Committee of the Whole – morning session

Yesterday’s Committee of the Whole ended with significant debate over paragraph 2 of the resolution entitled ‘Preventing the use of illicit drugs within Member States and strengthening international cooperation on policies of drug abuse prevention‘, co-sponsored by Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The main point of contention was that that it included reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights .

As detailed in yesterday’s CNDblog, Iran in particular took the lead in blocking consensus on the paragraph, and in the end the wording of the paragraph was deferred. This morning’s session began with reconsideration of this paragraph. Unlike yesterday, however, the paragraph was accepted as originally drafted, without change at all.

Discuss then moved onto paragraph 6, which stated in the original draft that CND:

‘Encourages Member States to conduct activities to prevent the use of illicit drugs, in conjunction with efforts to prevent tobacco and alcohol use and delay the initiation into these substances’

Concern was raised by a number of states about the inclusion of alcohol and tobacco under the remit of CND. In the end all reference to tobacco and alcohol were removed, and instead changed to ‘all drugs with the potential for abuse’.

China then re-opened language on paragraph 7 that was agreed yesterday. The original language of the draft was that CND:

‘Requests Member States to be aware that social exclusion is connected with drug abuse, poor health, negative behaviour and crime and that it is important to attend to the basic well-being of individuals in need, as well as their human rights and dignity, in order to effectively reduce the use of illicit drugs’

This language was discussed at length yesterday, and a variation of this text was agreed. However, this morning China expressed opposition to the inclusion of ‘poor health’ and ‘negative behaviour’, and to instead list only drug abuse and crime. This was opposed by Brazil and Finland.

Russia and Argentina agreed that much work had been done on the paragraph yesterday, and that they did not want to reopen the discussion.

China withdrew its opposition.

The next resolution discussed was entitled ‘Strengthening national capacities in the administration and disposal of property confiscated in cases of illicit drug trafficking and related offences‘, and was introduced by Argentina.

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