Mandate and Functions
The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) is the independent and quasi-judicial monitoring body for the implementation of the United Nations international drug control conventions. It was established in 1968 in accordance with the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961. It had predecessors under the former drug control treaties as far back as the time of the League of Nations.
The functions of INCB are laid down in the following treaties: the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961; the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971; and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.
INCB deals with the following:
In the discharge of its responsibilities, INCB:
INCB is called upon to ask for explanations in the event of apparent violations of the treaties, to propose appropriate remedial measures to Governments that are not fully applying the provisions of the treaties or are encountering difficulties in applying them and, where necessary, to assist Governments in overcoming such difficulties. If, however, INCB notes that the measures necessary to remedy a serious situation have not been taken, it may call the matter to the attention of the parties concerned, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the Economic and Social Council. As a last resort, the treaties empower INCB to recommend to parties that they stop importing drugs from a defaulting country, exporting drugs to it or both. In all cases, INCB acts in close cooperation with Governments.
Dialogue with Governments
In order to further the aims of the treaties, the Board maintains ongoing discussions with Governments. Such dialogues are pursued through regular consultations and through missions arranged in agreement with the Governments concerned. As a result, for example, countries became parties to the conventions and have strengthened their legislation, particularly concerning psychotropic substances, or have improved coordination of national drug control efforts.
The Board has repeatedly stressed that real and lasting progress in the fight against drug abuse and trafficking depends on the strong commitment of Governments, the establishment of priorities and the allocation of adequate resources by national authorities, since they and they alone are able to take the necessary measures within their countries. To achieve maximum impact, all such national endeavors must be coordinated at both regional and worldwide levels.
In order to enhance the functioning of national drug control administrations, the INCB secretariat conducts training programmes for drug control administrators, particularly from developing countries. These officials receive training in the implementation of treaty obligations, especially those that relate to cooperation between INCB and parties to the treaties. Regional training seminars have not only helped to improve cooperation from participating countries but have also served to enhance collaboration among countries within the regions. These seminars are organized in close cooperation with the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and other competent international organizations, in particular WHO and the International Criminal Police Organization. National administrations also send officials to the INCB secretariat for training.
Based on its activities, INCB publishes an annual report that is submitted to ECOSOC through the Commission. The report provides a comprehensive survey of the drug control situation in various parts of the world. As an impartial body, INCB tries to identify and predict dangerous trends and suggests necessary measures to be taken. The annual report is supplemented by technical reports on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, giving a detailed account of estimates of annual legitimate requirements in each country as well as data, the licit production, manufacture, trade and consumption of these drugs worldwide.
Furthermore, the report is supplemented by the report to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on the implementation of article 12 of the 1988 Convention which contains an analysis of measures Governments have taken against the diversion of precursors and essential chemicals and trends in illicit trafficking in such substances.
The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) consists of 13 members who are elected by the Economic and Social Council and who serve in their personal capacity, not as government representatives. Three members with medical, pharmacological or pharmaceutical experience are elected from a list of persons nominated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and 10 members are elected from a list of persons nominated by Governments.
The term of office of each member of the Board shall end on the eve of the first meeting of the Board which his successor shall be entitled to attend (Article 10 paragraph 2 of the 1961 Single Convention).
The President of the INCB is Cornelis P. de Joncheere (National of the Netherlands).
Cooperation with Ukraine
In accordance with the international drug control treaties, the Board prepares an annual report on its work. In that report, the Board analyses the global drug situation and alerts Governments to existing and potential trends that may threaten drug control efforts and recommends improvements at both national and international levels. The report is based on information provided by Governments and international bodies to the Board. The annual report of the Board is supplemented by three detailed technical reports on narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and on precursor chemicals which can be used in the illicit manufacture of drugs.
The main Central Authorities of Ukraine, responsible for the cooperation with the Board, are the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the State Service of Ukraine on Medicines and Drugs Control.
From 10 to 13 September 2019, the Board conducted a mission to Ukraine to discuss the country's efforts to implement the three international drug control conventions and to strengthen the Board's cooperation with the Ukrainian Government. Ambassador (ret.) David Johnson, member and vice-president of the Board, led the mission with the support of Ms. Karin Esposito of the Board's secretariat. The mission was organized by Ukraine's Ministry of Health.
The INCB delegation met with Ukraine's Minister of Health and held talks with senior officials from the National Police, the Security Service, State Border Guard Service, and Ministries of Justice; Foreign Affairs; Social Policy; Youth and Sports; and Education. As part of the discussions with the Ministry of Health, the INCB mission met with stakeholders in the State Service of Ukraine on Medicines and Drugs Control; the Pharmaceutical Directorate; the Center for Mental Health and Monitoring of Drugs and Alcohol; the Center for Public Health; and the Kyiv City Narcological Clinical Hospital. On 13 September, the INCB mission held consultations with representatives of multiple civil society groups to discuss national drug policy developments.
INCB has a secretariat that assists it in the exercise of its treaty-related functions. The INCB secretariat is an administrative entity of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, but it reports solely to the Board on matters of substance.
The INCB secretariat is located at the:
Vienna International Centre
P.O. Box 500,
The Secretary of the Board is Mr. Andrés Finguerut.