Mandate and functions

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) reviews and analyzes the global drug situation, considering the interrelated issues of prevention of drug abuse, rehabilitation of drug users and supply and trafficking in illicit drugs. It takes action through resolutions and decisions.

Functional commission of the Economic and Social Council

The Commission was established by the Economic and Social Council as one of its functional commissions on 16 February 1946 (resolution 9(I)). The Commission assists the Council in supervising the application of the international drug control treaties. It also advises the Council on all matters pertaining to the control of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors.

Normative functions

The CND has important normative functions under the international drug control conventions. It is authorized to consider all matters pertaining to the aims of the Conventions and see to their implementation. As a treaty organ under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961) and the Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971) the Commission decides, on the basis of recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO), to place narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances under international control. Pursuant to the Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988) the Commission decides, upon the recommendation of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), to place precursor chemicals frequently used for the manufacture of illicit drugs under international control. The Commission may also decide to remove or modify international control measures over drugs, psychotropic substances or precursors.

Governing body of the UNODC drug programme

In resolution 1991/38 of the Economic and Social Council, the Commission was requested to give policy guidance to and to monitor the activities of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP), which is administered by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 46/185 of 20 December 1991, the Commission approves, on the basis of the proposals of the Executive Director, the budget of the Fund of UNDCP. In resolution 1999/30 of the Economic and Social Council, the Commission was requested to enhance its functioning. To that end, the agenda of the Commission was structured into two distinct segments: a normative segment, during which the Commission discharges its treaty-based and normative functions; and an operational segment, during which the Commission exercises its role as the governing body of UNODC.  

Monitoring political commitments on drug control

The Commission monitors all commitments on strengthening actions at the national, regional and international levels to accelerate the implementation of joint commitments to address and counter the world drug problem, as enshrined in the 2019 Ministerial Declaration, the outcome document of the General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem (UNGASS), as well as the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action and its 2014 review.