The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) was established in 1968 as the monitoring body for the implementation of the United Nations international drug control conventions. Tensions have arisen about the way the INCB performs its duties and about its legal interpretation of the conventions which many feel goes beyond its mandate.

  • INCB Watch

    incb-watchThe objective of INCB Watch is to promote the transparency and accountability of the International Narcotics Control Board, by publishing news, publications and commentary about its activities.

    Go to the INCB Watch website

  • IDPC response to the INCB Annual Report for 2017

    Dave Bewley-Taylor & Christopher Hallam
    International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC)
    August 2018

    In the approach to the 2019 Ministerial Segment and its review of international drug control, the INCB’s Annual Report for 2017 is arguably of special importance. The INCB has chosen to stress the core importance of human rights and public health  principles in the implementation of drug control. However, the Board’s conception of human rights within drug control, at times, remains arguably narrow; for example, there is no comment on the human rights impact of crop eradication and drug-policy related violence. The Board’s analysis, as represented here, has shifted to take into account the complexity of contemporary drug markets and of the differing views on the merits and otherwise of international drug policies. To some extent at least, there is a recognition of the validity of divergent visions of drug control, as opposed to a ‘black and white’ understanding of these positions. 

    application pdf

    Download the report (PDF)

  • INCB hearing on the use of cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes

    An inter se agreement on cannabis regulation would allow a group of countries to modify certain treaty provisions amongst themselves
    INCB Civil Society Hearing
    Monday, May 7, 2018

    The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) held a meeting with civil society representatives on the “the use of cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes”. The meeting brought together a number of representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), selected by the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC), and members of the Board. Transnational Institute associate fellow and director of the Global Drug Policy Observatory (GDPO) Prof. Dave Bewley-Taylor, delivered a statement on how states can reconcile treaty obligations with democratically mandated policy shifts at the national level to a legally regulated cannabis market, with due regard for international law, and what role can the Board play in this process?

    application pdfDownload the statement (PDF)

  • INCB should exert caution in presenting data on cannabis regulation

    The INCB has a duty to ensure its contribution to debates on drug control remains balanced and rigorous
    Ann Fordham (IDPC)
    Sunday, May 6, 2018

    At the recent 63rd Session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organisation of American States, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) member who was present, Raúl Martin Del Campo Sánchez, spoke on a panel titled “The link between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Drug Policy: A focus on international organisations”. At the end of a wide-ranging presentation that addressed the drug policy related facets of SDGs 3, 5, 10 and 16, Mr Del Campo Sánchez moved to present several final slides on the “Negative Effects of Cannabis Legalization in the USA”. It was unclear as to how the concluding slides related to the earlier part of the presentation, however Mr Del Campo Sánchez seemed quite determined to make the point that cannabis regulation initiatives at the state-level in the USA had only resulted in negative outcomes.

  • In bid to intimidate Canada on cannabis regulation, INCB is reckless and wrong

    Canada should reject the Board’s false claims and thinly veiled effort at intimidation
    John Walsh (WOLA) and Martin Jelsma (TNI)
    Friday, May 4, 2018

    Chrystia FreelandOn May 1, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland appeared before the Canadian Senate’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade (AEFA) to discuss the international dimensions of Bill C-45 to regulate cannabis. She acknowledged that regulating cannabis would entail “contravening certain obligations related to cannabis under the three UN drug conventions,” adding that, “we have to be honest about that.” Asked about the ‘inter se’ proposal, whereby like-minded nations can negotiate amongst themselves to contract out of certain provisions of the treaty, Minister Freeland replied that the government had discussed the ‘inter se’ concept and that it was worth thinking about: “We are definitely open to working with treaty partners to identify solutions that accommodate different approaches to cannabis within the international framework.”

  • IDPC response to the INCB Annual Report for 2016

    Dave Bewley-Taylor & Christopher Hallam
    International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC)
    September 2017

    idpc incb 2016The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) Annual Report for 2016 is, as usual, a mixed bag of high quality data and sometimes doubtful political views. It is the final Report of the Presidency of Mr. Werner Sipp, and as such represents a comparatively progressive text, in contrast to many previous Reports. Despite this, the general – if ambivalent – acceptance of medical uses of internationally controlled drugs is contrasted by the Board’s continuing defence of the conventions in their current form and their opposition to any non-medical use. As evidenced within the Report for 2016, it seems certain that in this post-UNGASS/pre-2019 period, one of the Board’s key predicaments will be how to deal with the issue of regulated markets for the recreational use of cannabis and their operation beyond the confines of the current treaty framework.

    Download the report (PDF - outside link)


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