In a significant victory, India’s Jagjit Pavadia was re-elected to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) for another term, posting the highest number of votes at 44.
Pavadia, in her 60s, has been a member of the INCB since 2015 and her current term is set to expire in 2020.
“India’s Jagjit Pavadia tops International Narcotics Control Board Election,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin tweeted after the election results were announced.
“We are deeply grateful to all India’s many friends who ensured such a huge win in a very competitive election,” he said.
The 54-member Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) held elections by secret ballot Tuesday, with 15 candidates in fray for five seats.
There were 54 members present and voting and the required majority to win the election was 28. After the first round of voting, Pavadia emerged at the top, getting the highest number of votes at 44, followed by Jallal Toufiq of Morocco with 32 votes and Cesar Tomas Arce Rivas of Paraguay with 31 votes.
Pavadia has been re-elected for a five-year term beginning on March 2, 2020 and expiring on March 1, 2025.
In a video message, Pavadia said she is “deeply grateful” to the Member States for the “trust reposed” in her by re-electing her as member of the Board for the period 2020-2025.
“I am committed to working impartially and sincerely to the treaty-mandated duties assigned to me as a Board member,” she said, thanking the Member States for their “invaluable support.”
The victory added to India’s successful record of winning crucial elections at the UN and to the world organisation’s subsidiary bodies.
China’s candidate Wei Hao got only 23 votes in the first round of voting. The council then held a second round of restricted voting in which Bernard Leroy of France and Viviana Manrique Zuluaga of Colombia were elected after having garnered the required majority.
China’s candidate managed only 19 votes in the second round and lost.
According to Pavadia’s profile on the INCB website, she has held several senior positions in the Indian Revenue Service for 35 years in the Government of India, including Narcotics Commissioner of India, Central Bureau of Narcotics (2006-2012) among others.
She was also member of the Indian delegation to the Commission on Narcotics Drugs, Vienna (2007-2012). Member of the International Narcotics Control Board since 2015.
Born in 1954, Pavadia competed her LL.B from Delhi University in 1988 and holds a Master’s Diploma in Public Administration from the Indian Institute of Public Administration. She is the recipient of Presidential Appreciation Certificate for Specially Distinguished Record of Service, awarded in 2005 on the occasion of India’s Republic Day, her profile said.
INCB consists of 13 members who are elected by the ECOSOC and who serve in their personal capacity, not as government representatives, according to information on the Board’s website.
Three members with medical, pharmacological or pharmaceutical experience are elected from a list of persons nominated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and 10 members are elected from a list of persons nominated by Governments.
Pavadia has been nominated by the Indian Government.
Established in 1968, the International Narcotics Control Board is the independent and quasi-judicial monitoring body for the implementation of the United Nations international drug control conventions.
According to information about its mandate on its website, INCB endeavours, in cooperation 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.
The INCB also monitors Governments’ control over chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of drugs and assists them in preventing the diversion of those chemicals into the illicit traffic, it said.