INCB President holds informal dialogue with Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs

Vienna, 23 March 2021 - On 17 March at the margins of the sixty-fifth session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Ms. Jagjit Pavadia, held an informal dialogue with members of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs.

At the opening of the meeting, the INCB President noted that a collective effort involving many actors, including non-governmental organizations, was required to address the world drug problem. Ms. Pavadia went on to reiterate the important role that civil society organizations can play in helping to meet the objectives of the three international drug control conventions, to safeguard the health and wellbeing of humankind and to progress the Sustainable Development Goals. This included contributing to improving the availability of internationally controlled medicines, promoting a human rights-based approach to drug policy, and providing prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and other related services.  The INCB President expressed appreciation for the perspectives provided in 2021 by civil society representatives on illicit financial flows through drug trafficking and their impact on security and development. The thematic chapter of the Board's 2021 Annual Report had focused on this topic and had been launched the previous week.

Representatives from the International Movement for Advancement of Education Culture Social & Economic Development (IMAECSED), Veterans Action Council, Instituto RIA, Open Society Foundations, Green Crescent Zimbabwe, Virginians Against Drug Violence, International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, EURAD Belgium, Karim Khan Afridi Welfare Foundation, Fields of Green for ALL NPC, Turkish Green Crescent Society, FAAAT, International Federation of Social Workers, and Cannabis Education Guild actively participated in the dialogue. The President of the Board responded to their questions on topics such as availability of medicines containing controlled substances including in emergency situations, prevention and treatment programmes, INCB's work with competent national authorities on reporting standards for cannabis for medical and scientific purposes, the legalization of cannabis for non-medical purposes, the drug control situation in Afghanistan, and INCB cooperation with civil society.  Ms. Pavadia encouraged NGOs to take INCB's recommendations into account when planning their work and announced that the Board would meet with civil society representatives during its 134th session, which was to commence on 23 May.

A recording of the informal dialogue is available at the following link: https://youtu.be/5EBcV_F5B-g.

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