Angela Me, UNODC. UNGASS has enabled us to understand the new realities and to build on objective and quality information. This is what I can read from the outcome document in terms of data and statistics. We need more and better information, especially on NPS, on the dark net. Research has been undertaken at regional level on this and it is growing. We need to pay attention to that. The outcome document also mentions new information on the drivers of illicit cultivation, the risk factors related to drug use. But also on organised crime and terrorism. We are now working on the UNODC World Drug Report, and there is no systematic research and information which we can objectively use to understand these links. The UNGASS document says we need more information and data on this issue. We need to invest more in analysing illicit financial flows. Every year we try to picture the flows of drugs in the world drug report, because it is important that we understand where we need to focus more, but we don’t have maps on where the money flows – this is very different from where the drugs flow. Again, this is an area where we don’t have an international instrument.
Outside of CND, the Statistical Commission works on different thematic areas. We have a 5-year focus programme. In 2017, one of the topics will be drugs statistics. The Statistical Commission works through volunteers and papers produced by national statistical offices. Working with the National Statistical Office of Mexico, we worked on a paper E/CN.3/2017/12, providing a roadmap on how to improve drugs statistics. It focuses on drug demand, supply and drug markets. It is divided into three areas:
- methodological developments: population surveys, measuring treatment coverage, or innovative methodologies such as wastewater analysis.
- It is also about capacity building for countries to fill the gaps on drug statistics, how to support early warning systems.
- And finally it is about international data collection.
The paper describes the typical statistical sources. We have a picture included in the paper to summarise in statistical terms the different data sources. The paper acknowledges the role of CND as the main forum to discuss drug policy. It also mentions the way in which the CND can collaborate with the Statistical Commission to improve drug statistics. But there are no specific recommendations on how to move forward.
However, I can suggest some ways forward to improve drug data and statistics. We must improve the quality of drug statistics. At a certain point, the issue of indicators has become focused more on the policy aspects and how indicators can favour one policy over another. Hearing the statements here at CND, there is an agreement on improving drug statistics – can we go back to the basics at a technical level to improve drug statistics? This brings together 2 communities: those who deal with drugs, and the community of statisticians. And we need to work together to establish a joint group of experts to help move forward some of these issues such as those mentioned in the UNGASS outcome document, to understand what we should measure.
The Statistical Commission has a modus operandi that can be helpful in this regard, and we could then move to reviewing and looking at some of the issues we’re discussing here. This group could include one member from the Statistical Commission and one from CND from each region or sub-region, structured according to members, observers and other stakeholders, in the way some of the working groups are working on the SDGs. SDGs focus on policy needs, and the group focuses on how to translate these policy needs – and the members are the ones taking the decisions, but they can meet with international and regional organisations, NGOs and academics. The group also has closed sessions to take decisions. This model already exists, and could work here. The group could manage to define priorities for capacity building, and develop new measures in the areas mentioned in the UNGASS outcome document. What are the requirements? Those are financial, and also commitment from both commissions.
This will not be the first time that the CND functions with the Statistical Commission. This has already happened with the CCPCJ where we developed a roadmap on crime statistics. There was an enormous request from countries to do so and this partnership working really worked. This could work best in this case too to improve data and statistics.
CND Chair. This is an important work. As I said yesterday, this was the topic between the meeting of ECOSOC and subsidiary bodies and everybody wanted to engage with the Statistical Commission on this issue. UNODC was praised on the work we’re already doing on improving statistics. There was interesting information shared yesterday on looking at statistics gathered at national level. Countries are preparing their national reports on implementation of the SDGs, 40 countries will do so this year.
Post-UNGASS Facilitator. Having better statistics is paramount for our work, this is just a suggestion, but it is an interesting proposal. If you have questions to Mrs. Me, it is time to bring them now.
France. Thank you for this excellent presentation and for the work done over the past few days. We thank you for this substantive work. My question is straight forward – we agree with you that there is work to be done in a coordinated manner with the Statistical Commission in New York, we should work in that direction in the future. I have a question on the inter-agency relationship. This might be a naive question – it has to do with the fact that collecting statistics happens in various ways, countries are attached to providing statistics to the UN, but we need to talk to colleagues on the relevance of statistics, but other countries have a different way of doing so. In UN reports we receive, there are regions that lack statistics, and we need to help them improve this data collection. France is doing this in French speaking countries in Africa to collate statistics and provide them to you. This is a challenge and I wanted to raise it.
Colombia. Thanks to UNODC for this tangible and detailed proposal. We would be eager to see what progress will be made in this area. One practical question in light of our experience in our work with the Statistics Commission and CCPCJ – what mechanism was used? what form did cooperation take?
Angela Me, UNODC. This is a very good question and this is reflected in this paper on drugs statistics. We cannot speak of the topic without speaking of capacity building. On statistics, there is always an issue of improving statistics collection. For the drug area, it is even more relevant as we are speaking about a transnational level. It is up to CND to have a political will to invest in countries to improve statistics collection. At the CCPCJ, a roadmap was approved by both commissions, and included the creation of a CTS focal point – the group meets every two years, it met in Vienna a few months ago.
Post-UNGASS Facilitator. We will go back to this proposal as it was just proposed to you.
CND Secretariat. It is a pleasure to give you information on another topic covered in Chapter 6 of the UNGASS outcome document. The reason why I take the floor today is because in a number of meetings our chair had with regional groups, there were many questions on subsidiary bodies. I will therefore share more information on this to help you in the period ahead.
Not everybody in the room may be familiar on this. I will explain how the subsidiary bodies function right now. They were set up as a forum for exchange of information among practitioners – it is at very operational level. The idea is for them to come up with discussions on practical operational issues and have that information included in the form of recommendations sent back to the CND to be used as a basis for the policy work taking place here. We have them in all regions, they take place in most of the regions on a yearly basis (meetings of heads of law enforcement very year in Latin America and Africa, every two years in Europe). Drug law enforcement agencies, heads of police, etc. meet as well regularly, as well as senior officials of other ministries of the interior, justice and foreign affairs. The reason why they were set up to deal with law enforcement was because when ECOSOC resolutions were adopted, this was an area where practitioners could benefit from exchange of views, experience, operational information, etc. So it was very much around what was considered as areas where cooperation at regional level was most obvious. This is where we see also good exchange of best practices.
Why now? Because the matter will be discussed, since in the outcome document we have a recommendation indicating that we should share information at regional level among practitioners in all different fields. We also have the omnibus resolution adopted by the UNGA in December calling on CND to examine how subsidiary bodies can better get involved in the implementation of the UNGASS outcome document.
The expansion of the work of subsidiary bodies is not new. We had a similar call in the 2009 political declaration. We see in that document a strong call to deal with different aspects of demand and supply reduction strategies. People in the room have been very much involved in the resolution 56/10, making the point that it would be important to have information from the regional bodies on the different aspects covered in the 2009 political declaration. The work we are doing here is to be seen in a broad policy framework, to contribute to the bigger agenda for 2030.
Back to the underlying principles – the work should be mutually reinforcing and balanced in approach. This was repeated in the UNGASS outcome document. The importance is to add value, it is not mini CNDs, it is for practitioners to come up with very operational information to feed back to the CND here. An important aspect in times of limited resources is to see how the existing meetings and documentation can be maximised. As we have seen now, is that these meetings are tailored to the needs and concerns of the regions. Every agenda looks different. It is meant to be of use to the members in the region and really focus on those issues where everybody feel the need and feel comfortable to discuss. This should not take away what is currently available, but member states may be able to see how they can add value and further make the work of everybody more useful and successful.
Coming back to how the meetings exist now and how they can be optimised, this is just food for thought. We have meetings of 5 days. They are useful for practitioners working on supply reduction – we have seen this in the surveys. The CND should probably leave the meetings as they exist now, with working groups, and have a part in which the law enforcement practitioners and experts could benefit from an exchange of views with practitioners from other areas. This is what we say this year in areas where different aspects can be considered. And a last part where some of the resources can be devoted to health aspects more specifically. This is just food for thought on how we can take existing entitlements and preserve those, and create complementary work. This is the same for documentation entitlements. We have suggestions on some complimentary information that could be included to the supply reduction thematic areas to cover more demand reduction issues.
Can this be done within existing resources? To a large extent, existing entitlements can be optimised. We would need to further discuss the travel of participants to the meetings. Right now, we have an entitlement of 1 person per country. We also need to ensure we have the substantive expertise brought to the meeting, and we need to ensure quality of the services we provide in a sustainable manner. We are at your disposal for additional information. This has been in response to requests for more information and some suggestions on what could be done.
Malta, on behalf of the European Union.
In relation to chapter 6 and, in regard to items 44 to 46 of the remarks of H.E. Ambassador Pedro Moitinho de Almeida, which in effect are a proposal for a way forward, the EU and its Member States fully support the three recommendations pertaining to action that could be taken by the CND to support Member States in the implementation of the UNGASS operational recommendations, reviewing the work of the UN subsidiary bodies in order that they are able to better support the implementation of operational recommendations of the outcome document at regional level, and finally, to strengthen the use of the CND post UNGASS website.
It goes without saying that the EU and its Member States fully endorse international multidisciplinary cooperation: it is perfectly known that the drug problem has no borders. It is crucial that the CND, through and in cooperation with other UN entities, strengthen the assistance provided by the requesting countries in order for them to effectively address all parameters of the world drug problem, to the best of their abilities.
It is of course crucial that the CND oversees that the UN inter agency co-operation is one that works effectively and hence it is suggested that the Commission does indeed identify which of the UN entities are better equipped to support which of the chapters of the UNGASS outcome document. UNGASS tasked the CND to strengthen coordination with other relevant UN bodies. In this context the EU and its Member States would welcome the organisation of joint coordination meetings with relevant UN entities such as WHO, INCB Secretariat, UNAIDS, UNHCH, UN Women and UNDP which could be organised back to back to the ordinary CND sessions in March.
It also recommended, that relevant UN entities be invited or continue to be invited to participate whenever the CND discussed the UNGASS outcome document chapters related with their respective mandates.
It is also essential that examples of good practice and lessons learned from practitioners in the different fields and countries to further the constructive interaction between all who work in the field are made available to the CND.
It is crucial that the CND, as the main policy body of the UN with respect to drugs, in the coming two years, follows up and supports the thematic review of the sustainable development goals that are directly related to fostering the well-being of all and that includes the aim to strengthen prevention and treatment of substance abuse.
To conclude, the CND needs to continue to advocate for all to embrace the concept of common and shared responsibility since, as pointed out at the start of this short rendition, drugs know no borders.
Russia. The global nature of the world drug problem means that international cooperation is needed to address it. This requires the strengthening of the CND and its role as the lead international body in tackling the international drug trade on the basis of common and shared responsibility. Naturally, in our work we must acknowledge and draw upon the outcomes of the work done by other UN bodies. But the CND should be the supreme status setting for the drug threat. But we call upon CND to act as the coordination body for counter narcotics efforts implemented by regional bodies. It is only by drawing conclusions from our actions that we can strengthen our strategies and move closer to our ultimate goal – that of a drug free world. We firmly believe that the CND should not just be a body to agree upon a project and collate statistics data but also the main intellectual guiding force. On this basis, is the consciousness that we should free the world of drugs to make it a better world based on human rights and freedoms for all.
Pakistan. As Ms. Me showed, Pakistan regularly provides data on the different aspects of the world drug problem and we will continue doing so. We take note of the detailed presentation by the Secretariat on the work of the subsidiary bodies, it is the first time we see a detailed proposal on expanding the scope of the bodies. We will review it and provide our position. We are supportive of the idea of strengthening the role of the subsidiary bodies.
On the UNGASS outcome document, I have touched upon the role of international cooperation already in the past few days. It is one of the three pillars of our international work alongside demand and supply. The 2009 political declaration, 2014 JMS and 2016 outcome document all recognise this. The CND should continue to emphasise the need for enhanced international cooperation with capacity building, financial assistance and technical know how based on national requirements and the principle of shared responsibility. CND should continue to play its role in strengthening the work of UNODC.
Colombia. The outcome document includes a broader cross cutting section on international cooperation among various UN entities, as does the omnibus resolution on how to implement this, keeping the CND informed of actions undertaken. We recommend repealing the UN Task Force on Organised Crime and Trafficking and have them adopt a plan of action. A standing agenda should be added to CND on interagency cooperation and the annual report should include this matter. A MoU should be established between these agencies.
Switzerland. Thank you for the interesting proposals this morning, these merit closer attention. On the chapter 6, in the outcome document we expressed our support for UNODC as the leading entity for addressing the world drug problem. At the same time, we stressed the principle of shared responsibility. This principle applies not just to member states but also to different UN entities. So when discussing shared responsibility, UNGASS encouraged the further collaboration with all UN entities and financial institutions. More recently, in the omnibus resolution, UNODC was called to include a chapter on collaboration across the UN system in global efforts to implement the UNGASS recommendations. We welcome to receive such a report at CND’s next regular session or at a dedicated intercessional, ideally with the active participation of the 14 UN entities that make up the UN Task Force. We are particularly keen to learn more about interagency coordination after UNGASS. We also find it noteworthy that the outcome document, when addressing interagency cooperation, places special emphasis on the protection of human rights. Together, UN entities should support member states with implementing the conventions in accordance with human rights and the dignity of all individuals in the context of drug programmes, strategies and policies. This is the language of the outcome document, and we would appreciate if UNODC and its reporting could highlight joint activities to that effect.
David Rosse, ICACO Association. As we heard yesterday and Monday, in order to achieve the global shared goal of sustainable development, I want to highlight that cannabis hemp can have major impacts in the world with our footprint. The World Health Organisation ECDD met in November and initiated the next steps to reschedule marijuana. Under international law, it has committed to discuss marijuana in the next 18 months. Those changes would be reflected in the 1961 Single Convention which currently lists cannabis in schedules I and IV with no therapeutic benefits. Just two weeks ago, the US Academy of Science released a groundbreaking report that reached 100 conclusions on the health effects of marijuana for medical purposes. it recommends more research and notes the need to declassify the substance to favour research that is needed. This suggests political and non-political strategies to address the barriers to cannabis research. Rescheduling at international level would have major ramifications on medical cannabis and improve cooperation between member states on scientific research. The cannabis community has clearly identified the knowledge gaps in research.
Norway. The UNGASS has attracted much attention on the world drug problem. The outcome document, which is based on the 2009 and 2014 documents, provides actions to be taken. In Norway, this has promoted more debate on alternatives to incarceration and other policies. We welcome the SDGs are complementary and mutually reinforcing to global drug control. We need to develop metrics and indicators to better monitor progress. We appreciate UNODC’s passion and will assess the proposal being proposed.
Peru. International cooperation has already been addressed. It’s time for UNDOC and other subsidiary bodies to promote strategies for coordination to consolidate technical assistance and sharing good practices and lessons learned on drug policies and drug related crime under the principle of shared responsibility. Financial resources, technological resources are necessary, along with technical assistance, to fulfil all recommendations of the outcome document to build upon previous documents. CND could also promote partnerships and joint cooperation, as well as shared agendas with other UN entities. We should also involve the scientific community to forge a drug-free society.
China. The drug problem is global and no country is immune. China welcomes strengthening international cooperation. Continued support should be given to UNODC, CND and INCB. CND as the policy making organisation for global drug control, and UNODC as the leading entity to address the world drug problem, should serve as the main channels for international cooperation and their roles should be enhanced. They should further reinforce their international cooperation with other international and regional bodies. CND, guided by the 2030 SDGs, should strengthen international cooperation at various levels. Best practice should be shared among practitioners and with CND. Member states should implement international drug control programmes with practical and financial assistance, bearing in mind the SDG agenda and the integrated and balanced approach. The regional, subregional and bilateral cooperation should be emphasised. We actively participate in CND’s work. China contributes 1 million dollars to UNODC every year to support its regional projects on counter-trafficking, especially in the greater Mekong region. This is an important platform for international cooperation. We also have closed intelligence sharing with countries like the USA and Australia. Effective assistance should be provided to trafficking and transit countries, which bear disproportionate pressure and have been victims of the consequences of trafficking. These countries should be helped in the field of drug law enforcement, health and development. Since 2002, we have provided training to over 1000 law enforcement officials in Pakistan, and funding for drug control equipment. We stand ready to strengthen the drug control cooperation on the basis of shared responsibility.
Indonesia. Tackling the world drug problem is a common and shared responsibility and requires a balanced and sustainable approach and international cooperation in the field of law enforcement – it is one of the most important factors to tackle traffickers. I want to highlight measures Indonesia has undertaken. Our national police and narcotics board has established MoUs with our counterparts to combat trafficking. We have established collaboration with 15 respective countries including intelligence cooperation with 5 countries. ASEAN has enhanced its activities on drug matters to enhance cross border measures and address the world drug problem. No single country can successfully address the challenges of drug trafficking. We call on UNODC and CND to provide technical assistance and technical resources based on needs and capacities, and improving drug control strategies and measures. We support the role of CND to share best practice from different fields at all levels for a balanced approach to the world drug problem in accordance with the 3 drug control conventions and national laws.
Portugal. Portugal is always very supportive of drug policies based on evidence and we will study the proposal of UNODC on statistics. On international cooperation, Portugal is open to discuss how to put into practice the recommendations to counter the world drug problem. We have provided a positive framework for cooperation among law enforcement agencies, and it si important that work continues. But these subsidiary bodies should not only focus on supply reduction. We should continue discussions there on other thematic areas included in the UNAGSS outcome document and extend participation to other practitioners. The aim is extend the international cooperation on a balanced approach to the world drug problem. This has already been done in the last meeting of HONLEA and we should consolidate and formalise this process.
Katherine Pettus, International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care. I am Advocacy Officer for the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, and Vice-Chair of the VNGOC. There are two opioid crises: one of under-consumption, which affects more than 5 billion people in the world who live in countries where access to opioids is low to inadequate, according to the INCB, and one of over-consumption/misuse, largely affecting people who live in the US, where over 33,000 people died from opioid-related overdose in 2015. Member states can systematically address these crises through common and shared responsibility.
These are the facts. High prescription opioid consumption rates for the treatment of severe pain, palliative care, and dependence syndrome do not automatically correlate with opioid misuse. Countries such as Switzerland, Austria, and United Kingdom report high opioid consumption to the INCB and very little or no misuse. Under the principle of CSR, they should help countries that need to improve access and avoid a crisis of misuse similar to that in the US. The most frequently misused prescription drugs of choice are synthetic opioids such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and fentanyl, not the liquid or immediate release morphine needed in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIICs) for the relief of severe pain and palliative care. Many cities and states across the U.S. are suing opioid manufacturers, alleging that aggressive and fraudulent marketing has contributed to the opioid misuse epidemic. Under the principles of CSR, countries with robust protection against fraudulent marketing should help countries with weak regulatory systems. According to the INCB and the WHO, by 2030, the global cancer burden is expected to nearly double, growing to 21.4 million cases and 13.2 million deaths. The majority will be in LMICs. It is estimated that about 80% of the 20 million people in need of palliative care (which includes rational use of controlled medicines) at the end of their live, are citizens of the LMICs, and that up to 84% of patients suffer from severe pain due to cancer, HIV and other conditions. Annually, at least 18 million people die with treatable pain.
- Under the principle of CSR, that countries strengthen measures to ensure that policy makers and health professionals are not unduly influenced by pharmaceutical companies with financial interests in the commercialization of opioids.
- In collaboration with colleagues from countries that report high opioid consumption rates with little or no misuse, healthcare providers in LMICs learn to prevent a misuse/ overuse situation similar to the US.
- In collaboration with WHO, INCB, and UNODC, governments implement the WHA Palliative Care Resolution 67/19 and the UNGASS Outcome Document recommendations on the safe and effective use of controlled medicines for pain and palliative care. For example, the UNGASS document calls on Governments to enhance their data collection mechanisms throughout the controlled medicine supply chain to better detect occurrences of diversion in real-time, so that they can be immediately addressed
- In collaboration with UNODC and WHO, national health ministries promote the use of balanced guidelines that include individual and comprehensive approaches to the treatment of pain.
Singapore. Cooperation is necessary for joint investigations, joint training courses and sharing of experiences. We will share our experience. We maintain contacts with Interpol and the International Customs Cooperation and other regional bodies and law enforcement agencies, as well as the US DEA and the Australian Federal Police. Singapore participates in the ADEC, ASOT, ACOC meetings to show our commitment to regional anti drug fights. We notify ARR on drug trafficking trends and helps our foreign law enforcement counterparts to tackle traffickers. We are a member of ASEAN task force headed by Thailand on drugs, with national and international contact points to target traffickers at airports. We also focus on NPS trafficking. This is an important UNODC project to support law enforcement to prevent NPS to reach consumer markets. The SMART Global Programme is also important. We provide seizures of ATS and pre-export online. We have collaborated with the Australian Federal Police and ASEAN police cooperation programmes. The objective is to introduce an approach to fighting the drug problem. We call on UNODC to continue providing technical assistance and support subsidiary bodies in countering the world drug problem.
Ecuador. The outcome document highlights the need for technical assistance to include where appropriate, financial assistance, capacity building, technological equipment, especially for countries of transit, with support of WHO, other UN agencies and regional agencies in their respective mandates. Ecuador is a country of transit and requires technical assistance to mitigate socio economic consequences of drugs based on the principle of shared responsibility. Much can be done for technical assistance to be strengthened. We should record cooperation carried out with international and regional bodies. In October 2016, we had a first workshop on social integration in cooperation with the CICAD, Spain and Ecuador. The aim was capacity building with experts and government officials on diagnostic tools for intersectoriel cooperation. The outcome document focuses on north-north and north-south and triangular cooperation between the international cooperation to curb the world drug problem. In this specific area, we work with neighbouring countries through joint committees on drugs via roundtables on diverse aspects, setting up road maps and plans to enhance cooperation. Through the technical secretariat and drugs, we visited Uruguay to discuss drug prevention. There are also follow up cooperation recommendations in the outcome document, to enhance south-south cooperation. The CND should further strengthen its work and member states should do more to support developing and transit countries.
Cuba. International cooperation is one of the three main pillars of global drug control. We support and participate in collaboration mechanisms such as HONLEA and we have agreements between the Min of Interior and our counterparts in other countries to exchange intelligence in real time with Interpol and other national centres. We highlight it for its transparency and effectiveness. The Min of Interior and Min of Foreign Affairs have informed our counterparts on suspicious cargoes to take action. We have also provided information with the World Customs Institution. In 2016, we participated in the UNODC Global Container Programme and will continue to take part in these initiatives.
United States. Thanks for your presentations and we look forward to checking the proposal. CND is the main body but UN bodies should undertake implementation and inform he CND and UNODC of progress. We welcome the work of UN agencies and welcome their participation in discussions to brief the CND at its annual meeting. We plan to put forward a resolution to encourage further collaboration among UN agencies on UNGASS implementation.
Guatemala. I thank the CND chair, CND Secretariat and NGOs for the interesting discussions and strong messages (including on cannabis). This intercessional meeting is of significant value, with exchange of experience and information, some of which of a political nature, others of a technical nature. All can be distilled in tools to strengthen our role to combat the drugs issue in an effective manner. I want to draw attention at this stage to the omnibus resolution because almost all the previous statements delivered have referred to this and I think we should build upon this opportunity with the resolution to ensure that the focus on the outcome document – what can we do to ensure that these recommendations can be applied and are not mere rhetoric. There are colleagues here over the past four years saying there is a need for change. Change has taken place and we are progressing but the problem is still there and we need to tackle it with the most efficient tools available to us. It seems to me that at future CND meetings we should focus on finding and seeking out the best tools to help us in this struggle. We need to keep exchanging experiences. We always hear the principle of common and shared responsibility – it is common UN language, let’s start implementing it. I also want to mention something of particular importance. I haven’t requested the floor so far, so I ask you to indulge me. In Guatemala, in 2016, the fight against corruption which is linked to drugs and organised crime, we have provided a good example of how the conventions can be applied with legislation against corruption. We saw the highest number of seizures of cocaine and heroin. There were never seizures of heroin to that extent in Guatemala. This was in addition to many other drugs. In terms of assets, of goods and money seized, it represents 75 million dollars, this was unprecedented. I am sharing this because if we fight corruption and try and curb corruption, the same authorities engaged in enforcing the law, they are doing a better job because they feel the pressure and step up their game. I have just read a document referring to the illicit proceeds of organised crime and drugs in Guatemala, it represents half of the national budget. Some 75,000 weapons were seized. Further work was carried out by national and international NGOs providing training for civil police forces, human rights, women’s rights, and all of this is leading to changes in the way we work together with the people. We need to strengthen technical assistance and I support what other delegations have said so far to ensure active participation in these debates and cooperation mechanisms. The HONLEA meetings are very important to exchange information at regional and global level. All efforts made will be most welcome to reflect the magnitude of the problem. We must further strengthen the UNGASS recommendations rather than downgrading them. Thank you for patiently listening to me.
Belgium. I did not prepare a specific statement on this chapter but I want to react on presentations made to strengthen subsidiary bodies. I 2015 we hosted the last HONLEA Europe meeting in Brussels and I recognise that it is a key forum to exchange views and best practice. We seized the opportunity to take the conference to the field to see how container control worked and new challenges. UNGASS calls for an increased exchange of information and dialogue between different fields. In this way a possible reform is useful. We will look at this in detail. There are three elements we should consider: how this can be done cost-effectively, inclusively and in good cooperation with other agencies. I also take note of the comment of Portugal to complement the good practices we have and improve them even more.
Dave Borden, DRCNet Foundation, StoptheDrugWar.org. We coordinate a coalition, US-based but global in scope, which submitted a statement with nearly 350 organizational signatories for UNGASS. We argued for the supremacy of human rights; for policies rooted in health, development, human rights and security; and for the UN to begin a process of updating the drug conventions. We believe that international cooperation would most effectively be implemented if based on those priorities, and on the Sustainable Development Goals in particular. We commend the inclusion of agencies such as WHO, UNAIDS, UNDP and others in the UNGASS process; and we support the Outcome Document’s strong emphasis on the SDGs. To achieve the SDGs, and good policy generally, it is necessary to acknowledge both sides of the drug control equation. Prohibition creates substantial social costs apart from drugs’ inherent harms. In academic terms, the acknowledged concept is that criminalization increases average harm per unit of drug consumption – possibly reducing the number of users, but at the cost of intensifying certain harms.
I refer in particular to SDG goals 1, 3, 8, 10, and 16. Prohibition drives the spread of HIV and Hepatitis, by placing drugs in the underground and encouraging syringe sharing; and the high financial price of street drugs drives some addicted persons to desperate behaviors such as prostitution and property crime, standing in the way of the goal of good health and well-being. Arrest or conviction records for low-level drug crimes impedes efforts to find good employment, particularly in disadvantaged communities, affecting the goals of decent work and economic growth; reduced inequalities; and sustainable cities and communities. The illicit drug trade prohibition creates drives street crime; and funds insurgencies, corruption and other instabilities, hindering peace, justice and strong institutions, among other goals.
The UNGASS did not address most of these questions. But the contributions made by UN agencies to UNGASS show they do recognize the harms of drug control. Should the UN still not take this up, 2019 may stand in the way of 2030 rather than helping advance it. As a final point, I note the alarming prospect of global AIDS funding decreasing, among other issues impacting harm reduction services for injection drug users. It is our hope that member states will sustain a strong level of AIDS funding. We support the “10 by 20” shift colleagues have proposed, to move 10% of global law enforcement budgets to fully fund harm reduction by 2020.
Post-UNGASS Facilitator. The discussion was another valuable exercise to jointly continue our commitment to UNGASS implementation. As was the case in October, you have shared valuable and interesting ideas to help the CND put the recommendations into practice. I will only highlight key points of discussions in my concluding remarks which I will submit in writing in due course.
On Monday we discussed chapter 1 on demand reduction. Delegations encouraged the CND to enhance cooperation with and among relevant UN entities including WHO and WHO as well as advocate the use of internationally recognised standards on prevention and treatment. Delegations encouraged the CND to continue promoting the collection and sharing of data providing a forum of exchange for knowledge and technical assistance for prevention, treatment and social rehabilitation. Some highlighted harm reduction as well.
We then turned to chapter 2 on access to controlled medicines while avoiding diversion. Member states emphasised the need to work in collaboration with INCB and WHO and others to continue promoting access and address existing barriers to access. Delegations called on CND to encourage the exchange of best practices on the misuse of pharmaceuticals as well as provision of substances for pain relief and palliative care.
We concluded our first day discussion chapter 4 on human rights with delegations calling on CND to promote a balanced and comprehensive approach in full respect of human rights, protecting the health and safety of communities. We called upon gender and youth sensitive services, and promoted the cooperation with UN entities and civil society. Member states were encouraged to share information on human rights, gender, health, etc. The CND was encouraged to enhance promoting proportionate national sentencing policies for drug offences and alternatives to incarceration.
On Tuesday we continued on supply reduction and money laundering. Many stressed the important role of CND to promote supply reduction efforts including criminal justice and socio economic factors that may facilitate and perpetuate organised crime. Based on the principle of common and shared responsibility, enhancing the capacity of law enforcement officials, capacity building, information sharing and technical assistance were highlighted for implementing the outcome document. The role of CND subsidiary bodies was highlighted and the possibility of enlarging their scope was proposed. The CND was invited to share information and establish portals and facilitate cooperation and intelligence sharing.
On Chapter 5 in new threats and challenges, many proposed to invite the CND to increase the capacity building and improve data collection at national and international level and invited member states to share information including toxicology data and participate in projects such as PIX and ION. Member states were invited to improve cooperation with WHO and UNODC to improve evidence. Support for UNODC activities was highlighted on scheduling substances and delivering training for national officials. Enhancing cooperation on NPS, precursors and pre-precursors and identifying most harmful substances was highlighted. Some delegations supported the CND to review indicators to assess the effectiveness of policy.
On Chapter 7, alternative development, it was proposed by the CND focuses on implementing long-term comprehensive development. We were requested to encourage member states to intensify to providing technical and financial assistance, with law enforcement as an important component for strengthening crop reduction strategies. A holistic approach to AD was also promoted within the SDG agenda, as well as sharing of best practice and lessons learned among delegations and other UN entities.
On Chapter 6 on international cooperation, I will provide feedback in my written remarks.
I want to share with you some of my ideas for the way forward:
- I want to focus on implementation of the outcome document. This was highlighted at a meeting I was invited at last week. We should continue this follow up in a comprehensive manner and in an inclusive manner, so that CND benefits from expertise from UN bodies, regional bodies, regional and international organisations, and CSOs. We should devote the same attention to each of the seven chapters of the UNGASS outcome document, taking stock of what is already being done and what the CND could be doing next. It will be key to discuss each chapter during the intercessional meetings of the CND with separate meetings for each of the seven chapters of the outcome document in a more detailed manner. A work plan will enable the commission to deal with the chapters and plan in advance the participation of specific experts for each chapter.
- A number of delegates highlighted the importance of regional cooperation. Today we heard information about the subsidiary bodies and an expansion of their mandate. This will require more information and discussions but it is an important point in time when we implement the UNGASS outcomes to consider the work of the subsidiary bodies and how to expand their work. It does not mean we give less importance to law enforcement. But we know the benefits of sharing information between practitioners. We could therefore add a stronger demand reduction focus to ensure a balanced approach. As we have heard in the presentation of the Secretariat, and drawing from the omnibus resolution, member states have committed to strengthen exchange of information in the subsidiary bodies and at CND. Time is right to deal with these matters so that subsidiary bodies reflect the balanced approach of the CND. An additional demand reduction section would enrich the discussions at regional level and support the work of subsidiary bodies.
- I want to reiterate the importance of best practice and lessons learned during our joint meetings. I ask the Secretariat to enhance the use of the post-UNGASS website. It should support the translation of lessons learned into good practices, sharing of information and experiences, and gaining a better understanding of positive results. I invite you to share your contributions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A written version of these remarks will follow in due course. I thank you for your active participation. I hand back the podium to our chair.
CND Chair. I thank you all for your ideas and it is important that your proposals are included in the facilitator’s notes. We still have a few more agenda items for this first intersessional. We won’t go through all that before lunch. We will close now and start again in the usual time with the two last items on the agenda. A lot of information was shared this morning so it is good to digest this over lunch and move ahead in the afternoon.