CND Inter-Sessional – Monday 18th November 2013

The Peruvian Chair expressed his aim to go through all of the paragraphs in order – starting at paragraph 30 (which is where I assume they reached in the informals last week). He asked for member state assistance in doing this.

First, Mexico was asked to report back on negotiations for P6 and P10, but they had no new language to submit at this time. For P10, the outcome depends on the Omnibus Resolution which should be finalised in New York this week, so they asked for more time.

Peru was asked to report back regarding P 8: they said that discussions were on-going, taking Political Declaration Paras 16-19 as their basis.

Canada was asked to report back on discussions regarding harm reduction, but they were not in the room yet!

P30
Lithuania (on behalf of the EU member states): “financial crisis” rather than “economic crisis”.

P31a (HIV Target)
Lithuania/EU: added to the text, regarding the world being far from on-track for the HIV target. Russia asked for further consultation on this paragraph, and the UK (which was more vocal today) reminded member states that this target is not a new commitment, but an existing one from the UN General Assembly, and so is important.

P33 (Prevention)
Lithuania/EU supported this paragraph, alongside UK, France, Peru and Colombia. But China supported Pakistan’s objection. Egypt proposed to merge this with P39bis (see below) – inserting “and noting the importance of public health and law enforcement partnerships in ensuring that drug demand is reduced…”. This merger was supported by Ecuador (who also added another “where appropriate” after partnerships) and China. France preferred no mention of law enforcement in this paragraph, but Pakistan stressed that law enforcement works in parallel with demand reduction.

P35 (Monitoring Mechanisms)
Russia made yet another change from “evidence-based” to “scientifically-based”. The Netherlands queried this, and proposed “empirical and scientific”, while Sweden offered “comprehensive and integrated”. Egypt supported Russia, as what constitutes evidence in one country might not in another, whereas scientific implies research. They asked that “scientific” replace “evidence” throughout the text. They also added another “where appropriate”.

P36bis (New)
Russia added a new paragraph: “Bearing in mind that drug treatment costs should not be covered by drug patients, families or civil society organisations, but by insurances, whether public or private, or by the respective governments, invite member states to provide and further expand the affordable access to drug treatment, culturally appropriate and based on scientific evidence, as well as simulate to the extent possible the inclusion of drug dependence care services into health care systems, whether public or private, with the involvement of primary and, where appropriate, specialised health care services, in accordance with national legislation.” Spain (supported by Belgium) protested that adding paragraphs now is not good process, as member states will need time to digest the new text and seek clarification etc.

P37 (Access to Medicines)
The USA asked for the language around “not constituting inappropriate barriers” to be deleted, but Switzerland reaffirmed the ‘barriers’ language: these challenges have been acknowledged by both WHO and INCB. Russia sought to change “remains low to non-existent in most countries” to “is insufficient in some countries”, while Ecuador deleted “with concern”. The Netherlands disagreed to both changes, supported by Lithuania/EU and Norway (who restated that 10% of the world’s population have access to 90% of its pain medication). Egypt added “activities in assisting member states in the fight against, and prevention of, the diversion and abuse…”

P39 (Shopping List of Interventions)
The USA asked to delete the term harm reduction here, and is open to new consensus language. France support the mention, stating that it has been widely validated before by UN agencies and the scientific community – a point supported by Portugal, Lithuania/EU, Switzerland, Slovenia, and the UK. Spain stated that the term is accepted in the scientific community, so adopting other language in Vienna means “we are in parallel to reality” and “how can we rename things that are already agreed… we do not see any other solution”. China argued that harm reduction is not widely accepted and is not in the Political Declaration. Russia supported the USA, and also asked to delete P38 as well, while adding “national legislation” to end of P39. Ecuador added “other infectious diseases” to HIV and HCV.

Canada then reported back on the harm reduction discussions (having missed their turn earlier), but had nothing to report. They restated that member states “don’t all mean the same thing when we say harm reduction”. Colombia opposed the term, as they don’t have it in their national legislation, as did Egypt (“we cannot impose one country’s policy onto another”). Spain argued that P39 was not imposing anything and that not all paragraphs have to be applicable to everyone – but harm reduction is a reality for them. They supported the Russian inclusion of “national legislations” as a possible compromise. The EU overall was very strong on this one.

P39bis (Don’t Deter Service Access)
Switzerland inserted “does not deter people from accessing treatments and services”, while Russia asked to delete “deter drug users…”. Bolivia added “people who use drugs from services which reduce the risk of overdose, HIV and hepatitis infections and other drug-related harms” – taken from our recommendations. In response, China asked for clarification on what “people who use drugs” means (there were no other objections to this insertion). Spain asked to maintain a balance between demand and supply reduction.

P39ter (Designer Drugs)
USA added “marketed as” before “legal highs”. Spain stated that “designer drugs” is not an accepted term, and asked UNODC’s technical staff to clarify this and ensure that “we don’t say something completely apart from what UNODC is doing or the conventions say”. For them, “designer drugs” has a very problematic association, and is “not the approach we want to take”. This was supported by Slovakia, Germany and Ireland: the latter stating that they have been trying to avoid the legitimization of these “marketing terms”, and that this was a red line for them. Pakistan stated that INCB uses the term “designer drugs”, but Slovenia recalled that this is used in parenthesis and prefixed by “so-called”.

Egypt then inserted reference to Tramadol (“a serious problem in a number of countries as noted by the INCB in its 2012 report”, and deleted references to the internet etc. The Netherlands objected, as we could list all individual substances but there is no need. Egypt stated that NPS does not include Tramadol, which Germany then said was exactly why it should not be in this paragraph!

P39d (Against Legalization)
Uruguay cannot support this paragraph.

P40 (Supply Reduction Intro)
Canada added “parts of the world from the supply and trafficking of drugs including through organised crime”. But Ecuador, Pakistan, Cuba, Venezuela and Brazil called for the deletion of this paragraph. Egypt proposed: “challenges with regard to the supply and trafficking of drugs”, then deleting until “also need to be addressed”. Brazil agreed with this, and Nicaragua also said it was an improvement (although they still asked for time to consult – as did Guatemala). Italy stated that P40 is useful and they want to find a compromise – supported by France and Sweden – and they prefer the previous edits from Canada (as did France and the UK). Switzerland were OK with the changes, but asked to delete “public health and law enforcement” – they supported the concept but it should be placed in “a more neutral section” (they suggested P29bis). They stressed that it may be counterproductive and dangerous for medical and social workers to be seen as supporting law enforcement and supply reduction. Egypt wanted to retain this language, stating that these agencies are both working under the umbrella of governments and should work together. Canada asked why member states were against this paragraph: “are you suggesting that the world drug problem has diminished or decreased?” They are keen to find agreed language. Guatemala commented that “we are going around and around something that is very important and needs better wording”, and asked for “clearer presentation” that could be understandable to everyone.

P40bis and P41
In P40bis, the USA deleted “root causes of criminality” as it is ill-defined. Lithuania/EU also supported P41, while Peru have been holding consultations and are close to a consensus, take language from the Political Declaration Para 28: “and to the significant challenges faced by law enforcement and judicial authorities in responding to the ever changing means used by transnational criminal organisations to avoid detection and prosecution”. Argentina, China, Ecuador and Portugal supported this, as did Mexico although they would still prefer more forward-looking language. Egypt said that P40bis and P41 now overlap, so the former should be deleted – supported by Nicaragua, Venezuela, Ecuador, China, and Pakistan. But Colombia asked to keep P40bis, supported by France, Norway and Canada (who could see “good elements” in both and were surprised to hear reluctance among member states).

The UK offered clarifications on 40bis, which provides a “broad palate of options, not just law enforcement” – hence “holistic and balanced approaches” – and covers the Political Declaration Para 29 as well as 28 (i.e. not included in the Peruvian edit of P41). Sweden supported the UK here, while Ireland “will look into it”. Italy inserted “smuggling in migrants” to P41, but this was quickly rejected by Ecuador, Nicaragua, Egypt, Iran and Pakistan.

Paragraphs Inserted by Ecuador Under P41

Chile does not agree with any special marketing or “labelling” of alternative development products, supported by Argentina (who proposed to delete these inserted paragraphs). Canada commented that market access issues are beyond the remit of CND (supported by Argentina), and wording needs to be carefully tailored to avoid conflicts with trade bodies such as WTO. They therefore also proposed to delete the text. The USA added an “as appropriate”, while Pakistan supported these paragraphs but are open to new language. Bolivia and Egypt also supported the paragraphs – the latter changing “vulnerable areas” to “areas mostly affected by”. Venezuela asked to revisit the language from recent CND resolutions. Russia changed “maximum support” to “adequate support, as appropriate”.

Ecuador then proposed new language from the Political Declaration Para 41(b): “Develop strategies consistent with domestic legal frameworks, including the utilization of local expertise, capacity building and entrepreneurship, to develop products through alternative development programmes, identify on the basis of market value added production chains, as well as secure and stable markets with fair prices for producers in accordance with international trade rules, including the required infrastructure and a conducive environment, including roads, the establishment of farmer associations and the use of special marketing regimes, for example those based on fair trade principles and commerce on organic products”.

41bis (UNTOC)
Peru asked for this to be moved to 31bis, and that reference to the UNTOC protocols was maintained. This was supported by Italy, although Egypt claimed that it repeated 18bis. Belgium then pointed out that 18bus covers achievements and this paragraph covers challenges – so should be kept (supported by Italy).

41ter (Supply Reduction Indicators)
Pakistan stated that this paragraph was full of “preconceived notions” and sought clarification on “evidence based approach”. They suggested deleting this text, supported by China (who proposed to delete everything after “controlled substances”. UK supported the paragraph, but amended to “Stress the need to measure the impact of supply reduction interventions, including on the availability of internationally controlled substances, the size and value of these markets and the harms they cause to public health and security, and on the organised crime networks that traffic them”. Pakistan still asked for deletion, as did Ecuador. Italy and Switzerland supported the UK’s proposal, the latter reiterating the need to measure success against a better set of indicators. Nicaragua stated that they will need to consult their capital on this, and cannot support it now.

P42 (New Psychoactive Substances)
The UK proposed minor edits and added “including the use of new communication technologies as a facilitator for their distribution”. Russia then asked if distribution also included marketing and promotion, and the UK confirmed this. Canada wanted to delete “potentially” dangerous, while the Netherlands wanted to delete “dangerous” too: we only know if a drug us dangerous after it has been assessed as part of the agreed scheduling process. Egypt asked to copy and paste the three trends identified in P7 (those identified by INCB), but Switzerland rejected this with support from the USA, Netherlands and Colombia.

P43 (Precursors)
Lithuania/EU added “recognise the importance of increased vigilance by authorities over trade in non-scheduled substances, to agree on a voluntary monitoring of such substances and, where necessary, to deepen the knowledge of their diversion”. Switzerland asked for further discussion on the nature of this voluntary monitoring. The Netherlands deleted “suspicious”.

P43bis (Precursors)
Turkey supported this inserted text, alongside the USA. Egypt asked if this was to replace P43, but India confirmed that it was not.

P44 (Crop Cultivation)
Canada sought clarification on “legal markets and infrastructures”, while Ecuador added a reference to alternative development.

P44a (New Insertion)
Peru proposed new text – supported by Thailand: “Also recognises the significant role played by developing countries with extensive expertise in alternative development, including preventive AD, in promoting best practices and lessons learned from such programmes, and invites them to continue sharing those best practices with states affected by illicit crop cultivation including those emerging from conflict, with a view to using them where appropriate in accordance with national specificities of each state”. The Netherlands pointed out that crops are not illicit, their cultivation is, hence “illicit cultivation of crops” instead – supported by Ecuador.

P44bis (Crop Cultivation)
South Africa amended to: “Note with concern the cultivation and trade of illicit crops, in particular cannabis, and stressing the need to strengthen and intensify joint efforts at national, international and regional level to tackle this challenge in a more comprehensive manner in accordance with the principle of common and shared responsibility, including by means of appropriate preventive tools and measures, and enhanced and better coordinated financial assistance and action-orientated programmes”.

India added “illicit cultivation” to the first line – supported by Portugal, and Egypt added “increasing” cultivation too. Morocco and Russia asked to delete “in particular cannabis”, while Peru wanted to delete all of South Africa’s text. In response, South Africa stated that cannabis was highlighted by INCB, the World Drug Report and the Africa Union as a key issue. Morocco replied that the World Drug Report says a lot of things, and we need to “stick to the concerns that unify us”. Algeria supported the South African proposal, replacing “financial assistance” with “technical assistance”. Egypt then stated that the Political Declaration identifies three main crops (cannabis, opium and coca), and so this paragraph needs to mention all three. India and Portugal stressed the need to retain “illicit cultivation” in the text, while Canada replaced “trafficking” with “trade”. Colombia asked for further clarifications on this paragraph.

P45 (Technical Support)
Canada made minor revisions, but Pakistan registered reservations and Ecuador asked to return to the original language (supported by Egypt, Iran and Algeria).

P45bis (Death Penalty)
Iran stated that the paragraph was unacceptable, as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is “not relevant” to this Statement, and the goal of the paragraph is “in contradiction” with the whole Political Declaration which describes “shared responsibility” drugs as a serious threat to democracy etc. They also stressed that any punishments for drug offences fall under national sovereignty. China also stated that the paragraph was not acceptable “to many member states” who have the right to decide for themselves what is a “most serious crime”. Pakistan asked what “added value” this paragraph brings, and expressed concerns with the Covenant. They asked for analysis on how this reference to drug related offences aligns with Article 6(2) of the Single Convention. Russia stated that drug related offences DO fall under the category of “most serious crimes”, while Egypt asked for further discussions as not all countries can abolish the death penalty: “Raising this issue here could open the door to more discussions about the death penalty for other offences, so we need to be aware of these consequences in the future.”

On the other side, Lithuania expressed the strong support for this paragraph from all 28 EU member states while Norway voiced their own strong support (“We are the 29th member state on this one). Ireland aligned with EU position, stating that the concept of “shared responsibility” makes this issue even more important. Switzerland noted that the Statement already references human rights and other conventions, so the death penalty is clearly relevant. They also noted that the General Assembly has called on all member states to restrict their use of the death penalty, so we as CND need to affirm that drug offences do not fall apply. Sweden supported the EU position and reminded China of the numerous UN resolutions and conventions on this, and the moratorium. Norway also referred to the Secretary General’s report on this issue (as raised in our recommendations).

In the end, India and Pakistan opened the door to further negotiations. India suggested ending the paragraph at “most serious crimes”, but this would undermine the whole paragraph. Ireland welcomed the chance for further engagement on this issue, as it has been on the table since July “and needs to stay there until agreement is achieved”.

P45ter (New Insertion)
Russia add a new paragraph: “Recognising that in many member states, integrated supply reduction strategies have been adopted often complimented by comprehensive strategies against organised crime that include components against drug trafficking, as well as acknowledging active efforts of member states both on national and international levels, to combat illicit crop cultivation and illicit drug production, manufacturing, distribution and trafficking, as well as drug-related money laundering, as elements of a criminally organised profits-driven industry, call for member states in cooperation, as appropriate, with all relevant stakeholders, to enforce these efforts both nationally and through international cooperation in order to achieve the goals set out in the documents under review.” Pakistan supported this, while Bolivia changed wording around illicit crops.

P47 (Money Laundering)
Pakistan argued that the crime and drugs link is not very well evidenced – even UNODC’s own (incomplete?) research report is inconclusive, and includes several references and points that we don’t want to include in the Statement. Canada changed “financial flows” to “proceeds of crime”, while Nicaragua support Pakistan and asked for the paragraph to be deleted.

P48 (Money Laundering)
Canada deleted “and to coordinate”.

P50 (Law Enforcement Techniques)
Pakistan want to discuss this further, they have no suggestions now. Egypt noted that several of the listed measures require capacity which is beyond a number of developing countries, and would need collaboration with member states and UNODC. They therefore proposed to open the paragraph “Promote, where appropriate, and in collaboration between member states and the UNODC…”

New Paragraphs Inserted by Pakistan
Canada expressed concerns about the last paragraph, and need to come back later with comments on all three insertions.

The Peruvian Chair then closed the meeting, after just three hours of discussion. The next inter-sessional is scheduled for the 11th December, prior to the reconvened session of CND (12th and 13th December). Prior to then, the Chair will conduct a series of informals with the relevant member states in order to complete a new draft Statement. The current (tracked) version will be made available to all member states.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.