For information only - not an official document

20 April 2016


International Narcotics Control Board holds side event at the margins of the General Assembly special session on the World Drug Problem

VIENNA/NEW YORK, 20 April (UN Information Service) - At the margins of the United Nations General Assembly special session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem in New York, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) held a side event entitled "The Drug Control Conventions: a multi-faceted framework for the promotion of the health and welfare of humankind".

INCB President Werner Sipp stressed in his opening remarks that "proportionality is central to the drug treaties and that sanctions must be proportionate to the severity of the offence and the degree of criminal responsibility of the offender".

In the context of criminal justice, INCB Rapporteur Bernard Leroy emphasized that "the prevention of drug-related criminality is wholeheartedly welcomed by the Board". INCB Second Vice-President Jagjit Pavadia added that "precursors control is a form of prevention because it aims at depriving organized crime from opportunities to acquire the chemicals they need for the illicit manufacture of drugs".

During the side event, INCB Board Members showed how drug control and health challenges can be addressed through a comprehensive and balanced implementation of the three international drug control conventions. In particular, the event focused on the implementation of the provision of the treaties in the areas of regulatory control, criminal justice responses, health and demand reduction, and availability and rational use of controlled medicines. Having reiterated the requirement of the Conventions that governments take all practicable measures for the prevention and treatment of drug abuse, Board Member Richard P. Mattick noted: "One important aspect of drug policy is the need to reduce negative health and social consequences of drug use." INCB First Vice-President Sri Suryawati referred to the recently published  INCB special report on availability and stated that there was no reason why, in 2016, people around the world should still go without the medicines they need, and outlined a range of actions Member States should take.

Representatives of Member States and civil society organizations present at the event engaged in discussions with the Board on how the treaties can aid the implementation of the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem and other topics discussed during UNGASS. In closing the event, Mr. Sipp said that "the three drug control conventions continue to provide a flexible and viable framework for the implementation of measures by States to address the drug problem in all its incarnations".

The event was webcast and can be viewed  here.


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