The structure and functions of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs is a drug policy making body in the UN. Its roles are defined by the UN drug conventions and it works with the Economic and Social council to supervise the application of international conventions dealing with narcotics drugs. It advises the council on all matters relating to the control of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors. 

The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs gave the organization a role to decide which drug belongs to schedule I, II, III, IV and V. Drugs in schedule I are drugs that have a higher potential for being abused and they are currently not accepted for medical use. Drugs in schedule II are currently accepted for medical use but with several restrictions. Drugs in schedule III have a potential for being used less than drugs in schedules I and II and are currently accepted for medical use. Drugs in schedules IV and V have less risks of being abused and are accepted for medical use.

The Convention on Psychotropic Substances has given the CND power to implement the provisions of the UN drug conventions on nations and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic drugs and Psychotropic substances has given the commission a power to decide whether a certain substance has used an illicit drug for its manufacture and to make a decision if the substance should be controlled.

The CND has  53 member states which includes 11 African states, 11 Asian states, 10 Latin and Carribean states, 7 Eastern Europe states and 14 Western Europe states. The positions of the officers include one chairperson, three vice chairmen and one rapporteur. Each office is held by a person from one region area and the regions rotate each year. In the 53rd session of the commission on narcotics drugs the chairman came from a group of Asian states, the first vice chairman came from a group of Eastern European states, the second vice chairman came from a group of Western European and other states, the third vice chairman came from a group of Latin American and caribbean states and the rapporteur came from a group of African states and these positions will rotate in the annual conference of this year. The representative of the state holding the presidency of the EU assists the chairman in dealing with the organizational matters.

The current chairman of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs is H.E Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh from the Islamic Republic of Iran and the CND is funded by individual states and the UNODC which provides administrative and technical support. The CND works with INCB by calling its attention to any matters that may be relevant to the functions of the board.