For information only - not an official document

  31 May 2021


International Narcotics Control Board concludes 131st session


VIENNA, 31 May (United Nations Information Service) - The International Narcotics Control Board has concluded its 131st session in Vienna. Over the past two weeks the Board continued its work to address a range of issues related to the functioning of the international drug control system and health and well-being.

The Board reviewed the availability of controlled substances for medical purposes, and is continuing its work with partner organizations to improve access to controlled medicines during emergency situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. INCB's Standing Committee on Estimates reviewed estimates submitted by Governments of their requirements for controlled substances for licit medical, scientific and industrial purposes. The Board and its Standing Committee also analysed the global balance between supply of opiate raw materials and demand for opiates for medical and scientific purposes, which is critical in ensuring adequate availability for medical purposes while preventing the risk of diversion into illicit channels and abuse. The Board noted the importance of supporting governments in improving the accuracy of their estimated requirements.

The proliferation of non-controlled chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of drugs remained on the agenda, and the Board reiterated its commitment to supporting governments in identifying new approaches to address this challenge. The Board also continued to support governments in the application of article 13 of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, concerning equipment used in the illicit manufacture of drugs.

The Board reviewed national drug control developments and implementation by States of the provisions of the drug control conventions, and continued to emphasize the need to ensure that drug control measures respect human rights. During the session, INCB held its first dialogue with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Board remained concerned about the continuing deterioration of the drug control situation in Afghanistan, for which it has invoked article 14 bis of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and reiterated the need for urgent and targeted assistance by the international community to support the Government of Afghanistan in its drug control efforts.

INCB held its annual dialogue with civil society on the topic of illicit financial flows through drug trafficking - impact on development and security, which will be the focus of a thematic chapter of the INCB 2021 Annual Report. Consultations were also held with the Chair of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the World Health Organization and UNAIDS.

The Board also reviewed its activities to support Member States, including INCB Learning and the GRIDS (Global Rapid Interdiction of Dangerous Substances) Programme.


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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