South Asia: Presentation of the annual report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) 2010

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) in collaboration with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) for India and Bhutan presented the 2010 Annual Report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) on 3 March 2011 in New Delhi, India. The report had been released a day earlier at the United Nations Office in  Vienna. The  UNODC Regional Office for South Asia presented the key findings of the report to South Asian High Commissioners, key officials from Government of India and Drug Liaison Officers of various countries based in the capital.

The INCB is an independent and quasi-judicial control organ established for monitoring the implementation of the United Nations international drug control conventions. The Board has been instituted in virtue of the  following treaties:  The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961; The Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971; and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.  Its function is to  engage with Governments to ensure that adequate supplies of drugs are available for medical and scientific uses and that the diversion of drugs from licit sources to illicit channels does not occur. It also monitors Governments' control over chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of drugs and assists them in preventing the diversion of those chemicals into illicit trade.

According to the  international drug control treaties, the INCB prepares an annual report that contains the analysis of the drug control situation worldwide so that Governments are made aware of existing and potential situations that may endanger the objectives of the treaties. The INCB identifies and predicts trends in the areas relating to drug production, trafficking and abuse as well as to precursor control and suggests necessary measures to be taken.

The event in Delhi was opened by Ms Kiran Mehra Kerpelman, Director UNIC, who delivered the welcome address which was followed by the introductory remarks by Ms Cristina Albertin, Representative UNODC ROSA.  Mr. O.P.S. Malik, Director General, Narcotics Control Bureau, Government of India delivered the key note address focussing on  the linkages between organised crime, law enforcement and corruption. Thereafter, Dr Rajat Ray, currently serving the INCB Board as a member,  presented the salient features of the report which was followed by a discussion amongst the participants.

The special theme of this year's report is 'Drugs and Corruption" and a supplement on "Availability of Internationally Controlled Drugs: Ensuring Adequate Access for Medical and Scientific Purposes" has also been prepared. The key findings for South Asia are:

  • South Asia is one of the main regions used by drug traffickers to obtain chemicals for the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine.

-        Criminal networks target Bangladesh as a source of pharmaceutical products containing precursor chemicals.

-        India increasingly uncovers facilities for illicit manufacture of methamphetamine destined for other countries.

  • Pharmaceutical products containing narcotic drugs  and psychotropic substances are widely abused.

-        Significant increase in seizures of buprenorphine (a synthetic opioid and a painkiller) in Bangladesh.

-        India is a main source of psychotropic substances sold via illegal internet pharmacies.

-        Pharmaceutical preparations containing codeine often seized in Bhutan, India and Nepal.

  • High rates of HIV infection reported among people who abuse drugs by injection in some cities.
  • Ketamine is increasingly abused in East and South-East Asia.

-        Previously reported to originate in China and other countries in that region.

-        In India the number of large seizures of ketamine has been on a rise.

Click here to read the INCB Report 2010.

To know more about the INCB, visit