Committee of the Whole – Resolution L6 on availability of controlled drugs for medical and scientific purposes

Negotiations started yesterday on Resolution E/CN.7/2010/L.6 “Promoting adequate availability of internationally controlled licit drugs for medical and scientific purposes while preventing abuse and diversion”.

The USA provided a brief introduction about the increase in medical availability worldwide, and with it, increased problems of prescription drug abuse. This resolution brings these issues forward.

Spain insisted on making reference to treatment of pain with opiates in the preamble of the resolution, which was accepted by the rest of the CoW.

For its part, Australia made sure that the resolution reflected the balance to be reached between ensuring the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes, and preventing risks of abuse and diversion, with the addition of a new preliminary paragraph.

France also tended to adjust the wording of the text in order to make sure that the increase in availability of narcotic drugs ‘may’ and not ‘can’ lead to diversion.

Finally, Russia refused to accept that the resolution make a reference to the WHO/UNDOC/UNAIDS Technical Guide on drug treatment.

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