INCB President meets civil society at 59th session of the CND

On 18 March, the INCB President, Mr. Werner Sipp, held an informal dialogue with civil society organisations, facilitated by the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs. Mr. Sipp thanked the NGO community for their inputs and insights, and emphasized that they had been  instrumental in contributing to identifying gaps and addressing needs in drug control ranging from efforts to tackle trafficking, illicit drug cultivation and manufacture, and awareness raising, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

The INCB President also noted that Member States were "finally talking about access to controlled medicines, something that the Board has been advocating for over 30 years". In this context, Mr. Sipp issued a special acknowledgement for "the work of a small number of pioneering NGOs that have been working in this field also for a very long time."

Mr. Sipp then responded to questions from NGOs ranging from what were the specific recommendations to improve access to controlled medicines, circumstances that provided for alternatives to punishment under the treaties, the categorisation of minor offences, the inherent flexibility and limits of the conventions, the rules that apply to medical programmes for controlled substances, including cannabis, under the conventions, human rights in the context of drug control, were among the topics discussed.

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