Mission to Portugal

A high-level INCB mission visited Portugal from 18 to 20 June 2012. The mission was conducted by the President of the Board, Mr. Raymond Yans, accompanied by Mr. Pavel Pachta, Deputy Secretary of the Board. The purpose of the mission was to discuss cooperation between Portugal and the Board and implementation by Portugal of the three international drug control conventions, to which it is party. The last mission of the Board to Portugal took place in 2004.

The mission met Mr. Fernando Leal da Costa, the Secretary of State in charge of drug control, and Mr. João Goulão, the National Drug Coordinator and General Director of the Service for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD). In addition, the mission met senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Agriculture, National Authority of Medicines and Health Products (INFARMED), Tax and Customs Administration and Prosecutor-General's Office. The mission also visited the Lisbon Commission for the Dissuasion of Drug Addiction and had the opportunity to hold discussions with two non-governmental organizations dedicated to drug abuse prevention, including treatment of drug addicts.

Deliberations concentrated on Portugal's cooperation with INCB in maintaining a global balance between the licit supply of and demand for opiate raw materials, experience from the implementation of drug control legislation in Portugal regarding illegal possession of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for personal consumption, and on the Government's responses to current developments in drug abuse and illicit drug traffic in Portugal. The issue of rational use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical purposes in Portugal was also discussed with the national authorities.

The findings of the mission will be reviewed by the Board at its 105 th session in November 2012 and will be reflected in the INCB Annual Report for 2012, which will be published in early 2013.

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