INCB calls for more efforts to break the vicious cycle of social exclusion and drug problems

Cape Town - On 29 February, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) together with UNODC Southern Africa launched the Annual Report of the INCB in the Auditorium of the Provincial Legislature of the Western Cape, in Cape Town, South Africa.

The INCB is an independent, quasi-judicial expert body, established to monitor the implementation of the International Drug Control Conventions. Its Annual Report reflects on the previous successes, identifies existing challenges and discusses recent developments affecting global production of and demand for licit and illicit drugs.

The year 2012 marks the centenary of the first international drug convention, the International Opium Convention of The Hague .

UNODC Regional Representative for Southern Africa, Mandiaye Niang, remarked in his address:

"Today, one hundred years later, we are still trying to control the scourge of drug abuse in our communities, trying to prevent that our children become addicted, treating those that were and are addicted and dealing with the effects of drug abuse in our communities: crime, death, families torn apart…"

UNODC Regional Representative, Mandiaye Niang

INCB calls for more efforts to break vicious cycle of social exclusion and drug problems

One emphasis of the 2011 Annual Report is the vicious cycle of social exclusion and drug abuse. Helping marginalized communities experiencing drug problems must be a priority, according to the INCB Report. In communities all over the world, drug abuse and drug trafficking has become virtually endemic, part of a vicious cycle involving a wide array of social problems such as violence, organized crime, corruption, unemployment, poor health and poor education - with youth particularly affected.

South Africa, and particular the communities on the Cape Flats, are named in the Report as a specific example of areas where this vicious cycle continues to exist.

The President of the Board Hamid Ghodse demands that:

"Youth of these communities must have similar chances to those in the wider society and have a right to be protected from drug abuse and drug dependence."

This was also acknowledged by the speakers at the Launch in Cape Town and Mr Niang commended particularly the Western Cape Provincial Government in this regard for its continued efforts and dedication.

In partnership with the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, UNODC is implementing a project entitled - Drug Demand Reduction and related HIV Prevention in the Western Cape. One of the key activities of the project was the survey on the prevalence of substance abuse, mental health and risk behaviour among school going youth in the Western Cape. Approximately 22 000 grades 8-10 were targeted. It is expected that this activity will assist the Provincial Government of the Western Cape to develop evidence-based interventions and also guide the allocation or re-allocation of resources to address substance abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention in the province. The outcomes of the survey will be presented in a report to be released in the second quarter of this year.

The full INCB Report, Executive Summary and Precursor Report are available for free on: