For information only - not an official document

12 November 2020

Drug Treaty anniversary event: proliferation of chemicals used in illicit drug manufacture a growing challenge

VIENNA, 11 November (United Nations Information Service) - In a consultation with Member States, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) commemorated the 30th anniversary of the entry into force of the 1988 United Nations Convention Against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychoactive Substances.

Around 120 attendees, representing nearly 60 Member States, discussed successes and challenges related to the implementation of article 12 of the Convention, which is the foundation for the international control of precursor chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of drugs. The online platforms for real-time information exchange, that the Board has developed over the past 10 years, have become a critical instrument that countries use to prevent and stop illicit trade. The event was held online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during the 129 th Session of the Board.

INCB President Cornelis P. de Joncheere highlighted that States have succeeded in almost eliminating diversion of precursor chemicals listed in Tables I and Table II of the Convention from international trade into illicit drug manufacture. The level of sophistication and scale of illicit drug manufacture operations and the continuing emergence of a diverse range of chemicals not under international control nevertheless are now of growing concern. The Board outlined options to address this challenge, and countries will need to discuss these further in strengthening the international drug control system.

Representatives of Member States and Members of the Board, including Jagjit Pavadia, Bernard Leroy and David T. Johnson, joined the INCB President in sharing observations and experiences in the implementation of article 12 of the 1988 Convention and in addressing challenges in international precursors control.

The consultation with Member States is as a continuation of the policy dialogue underway in the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and is aimed at raising awareness and supporting Member States in identifying and agreeing upon practical solutions and collective global action to prevent non-scheduled chemicals from reaching illicit drug laboratories.


INCB is the independent, quasi-judicial body charged with promoting and monitoring Government compliance with the three international drug control conventions: the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Established by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the thirteen members of the Board are elected in a personal capacity by the Economic and Social Council for terms of five years. 

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For further information, please contact:

INCB Secretariat
Tel.: (+43-1) 26060-4163
Email: incb.secretariat[at]


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