INCB participates in Commission on Narcotic Drugs thematic discussions 

VIENNA, 27 October 2023 - The International Narcotics Control Board participated in the Commission on Narcotic Drugs thematic discussions held at the Vienna International Centre from 23 to 25 October 2023. The discussions focused on the implementation of all international drug policy commitments following-up to the 2019 Ministerial Declaration, and formed part of the stock-taking exercise in preparation for the Commission's 2024 mid-term review.

The INCB President, Professor Jallal Toufiq, participated in the opening segment of the meeting, recalling that the fundamental concern of the conventions is to safeguard health and welfare, and encouraging participants to keep this concern at the forefront of their discussions. In the context of the preparations for the mid-term review and at the mid-point of the 2030 Agenda, the INCB President noted with regret the slow progress on Sustainable Development Goal 3 on health and wellbeing. Professor Toufiq reiterated the Board's commitment to supporting Member States in implementing the three drug control conventions and the international drug policy commitments.

During the three-day meeting, the INCB President, together Ms. Jagjit Pavadia, Member of the Board, shared INCB's perspectives on the progress made in addressing the challenges identified in the 2019 Ministerial Declaration.

On 23 October, on the challenge of the expanding and diversifying range of drugs and drug markets, Professor Toufiq discussed the threat posed by trafficking in new psychoactive substances and non-medical synthetic opioids, and the support provided to national authorities under the INCB GRIDS Programme. On the record levels of illicit production and manufacture of drugs and trafficking in drugs and precursors, and increasing domestic diversion of precursors , Professor Toufiq highlighted the work of the INCB precursors control programme, the ongoing efforts under article 12 of the 1988 Convention, new efforts under article 13 to address equipment used in illicit drug manufacture, and the support for Government cooperation with industry, for example through INCB's new industry mapping initiative.

The INCB President noted that the operational support provided under these INCB programmes can help Member States address the growing threat posed by trafficking in synthetic drugs and their precursors, which will be the topic of INCB consultations with Member States during the upcoming 138 th INCB session.

On 25 October, Ms. Pavadia shared perspectives gleaned under the INCB GRIDS Programme on the increasing exploitation of Internet-based technologies for trafficking in new psychoactive substances and non-medical synthetic opioids, and measures that INCB is taking to support Governments, including through partnerships with industry. The misuse of the Internet and social media is also the topic of the thematic chapter of the INCB Annual Report for 2023.

Also on 25 October, in a discussion on responses not in conformity with the drug control conventions and international human rights obligations, Ms. Pavadia addressed the challenges posed by the legalization in some countries of the use of cannabis for non-medical purposes and the need to ensure availability of controlled substances for medical, scientific and industrial purposes. On human rights, Ms. Pavadia reiterated that drug control measures must respect international human rights obligations, and that any drug control measure that violates human rights also violates the drug control conventions.

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