlighted by the President of the Board in a lecture offered at the National Academy of Medicines.

The findings of the mission will be reviewed by the Board at its next session in November 2011 and will be reflected in the 2011 Annual Report of the Board, to be published in early 2012.

 

Mission to Denmark

An INCB mission visited Denmark from 27 to 29 September 2011. The mission was conducted by Dr. Carola Lander, member of the Board, accompanied by Mr. Matthew Nice, Drug Control Officer in the INCB Secretariat. As Denmark is party to the three international drug control conventions and the aim of the mission was to review the Government's efforts to comply with obligations of those conventions. The last Board mission to Denmark took place in 2004.

The mission met with senior officials from the Ministry of the Interior and Health, the Danish Medicines Agency, the National Board of Health, Central Customs and Tax Administration, Ministry of Social Affairs and Ministry of Justice. The mission also visited the heroin prescription clinic at the Copenhagen Drug Addiction Centre and the Danish Drug Users Union.

Issues addressed during discussions with senior officials included those related to legislative measures and administrative policies of drug control that have been introduced by the Government, as well as measures aimed at controlling the movement of precursors from, to and through Denmark. The situation related to and achievements in drug abuse treatment, abuse prevention and efforts in combating drug trafficking were also discussed.

The findings of the mission will be reviewed by the Board at its next session in November 2011 and will be reflected in the 2011 INCB Annual Report, to be published in early 2012.

 

INCB President meets with the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

On 2 September 2011, the President of the International Narcotics Control Board, Prof. Hamid Ghodse, held meetings with senior officials in Geneva. The President was accompanied by the Acting Secretary of the Board, Mr. Pavel Pachta.

Prof. Ghodse met with the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Margaret Chan, to discuss issues of mutual concern and cooperation between WHO and the Board. The topics discussed during the meeting, which is held annually, included the preparations for the General Assembly High-level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases to be held on 19 - 20 September 2011, the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence and the rational use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

The main purpose of the meeting between the President of the Board and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navanethem Pillay, was to discuss the human rights aspects of implementation of the international drug control treaties. Other topics discussed included: the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its call to protect children from the illicit use of drugs and from being involved in the illicit production and trafficking of drugs; the availability of internationally controlled substances for medical purposes; and drug-facilitated crime.

 

Mission to El Salvador

An INCB mission visited El Salvador from 27 to 28 June 2011. The mission was conducted by
Ambassador Jorge Montaño, member of the Board, accompanied by Ms. Margarethe Ehrenfeldner, Chief of the Psychotropics Control Section of the Board's Secretariat. The last mission of the Board to that country took place in 2006
.

The aim of the mission was to review the national drug control policy in El Salvador and efforts to implement the international drug control Conventions, to which El Salvador is a party. The mission met with the Minister of Health, the Minister of Justice and Public Security, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, and senior officials of the National Anti-Drug Commission, the Attorney-General´s office, police and customs authorities. The discussions concentrated on the recent developments in drug trafficking and abuse in El Salvador, measures taken to control narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and the chemicals needed for their illicit manufacture and demand reduction policies, as well as the availability of opiates for medical needs.The delegation visited the office of the UN Resident Coordinator and met with the WHO Representative to El Salvador. The delegation also visited a non-governmental organization specializing in drug abuse prevention and treatment, and a hospital providing pain treatment for children.

The findings of the mission will be reviewed by the Board at its next session in November 2011 and will be reflected in the 2011 INCB Annual Report, to be published in early 2012.


Mission to Costa Rica

An INCB mission visited Costa Rica from 22 to 24 June 2011. The mission was conducted by Dr. Camilo Uribe Granja, member of the Board, accompanied by Ms. Margarethe Ehrenfeldner, Chief of the Psychotropics Control Section of the Board's Secretariat. The last mission of the Board to that country took place in 1993.

Costa Rica is party to the three international drug control Conventions. The purpose of the mission was to review the implementation of these Conventions through national policy. Deliberations focussed on the recent developments in drug trafficking and abuse in Costa Rica, measures taken to control narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and the chemicals needed for their illicit manufacture and on demand reduction policies. The availability of opiates for medical needs was also discussed. The delegation of the Board had the opportunity to meet with senior officials of the Drug Institute of Costa Rica, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Public Security, the customs authorities, the forensic laboratory service and the judicial system. The mission included a visit to a facility which provides treatment, counselling and aftercare for drug-dependent adolescents and a visit to a pain treatment centre. The mission also met with the UN Resident Coordinator and the WHO Representative to Costa Rica and had discussions with non-governmental organizations that offer services to drug addicts.

The findings of the mission will be reviewed by the Board at its next session in November 2011 and will be reflected in the 2011 INCB Annual Report, to be published in early 2012.

 

Mission to Zimbabwe

An INCB mission visited Zimbabwe from 30 May to 1 June 2011. The mission was conducted by Dr. Lochan Naidoo, member of the Board, accompanied by Mr. Pavel Pachta, Deputy Secretary of the Board. The last mission by the Board to Zimbabwe took place in 2001.

The purpose of the mission was to review the drug control situation in Zimbabwe and to discuss with the Government its experience from the implementation of the international drug control treaties. The discussions focused on measures to respond to drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking, the coordination among drug control bodies, the control of licit activities with narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals, including the Government's cooperation with INCB, and measures to improve availability of controlled substances for medical purposes.

The mission met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare, the Deputy Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Police as well as with senior officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health and Child Welfare, and Justice, the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe, the Office of the President and Cabinet, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the Attorney's General Office. The mission also met with the UN Resident Coordinator and the WHO Representative to Zimbabwe, visited the ICPO-Interpol Sub-Regional Bureau for Southern Africa in Harare and held discussions with representatives of several non-governmental organizations active in the area of treatment of drug dependent individuals and provision of palliative care. The mission visited the Mental Health Department of the Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare and the company CAPS Pharmaceuticals in Harare.

The findings of the mission will be reviewed by the Board at its November session in 2011 and will be reflected in the 2011 INCB Annual Report, to be published in early 2012.

 

INCB President addresses the World Health Assembly (WHA)

Pesident of the Board, Prof. Hamid Ghodse, accompanied by Mr. Pavel Pachta, Deputy Secretary of the Board, participated in the 64th World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, from 18 to 21 May 2011.

On 21 May 2011, the President made a statement under item 13.12 of the agenda "Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases; WHO's role in the preparation, implementation and follow-up to the high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (September 2011)". Also on 21 May, the President addressed a Meeting of the Ministers of Health of the WHO African Region with a statement on availability of internationally controlled drugs for medical and scientific purposes. In addition, the President and the Deputy Secretary held a series of consultations with leading officials of WHO, representatives of Governments and non-governmental organizations on issues regarding cooperation with INCB and measures to enhance implementation of the Conventions.

 

Mission to the United States of America

An INCB mission visited the United States of America from 11 to 15 April 2011. The mission was conducted by
Prof. Hamid Ghodse, President of INCB, accompanied by Mr. Jonathan Lucas, Secretary of the Board. The last mission to the United States took place in 1998.

The purpose of the mission was to review the drug control situation in the United States with the Government and to discuss experience in the implementation of the international drug control treaties to which the United States is a party. Deliberations focused on the abuse of prescription drugs, the "medical" cannabis schemes in some states in the United States, measures to combat illegal Internet pharmacies and issues related to emerging trends in the illicit traffic and abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and the diversion of precursor chemicals.

The mission met with senior officials at the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Executive Office of the President, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), United States Department of Justice, the Office of the Deputy Attorney-General, United States Department of Justice, the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, United States State Department, the Bureau of International Organizations, United States State Department and the Bureau of Specialized Prosecutions (Los Angeles, California), and held discussions at the United States Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control. The mission also met with representatives of non-governmental organizations.

The findings of the mission will be reviewed by the Board at its May session in 2011 and will be reflected in the 2011 INCB Annual Report, to be published in early 2012.

 

Mission to European Union, Brussels

On 15 February 2011, the President of the Board, Prof. Hamid Ghodse, together with the Secretary of the Board, Mr. Jonathan Lucas, participated in the meeting of the EU Council Horizontal Working Party on Drugs in Brussels. The Board made a presentation on the issue of availability of internationally controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes. This issue is also addressed in a special supplement to the INCB Annual Report 2010, which will be launched on 2 March 2011.

 

Mission to Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

An INCB mission visited the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 23 to 26 January 2011. The mission was conducted by
Mr. Raymond Yans
, member of the Board, accompanied by Mrs. Hanifa REBBANI, Drug Control Officer of the INCB Secretariat. The last mission to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya took place in 1999.

The objective of the mission was to review the implementation of the three international drug control Conventions to which the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is a party. The discussions focused on the developments in drug trafficking and abuse in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the status of the national legislative and administrative measures taken by the authorities in this regard. Comprehensive data on drug trafficking and various reports were collected. The availability of opiates for medical needs was discussed with the health authorities.

The mission met with senior competent authorities within the General People's Committee for Justice and Security and also with the Foreign Affairs, Health, and Interior Secretariats. The mission also met with officials at the Anti Narcotic General Administration (ANGA) and the Customs Services.

The finding of the mission will be reviewed by the Board at its Session in May 2011 and will be reflected in the 2011 INCB Annual Report.

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