Unique in International Relations? A Comparison of the International Narcotics Control Board and the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies

28 February 2008

The International Narcotics Control Board has been criticised for being one of the most secretive bodies in the UN system. It holds its meetings behind closed doors. No minutes are published. There is no opportunity for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to observe or make submissions. The INCB has claimed that it is 'unique in international relations', and has used this allegedly unique status to justify its exclusion of civil society from its deliberations and its closed meetings. However, this paper examines the basis for this claim of uniqueness and finds that the most secretive and selective aspects of the Board's operation are a result of its own decisions on working procedures.


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