Economic and Social Council


1088th Plenary Meeting
30 July 1959

1959/730(XXVIII)D.Provisional control of new narcotic drugs*/


The Economic and Social Council,

Recalling its resolutions 436 G(XIV) of 27 May 1952 and 548 H I(XVIII) of 12 July 1954,

Noting that certain new drugs liable to produce addiction have been marketed in and exported from some countries for considerable periods before controls have been applied to them, and that in other countries there has sometimes been a considerable lapse of time between the receipt of a communication from the Secretary-General of the United Nations notifying a decision of the World Health Organization that a drug should be controlled, and the giving of effect to that decision by national measures, with the result that the drug has for a period been in use in those countries without any control,

Considering that in order to prevent abuse of new addiction-producing drugs it is essential that in any country in which they are produced they should be subjected, before trade in them, whether internal or export, takes place, to the control measures prescribed in the International Opium Convention signed at Geneva on 19 February 1925, the Convention for Limiting the Manufacture and Regulating the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs signed at Geneva on 13 July 1931, as amended by the Protocol signed at Lake Success on 11 December 1946 and the Protocol signed at Paris on 19 November 1948 bringing under International Control Drugs outside the Scope of the Convention of 13 July 1931,

Considering further that all countries should take steps to subject to such control measures without delay any new drug as soon as they are notified of a decision that it is addiction-producing,

Urges Governments to ensure the effective control of new narcotic drugs by taking the following action:

(a) The Government of a country in which any new drug for which its inventors claim powerful analgesic of anti-tussive properties is produced should, before the drug is marketed, examine the possibility of subjecting it provisionally, and until the World Health Organization has pronounced upon its liability to cause addiction, to the control measures prescribed by the above-mentioned Conventions, including the application of the system of import certificates and export authorizations;

(b) Where a Government has notified the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in accordance with article 1 of the Protocol signed at Paris on 19 November 1948, that it considers a drug to be liable to produce addiction, all other Governments, on being informed by the Secretary-General of this notification, should examine the possibility of the immediate and provisional application to the drug of the control measures prescribed in the above-mentioned Conventions, even, in the case of a notification under the 1948 Protocol, in advance of a decision as to provisional control by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and should equally bear in mind the application of similar measures of control provided for in the 1931 Convention where the notification is made under article 11 of that Convention and relates to a product obtained from the phenanthrene alkaloids of opium or from the ecgonine alkaloids of the coca leaf;

(c) All Governments should, on the communication to them by the Secretary-General of the United Nations of a finding of the World Health Organization, or of a decision of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs for provisional control, relating to a particular drug, impose the necessary controls as a matter of urgency, and with the least possible delay after the communication has been received.

1088th plenary meeting,
30 July 1959.

*/ Adopted as recommended by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in its resolution 4 (XIV) (E/3254-E/CN.7/376, paras. 105, 328 and chapter XIV, sec. 1 draft resolution C), with minor amendments.