Rome, 26 June 2014. To celebrate the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (26 June), UNICRI will participate in the Global Addiction Conference, which will take place in Rome on 24-26 June 2014.The Conference is organized by the Global Addiction Association, a knowledge-sharing facility for all those involved in the understanding and treatment of addiction.
At the opening of the conference, Mr. Jonathan Lucas, UNICRI Director and former Secretary of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), will deliver a speech on building capacity for national drug control administrations to improve access to controlled substances through the application of the international drug control conventions. The three international drug control treaties, namely the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances provide guidance to Member States for the governance of their national drug control systems, with the objective of ensuring the availability of controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes and of preventing their diversion into the illicit market. Insufficient monitoring and control of licit activities related to narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals can result in diversion and abuse, and severe impediments in ensuring the adequate availability of internationally controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes.
In order to improve Governments' ability to ensure availability of controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes to their citizens, UNICRI and the INCB Secretariat have offered a training programme for national drug control administrations, in collaboration with UNODC. This activity aimed to assist countries to identify the particular impediments for the scientific and medical use of internationally controlled substances, in order to enhance access to medicines, protect fundamental rights and promote a more efficient use of public health resources. Through its delivery, UNICRI and INCB have already trained 24 national drug control administrators from 12 West African countries and are currently expanding to offer the same training to other Member States.