International Narcotics Control Board And Commission On Narcotic Drugs

Signatories to the Single Convention recognized the need for an international central monitoring and enforcement agency to oversee the production and trade of drugs. The Single Convention merged the Permanent Central Opium Board and the Drug Supervisory Board into the INCB, which serves as this central authority. The United Nations Economic and Social Council elects thirteen members to serve on the INCB.

The main responsibilities of the INCBs include limiting the cultivation, production, manufacture, and use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances to the amounts necessary for medical and scientific purposes, ensuring the availability of these drugs for medical purposes such as pain control. The INCB reviews estimates of opium and other drug-production figures provided by each party. These figures are formalized into production and consumption quotas. The board also analyzes information from participating countries, the United Nations, and other international organizations to ensure that there is compliance with the terms of the Single Convention. Where appropriate, it recommends that technical and financial assistance be given to those countries that may need further help. The Single Convention also provides the INCB with some direct enforcement powers, such as recommending an embargo of drug shipments to a country that is a center of drug trafficking. The INCB is more effective, however, in encouraging government to comply through confidential diplomatic initiatives than through the imposition of sanctions.

The Single Convention strengthens the role of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). The CND, which is composed of fifty governments, is the UN body that is the key information and policymaker in the drug-control area. The CND adds and deletes substances to or from the four control schedules of the convention, notifies the INCB of drug-control concerns, recommends ways to curb the illicit traffic of narcotics, and notifies nonparticipants of the actions that have been taken. It also gathers the names of the authorities that issue licenses for import and export.

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