International Narcotics Control Board

International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)

It is an independent, quasi-judicial expert body established by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 by merging two bodies: the Permanent Central Narcotics Board, created by the 1925 International Opium Convention; and the Drug Supervisory Body, created by the 1931 Convention for Limiting the Manufacture and Regulating the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs. INCB has 13 members, each elected by the Economic and Social Council for a period of five years. INCB members may be re-elected. Ten of the members are elected from a list of persons nominated by Governments. The remaining three members are elected from a list of persons nominated by the World Health Organization (WHO) for their medical, pharmacological or pharmaceutical experience. Members of the Board shall be persons who, by their expertise, competence, impartiality and disinterestedness, will command general confidence. Once they have been elected, INCB members serve impartially in their personal capacity, independently of Governments.

Mandate

It is the monitoring body for the implementation of the United Nations international drug control conventions. It was established in 1968 in accordance with the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961. It had predecessors under the former drug control treaties as far back as the time of the League of Nations.

Functions

The functions of the International Narcotics Control Board are laid down in the following treaties: the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961; the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971; and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988

Broadly speaking, the International Narcotics Control Board deals with the following:

  • As regards the licit manufacture of, trade in and use of drugs, the International Narcotics Control Board endeavours, in cooperation with Governments, to ensure that adequate supplies of drugs are available for medical and scientific uses and that the diversion of drugs from licit sources to illicit channels does not occur. The International Narcotics Control Board also monitors Governments’ control over chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of drugs and assists them in preventing the diversion of those chemicals into the illicit traffic;
  • As regards the illicit manufacture of, trafficking in and use of drugs, the International Narcotics Control Board identifies weaknesses in national and international control systems and contributes to correcting such situations. The International Narcotics Control Board is also responsible for assessing chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of drugs, in order to determine whether they should be placed under international control.

In the discharge of its responsibilities, the International Narcotics Control Board:

  • Administers a system of estimates for narcotic drugs and a voluntary assessment system for psychotropic substances and monitors licit activities involving drugs through a statistical returns system, with a view to assisting Governments in achieving, inter alia, a balance between supply and demand;
  • Monitors and promotes measures taken by Governments to prevent the diversion of substances frequently used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and assesses such substances to determine whether there is a need for changes in the scope of control of Tables I and II of the 1988 Convention;
  • Analyses information provided by Governments, United Nations bodies, specialized agencies or other competent international organizations, with a view to ensuring that the provisions of the international drug control treaties are adequately carried out by Governments, and recommends remedial measures;
  • Maintains a permanent dialogue with Governments to assist them in complying with their obligations under the international drug control treaties and, to that end, recommends, where appropriate, technical or financial assistance to be provided.

The International Narcotics Control Board is called upon to ask for explanations in the event of apparent violations of the treaties, to propose appropriate remedial measures to Governments that are not fully applying the provisions of the treaties or are encountering difficulties in applying them and, where necessary, to assist Governments in overcoming such difficulties. If, however, the International Narcotics Control Board notes that the measures necessary to remedy a serious situation have not been taken, it may call the matter to the attention of the parties concerned, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the Economic and Social Council. As a last resort, the treaties empower the International Narcotics Control Board to recommend to parties that they stop importing drugs from a defaulting country, exporting drugs to it or both. In all cases, the International Narcotics Control Board acts in close cooperation with Governments.

Dialogue with Governments

In order to further the aims of the treaties, the the International Narcotics Control Board maintains ongoing discussions with Governments. Such dialogues are pursued through regular consultations and through missions arranged in agreement with the Governments concerned. As a result, for example, countries became parties to the conventions and have strengthened their legislation, particularly concerning psychotropic substances, or have improved coordination of national drug control efforts.

The the International Narcotics Control Board has repeatedly stressed that real and lasting progress in the fight against drug abuse and trafficking depends on the strong commitment of Governments, the establishment of priorities and the allocation of adequate resources by national authorities, since they and they alone are able to take the necessary measures within their countries. To achieve maximum impact, all such national endeavors must be coordinated at both regional and worldwide levels.

Training programmes

In order to enhance the functioning of national drug control administrations, the International Narcotics Control Board secretariat conducts training programmes for drug control administrators, particularly from developing counties. These officials receive training in the implementation of treaty obligations, especially those that relate to cooperation between the International Narcotics Control Board and parties to the treaties. Regional training seminars have not only helped to improve cooperation from participating countries but have also served to enhance collaboration among countries within the regions. These seminars are organized in close cooperation with the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and other competent international organizations, in particular WHO and the International Criminal Police Organization. National administrations also send officials to the International Narcotics Control Board secretariat for training.

Annual report
Based on its activities, the International Narcotics Control Board publishes an annual report that is submitted to ECOSOC through the Commission. The report provides a comprehensive survey of the drug control situation in various parts of the world. As an impartial body, the International Narcotics Control Board tries to identify and predict dangerous trends and suggests necessary measures to be taken. The annual report is supplemented by technical reports on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, giving a detailed account of estimates of annual legitimate requirements in each country as well as data, the licit production, manufacture, trade and consumption of these drugs worldwide.

Furthermore, the report is supplemented by the report to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on the implementation of article 12 of the 1988 Convention which contains an analysis of measures Governments have taken against the diversion of precursors and essential chemicals and trends in illicit trafficking in such substances.

INCB Secretariat

INCB has a secretariat that assists it in the exercise of its treaty-related functions. The INCB secretariat is an administrative entity of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, but it reports solely to the Board on matters of substance.

The INCB secretariat is located in Vienna (Austria).

Hierarchical Display of International Narcotics Control Board

International Organisations > United Nations > UN specialised agency
Social Questions > Health > Pharmaceutical industry > Pharmaceutical product > Psychotropic substance > Narcotic

International Narcotics Control Board

Concept of International Narcotics Control Board

See the dictionary definition of International Narcotics Control Board.

Characteristics of International Narcotics Control Board

[rtbs name=”xxx-xxx”]

Resources

Translation of International Narcotics Control Board

Thesaurus of International Narcotics Control Board

International Organisations > United Nations > UN specialised agency > International Narcotics Control Board
Social Questions > Health > Pharmaceutical industry > Pharmaceutical product > Psychotropic substance > Narcotic > International Narcotics Control Board

See also

  • INCB