UNODC is cosponsor of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS - UNAIDS
Release of 2008 Annual Report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)
Jointly with the United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan
Contributor: Mr. Rajiv Walia, Regional Programme Coordinator, UNODC ROSA
The 2008 Annual Report of the International Narcotics Control Board was released on 19 February 2009 in the UN conference Hall, New Delhi. The report was released by Mr. J.K. Batra, Member (Customs & Anti Smuggling), Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) in the presence of Ms. Ashita Mittal, Deputy Representative and Officer-in-Charge of UNODC Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA), Ms. Shalini Dewan, Director, UN Information Centre for India and Bhutan and Mr. Rajiv Walia, Regional Programme Coordinator, UNODC ROSA.
The Report highlights the achievements of the centennial of the Drug Control System. It also identifies challenges such as better access to controlled medicines, inconsistent implementation of cannabis control provisions and "rogue"internet pharmacies which promote drug abuse among vulnerable groups, in particular the youth, The Report release was followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.
Following the release, Mr. Rajiv Walia, Regional Programme Coordinator, UNODC ROSA, explained through his presentation the role of INCB, key findings in the report relating to
trafficking and use of opiates, amphetamines type stimulants, cannabis and its resin and pharmaceuticals in respect to South Asia. The Report also elucidates the HIV transmission rate among injection drug users in South Asia.
Ms. Ashita Mittal, Deputy Represen tative and Officer- in -Charge UNODC ROSA in her inaugural
speech s hared the emerging concerns and regional responses relating to
trafficking of drugs and their use. She said that the Report warns about the new channels of diversion of ephedrine and pseudo ephedrine, the chemicals used in the manufacture of amphetamine type stimulants (ATS) such as methamphetamine, amphetamine and ecstasy. This is despite the fact that in 2008, INCB supported international initiatives targeting trafficking of ATS precursor chemicals, led to the seizure of 37.1 tons of ephedrine and pseudo ephedrine. This prevented the potential manufacture of over 23 tons of methamphetamine. In South Asia, India is a major producer of these chemicals. She complemented India for the strong regime on control of precursor chemicals. However, despite all efforts, the international mafia is setting up clandestine labs for producing ATS in the region. Over the last five years, law enforcement personnel have neutralized six clandestine labs in India and one in Sri Lanka.
The Chief Guest, Mr. J.K. Batra, Member (Customs & Anti Smuggling), CBEC, shared his views on the drug control measures in India. He mentioned that India follows a multi agency approach to reduce the illicit
supply of narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances. The empowered agencies include the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), the Central Bureau of Narcotics, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Customs and Central / State Excise formations, border agencies like BSF, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), State Police and in some states the Forest departments. All of these agencies are empowered to enforce the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. He acknowledged the good work done by law enforcement agencies in India and urging them to improve their cooperation for a society free of drugs.
The release ended with a Question & Answer session between the media and the panelists comprising of Ms. Jagjit Pavadia, Narcotics Commissioner, Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN), Mr. Om Prakash, Deputy Director General, NCB, Mr. Surinder Singh, Drug Controller General of India and Mr. Chaitanya Murthy, Deputy Secretary and Director, National Institute of Social Defence, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
It was an interactive seminar which was well attended by personnel from the national and international electronic and print media.