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18 November 2016



INCB concludes 117th session - Board finalizes 2016 reports, reiterates importance of the principle of proportionality


VIENNA, 18 November 2016 (UN Information Service) - The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) concluded its 117th session in Vienna today. In his closing remarks, INCB President Werner Sipp recognized the constructive efforts being made by national authorities, regional and international organizations, and civil society in preventing and treating drug abuse and in addressing drug trafficking and illicit cultivation and production.

During the session, the Board finalized its 2016 Annual Report, which will include a thematic chapter entitled "Women and drugs", as well as its report on precursors, and its technical publications on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. The 2016 Annual Report and the report on precursors will be launched on 2 March 2017.

In its review of compliance by States with the international drug control treaties, the Board considered developments concerning the non-medical use of cannabis in the United States, including the results of recent ballot initiatives, and Uruguay. The Board reviewed the findings of its recent country missions, summaries of which would be presented in the 2016 INCB Annual Report, and agreed on recommendations to be made to the respective Governments.

In its analysis of Government policy and action in the field of drug control, the Board reaffirmed its rejection of extrajudicial or disproportionate state responses to drug-related crime. Mr Sipp emphasized that "States should be guided by the principle of proportionality in the determination of penalties". He further stated that "the flexibility provided for by the conventions to offer alternatives to conviction or punishment for drug-related crimes of a minor nature remains underutilized". This issue will be the focus of a special topic in the 2016 Annual Report.

The 2016 INCB report on precursors used in the illicit manufacture of drugs will include a focus on the continuum between regulatory and law enforcement measures.

The Board discussed Defined Daily Doses of selected psychotropic substances controlled under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, which are used in the treatment of, for example, insomnia, epilepsy, anxiety, opioid dependence and other neurological and mental disorders. It considered the feasibility of establishing benchmarks for the level of consumption of these substances for medical purposes, on the basis of the conclusions and recommendations of an advisory Expert Group Meeting it convened in Vienna in October 2016.

The Board reviewed the status of implementation of the International Import Export Authorization System ( I2ES), for which a follow-up event will be held at the margins of the forthcoming 60th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and the further development of the INCB Learning initiative. The Board also reviewed developments and progress of its operational activities related to new psychoactive substances (NPS).


The Vienna-based Board is an independent body, established by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, mandated to monitor and support governments' compliance with the three international drug control treaties. Its 13 members are elected by the Economic and Social Council to serve in their individual capacities for a term of five years. The 117th session of the Board took place from 1-18 November 2016. The Board's 118th will be held from 30 January to 3 February 2017.


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