Mission to Panama

From 3 to 5 December 2013, an INCB mission visited the Republic of Panama. The mission was led by 
Mr. Werner Sipp, member of the Board, accompanied by Mr. Imrich Betko, Drug Control Officer of  the INCB Secretariat. The objective of the mission was to review the drug control situation in Panama and the Government's compliance with the three international drug control conventions to which Panama is a party. The last mission to the country was in 2003.

The mission held meetings with senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Health, the National Customs Authority and National Commission for the Study and Prevention of Drug-related Crimes (CONAPRED).

In addition, the mission visited the Joint Port Control Unit in the Panamanian Port of Balboa and  two non-governmental organizations, the Cruz Blanca Panameña and the Asociacion Hogares Crea de Panama, involved in drug abuse prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

Among the issues addressed during the discussions with Government stakeholders were the legislative and policy measures taken by Panama to meet its commitments under the international drug conventions, law enforcement efforts to address drug trafficking, regional and international cooperation initiatives, prevention and treatment programmes for drug abuse and addiction, as well as the availability of opiates for the treatment of pain.

The findings of the mission will be reviewed by the Board at its next session and will be reflected in the INCB Annual Report for 2014, to be published in 2015.

 

Mission to Nicaragua

An INCB mission visited Nicaragua from 2 to 4 December 2013. The mission was conducted by the Member of the Board,  Prof. Francisco Thoumi, accompanied by Ms. Eva Fernandez Santis, Chief of the Psychotropics Control Section 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. The last mission of the Board to Nicaragua took place in 1993.

The mission met with the Minister of Interior, Mrs. Ana Isabel Morales Mazún, the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Valdrack Jaentschke, the Attorney-General of Nicaragua, Mr. Hernán Estrada Santamaría , the Executive Secretary of the National Council of the Fight against Organized Crime, Mr. Pedro Pablo Dávila, the Chief of the Anti-Drug Office of the National Police, Mr. José Esteban Guido, the Director-General of the Health Regulatory Department of the Ministry of Health, Mr. Miguel Ángel Baca Jiménez, the Director of Pharmacy of the Ministry of Health, Ms.  Martha Rosales Granera, and the Executive Director of the Institute against Alcoholism and Drug Addiction, Dr. Francisco Alberto Landero Vargas.  The mission also had the opportunity to visit the Rehabilitation Centre CENICSOL and the Addiction Treatment Facility HODERA.

Deliberations concentrated on recent developments in drug trafficking and abuse in Nicaragua, the Government's cooperation with INCB,  the measures taken by the Government 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 was also discussed with the national authorities.

The findings of the mission will be reviewed by the Board at its 109  th session in February 2014 and will be reflected in the INCB Annual Report for 2014, which will be published in early 2015.

 

INCB attends the 2013 World Cancer Leaders' Summit

A delegation of the INCB led by Board Member  Dr. Naidoo participated in the 2013 World Cancer Leaders' Summit (WCLS) which took place today at Cape Town City Hall from 18 to 20 November 2013. The World Cancer Leaders' Summit (WCLS) is the most important annual high-level policy meeting dedicated exclusively to influencing global strategy for cancer control.

 The theme of Summit was 'Closing the Cancer Divide by 2025' which highlights the urgent need to address the glaring disparities in cancer control within and across national, international and regional boundaries. The conference was opened by Ms. Tobeka Madiba Zuma, First Lady of the Republic of South Africa. Also in attendance were Dr Christine Kaseba Sata, First Lady of Zambia, Ms. Malika Issoufou Mahamadou, First Lady of Niger and Princess Dina Mired of Jordan. Ms Zoleka Mandela, a cancer advocate and survivor and granddaughter of Nelson Madela attended the Summit to share her involvement and highlighted the importance of early detection.

 According to the World Health Organization, more than 12 million people worldwide will be diagnosed with cancer this year, of which approximately eight million will die. Often misconceived as a disease of wealthy, developed populations the truth is that over 70% of cancer deaths actually occur in low- and middle-income countries. And without sustained action, cancer incidence is projected to increase by 70% in middle-income countries and 82% in lower-income countries by 2030. Cancer affects countries all over the world, but countries lacking the health infrastructure to cope with the increasing number of people affected by the disease are particularly affected.

 Dr. Naidoo took the floor in some of the sessions to highlight the concern that the INCB has about the availability and rational use of narcotic drugs for medical use. He mentioned that the data available show high consumption of opiates for pain relief in a few countries while in many low- and middle-income countries the consumption is very low. Dr. Naidoo mentioned that the INCB is interested in working with all stakeholders to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs to patients in need and to ensure that medical doctors and their staff are adequately trained. At the same time the INCB needs to ensure that narcotic drugs are not abused and therefore appropriate control measure needs to be in place to avoid diversion.

 

Mission to Singapore

An INCB mission conducted by  Dr. Viroj Sumyai, member of the Board, accompanied by Mr. Matthew Nice, of the INCB Secretariat visited Singapore from 30 September through 2 October 2013. The mission examined the Government compliance with obligations of the three international drug control conventions to which it is a party. The last Board mission to Singapore occurred in 1995.

The mission held discussions with senior officials from the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), the Health Sciences Authority, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The mission also met with representatives of the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE) who detailed the organization's training, employment assistance, community partnerships, aftercare and business enterprises for ex-offenders. Discussions were also held with the Community Action for the Rehabilitation of Ex-Offenders (CARE) Network which works to improve the effectiveness of ex-offenders rehabilitation through community engagement, such as its Yellow Ribbon Project to reduce the stigma suffered by ex-offenders. Finally, the mission examined operations at the Helping Hand NGO, which provides community-based housing, aftercare, employment and reintegration services to those released from prison. 

Issues addressed during discussions with officials included those related to the situation and efforts related to countering drug trafficking, legislative measures and administrative policies of drug and chemical control that have been introduced by the Government, issues related to opiate availability in palliative care, and the provision of drug abuse treatment and abuse prevention services.

The findings of the mission will be discussed by the Board at its next session and results will be reflected in the 2013 INCB Annual Report, to be published in early 2014.

 

Mission to Indonesia

An INCB mission visited Indonesia from 25 to 27 September 2013. The mission was conducted by  Dr. Viroj Sumyai, member of the Board, accompanied by Mr. Matthew Nice, of the INCB Secretariat. The aim of the mission was to review the Government's efforts to comply with obligations of the three international drug control conventions to which it is a party. The last Board mission to Indonesia occurred in 2004. 

The mission held discussions with senior officials from the National Narcotics Board (BNN), Ministry of Health, National Agency of Drug and Food Control, Ministry of Social Affairs, National Police, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Issues raised during the mission included those related to access to opioid medication for the treatment of severe pain; access to and capacity of effective drug abuse treatment programmes throughout the country; supporting civil society NGO's providing community-based services for those struggling with drug addiction; examining administrative drug and chemical control policies and legislative measures that have been introduced by the Government in recent years; and reviewing the changing nature of addiction and drug trafficking in Indonesia. 

The mission examined operations at the government's RSKO Cibubur Treatment Center, the Balai Besar Rehabilitasi Treatment Centre in Lido and the Panti Rehab Social Treatment Centre in Galih Pakuan, Cise'eng, and the NGO Rumah Singgah Peka community-based drug treatment operation in Bogor. The mission also held discussions with a number of NGO's including the Rumah Cemara Foundation (a community-based anti-discrimination organization for people living with HIV/AIDS and people who abuse drugs), PKNI (Indonesian Drug Users Network), JANGKAR (Indonesian Harm Reduction Network), Rumah Singgah Peka (community-based drug treatment), and LHB Masyarakat (Indonesian legal aid). The mission also visited the United Nations Offices in Jakarta and met with representatives from UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNDSS, UNDP, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNODC and the WHO. 

The findings of the mission will be discussed by the Board at its next session and results will be reflected in the 2013 INCB Annual Report, to be published in early 2014.

 

Mission to Malaysia

An INCB mission visited Malaysia from 9 to 11 September 2013 . The mission was conducted by  Prof. Dr. Sri Suryawati, second Vice President of INCB, accompanied by Mrs. Li-Qin Zhu, Chief of the Convention Evaluation Section of the INCB Secretariat. The last mission to Malaysia took place in 1996.

The objective of the mission was to review the drug control situation in Malaysia and the Government's compliance with the three international drug control conventions to which Malaysia is a party. Deliberations focused on the legislative and administrative measures and policies aimed at addressing the emerging challenges with regard to the control of licit activities related to narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals as well as measures taken and progress made by the Government in the elimination of drug abuse and illicit manufacture of and trafficking in drugs. Issues related to availability of controlled substances for medical purposes in Malaysia were also discussed.

The mission met with the Minister for Health Malaysia, the Director-General of the National Anti-Drugs Agency, the Senior Director of the Pharmaceutical Services Division Malaysia, as well as senior Government officials from the Ministry of Home affairs, the Ministry of Health, the National Anti-Drugs Agency, the Royal Malaysian Police, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. The mission also met with representatives of several NGOs involved in drug abuse prevention, treatment and rehabilitation in Malaysia. The mission visited the Cure & Care 1Malaysia Clinic, Sungai Besi Kuala Lumpur, and the Department of Chemistry Malaysia.

The findings of the mission will be reviewed by the Board at its session in November 2013 and will be reflected in the 2013 INCB Annual Report, to be published in early 2013.

 

INCB President meets with Executive Director of UNAIDS

On 23 July 2013, the INCB President,  Mr. Raymond Yans, met with Mr. Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. As part of ongoing cooperation between INCB and UNAIDS, the meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the global drug control situation, in particular with regard to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Mr. Yans also met with Ms. Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to discuss cooperation and matters of common concern with regard to their respective mandates on drug control and prevention, and human rights.

 

Mission to Benin

An INCB mission visited the Republic of Benin from 9 to 12 July 2013. The mission was led by  Mr. Marc Moinard, member of the Board, accompanied by Mrs. Hanifa Rebbani, Drug Control Officer of the INCB secretariat. The last mission to the Republic of Benin took place in 1995. The Republic of Benin is party to the three international drug control conventions and the objective of the mission was to review the Beninese Government's compliance with them. 

The mission held meetings with the Minister of Health and senior officials from the Beninese Government including, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Directorate of Pharmacy, Medicine and Diagnostic Explorations, the Inter-ministerial Committee for Combating Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Abuse (CILAS), the Central Office for Repression of. Illicit Trafficking of Drugs and Precursors (OCERTID) of the Ministry of Interior, and the Bureau of the General Prosecutor. The mission also met with officials at the Customs Services. The delegation also visited a leading pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Cotonou and held a meeting with the representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) . 

The mission discussed the trends in trafficking and abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as well as measures taken or planned to address these issues, in particular, the legislative measures and administrative policies of drug control. Discussions also focused on issues related to the availability of opiates in palliative care as well as drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation services in the country. 

The findings of the mission will be discussed by the Board at its 108th session, to be held from 28 October to 15 November 2013, and results will be reflected in the INCB Annual Report for 2013, to be published in early 2014.

 

Mission to Kenya

An INCB mission visited Kenya from 11 to 14 June 2013. The mission was conducted by  Dr. Lochan Naidoo, member of the Board, accompanied by Mr. Matthew Nice, of the INCB Secretariat. The aim of the mission was to review the Government's efforts to comply with obligations of the three international drug control conventions to which it is a party. The last Board mission to Kenya occurred in 2002. 
The mission held discussions with senior officials from the Ministry of Provincial Administration and Internal Security, the National Authority for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse, the Anti-Narcotic Police Unit, Ministry of Health, the Judiciary, Ministry of Medical Services, the Kenya Revenue Authority, Customs, the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kenya Airports Authority and examined operations at the Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The mission also visited the United Nations Offices in Nairobi and met with representatives from UNAIDS, UNDP and UNODC. The mission also met with the National Technical Committee on Drug Trafficking and Abuse, visited the drug treatment ward of the Mathari Hospital, and the Nairobi Outreach Services Trust, an NGO which provides outpatient drug treatment services for high-risk injecting and other drug users in the capital. 
Issues addressed during discussions with senior officials included those related to the situation and efforts related to countering drug trafficking, legislative measures and administrative policies of drug control that have been introduced by the Government, issues related to opiate availability in palliative care, and the provision of drug abuse treatment and abuse prevention. Measures aimed at controlling the movement of precursor chemicals to, from and through Kenya were also discussed. 
The findings of the mission will be discussed by the Board at its next session held from October 28 - November 15, 2013, and results will be reflected in the 2013 INCB Annual Report, to be published in early 2014.

 

Mission to Canada

From 27 to 30 of May 2013, an INCB mission to Canada took place in order to discuss issues related to the implementation of the UN drug control conventions in that country. In particular, the mission held discussions on high drug abuse prevalence rates among youth and First Nations populations, prescription drug abuse and control measures related to the country's medical cannabis scheme. The mission was led by  Mr. Raymond Yans, President of the Board, accompanied by Mr. Paul Rabbat, Drug Control Officer at the INCB Secretariat. The last mission to Canada was conducted in 2003. 
The mission held meetings with senior officials from the Ministry of Health including the  Controlled Substances and Tobacco Directorate and the  First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Public Security the  Canada Border Services Agency and the  Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The mission also held talks with the  Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, visited a pilot treatment programme at the Royal Ottawa Hospital as well as the  Onen'to:kon treatment facility in the First Nations community of Kanehsatake. 
The findings of the mission will be reviewed by the Board at its November session and will be reflected in the INCB Annual Report for 2013, published in early 2014.

 

Mission to Haiti

From 8 to 11 April 2013, an INCB mission took place in Haiti, with the primary objective of reviewing the drug abuse and trafficking situation in the country as well as the Government's compliance with the provisions of the international drug control treaties. In particular, the mission sought information about the progress made in ratifying the 1971 Convention, as well as achievements in addressing drug abuse and regulating informal markets for controlled substances. The mission was led by  Ambassador (ret.) David Johnson member of INCB, accompanied by Mr. Ronan O'Laoire, Associate Drug Control Officer at the INCB Secretariat. The last mission to the country was in 2001. 
The mission held meetings with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice, and Health. Meetings were also held with senior officials from the Commisision Nationale de Lutte contre la Drogue (CICAD), Customs and Excise and the Anti Drugs Trafficking Department (BLTS), Airport and Port authorities and Ministry of Health. The mission also met the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti and his deputy, the UN Force Commander and Police Commissioner as well as a representative from the World Health Organisation. In addition, it met with representatives of l'Association pour la Prévention de l'Alcoolisme et autres Accoutumances Chimiques (APAAC), a non-governmental organization. The findings of the mission will be reviewed by the Board and will be reflected in the INCB Annual Report for 2013, which will be published in early 2014.

 

Mission to Lao People's Democratic Republic

From 4 to 7 to March 2013 an INCB mission visited the Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR). The mission was led by  Professor Wayne Hall, member of INCB, accompanied by Mr. Ronan O'Laoire, Associate Drug Control Officer at the INCB Secretariat. The last mission to the country was in 2003. 
With the objective of understanding the drug control situation in Lao P.D.R, the mission held meetings with Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Health, Justice and Public Security as well as the acting Chairman of the Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision and the Director-General of Customs Department. Meetings were also held with senior representatives of UNODC's Country Office, World Health Organization as well as embassies of Australia, France, Japan and United States of America. In addition, the mission visited the drug and treatment rehabilitation centre of Vientiane Capital and Vientiane's Sport and Culture office. 
The use of controlled substances for medical purposes was discussed, as were administrative policies and institutional challenges in preventing drug abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs. The findings of the mission will be reviewed by the Board and will be reflected in the INCB Annual Report for 2013, which will be published in early 2014.

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