Press Releases

    UNIS/NAR/856
    6 September 2004

    New Secretary of International Narcotics Control Board Takes up Office

    VIENNA, 6 September (UN Information Service) --- Koli Kouame (Côte d’Ivoire) has taken up his duties as Secretary of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), according to a statement from its President, Professor Hamid Ghodse. Mr. Kouame is replacing Herbert Schaepe (Germany) who retired from the organization on 31 August 2004.

    “The Board is pleased that Mr. Kouame has chosen to return to serve the Board and continue his career as its Secretary,” said Professor Ghodse.

    Prior to his appointment as Secretary of INCB, Mr. Kouame served as Chief of the Africa and the Middle East Section, Partnership in Development Branch, Division for Operations, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). A veteran staff member of the United Nations, who joined the organization in September 1982 as an Associate Social Affairs Officer, Mr. Kouame worked in all the technical units of the Secretariat of the INCB, rising through the ranks to become Chief of the Narcotics Control Unit in 1992. As Chief of the Narcotics Control Unit, Mr. Kouame worked towards maintaining a balance between the licit supply of and demand for opiate raw materials for medical and scientific needs and was instrumental in initiating informal meetings of the Board with the main States importing and producing opiate raw materials.

    Mr. Kouame was the then United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) Regional Director in India from 1995 to 1997, and UNDCP Regional Representative in Kenya from 1997 to 1999. Mr. Kouame also served in peacekeeping missions, namely the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (Namibia) from 1989 to 1990 as well as the United Nations Observer Group for the Verification of Elections in Haiti (ONUVEH) from September 1990 to December 1990.Throughout these demanding assignments in the field, he continued to support the work of the Board. 

    Mr. Kouame holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, USA, as well as a Master’s degree in Applied Social Sciences from the University of Côte d’Ivoire. He is fluent in English, French and several African languages. He is married and has four children.

    The Vienna-based INCB is the independent and quasi-judicial control organ for the implementation of the United Nations drug conventions, established in 1968 by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961. It had predecessors under the former drug conventions since the time of the League of Nations.

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