International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)
Monitoring the Implementation of the Drug Control Conventions
The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) 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
The mandate of INCB is to promote Government compliance with the provisions of the international drug control conventions.
The international drug control conventions currently in force are:
- The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol
- The Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971
- The United Nations Convention against Illicit Trafﬁc in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988
The three conventions are designed to ensure the safe use of potentially dangerous psychoactive substances, as well as to prevent the use of drugs that have no medical value. They recognize that such substances often have legitimate scientiﬁc and medicinal uses that must be protected but that the abuse of such substances gives rise to public health, social and economic problems.
About 250 substances are controlled under the conventions. The conventions list the substances in different schedules with levels of control that vary depending on the balance between their therapeutic usefulness and the risk of their abuse, including diversion for illegal purposes.
Analysis of reports provided by Governments
There are currently more than 180 States parties to the conventions. They provide to INCB estimates and assessments, as well as statistics, on the actual manufacture of, international trade in and consumption of internationally controlled substances. INCB analyses the data to see whether drugs are accounted for at the main stages of production, manufacture and trade. If there are any discrepancies, they are investigated and the causes clariﬁed. INCB also monitors Government control over chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of drugs and cooperates with Governments in preventing the diversion of such chemicals into illicit channels.
Evaluation and support of national efforts
By examining and analyzing the information it receives from more than 200 countries and territories, INCB monitors whether the conventions are being effectively implemented throughout the world. Through its continuous evaluation of national efforts, INCB is able to recommend action and suggest adjustments to both international and national drug control regimes. Where appropriate, the Board recommends to the relevant United Nations organs, specialized agencies and Governments that technical or ﬁnancial assistance be provided in support of Governments' efforts to comply with their treaty obligations.
Dialogue with Governments
To further the aims of the conventions, INCB maintains ongoing discussions with Governments. If those aims are being endangered by any country, INCB can recommend remedial measures or, as a last resort, propose sanctions against the defaulting country. INCB communicates with Governments, through regular consultations and special missions. Such "quiet diplomacy" has brought about the strengthening of legislation in several countries that have acknowledged the need for coordination of national drug control efforts.
Training for Government officials
To enhance the functioning of national drug control administrations, the INCB secretariat conducts training programmes for drug control administrators. The training focuses on meeting treaty obligations, especially those that relate to cooperation between INCB and parties to the conventions. National administrations may send ofﬁcials to the INCB secretariat for training. Depending on the availability of funds, regional training seminars are organized in close cooperation with the United Nations Ofﬁce on Drugs and Crime or other competent international organizations, in particular WHO.
INCB publishes an annual report on its work. The report provides a comprehensive account of the global drug situation, analyzes trends in drug abuse and drug trafﬁcking and suggests necessary remedial action. Each annual report is supplemented by technical reports on narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors. The technical reports provide details on estimates of the annual legitimate requirements in each country, as well as data on the licit production, manufacture and consumption of, and trade in, drugs and their precursors worldwide. The reports are submitted to the United Nations Economic and Social Council through the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
For information contact:
International Narcotics Control Board
Vienna International Centre
Room E1339, PO Box 500, 1400 Vienna, Austria
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4163
Media enquiries: email@example.com