CND intersessional: 24 January 2017 – Operational recommendations on Alternative development; regional, interregional and international cooperation on development-oriented balanced drug control policy; addressing socio-economic issues

Chair. I have the pleasure to invite George Hughes, from UNODC.

George Hughes, UNODC. Thank you, Mr chairman. Pleasure to be here again to talk about chapter 7. Presentation about what the CND can do to help implement chapter 7. No specific recommendations about what the commission can do. A number of base elements that MS need to be considered. Commission continues to reiterate alternative development as fundamental pillar, alternative development also country-specific. Outcome document reference to guiding principles of alternative development. Key elements of guiding principles. Proper sequencing, access to land, cash crops, protection of environment, measuring impact. Doesn’t matter on location, circumstance or illicit crop. 5 elements are the principles. Proper sequencing, development before eradication. Unless MS provide sustainable livelihood options, eradication alone won’t get us out of illicit crop cultivation. Looking at addressing small farmer communities. Not big industrial scale, they should not be subject to benefits of alternative development. Does not mean third pillar should be curtailed. Next is access to land, critical element in rural development process. Not necessarily mean land titling, in some countries not possible. Can also mean long term access to arable land. That is important in number of ways, helps farmer making decision on what kind of crop to get involved in. Along that, farmer decides what it is they are going to be engaged in. Short term/long term. Short term crops cannot compete with illicit crop cultivation. Farmer needs support to invest in long term crops. Perennial crop not annual crop. Related to decision farmer makes, whole value added. Model we have been promoting, starts necessary legal frameworks, need rule of law, importance in supporting associations, economies of scale, farmer benefit along supply chain. Model takes out middle man. Farmer should be shareholder of processing facility. Last, importance of environmental protection. Critical on a number of elements, not only saving our timber and wildlife. Not only reforest, but sustainable forest management. Different trees that can be harvested at different times. Use of integrated pest management, avoiding use of agrochemicals, use natural environment to control pests. None of this can be properly explained without a proper impact assessment. Colleague Anya from research will give us a little on this.

Anya Korenblick, UNODC. Thank you, George. I will be very brief. Know a lot about elements of successful alternative development. Need to know and show better what is achieved including to development community. Last time I focused on what UNODC is doing. Now I would like to propose follow-up is organise expert group on this issue to see how to measure impact of alternative development. Look at analytical framework, in line with alternative development principles and SDGs. Have a lot of information on drivers of illicit cultivation. Then wee ned to look at the changes, based on that what do we need to monitor and measure. Eventually we can provide evidence on what we have achieved. Development community can see no way of sustainable development without addressing illicit cultivation. We will have better data, improved reporting, comparable reporting, ideal then to in drug report a section on alternative development. Lots of positive developments in alternative development.

Chair. Thank you very much. I now open the floor for interventions from member states. Russia you have the floor.

Russia. Thank you chairman. AD crucial component. Welcome contribution of member states. Know outcomes of seminar. Believe events moved forward specifics of alternative development. Outcomes of international fora should be given concrete form. Trust high tech solutions will be brought to bear in those countries. Believe need to be tested in Afghanistan, Russia involved in project crating agricultural zone.  Thank you.

Malta, on behalf of the European Union.

The final chapter 7 and its relationship 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.

The EU and its Member States embrace the operational recommendations of the UNGASS outcome document in relation to alternative development as, over the years, a number of projects have been funded to support communities in countries to adopt sustainable alternative livelihoods and reduce their vulnerability to the illicit drug economy.

It is important that the CND strengthens its capacity to foster policies in the area of alternative development that subscribe to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Alternative Development. We welcome the approach pursued by the UNODC that alternative development works when initiatives are informed by a long-term vision and integrated into broader national development strategies and that prior to undertaking eradication activities, it is essential to ensure that small-farmer households have adopted viable and sustainable livelihoods. We appreciate the work done by the UNODC to create licit income-generating activities, provide vocational training, and improve social development which places alternative development in a larger context of development.

The UNODC has a catalytic role to play, but close cooperation on an international, regional development and a bilateral level is key for alternative development to become part of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Moreover, 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 coordination meetings with UNDP, so as to provide a coherent response to addressing illicit crops and fostering development.


Finally, to conclude, the development-oriented programmes will need to address the drug related socio-economic issues related to illicit cultivation, manufacture, production and trafficking of drugs if one is to improve the welfare of the affected and vulnerable communities using licit alternatives.

Germany. Thank you. Not a surprise, would like to add a few comments to EU statement which we support fully. UNGASS outcome document is an excellent document state of the art of drug policy. Highlights nexus between drug policy and development including achievement of SDGs. Fully support this approach, will discuss with all member states in two side events. Challenge for UNODC is to implement this concept and produce measurable results. In my view, should think of Colombia and Myanmar. Good starting points, German cooperation for development already cooperating with UNODC. Also, looking forward to welcoming new delegations with interest in alternative development. Thank you chair.

Ecuador. Thank you, facilitator. First, acknowledge work of UNODC. Our country is developing a vulnerability index, from holistic angle highlights socioeconomic impact of drug problem. Unemployment education violent crime infrastructure family structure inter alia. Identify groups likely to engage in drug use and drug related activities. In same vein, index promote inclusion of development indicators in drug policies. In Ecuador identified number of circuits where high level of drug use and trafficking, have become illegal markets. Given situation, Ecuador developed emerging strategy to convert wastelands by providing services. These services involved in appealing local authorities in providing services to this sector. Ecuador set up training workshops towards informing drug communities in order to provide alternative services. Cover IT, confectionary, beauty, baking, locksmith. Considering alternative development programs, submitted projects crated by government to communities. Strengthening licit cultivation of legal crops. These products as well as workshops strengthen availability and market access. Using information tools, such as vulnerability index. We hope to address structural cause of problem. Focus on northern border of Ecuador to prevent spiral of drug use. To conclude, my country fully agrees with recommendations by secretariat during their presentation. Ask UNODC to fully support alternative development projects, for example preventative alternative development in urban areas. Ecuador submitted proposal to broaden concept of alternative development, like to see wider community welcome this.

Pakistan. Thank you very much facilitator. I have a few comments. We believe AD important aspect, particularly in supply reduction. Support CND for bringing alternative development in sharp focus. Experience informs that alternative development is effective only if paired with eradication practices. CND should project oriented approach, need more projects on the ground. Limited resources main problem. As part of alternative development related work UNODC should mobilise more resources.

Colombia. Thank you, facilitator. Thank you UNODC colleagues for their comments which are very close in spirit with what Colombia recommends. Believe further developing discussion on this matter could indeed be supplemented with further promotion within CND of information sessions. Bring in other agencies FAO, ILO. Form of interactive dialogue with various agencies will make easier to understand achievements and to identify areas for joint work. In particular at level of affected territories, to thus receive support in new rural economic programs. Also in keeping with gender equality. Like to promote innovative rejects, like opening up areas of discussion, promote exchange of expertise, bringing on board academia, to better understand risk factors behind illicit crop cultivation and mechanisms that can be used to tackle realities faced in each territory. Need to focus alternative development programs. Would like to thank Germany for his words concerning opportunities in countries such as my own in terms of alternative development as part of tackling internal conflict.

Peru. Thank you, facilitator. Peru has obtained excellent results from implementing cross cutting alternative development program, work with population concerned. We are of the view that we must strengthen cooperation with people and authorities, emphasis on developing social capital. Necessary for CND to promote cooperation and private investment. Ensuring sustainable use of resources. In this regard, as part of alternative development programs being implemented communities must have capacity developing products with market needs, access to markets. CND can support by initiative between investors and cooperatives. Moreover, we believe CND should promote and update alternative development guidelines based on excellent results through the implementation of these guidelines. Include section ibn world drug report.

China. Thank you, facilitator. Alternative development strategy advocated by the UN important measure to reduce drug supply. However, cultivation of drug crops is still extensive. The ban on opium cultivation in some parts is still weak. Transition from opium to synthetic drugs poses a grave challenge from alternative cultivation to alternative industry. China makes proposals. Stick to principle of common and shared responsibilities. Success of alternative development, depends on continued support and input from international community. China has made investment of over 1.6 billion rmbs and cultivation area exceed 200,000 ha. Achieved positive results. Against background of 2030 SDGs, UNODC should partner with other stakeholders in considering providing flexible and long term finance to implement comprehensive and balance drug policy. Should also encourage other countries to provide finance Secondly, focus on commonality to provide more rational support. Model of alternative development is not cast in iron. Therefore, countries should learn from each other, explore multiple means and models. UNODC should cooperate with other UN agencies, IGOs, NGOs and some experienced and formulate comprehensive alternative development programs. Thirdly, should attach equal importance to blood transfusion and regeneration. Regions with serious drug problems, really need external support however also strengthen their own capacity, alternative development should take into account local circumstances. In line with strategy of sustainable development, local economy should be promoted. Fourthly, implementation of strategy should be innovation driven and sustainable. New challenges therefore there should be greater efforts in terms of policy finance staff and technology in support of alternative development projects. Necessary to catch up extend and broaden horizon. Renovate alternative development and there should be close links with 2030 sustain dev agenda. Drug problem will be resolved through development of human. Thank you.

Japan. Thank you Mr facilitator. Japan attaches importance to alternative development, welcome operational recommendations in outcome document. Supported Afghanistan’s efforts. Supported farmers and women in converting illicit production of poppy into licit alternatives. Assistance should be based on SDGs. Also underline importance of human centred approach in infrastructure. CND should continue strengthen collective efforts to address illicit cultivation of drugs. Would like to increase cooperation. thank you.

Thailand. Mr facilitator. Thailand attaches great importance to UNGASS 2016 recommendations on alternative development. My delegation strongly believes alternative development programs on holistic based approach is a viable means to improving sustainable livelihood and wellbeing. Application of alternative development can contribute to realisation of SDGs. Thailand will organise high level panel discussion. We hope this will provide opportunity for exchange of views. Especially on efforts to mainstream alternative development programs on national drug policies.

USA. Thank you, Mr facilitator. CND has played an important role in advancement of guiding principles, should continue to promote them.

Mexico. Thank you very much facilitator. Would like to thank UNODC. Highlight that while UNGASS recognised effectiveness of alternative development programs, main contribution to discussion is need to broaden approach for a balanced drug policy geared towards development. Therefore, highlight fact that implementation of UNGASS commitments should allow CND to explore broad strategies to curb poverty and strengthen rule of law and institutions. Must move from restrictive drug policies, focused on crop control, to a broader approach that considers factors involved in illicit markets, such as lack of services, infrastructure, needs, drug related violence, exclusion and social disintegration towards building peaceful inclusive communities. As has been said in the past 2 years, greater relationship between CND work and broader context of 2030 agenda will be crucial. In future discussions, we will have better understanding of the collaboration between the UNODC, FAO, the ILO, and UNDP as was agreed at UNGASS. Thank you facilitator.

Chair. This was the last member state. Only intervention by an NGO on this chapter. It will be Paul J. von Hartmann, from NGO California Cannabis Industry.

Paul J. von Hartmann, California Cannabis Industry. Thank you so much for allowing me to participate in the discussion about drug policy, and specifically, Cannabis policy. My name is Paul von Hartmann. I am a Cannabis scholar. I wrote a book entitled “Cannabis vs. Climate Change” that introduces novel ecological theories, that are relevant to alternative development and crop selection in the context of a planet that is threatened by climate change and systemic imbalance. We are faced with multiple systemic imbalances as the result of past policy regarding what is in fact the most beneficial and useful agricultural resource on the planet. I am talking specifically about Cannabis, sometimes, referred to as “hemp.” Not only is it useful, but it’s actually essential. Cannabis is our functional interface with the Natural Order. Without Cannabis, mankind cannot exist sustainably on this planet. And in fact, that is the reason we’re facing systemic collapse. Most importantly I think is referring to the increasing UV-B radiation, that has resulted over the past fifty years, from decimation of the world’s boreal forests and marine phytoplankton. The boreal forests and marine phytoplankton produce atmospheric aerosols that block solar UV-B radiation, from reaching the surface of the planet. Well, the UV-B is increasing and that’s not good. Cannabis is the only crop that produces sufficient quantities of atmospheric “monoterpenes,” the atmospheric aerosols that reflect solar radiation away from the planet, and serve as cloud condensation nuclei, that manifest bright and persistent clouds, that also protect the Earth from the Sun. Well, what’s very interesting to know is that increasing UV-B radiation increases the solubility of mercury, arsenic and selenium compounds, out of aqueous solution. This very, very dangerous for the hydrologic cycle of the Earth.

Chair. That was all. Thank you have a nice evening see you tomorrow.

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