INCB President presents 2021 annual report to Commission on Narcotic Drugs and recommends scheduling of three fentanyl precursors

VIENNA, 16 March 2022 - The President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Ms. Jagjit Pavadia, has presented the Board's 2021 Annual Report and Precursors Report to the sixty-fifth session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, which is taking place in Vienna from 14 to 18 March.

 

On the first day of the session, the INCB President addressed the opening segment and participated in the Joint Call to Action by UNODC, WHO, INCB and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on scaling up the implementation of international drug policy commitments on improving availability of and access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes.

Under agenda item 5 (a), Changes in the scope of control of substances, Ms. Pavadia presented the Board's recommendation to place three fentanyl precursors, 4-AP, 1-Boc-4-AP and norfentanyl, in Table I of the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Subsequently, the Commission unanimously decided to adopt the Board's recommendation. Most illicitly manufactured fentanyl is manufactured via synthesis methods involving these chemicals. Scheduling will not affect the limited licit use of these chemicals for research, analysis and reference purposes but will greatly reduce their availability to drug traffickers.

The President also addressed the Commission under agenda item 5 (b) on Challenges and future work of the CND, the WHO and the INCB in the review of substances for possible scheduling. Ms. Pavadia highlighted the recently-released guidance document entitled "Proliferation of non-scheduled chemicals and designer precursors: options for global action", which contains a menu of viable and proven policy options in areas relevant to competent national authorities, law enforcement, judicial practitioners and other entities tasked with precursor control. This guidance document is available on the INCB website in all UN languages.

Addressing the Commission under agenda item 5 (c) on the work of the International Narcotics Control Board, the INCB President presented the Board's 2021 Annual Report and Precursors Report, highlighting the Board's recommendations to Governments and international organizations. These include addressing the illicit financial flows that serve as the lifeblood for organized criminal groups engaged in drug trafficking, which was the focus of the thematic chapter of the annual report. Also covered was the link between social media use and drug use, differences between depenalization, decriminalization and legalization, and the importance of a balanced and human-rights based approach to drug policy. Ms. Pavadia also provided an update on INCB's work to support Member States in implementing the drug control conventions and progressing the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 3 and SDG 16. The President also announced the publication of the Board's technical reports on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.  

Under agenda item 5 (d) on International cooperation to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes while preventing their diversion, the Commission heard the Board's analysis of the global situation. Ms. Pavadia outlined INCB efforts to support Member States to improve the availability of medicines containing controlled substances, including through the INCB Learning programme. The President of the Board reiterated the commitment of the Board to work in the spirit of the Joint Call to Action by UNODC, WHO, INCB and the Commission.

In accordance with the drug control conventions, the Board's 2021 annual reports are submitted through the Commission on Narcotic Drugs to the Economic and Social Council.

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