INCB conducts extensive consultations at the 59 th session of the CND

Vienna, 22 March 2016 - The International Narcotics Control Board concluded 10 days of intensive consultations with Member States and civil society organisations during the 59 th session of the Commission of Narcotic Drugs that concluded today in Vienna.

On 14 March, the INCB President, Mr. Werner Sipp, delivered a key note statement at the opening of the special segment of the Commission on preparations for UNGASS 2016. In his statement , Mr. Sipp emphasized that "current drug control framework does not need to be discarded in order to adopt 'new approaches'." Mr. Sipp went on to affirm that "we need to better implement the approaches of the existing drug control treaties and Political Declarations that require a balanced, comprehensive and integrated approach where health and welfare is at the core of drug control policy, where human rights are promoted and the principle of proportionality is applied."

Mr. Sipp also contributed to two side events held at the margins of the Commission which took place on 15 March. At the first side event on ' Alternatives to imprisonment and proportionate responses to drug offences', the President of the Board emphasized the flexibility available within the international drug control framework regarding the possible responses to minor drug-related offences. He drew attention to the statements of the Board on proportionality, a balanced approach to drug control, and human rights among other topics. At the second event entitled ' Resolving the global crisis of untreated pain by improving access to controlled medicines within the framework of the SDGs', Mr. Sipp briefed on salient aspects of the Board's special report on availability of and access to controlled medicines reminding participants that the main impediment to access - as indicated by Governments - was the lack of relevant know-how of health care professionals. He urged Governments around the world to move from words to the earnest implementation of the recommendations INCB had made to Governments in the report.

On 17 March, the President of INCB addressed the plenary of the Commission to transmit the Annual Report of the Board as well as its Report on Precursors through the Commission to the Economic and Social Council, as mandated by the treaties. Mr. Sipp also reported on other aspects of the treaty-mandated work of INCB including on the management of international licit trade in controlled substances and access to controlled substances for medical and scientific use, as well as on new initiatives such as the programme to provide training to competent national authorities around the world to strengthen their capacity to fulfil treaty obligations inviting Governments to support the Board in this endeavour.

The President also held extensive bilateral meetings with the heads of delegations of over 20 countries to discuss matters of common concern, particularly in view of UNGASS 2016, but also regarding the implementation of the international drug control treaties and the cooperation between the Board and the respective Governments. 

On 18 March, Mr. Sipp conducted the by now customary dialogue with civil society organisations, facilitated by the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs. On the same day, the secretariat of the Board held a meeting of the User Group on I2ES with the participation of representatives of over 20 Governments. Throughout the duration of the Commission, open-door consultations and support was provided to Governments by experts from the INCB secretariat on the operation of the PEN Online, PICS, IONICS and I2ES.

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