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    UNIS/NAR/1096
    31 January 2011

    INCB Commences its 100th Session

    VIENNA, 31 January (UN Information Service) - The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) today commenced its hundredth session. Established by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the Board became operational in 1968.

    Opening the hundredth session this morning, the President of the Board, Professor Hamid Ghodse, noted that: "Since its inception, the Board has worked determinedly towards promoting Government compliance with the international drug control conventions. We also promote accession to the three conventions and we are proud that almost universal accession has been reached. However, despite the achievements of the Board, there is still much work to be done. For example, five States have not yet acceded to all three drug control conventions, so we clearly need to continue our efforts in promoting ratification of the conventions."

    The Board reports that the international drug control system has been successful in almost fully eliminating the diversion of controlled substances from licit channels at the international level. However, according to the President, "Diversion of licit drugs continues to be a problem at the national level."

    Professor Ghodse emphasized that efforts to combat illicit drug use and drug trafficking must be carefully implemented in order to prevent negative effects on the availability of licit drugs for licit purposes, such as the treatment of pain and mental illness. According to the President, "there are significant problems with regard to access to medicines that contain internationally controlled substances, especially given limited availability in a number of regions and countries. For example, 90 per cent of the licit drugs are consumed by 10 per cent of the world's population in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and some European countries." The Board will be releasing a special Supplement to its Annual Report that focuses on the issue of availability of controlled substances for medical purposes. The Annual Report of the Board and the Supplement will be launched worldwide on 2 March 2011.

    During its 100th session, the Board will review progress made in ensuring the implementation of the conventions and identify areas where more action is needed.

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    The Board 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. The mandate of INCB is to promote and monitor Government compliance with the provisions of the international drug control conventions.

    The Board has 13 members, each elected by the Economic and Social Council for a period of five years. The current president of the Board is Professor Hamid Ghodse (Iran) and the current members are: Galina Aleksandrovna Korchagina (Russian Federation), Carola Lander (Germany), Melvyn Levitsky (United States), Marc Moinard (France), Jorge Montaño (Mexico), Lochan Naidoo (South Africa), Rajat Ray (India), Viroj Sumyai (Thailand), Sri Suryawati (Indonesia), Camilo Uribe Granja (Colombia), Raymond Yans (Belgium) and Xin Yu (China).

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    For further information, please contact:

    Raechelle Newman
    Drug Control Officer, INCB Secretariat
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5638

    Internet: www.incb.org