For information only - not an official document

 22 July 2021


Press release: INCB President presents 2020 reports to Economic and Social Council and highlights contributions to Sustainable Development Goals

NEW YORK/VIENNA, 22 July (UN Information Service) - The President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Jagjit Pavadia, addressed the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) today at its Management Segment meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York.    

Ms. Pavadia presented the Board's 2020 annual and precursors report, as well as a supplementary report reviewing the achievements of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The reports contain recommendations to governments and international and regional organizations and are available on the INCB website in all six official languages of the United Nations.

In her address, the INCB President highlighted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the availability of internationally controlled substances for medical purposes and on illicit drug activity and explained INCB's direct and indirect contributions to the achievement of the sustainable development goals - particularly SDG 3 on good health and well-being, SDG 10 on reducing inequalities and SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions. Also, INCB supports governments through the INCB Learning and GRIDS programmes.

Ms. Pavadia drew attention to the inadequate availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes and INCB's recommendations to help improve the situation, which are included in the report. Ms. Pavadia encouraged Governments to work with each other and the Board to ensure global availability of medicines containing controlled substances, especially in emergency situations.

The INCB President emphasized the urgent need to address the hidden epidemic of substance use issues among older people to the Council, which was the focus of the thematic chapter of the annual report. Further, she reiterated INCB's concern over serious violations of human rights committed in the name of drug control and stressed that all drug control actions taken to comply with obligations under the three international drug control conventions should be taken with full respect for the rule of law and due process and the principle of proportionality.

Ms. Pavadia said that more efforts are required to address the illicit cultivation, trafficking and non-medical use of drugs and noted that governments needed to prioritize drug use prevention and treatment, rehabilitation and social reintegration services. 

The INCB President noted that although seizures of internationally controlled precursors had declined, there was a pressing need for global action to address the use of non-scheduled chemicals in illicit drug manufacture and expressed the Board's commitment to supporting the international community as it recovers from the pandemic and in accelerating progress on the sustainable development goals.

The full text of the INCB President's speech is available on the INCB website.


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.  

* *** *

For further information, please contact:

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

©1995-2023 International Narcotics Control Board