Burying their heads in the sand – INCB ignores the growing calls for drug policy reform

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Burying their heads in the sand – INCB ignores the growing calls for drug policy reform

4 March 2014

The INCB is launching its annual report at 11am. On Tuesday 4th March at a press conference in 1st Floor, Strand Bridge House, 138-142 Strand, London WC2R 1HH.

London, 4th of March, 2014 – The UN International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) will launch its annual report on Tuesday, 4 March. INCB President, Mr Raymond Yans, in the 2013 report’s foreword has called for renewed global efforts in responding to issue of drugs while labelling any reform initiatives, particularly with respect to cannabis, as dangerous and ‘misguided’.

In a political climate in which the international drug control system and the ‘war on drugs’ are being increasingly questioned, the INCB once again seeks to defend the status quo, instead of welcoming modernisation and supporting governments to find ways to deal with new challenges and realities.

For years, the Board has refused to condemn repressive drug policies that result in human rights abuses, mass incarceration, drug market violence, fatal overdose and drug-related HIV transmission. But they have been quick to criticise those countries attempting to fix broken drug policies.

They have shown systematic indifference to UN human rights norms by failing to condemn even the torture of people who use drugs and the execution of those convicted of drug-related crimes.

Ann Fordham, the Executive Director of IDPC, said, “While the Board’s interest in ensuring access to medicines for the relief of pain and suffering is positive, it remains in denial of the urgent calls to have a meaningful debate on the future of global drug policy. The Board is apparently oblivious to the growing number of member states questioning the status quo and exploring alternative policies.

With a fast approaching UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in 2016, leadership on this issue is desperately needed. But far from leading, the INCB is not even looking in the right direction.”

For further information contact:

Ann Fordham, Executive Director, IDPC. Email: afordham@idpc.net Tel. 07970 034810

More resources:

  • INCB Watch
  • IDPC response to the INCB Annual Report for 2012
  • Details about the launch of the 2013 INCB report in other countries

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Related Profiles

  • International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)
  • International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC)
  • Ann Fordham