For information only - not an official document

  4 February 2020


International Narcotics Control Board opened 127th session in Vienna

VIENNA, 4 February (United Nations Information Service) - The International Narcotics Control Board has opened its 127th session in Vienna. Over the coming days, INCB will welcome the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drug Control and Crime Prevention, Ghada Fathi Waly, prepare for the launch of its Annual Report and Precursors Report 2019, and consult with Member States, the Chair of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and the World Health Organization. 

INCB discussions will cover the status of the drug control situation around the world, availability of controlled substances for medical use, the control of precursors and the prevention of their diversion to illicit drug manufacture, matters of compliance by States Parties with the provisions of the three international drug control conventions and measures to promote effective drug control scenarios and the goal of improving the welfare of humankind around the world.   

At the opening, INCB President Cornelis de Joncheere reiterated the importance of cooperation with and among Governments to promote availability of medicines containing controlled substances, action to prevent drug use, and promote the treatment of drug use disorders. The President said: "While an increase in total global availability of controlled medicines has taken place, inequities in distribution remain; and efforts to ensure adequate access to these medicines must be stepped up," adding that, "this is of particular importance for a balanced approach to drug control policy and practice, in order to achieve the health and welfare objectives of the three international drug control treaties."

Mr. de Joncheere also addressed the continuing emergence of new psychoactive substances and pre-precursors and said that: "While some countries have introduced generic controls for entire groups of substances, INCB is looking forward to a wider policy discussion on how to respond to these challenges at the meeting."

President de Joncheere referred to a number of practical initiatives developed by INCB to assist Member States in their efforts mentioning specifically the GRIDS programme developed by INCB to assist in tackling the opioid overdose crisis, particularly in North America. Mr. de Joncheere emphasized that: "INCB is committed to working in this field to assist affected countries deal with the related health and human cost of the opioid overdose crisis."  

With regard to the final preparations for the launch of the INCB Annual Report and Precursor Report 2019, the Board will discuss some of the issues covered, which include young people and drugs, the status of treaty compliance, human rights and drug control, the application of alternative measures to conviction, punishment and incarceration. The INCB President said: "I look forward to discussing the content of the reports with Member States at the sixty-third session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in March, when I will urge all Governments carefully to study our recommendations to take steps to implement them for the betterment of the welfare of humankind." The INCB Annual Report and Precursor Report for 2019  will be launched globally in Vienna on 27 February 2020.  


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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