For information only - not an official document

12 March 2024


 International Narcotics Control Board maps out a way forward for national health- and evidence-based drug policy and takes stock of progress made since 2019

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has highlighted two key areas for action by Member States:

  • promoting the availability of controlled substances for medical purposes while preventing diversion to illicit channels; and
  • adopting health- and evidence-based drug policies which respect human rights and provide for proportional responses to drug-related crime.

VIENNA, 12 March (UN Information Service) - INCB has mapped out a way forward for Member States to address the drug control challenges identified by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in its 2019 Ministerial Declaration. The Board's road to 2029 - when the Commission will review progress made in implementation of the declaration and all other drug policy commitments - comprises recommendations made in INCB annual reports over the period from 2019 to 2023. These recommendations to Member States and international and regional organizations have been made with the aim of fostering effective drug control policies and actions to promote the availability of internationally controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes while preventing diversion to illicit channels. The Board's recommendations also aim to guide Governments in the development of health- and evidence-based drug policies that take into account the specific needs of their populations, respect human rights and provide for responses to drug-related criminality which are proportional and respect due process.

The publication, issued as a contribution to the CND mid-term review taking place on 14 and 15 March, also takes stock of the Board's efforts since 2019 to support Member States' implementation of the three international drug control conventions and ensure the functioning of the international system for licit trade in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals.

In addition to its normative activities, the document also highlights other initiatives undertaken such as the INCB Learning programme which is building the capacity of competent national authorities to ensure the availability of internationally controlled substances for licit purposes by improved implementation of treaty provisions, with over 150 countries having received training through e-modules and 11 regional training seminars over the past five years. Since 2019, INCB has also recommended 25 chemicals for international scheduling and its precursor control programme has introduced new initiatives to facilitate public private partnerships to prevent illicit drug manufacture and prevent the diversion of specialized equipment used in illicit drug manufacture. The INCB Pre-Export Notification Online Light system has helped to stop shipments amounting to over 350 tons of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) and use of the Precursor Incident Communication System collected information on nearly 2,000 incidents leading to the prevention of the illicit manufacture of more than 120 tons of amphetamine-type stimulants. Operational cooperation facilitated by the INCB's Global Rapid Interdiction of Dangerous Substances (GRIDS) Programme has assisted a Government in South Asia in identifying and arresting drug dealers operating on the dark web and a Government in Europe in dismantling an organized crime group responsible for shipping new psychoactive substances (NPS) and highly potent non-medical synthetic opioids by mail. The GRIDS Programme is also facilitating cooperation between Governments and their private sector partners to prevent dangerous substance trafficking through exploitation of legitimate industries and services.

A third section of the document outlines how these efforts are contributing to progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 3 on good health and well-being and Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions.


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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