Vienna (Austria), 13 March 2023 — The 66th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) opened today, with more than 120 countries gathering to discuss the implementation of the international drug control treaties and drug policy commitments.
The CND is the policymaking body of the United Nations with the prime responsibility for drug control and other drug-related matters. It is responsible for monitoring the world drug situation, developing evidence-based drug control strategies, and recommending measures to address the world drug problem.
The 66th session of the CND began with a high-level opening with interventions from the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Ms. Ghada Waly; the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Mr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; the President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Ms. Jagjit Pavadia; and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Volker Türk.
The Chair of the Commission, His Excellency Mr. Ruiz Blanco of Colombia, opened the discussions by stressing that “failure is not an option. We can only work together, with increased levels of cooperation and better exchange of information, to put an end to the links between drugs, corruption, weapons, human trafficking, and terrorist networks, among others.”
In her opening remarks, Ms. Ghada Waly highlighted that “an effective response to the world drug problem requires a broad global consensus. Today, that consensus needs to be renewed and reinvigorated.”
WHO Director General Dr. Tedros weighed in, stating that “we must strike a balance between policies that protect people against the harms associated with drug use, while making controlled medicines available for medical use, in the context of universal health coverage.”
The President of INCB, Ms. Jagjit Pavadia, stated that the “conventions remain the cornerstone of the international drug control framework and the embodiment of the international community’s commitment to concerted action to address the challenges posed by the world drug problem.”
The Commission is expected to decide on the modalities of the mid-term review of the international drug policy commitments to be held in 2024. It will also consider resolutions on topics such as alternative development; safe handling and disposal of synthetic drugs; strengthening information-sharing; and law enforcement cooperation. More than 155 side events and 27 exhibitions will be held during the session.
During the 66th session, the CND will also consider the recommendations of the WHO on the scheduling of seven substances chemicals under the schedules of the international drug control conventions.
The CND is the main drug-policymaking body of the United Nations (UN) and a governing body of UNODC. The commission is the forum for Member States to exchange knowledge and good practices in addressing and countering the world drug problem.