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    UNIS/NAR/1329
    4 July 2017

    INCB Learning project kicks off regional training for Europe in Vienna

    VIENNA, 4 July (UN Information Service) - The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) is holding a three-day training seminar for European national authorities responsible for implementing the international drug control conventions. The seminar is part of the global INCB Learning project and is taking place at the Vienna International Centre in Austria on 4-6 July 2017. Fifty-seven participants from the national authorities of Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden are taking part.

    During the seminar, participants will strengthen their knowledge of the international drug control framework and the technical reporting obligations of the conventions related to narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals. Participants will gain knowledge on the use of INCB tools, such as the International Import Export Authorization System (I2ES), the Pre-Export Notification (PEN) Online system, the Precursors Incident Communication System (PICS), and IONICS. Monitoring the licit trade in internationally controlled substances and effective reporting to INCB helps prevent the diversion of and trafficking in internationally controlled substances, the abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, while allowing for their improved availability for medical and scientific purposes.

    The importance of ensuring medical access to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances will be addressed in a dedicated session of the seminar, jointly with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). While enough pain relief substances and raw materials are produced to cover reported global demand, three out of four people in the world have limited or no access to pain relief. Based on the findings of the INCB Availability Report published in February 2016, impediments such as lack of training and awareness, the fear of drug dependence and limited financial resources will be discussed.

    The precursors component of the seminar will focus on preventing diversion into illicit drug manufacture, exchanging information on illicit activities, as well as on the use of the INCB electronic tools in the monitoring of licit trade. A representative from the European Commission will join the session on precursors, given the responsibility and competence of the European Union under article 12 of the 1988 Convention. Participants will also be informed of the latest INCB activities under Project ION with regard to new psychoactive substances (NPS), as well as on ways to cooperate and prevent NPS from reaching consumer markets.

    The training seminar for Europe is part of the global INCB Learning project launched in early 2016 to provide technical assistance to Member States in complying with the provisions of the international drug control conventions. The INCB Learning project supports the implementation of the Outcome Document of the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem in providing capacity-building and training on reporting requirements and raising awareness on adequate access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes.

    Training seminars were also successfully held last year for countries in East Africa and South and East Asia and the Pacific, followed by awareness-raising workshops for Kenya and Thailand on medical availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. The global INCB Learning project also includes the production of e-learning modules on the reporting requirements of the drug conventions, as well as the development of a web interface to allow the general public and academia open access to INCB data already available through its publications. The project has been funded to date by the governments of Australia, France and the United States. Future development of the global INCB Learning project will depend on the support of Member States.

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    INCB is the independent, quasi-judicial body mandated to promote and monitor 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 13 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
    Telephone for media inquiries: (+43-1) 26060 4163
    Email: secretariat@incb.org
    Website: www.incb.org