Home » Item 5. Implementation of the international drug control treaties (Monday morning)

Item 5. Implementation of the international drug control treaties (Monday morning)

Item 5b

UNODC, Drugs, Laboratory and Scientific Services Branch (DLSSB): Thank you, Mr. Chair. distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, as you’re well aware that new psychoactive substances are not under international control, but they produce the same harmful effects as the ones we have under control. In just over a decade, the number of these substances identified worldwide has grown significantly from just 254 substances in 2013, to 2235 substances as of today. Very few countries have been spared with 142 countries and territories worldwide, reporting the emergence of this path in harmful substances. Member states building on international cooperation through this very commission, and through national responses have made considerable progress in addressing the threats of these substances to human health and welfare. The Commission, since 2014, decided based on signs and solid evidence to play 78 of the most harmful, prevalent, persistent, new psychoactive substances (NPS) under international control. Similarly, the commission has made vital decisions on chemical precursors, which are the building blocks of synthetic drugs. Ten precursors of methamphetamine, ecstasy and fentanyl have been added to the tables of the 1988 convention at a national level. Your responses to the phenomenon of new psychoactive substances (NPS) have been both proactive and innovative. Together, the international and national responses have been hugely successful, fully respectful of science evidence and a complementarity of the conventions and national legislative measures. We have seen a significant reduction in the number of these harmful substances. The overall emergence of new substances on illicit drug markets has also stabilized however, significant challenges remain. New synthetic opioids continue to emerge with 136 of these being actively monitored by UNODC. As of today, they are more analogues of the deadly fentanyl. Another group of very potent opioids, of which five have been scheduled in under three years. Benzodiazepines, for decades, have been a mainstay in therapeutics for their sedative hypnotic properties, but they can impair coordination and motor reflexes. Worryingly, they are increasingly being implicated in cases of drug use whilst driving. Although six of such substances have been placed under international control, they continue to persist in several countries. Delegates, a decade of intense drought control, has taught us some key lessons. Scheduling works but it must be built on signs and irrefutable evidence. It must be pragmatic, and most importantly, be implementable.The building blocks of synthetic drugs, chemical precursors, continue to present challenges.These challenges arise from the sheer number of options, innovating controls, pre-precursor, designer precursors, and so on. We will not schedule our way out of the innovative options with the unique nature of clandestine manufacture, and chemistry presents scientific evidence beyond theoretical chemistry, evidence of use beyond visibility, practicalities and actual implementation, cognizant of resource limitations shall guide actions. The fact that there will be no synthetic drugs without precursors remains undisputable, and it should be our guiding principle, along with a decade long lessons from new psychoactive substances. The need to follow the science and the evidence complements national and international measures with innovative efforts on the ground, build proactive rather than reactive national capacities still remain true. You UNODC will continue to evolve its early warning work to cover both NPS and precursors. We will continue to provide a commission to the state parties, INCB and WHO with accurate scientific information to assist in responding appropriately to imagine trades of NPS and new routes of manufacture of synthetic drugs, and we’re going to do this by strengthening National Forensic capacity to generate, and share quality scientific evidence.

Secondly, enhancing our early warning system to provide a scientific evidence base for your decisions, and thirdly, by providing tailored technical assistance to support your implementation of the scuttling decisions of the CMD. I thank you, Mr Chair.

WHO: Mr Chair, excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen. The 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances mandate the WHO to advise the CND on the appropriate levels of international control, to prevent harm to health caused by psychoactive substances, and to ensure access to substances with proven medical and scientific use. Our mandate adheres to a robust, evidence-based process in assessing substances with potential for abuse, dependence, and harm to health, while also balancing the need for these substances for legitimate medical and scientific use.  Our roles include conducting reviews of substances with potential for abuse, dependence, and harm to health. There are several areas of focus for WHO, including the identification of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) for consideration. WHO has developed a robust system for identifying harmful substances for review by the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. This system allows for input from member states and from international agencies, establishing a network of country focal points for drug policy. Each year, these focal points identify substances not currently under international control that are of concern in their respective countries. Further input is obtained from agencies including UNODC, INCB, and regional agencies, such as EMCDDA and others.  Each substance identified through these processes is evaluated to assess the information available globally on abuse, dependence, and harm to public health. The Expert Committee on Drug Dependence seeks published and unpublished research findings from individual researchers and laboratories, as well as from government and other organizations. WHO also considers whether new data has emerged for substances previously placed under surveillance due to a lack of sufficient information.  From the broad list of substances identified by member states and agencies, and considering the availability of information on each substance, prioritization is carried out to determine which substances to be assessed by the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence at its annual October meeting. A review of scientific and medical literature is then commissioned for each of these substances. Prior to the October meeting, information is sought from member states through their focal points on the frequency of use and harm associated with each of the substances to be considered.  This collected information provides a valuable source for the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, in addition to the cautious review of scientific and medical literature on each substance. The continued development of new psychoactive substances is a major concern to WHO, noting the continued high rate of detection of new psychoactive substances that have not previously been reported. For most of the major drug classes, opioids, and cannabinoids, there is continuous change in the substances identified as being trafficked and used. This high rate of change makes it difficult to identify those substances that are the most persistent, prevalent, and harmful but also means that there is often little information available on any of these substances.  It has been noted by the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence that the amount of information obtained in the review process that is then available to inform the committee’s decisions is diminishing. If it is to recommend a substance for control, the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence needs to ensure that the criteria set out in the conventions are met, but the committee may have difficulty doing so if there is insufficient information on the substance.  The Expert Committee on Drug Dependence has also noted that for some of these drug classes, there is a trend toward the development of substances that are more potent and more toxic compared to substances in the same class used previously. High potency opioids pose a particular health risk with a greater risk of overdose, as well as a significant risk of dependence. Cannabinoids with increased potency and increased toxicity have also been noted in recent years. These various high-potency toxic compounds have been a significant focus for the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence in recent years.  The WHO also notes an increasing amount of psychoactive substances being used for non-medical purposes. An increased number of medicines not previously recognized as being used for non-medical purposes are now being trafficked and used. Some of these are used in countries where they are approved for medical use, while others are psychoactive substances approved for medical use in one or more countries but are illicitly manufactured, trafficked, and used in countries where they are not approved for medical use.  This can mean that a drug considered a significant threat to human health in some countries is viewed as an important medicine in others. The global diversity in the use of various drugs for medical purposes and the exploitation for non-medical purposes can present difficulties for international control. The conventions mandate the need to ensure the availability of psychoactive medicines important for medical and scientific use, as well as the need to minimize the problems associated with the non-medical use of these medicines.WHO recognizes that the limited availability of controlled medicines severely impacts health and welfare in many parts of the world. Continuing efforts to facilitate balanced access to and safe use of medicines under international control are needed to reduce their impact on human health and welfare and to ensure such controlled substances are not diverted to non-medical use [AUDIO FEED CUT-OFF]….

INCB:…These efforts were subsequently compiled and published by the board in early 2020 in the form of a guidance document, which has been utilized by law enforcement (LE), judicial practitioners, and other groups responsible for precursor control. Last year, the board initiated the process for the international scheduling of two designer precursors of amphetamine-type stimulants. Over the past couple of months, we have discussed the board’s proposals and sought clarifications, which we hope to have adequately addressed. Tomorrow, you will vote. Whatever the outcome, the discussions have been enriching, and I thank you for these discussions. We can expect that the international precursor landscape will continue to evolve and will require international collaboration to avoid situations in which traffickers easily circumvent controls by simply switching chemicals. These concepts would need to be universally applied.I would like to conclude by thanking all of you, on behalf of the board, for your valuable feedback and discussions over the past few months. We look forward to continuing our work with you. Thank you for your attention

EU: The diversion of non-scheduled chemicals and the proliferation of precursors are fueling synthetic drugs and posing significant challenges to drug precursor control. Resolution 65/3 outlines a way forward at both national and international levels. At the national level, we are undertaking preparatory work to address designer precursors, which account for 85% of Amphetamine-Type Stimulants (ATS) production in the EU. We commend the recent scheduling proposal to add 16 precursors of ATS to controlled substances. These designer precursors have no known legal use and are derivatives of already controlled substances. Although some of these substances have never been detected or seized by law enforcement, they are considered the most likely substitutes. This proactive strategy will put controls one step ahead of precursors and represents a shift from a reactive to a proactive approach. While this proposal includes only 16 precursors, the possibilities for creating new precursors are countless. We urge the INCB to consider other likely precursors and derivatives and to explore innovative ways to schedule precursors. We also ask the board to consider the 1988 convention in the context of this new situation. The EU is committed to working together globally to tackle this problem. 

Japan: We extend our congratulations to the INCB, World Health Organization WHO, and CND for their efforts in scheduling and supporting the prevention of trafficking of New Psychoactive Substances and precursors. The emergence of precursors in various industries and their control pose significant challenges. This is not merely an issue for individual countries but should be addressed as a concerted regional effort. Member States are required to respond more efficiently to deal with this emerging challenge, and information sharing from the INCB is vital in this regard. It is crucial to implement seamless measures to control NPS and precursors, ensuring effective detection and enhancing border control to break the cycle of trafficking. Evidence-based and scientific information sharing is essential to strengthen domestic capabilities to control NPS and precursors. There is a need for more strategic collaboration with organizations such as the UNODC, INCB, WHO, as well as the private sector and industry, to address the issues raised by NPS and precursor chemicals effectively.

Singapore: Thank you Mr Chair. We are here to join you in the ongoing global fight against drug abuse and trafficking. At the heart of CND’s mission is the prevention and control of illicit drugs and precursors guided by the conventions.This process involves evaluating the harms and risks of various drugs. Importantly the scheduling of substances under the three international drug conventions does not prevent their legitimate access for medical needs. This balance ensures that patients in need of essential medicines receive them while safeguarding against people who abuse them. CND does not prevent countries from placing further controls on substances – this autonomy has been carried out by many countries including Singapore. We introduced new legislation in 2023 based on the ability to produce a psychoactive defect when consumed. However, it is crucial that national policies align with the international regimes. In conclusion the CND in working with other bodies play an indispensable role. Thank you.

China: Thank you. China believes that the emergency of opiates is a problem that can’t be solved by one country. China calls on the bigger drug consuming countries to start with demand reduction and education.

United States: Thank you Mr. Chair, the USA supports the statements it made during HLS on synthetic drugs. We are faced with the challenge of the commission to keep pace with traffickers through international scheduling.International scheduling under the drug control conventions remains a vital cog of our response to this evolving threat and a critical backstop to protect against the diversion of known chemicals and drugs into the illicit market. Two years ago, acting under its treaty mandated function to consider and make recommendations for the implementation of the aims and provisions of the drug conventions. The CND adopted resolution 65/3 on non-scheduled chemicals and designer precursors, calling on countries to take proactive measures to address the uncontrolled chemicals that are fueling the illicit synthetic market. This includes the development of innovative tools that can be applied proactively to rapidly predict and regulate substances that are likely to become targets for diversion before the formal scheduling of substances under the international drug control conventions can take place. We were pleased to see the INCB act proactively this year in response to that resolution to recommend international control of substances that are closely related to precursors encountered in illicit traffic. This is precisely the kind of innovative approach the CND called for in the resolution, and is the kind of action that should be encouraged at national levels as well as the international level is also serves as a powerful demonstration of the real world impact that these resolutions and decisions adopted by this body can yield to enhance our collective response to drug threats. We also applaud the efforts of national authorities and the UNODC to implement CND resolution 66/3 on strengthening information sharing to increase scientific evidence based support for international scheduling and the effective implementation of international scheduling decisions. The ability to generate and share reliable data is essential to our response to this public health and security threat. The international scheduling system relies on the data submitted by Member States both to prioritise substances and chemicals for evaluation, and to complete those evaluations for the past several years. The US has requested that the INCB and WHO review some of the most harmful emerging substances for possible international control and submitted robust supporting data. We urge all countries to actively leverage the new International scheduling system by providing information regarding newly discovered substances or precursor chemicals enacted. We call upon all parties to further strengthen mechanisms for collecting data on new psychoactive substances and synthetic drugs and to share that data with the World Health Organisation to facilitate the treaty mandated review process that is necessary for international control. Thank you Mr Chair.

Colombia: Thank you very much, Chair. I would like to begin by highlighting the difficulties that we face in scheduling drugs. As such it is important for Colombia that CND that recognize local and territorial needs and structurally disproportionate flows, allow for more effective methods of treatment. It is essential to further strengthen the capacities at all levels, which implies exchanging specialised knowledge in addition to trying out technologies and implementing methodologies in order to detect and identify new psychoactive substances (NPS) with a preventive and community-based approach including the testing of substances and public access. As such, it is important for Colombia to ensure that the who and the CND recognise the need to better understand and take control of the dynamism of these schedules including through the review of substance classification in order to address local and territorial needs in a more realistic fashion. The purpose and aims of the schedules must go beyond tackling the structurally disproportionate flows, which is our current situation, rather, we invite the Commission to consider the possibility of amending the schedule in order to facilitate an innovative approach regarding the use of substances allowing for more effective methods of treatment. In Colombia, we are tackling deep challenges when it comes to the identification and detection of new psychoactive substances (NPS). While we seek to strengthen the controls of chemical precursors in a cross cutting fashion through our early warning system, the punitive approach has proven to be unsuccessful based on a public health perspective, we would propose applying equally significant efforts to tackle those challenges related to harm and risk reduction for users, who should equally be addressed as protagonists in a system in particular in light of the differentiated impact on women and children, requiring differentiated special health assistance. This includes the prevention of transmissible diseases linked to drug use, such as HIV/AIDS which have a significant impact on the health system. Based on our experience in Colombia, we would appeal that effort seeking to add new substances for inclusion and scheduling is not only aimed at limiting their use, but quite the contrary. Rather addressing strategies that are focused on ensuring health and quality controls in order to minimise the risks linked to use, in addition to facilitating research regarding the substances. Chair, our national drugs policy is focused on ensuring respect for human rights, public health, social justice, and care for the environment. A regulating tool is needed in order to promote the transition from illicit economies to legal economies, in addition to ensuring fair and equal marketing of substances for the benefit of the most vulnerable segments of the population. Regarding availability of medicines, Colombia is of the view that it is crucial to start a discussion of regulation as a viable tool that respects and guarantees human rights as well as personal choice that ensures control of markets and assures problematic management of use. We believe that the Commission and its subsidiary bodies as a matter of urgency and greater concern should focus its attention on the following for instance;  guaranteeing access to controlled substances and ultimately, to pain management substances. This on repeated occasions has been rejected as a violation of the treaties. Rather, if this were addressed properly, it would have a far greater impact on the well being of our societies. It is important not to lose sight of the fact that in light of the agency’s most recent report that there remains a significant global imbalance when it comes to the availability of controlled substances. Now this imbalance not only undermines the objective of the international drug control treaties, in promoting the health and well being of humankind, but equally it runs counter to numerous human rights instruments addressing the right to health or to medical care, including to palliative care. To put it in the most simple terms, while the use of these medications is considered concentrated in a number of developed countries, the overwhelming majority of the global population has only limited access or no access at all to appropriate pain management treatment and continues suffering from, and dying from, unnecessary pain. Therefore, there is a need to develop strategies in order to guarantee the medical and scientific uses of narcotics and psychotropic substances. We need to prevent their diversion through the progressive implementation of numerous actions, such as the local production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, instruments to facilitate a local or regional production of controlled medications, and precise estimates of medical needs in order to avoid any gaps in unequal availability among countries. In the context of implementation, the principles underpinning international cooperation are technology, transfer of knowledge, capacity building and common and shared responsibility. Thank you very much.

Pakistan: Mr Chair, the treaty mandated with the role of monitoring and promoting compliance with the three international drug control conventions, we believe that the board’s continued engagement with member states and international organizations is critical towards achieving the objectives of these conventions, which remain the cornerstone of the international drug control system. This framework not only addresses the drug problem but also focuses on promoting the health and welfare of people.  Mr. Chair, the INCB has commendably brought forward 18 substances for reporting under international control this year. We appreciate the comprehensive written input shared by the INCB regarding its scheduling recommendations. In the current context, the INCB has indicated that only five substances fulfill the criteria for evidence of misuse, while the remaining 13 substances are recommended as closely related substances, in accordance with CND resolution 65/3.  The board acknowledges that most of these recommendations do not fulfill the criteria specified in the 1988 convention. While we understand the well-intentioned objective to proactively address issues related to illicit drug trafficking, distributing recommendations for the 13 substances without fulfilling the criteria specified in the 1988 Convention and relying closely on the CND resolution raises a legal question regarding the full implementation of the drug control conventions.  We hope that the commission members will be cognizant of this fact while addressing the relevant agenda item tomorrow morning.  I thank you, Mr. Chair

Mexico: Good morning, excellencies, colleagues, Mexico is of the view of of the exponential increase in demand and trafficking of psychoactive substances, chemical precursors, narcotics, or essential chemical products, all of which represent a serious threat to health, the well being of human beings and undermines the economics based, as well as the cultural and political bases of our peoples.  For these reasons we must consider the implementation of emerging mechanisms that will make it possible to allow for the inclusion of these substances in prompt expeditious manner alway in keeping with scientific based evidence for identification of the substances as the use arises for the production of of illicit drugs, these emerging mechanisms should allow for the inclusion of these substances in an efficient manner.   In order to thus ensure that the current control system is able to meet the needs that arise, we note that in view of existing challenges that we face in terms of drugs and psychoactive substances and chemical precursors. Mexico faces the same challenges.  Challenges, which require the development of new mechanisms in order to further streamline and facilitate the control of the substances as well as strengthening the regulatory framework currently in place, in addition to ensuring comprehensive follow up to guarantee traceability of the substances in Mexico, this is carried out through the implementation of a platform which ensures traceability of such chemical substances.  we restate the availability of our national regulatory authority to continue working in a coordinated fashion and through international cooperation.

Kenya: We appreciate and honor the treaty-mandated role of the WHO and the INCB in identifying and conducting research on substances while evaluating their impact on human health. We take note of the emergence of new NPS and the efforts of the INCB in scheduling these substances.I wish to once again urge the WHO to undertake further evaluation of tramadol and ketamine, whose use and misuse are on the rise. Control of these substances is critical to address public health concerns.

India: The global community continues to grapple with the burden of drug use disorders. In many regions of the world, NPS present newer challenges. The supply control sector struggles to limit the availability of these substances, while the demand control sector faces limited capacities due to inadequate data related to NPS. The solution lies in increasing understanding and building capacity at all levels. This requires reaching out to NPS users and engaging with CSOs. We must be better equipped to identify and control NPS through technology. NPS can be used in a standalone manner or in combination with other substances. It is crucial to identify the composition of substances people are using. Various agencies and stakeholders must collaborate. In India, collaboration has proven to be very successful. The Medical Sciences Institute in Delhi has been supported to identify NPS in body fluids of those seeking treatment. This will help identify trends and inform scheduling decisions. Additionally, wastewater analysis and lab facilities to test drugs can be utilized. We remain hopeful in facing the challenges posed by NPS to ensure the timely scheduling of these substances.

Indonesia: We support the integration of the 2016 UNGAS outcome document regarding new psychoactive substances particularly and amphetamine type drugs. We would like to share the reporting mechanism in our context which could serve as a format for other places. The Ministry of Health lab managed by customs collaborates on a preview of data and our international committee from toxicology labs conduct a scientific review of the new psychoactive substances which later will result in national recommendations of the proposed NPS which will go into national recommendations. We have 94 NPS of which 87 have been regulated and 7 have not yet been recommended. We have encountered challenges including the need for a correct identification method, lack of capacity, and lack of available data. In response to these challenges we call for additional studies as appropriate. Thank you.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Thank you, the United Kingdom are committed to drug control conventions and strike a balance between drug control and public health. Synthetic opioids pose a significant threat to public health and safety. The United Kingdom are about to ban 15 new precursors (cut out with audio issues – was a very short statement and not much was missed).  

Smart Approaches to Marijuana: Thank you Chair and thank you excellences for the opportunity to speak. We come to state that the biggest challenge we’re facing is turning our backs to the prevention of drug use before it starts and celebrating recovery. It’s a noble goal. We strive for a society free of poverty, conflict, societies, why not free of chemicals that enslave our brains. We agree with the INCB that it’s unacceptable for states to do things that threaten international cooperation. For example, cannabis. Today’s cannabis is very strong, peddled by multinational corporations whose motive is profit. In Canada and the US we have a very bad addiction crisis from unintentional poisoning and polydrug use with cannabis. We agree that we should use harm reduction but it should be a means to an end of recovery. We should meet people where they’re at but not leave them there. We’re feeling the negative effects of drug policies like cannabis legalisations. Some use the guise of decriminalisation to say they’re promoting legal drug use but often it just prolongs legal suffering. For example, Oregon. Oregon removed any incentive for treatment and now Oregon is the worst state in the country for homelessness, drug use, etc. and now even their far left gov is going to repeal the decriminalisation of drugs. We are not calling to criminalise addiction, we understand its a complex disorder and many paths to recovery. But calling for safe supply is not the way out. An international legal drug industry is likely the leverage multilateral investment treaties. We cannot have one policy of discouraging tobacco use and another of encouraging drug use. We ask that all states follow the three international treaties. We remind member states to implement their obligations from these conventions. They are the backbone and adaptable to cultural differences, however they should not adapt to political whims or the whims of for profit business schemes and condemn people to a life of addiction.

Item 5c

INCB: Thank you, Mr Chair, I’m honoured to present the 2023 INCB report. We present this report with a focus on the internet and social media. In addition to dark media, social media is being used to market and traffick new synthetic drugs including fentanyl. They also present opportunities. Telemedicine, for instance, can improve access to treatment services, and social media platforms have the potential to reach young people with prevention advice, NCD recommends that the governments should develop and conduct drug use prevention campaigns utilising social media. Chapter 2 of the annual report reviews the functioning of the international drug control system, including the availability of controlled substances for medical or scientific purposes. Which I will cover under item five. Chapter 3 of the report presents a selection of global issues, including an update on the control status of ketamine in view of recent developments, and its medical use and reports of increase in non medical use and seizures. Ketamine was one of the target substances in INCB intelligence operations in 2020 and 2023, in which a total of 274 ketamine incidents were reported, and over 500 kilos or sees the most recent operation in total. In total, over five tonnes of CS ketamine have been communicated by governments through the ICP ionic system. Further global issues highlight challenges and opportunities and promote drug treatment and rehabilitation according to the UNODC and WHO international standards for the treatment of drug use disorders after the COVID 19 pandemic. INCB urges states to ensure access to voluntary evidence-based treatment and services to address systematic systemic disparities and ensure inclusivity and continue to focus efforts to combat stigma and discrimination. INCB calls on governments to close compulsory treatment facilities and shift efforts and resources to evidence-based treatment services and alternatives to incarceration. INCB also encourages collaboration between governments and the international community to strengthen management and monitoring capacities, data collection and data sharing which serve to inform and improve public policies and the provision of treatment and rehabilitation services. INCB or just says to implement continuous review mechanisms directed at licence treatment facilities and their territories to ensure compliance with the standards.

A further global issue highlights the growing evidence of significant linkages between drug related crimes and the environment. I see it because some governments with international community support take urgent actions to address environmental threats prioritising the safety and well being of local indigenous and vulnerable populations.

I have already touched upon many of the recommendations contained in the report. However, I would like to briefly emphasise three points. Universal adherence to the drug control conventions is critically important and ICB urges states that have not yet become party to one or more of those of the treaties to take steps to do so without delay. Given the substantial proportion of overdose deaths resulting from illicit fentanyl manufacture and newly emerging highly potent synthetic non fentanyl opioids encountered in the drug market globally. INCB encourages governments to participate in INCB’s GRIDS programme, training and utilise the ICT tools. INCB reiterates its concern regarding the legalisation of the use of cannabis for non medical purposes. Recourse to the thematic chapter of its 2022 report and reminds all parties to the 1961 conventions as amended that, that under Article four paragraph C and under the provisions of the convention, the production, manufacture, export/ import the distribution of trade a use and possession of drugs are limited exclusively to medical use and scientific purposes. The apparent tension between these provisions and the trend toward legalisation need to be addressed by the signatories of the drug control conventions.  Moving on to INCB’s precursors report. The report analyses the word precursor situation, which is characterised by a fast changing pace of illicit drug manufacture, with pre precursors or custom made precursors increasingly being used to circumvent controls. The report also highlights activities aimed at helping governments to address the detected trends in illicit drug manufacturing. We briefly mentioned some of them.Firstly, the report highlights that one of the most important elements of successful industry cooperation is knowledge and understanding of the range of industries that deal with the chemicals used for illicit drug manufacture, and thus may often unknowingly be targeted by traffickers. Secondly, I see this platform pen online, pen online light and  continue to prove their effectiveness. INCB’s light launch in 2022 has helped to subsidise multi township modes of GRIDS in 2023. As in the past, investigations have been affected for real time information sharing through pics The report also analyses practices and free trade zones and the thematic chapter provides an account of the implications of conflict and unresolved rhetorical disputes for precursor control. Both issues are also covered in the NCBI annual report as global issues. Lastly, I would like to reiterate the critical importance of the quality and timeliness of data for meaningful analysis, identification of new developments and actions to prevent the diversion of chemicals to illicit laboratories, INCB urges governments to make every effort to report complete information or form the pursuant to Article 12 as the 1988 convention by the deadline of 30 of June. CB looks forward to continued cooperation with the Commission and member states in implementation of the conventions, and the recommendations contained, and then 2023 report. Thank you.

European Union (on behalf of EU): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU and its member states. The following countries align themselves with this statement: North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Armenia, Andorra, and San Marino.  The EU expresses its support for the INCB and emphasises its important role in assisting governments concerning the three international drug control conventions. We value the work of the INCB and welcome its annual report for 2023, particularly its focus on human rights, which aligns with the EU drug strategy and action plan for 2021-2025. This human rights-based approach to drug policies, as highlighted by the INCB, is crucial for safeguarding the health and welfare of humanity.  We appreciate the INCB’s increased focus on health, including mental health, which corresponds to the latest actions undertaken by the EU, such as the recent Council conclusions on individuals with drug use disorders co-occurring with other mental health disorders. These conclusions stress the need for a multidisciplinary approach, responses to the needs of people with these disorders, and minimising stigma and discrimination, including a gender-sensitive perspective.  Furthermore, we strongly support the INCB’s opposition to the death penalty for drug-related offences, as the EU and its member states are unequivocally opposed to the use of the death penalty under all circumstances. We agree that any extrajudicial actions taken purportedly in pursuit of drug control objectives are fundamentally contrary to the provisions and objectives of the international drug control conventions and to human rights norms.  The EU and its member states recognize the importance of collecting comprehensive and timely quality data for reliable trend analysis. Improving data collection and information exchange within and among Member States and our agencies, such as Europol and the EU drugs agency, remains a priority.  In the short and medium term, we will also be focusing on structured information exchange to support the fight against drugs and precursor trafficking. As we table a resolution on access to and availability of controlled medicines during this CND session, we express appreciation for the e-modules developed by INCB learning, aimed at building capacity and raising awareness about adequate access to controlled substances.  Regarding drug precursors, we thank the board for its initiatives in furthering international cooperation, highlighting the need to tackle the diversion of non-scheduled substances and the trafficking of designer precursors, such as the recent scheduling proposal of 16 designer precursors for amphetamine-type stimulants. The INCB’s paper on options to address the proliferation of non-scheduled chemicals deserves further attention from the international community.  Given these new practices and rapid developments in the drug market, we wonder whether the INCB could assess the effectiveness and feasibility of generic approaches to scheduling new psychoactive substances under the UN conventions. We also suggest reflecting on the possibility of mandating the INCB to expand the GRIDS ionics platforms, which track shipments to include scheduled substances, facilitating rapid scheduling at international, regional, and national levels.  We assure the INCB of the continued support of the European Union and its member states and our commitment to further fruitful and effective cooperation.

Netherlands (Kingdom of the): Thank you, Mr. Chair, for giving me the floor. The Netherlands aligns itself with the statement made by the EU. We would like to express our gratitude for the important work of the INCB in promoting the implementation of the international drug conventions, with the health and welfare of humankind as its ultimate goal. We appreciate the emphasis on a balanced approach in drug policy, which mirrors our own strategy. An important new step in our drug policy is the adoption of a new bill on psychoactive substances by our House of Representatives. This bill introduces a separate list into our Dutch Opium Act, containing groups of substances instead of individual ones, enhancing our efforts against the manufacture and availability of illicit drugs and supporting the prevention of use and harms of new psychoactive substances.We welcome the Board’s attention to the availability of narcotic drugs for medical purposes. Similarly, the focus on human rights, including proportionate sentencing and the abolishment of the death penalty, is crucial for the Netherlands, and we fully support this stance.For drug policies to be effective, they must be evidence-based. We welcome the INCB’s annual report recommendation for member states to collect and share internationally data on drug use, strengths, and treatment demands. Discovering what works, what doesn’t, and what needs improvement requires exploring new paths and initiatives. This approach underpins the Netherlands’ decision to set up a closed-chain cannabis experiment, aimed not at stimulating cannabis use but at finding solutions concerning public nuisance, crime, and public health. This experiment has started in two municipalities and will expand to another eight later this year. We have kept the Board informed about this and remain open to discussions, emphasising that conclusions and political decisions will follow only after a scientific evaluation of the gathered data.  We also welcome the INCB’s recommendation on prevention campaigns and awareness-raising messages. Evidence-based campaigns tailored to inform potential and current drug users are crucial. Our experience shows the value of tailor-made approaches to deliver the right message to specific target groups, influencing behaviour positively without stigmatising or normalising drug use—outcomes we all wish to avoid.In conclusion, let me reaffirm my country’s support for the INCB and assure you of our continued willingness to cooperate excellently with the Board

France: We endorse the statement from the EU. The conventions serve as the cornerstone of our efforts, ensuring coherence, coordination, and respect for human rights. The INCB plays a crucial role in better implementing the three main drug control conventions. We ensure measures are in place to prevent drug abuse, provide rehabilitation for users, and ensure the availability of controlled substances for medical reasons. We have worked to devise tailored strategies to address conditions on the ground effectively. We fully support the INCB and hope that the French expert will be reelected this year, given their experience working in both the INCB and the UNODC. They meet all requirements, and we hope they can count on the support of member states to capitalize on the board’s work alongside other UN bodies.

China: The INCB has played an important role in monitoring the drug situation and overseeing the implementation of conventions. We recognize the valuable work of the INCB and appreciate the efforts of its staff in supporting our control efforts. We place great importance on and support the control system provided by the three conventions and will continue to avail ourselves of the tools provided by the INCB. We hope that the INCB will continue its mandate and maintain neutrality in its deliberations on the scheduling of substances. We firmly oppose the legalization of cannabis and uphold the integrity of the conventions.

United States of America: Thank you chair. The US welcomes the contributions of the INCB – they provide vital services that help prevent drug trafficking including its role in the drug scheduling process and other important programs as well as the program where governments can share notifications. As stated by the secretary last week, the US urges all governments to take advantage of the tools available through INCB to facilitate cooperation. We took note of the board’s assessment that trafficking and synthetic drugs and their precursors are a growing issue. We encourage all interested countries to join our important initiative addressing this. We heard during the high level segment that synthetic substances are a big concern. We urge the board to pay close to attention to the synthetic drug crisis. Thank you, chair.


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