INCB holds side event on proportionality at the 60th session of the CND




VIENNA, 16 March - International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) President, Mr. Werner Sipp, held a side event on 'The Need for Proportionality: State Responses to Drug-related Offences' today at the margins of the 60 th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. Members of the panel included the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mr. Yuri Fedotov, and the Vienna NGO Committee Chair, Mr. Esbjörn Hörnberg.


Mr. Sipp emphasised the principle of proportionality, in the context of drug-related offences, as a key aspect of a sound and effective drug policy. Disproportionate responses to drug-related offenses undermine the aims of the International Drug Control Conventions. The INCB President noted that drug dependency is a disease and should be treated as such, as over-reliance on punitive measures may have significant human costs while yielding limited results. INCB encourages member States to pursue alternatives to conviction and punishment, such as education, treatment, rehabilitation and social reintegration, as allowed for by the Conventions.

 Mr. Fedotov congratulated the INCB for their clear and steady guidance on the matter throughout the years and emphasised the growing importance of human rights in the context of the international drug-control framework. Mr. Hörnberg expanded on the matter by stating that the death penalty for drug-related offences goes against the fundamental human right to life and supported INCB's encouragement that member states should refrain from and eventually abolish this course of action.

 Mr. Sipp then responded to questions from the floor regarding the INCB's stance on proportionality and decriminalisation.

 The INCB President's statement at the side event is available here.

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