For information only - not an official document
19 April 2016
International Narcotics Control Board's President addresses opening of the special session of the General Assembly on the World Drug Problem
VIENNA/NEW YORK, 19 April (UN Information Service) - At the opening of the United Nations General Assembly special session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem, being held in New York between 19 and 21 April, Werner Sipp, President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) called on Member States to reaffirm their commitment to the international drug control conventions, in the spirit of common and shared responsibility, and to implement those conventions in a comprehensive, integrated and balanced manner with full respect for human rights and the principle of proportionality.
Mr. Sipp emphasized that the "conventions never called for a war on drugs" and that policies "which are associated with militarized law enforcement, disregard for human rights, over-incarceration, the denial of medically appropriate treatment and inhumane or disproportionate approaches are not in accordance with the principles of the conventions".
Mr. Sipp also recalled that "the promotion of the health and welfare of mankind is the ultimate goal of the drug control conventions" and that "a grave imbalance exists in the availability of and access to medicines containing controlled substances". The INCB President stressed that the three conventions provide a comprehensive framework for addressing the global drug problem, yet their implementation to date has been neither comprehensive, nor balanced.
Mr. Sipp addressed the opening plenary meeting of the special session along with the President of the General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Jan Eliasson, the Chair of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Vladimir Galuska, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Yury Fedotov, and the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan.
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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