Chief of sustainable livelihood- UNODC
The concept of ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT was recognised in the 1988 convention of the UN article 3. This was reaffirmed 10 yrs later in 1998 during the UN special assembly . And the 2009 political declaration plan of action went further building on the 1988 and 1998 agenda. In 2009 member states recognised the recognition of supply reduction not only in reduction of illicit crop cultivation but also in human development index. The issue of incorporating environmental friendly approach was also incorporated. The plan did not only consider supply reduction but guided by issue of socio-economic development as well.
Madam Chair: I will like to ask member states present the following question which should form the basis of our response: Has their been progress since the political declaration of 2009 for Alternative Development for Supply reduction?
I believe the concept of alternative development has helped in paving way for the international guiding principle. In Thailand we have began to share our expertise with other member states including Indonesia, Myanmar paving way for other development agenda
Peru: Alternative development is something that has worked well in my country. Want to thank the UN , US, Germany and France for their support for ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT in Peru. There are 14 areas where coca is cultivated, in one area 52000 hectares has been removed. The law will not work if it does not go hand in hand with ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT in order to convince the cultivators and the free trade agreement with US is very useful to sell the substitute crops like cocoa, palm oil. Today we export to various regions including Europe. I think there is need for an ongoing relationship with countries who are now buying from those producing the crops. ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT also has to be coupled with area control especially at the borders.
Would like to join want Peru said, in case of Ecuador alternative development is preventative in nature. We have honourable areas producing aromatic cocoa. A proposal has been made to prioritize areas that are more vulnerable.
Chair intervention: I think we should look at ways of moving forward, let’s talk about challenges I don’t think we should begin to come up with national statements. We know 18-23 % of farmers have so far received these assistance and 100% is still far away, so what do you think are the challenges and way forward?
We have had capacity support from Thailand. There is very good impact of the alternative development, it is very rare for us to seize biggest size of marijuana in the country again. UNODC has been supportive in terms of capacity building. We worked with the Asia member states to formulate the country report using the same standard reporting format which makes it easier to develop reports, compare and know challenges. Again I respect the president of Bolivia trying to introduce the coca leave but it has been mentioned in the regulation that there is no way. We have also have people say marijuana is good for cooking –food but we also said no way, we have to eradicate everything. We will eliminate the drug market in the near future. Narcotic drug is the best market, a big commodity so we have also discussed on how to curb the organised crime but we know its very difficult.
Chair Intervention: will really appreciate if I will hear some challenges on this issue and not national statements
I also agree that ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT is a viable tool to tackle the root cause of the problem. It’s a tool that must be used but to ensure it works the state must ensure the farmers have a stable income and have a stable product and they can sell them. We have supported alternative development in Columbia and Peru. The challenges are sustainability and viability.
On blue print everything seems perfect. The real challenge lies in implementation. In Afghanistan there is an irrigation problem, so a need to build infrastructures. The state is failing to take actions against the warlord has some of them are powerful than the government. Some of the warlords do not even allow the states to implement ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT within their region. The state judicial system is also weak. We should be strengthening the stage agencies and government in charge of the implementation
We are faced with issues like food security and rural development. So we face the concept of alternative development with this same view. We have the view that alternative development should be people centered. So what we do is to involve the people in planning, implementing and monitoring the program. We should also be able to measure the impact of the strategy in the lives of the people like has there been increase in income and livelihood. So we believe there should be development of alternative livelihood before eradication can really take place. To ensure sustainable income in the community we believe product should be able to sell out of quality and value. Also there are products suitable for different communities, so we try to look at what certain products are viable in a particular community. We do not think alternative development is only crop production we also look at live stocks farming, hand craft etc. I believe there is a vast knowledge globally in this field so I think we need to continue to share knowledge among ourselves and provide the platform to do this.
Algeria considers the best way to help achieve alternative development is to carry out joint surveys with UNODC to measure success and weakness and to draw lessons from this evaluation for future strategy . We think at the heart of ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT is the fight against poverty. The viability of alternative development should be done in full coordination among all UN systems.
Morocco has always worked to eradicate cannabis cultivation reducing cultivated land more than 65%. We accompany this with various local initiatives. In 2009 we set up integrated alternative development program which among others focuses on promotion of alternative jobs, establishment of specialized cultivation policy, development of roads and infrastructures. We also promote human development and rural development policies. Alternative development is a radical change in the mentality of the people involved in illicit crop cultivation.
Madam chair intervention: I will really appreciate if we can put aside national statements and talk about the challenges and opportunities. If not we will still be repeating the same thing in the coming years. No need for national statements, want you to speak like an expert. So sorry for my being frank.
I will like to support what France said that there is need to support a systemic approach. We know in 2014 there is plan for troops to leave Afghanistan. What are the other measures being put in place. Is it possible to envisage alternative development at all? is it possible to step up alternative development in the country without a complete economic change and on the part of industrialization. It requires an integrated approach which is all security related. I don’t think this meeting can address that. However I will like to refer to concrete steps: We should possibly set up an international informal group on ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT which should help us because the same drug group are competing with the states with regard to the financial system. This is dangerous. So we need to have a complex approach.
There is no magic to alternative development. We have to be adaptable. Even within each region there is need for a varied approach. We shouldn’t just concentrate on the family unit which has been subject to this crop production, but also focus on families who are close to this crop. There is another point which is fundamental; land ownership. When the family who cultivates are given lands it also serves as incentive to others. We have made considerable progress. There is issue of balance as well.
The Chinese government has put in a lot of national resources and promulgated a lot of laws to control drugs. There has been considerable effort in Laos and Myanmar. Despite an initial decrease, poppy growing in Maynmar has increased since 2005 even in areas where poppies were not grown before. This is due to the following challenges we have witnessed: poverty, culture( it has been the culture of the local farmers to cultivate poppy), Conflict, lack of success in implementation of the law, in competitiveness of the substitute crop.
Madam Chair: I want to give one minute each to the NGO; what do you think is your role to assist in the implementation of the alternative to development strategy
Community Anti-drug coalition of America: we believe in working together with all stakeholders and communities. I will recommend the following: i. That the recommendation of the commission should be evidence-based and that which you can evaluate ii. Members states should develop strategies that can really work iii. CSOs stands really to help government develop a strategy that will be inclusive of both supply and demand reduction.
Transform Policy foundation: for us we can support by helping to develop effective evaluation of the program. We believe and encourage a more focus on indicators measuring impact and not just programs. Also we can support in terms of a more robust research