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.

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