CND Intersessional Meeting – Monday 5th November 2013

On 5th November 2013, country delegations gathered once again in Vienna for more detailed negotiations on the Joint Ministerial Statement. The Peruvian Chair only circulated a revised draft of the Statement on 30th October, so many member states once again complained about not having enough time to formulate their comments. Importantly, however, the Chair’s new draft adopted a new structure, with separate sections for progress and challenges under each of the three overarching themes of the 2009 Political Declaration: demand reduction, supply reduction and money laundering.

South Africa:
Thanks the Chair for incorporating many issues in the new draft of the Joint Ministerial Statement.  This draft is positive and more forward looking.  There is a need to enhance technical and financial assistance to assist countries to develop drug control strategies.  Stressed need for more targeted capacity building.  This draft critically addresses locally manufactured ATS and underscores the need to follow new trends and trafficking routes.  Wants to see stronger language on illicit cultivation and trade of cannabis and would like to see this issue as highlighted as a major challenge in the document.  The other missing issue is the role of internet in NPS and the sale prescription drugs through unregulated pharmacies. These issues should be reflected in the text.

Lithuania:
See full EU statement

Canada:
Believe this is an improved draft concerned about the pace. Will the meeting schedule continue as planned? For this meeting there are many delegations without time for consultation on text with their capitals. Very concerned by mentions of decriminalization and legalization of drugs in the text.  We should preserve integrity of drug control as established by conventions.  The proposed language on harm reduction is not acceptable to Canada.  We have alternative language that we hope will be acceptable.

Argentina:
This is a better, more succinct draft. Concerned that the draft gives the impression that many issues that were already identified in 2009 such as ATS, poly drug use, shifting trafficking routes etc are all ‘new trends’ – only emergence of NPS is a new phenomena.  Questioned the ‘important role’ of civil society in the review process as this is a government process. We attach importance to what they do, mention them, say they have an important role but not that they are doing the work of the states.  Made reference to the economic crisis referred to in the text as a broad and vague concept.  Not clear what it is referring to.  These texts should be based on empirical evidence.  Do we mean “economic crisis”  in Europe, US, Latin America?  Change to language that says there should always be adequate resources to mitigate world drug problem.  Noted that they are not clear what the links are between drug trafficking, corruption and organized crime (including human trafficking).

Colombia:
Colombia agrees with this new structure and is eager to begin work on this.  Colombia’s main interests are reflected.  Colombia definitely has a big issue with any link between drugs and the post 2015 development agenda and had stated that the paragraph on this must be removed.  Does not accept ‘harm reduction’ and prefers ‘risk mitigation’.  When referring to NPS, there should be mention of cooperation with other agencies – the WHO should be included as well as global and regional cooperation frameworks. Sought references to agencies such as Interpol and the World Customs Organisation in responding to NPS.

Ecuador:
Happy with structure but concerned with the lack of balance. There are five references to NPS and only two to alternative development.  Strong appeal to delete certain paragraphs relating to links between drugs, crime and terrorism.  Law enforcement references have been included.  There is a serious omission of common and shared responsibility.  Must emphasize aspects of prevention, especially among young people with language from 2009 Political Declaration – young people are our most precious asset.  Don’t want FATF explicit references as this doesn’t apply to all countries.

Pakistan:
There are some strange conceptual innovations has been included which are discouraging.  The references to decriminalization and legalization are attempts to change to change the conceptual framework – the legalization of drugs in some parts of the world is a threat – as noted by INCB.  Request to delete all language referring to this. Don’t agree with ‘alternatives to imprisonment’ language – want it to be in line with language from 2009 PD.  References to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) are not useful. Proposed five new paragraphs roughly as follows:

Under demand reduction:

  • Alarmed at the increase in the use of NPS, ATS and designer drugs/legal highs in some parts of the world as well as their availability on internet.
  • While expressing concern at ongoing move of legalisation of certain illicit drugs in some parts of the world, stress the importance of universal implementation of the international drug control treaties by all states parties

Under money laundering:

  • Commit to establish new or strengthen existing domestic legislative frameworks to criminalise the laundering of money derived from drug trafficking, precursor diversion and others serious crimes of  transnational nature in order to provide for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of money laundering.
  • Commit to make money laundering an extraditable offence, in accordance with national legislation (2009 AP 51-a-VII).
  • Commit to ensure that legal provisions in compliance with due process of law such as banking secrecy laws do not unnecessarily impede the effectiveness of national and international systems for countering money laundering and do not constitute grounds for the refusal of mutual legal assistance.

Bolivia:
We had submitted brief new paragraph on the eradication of coca – given the good results in Bolivia as noted in the INCB report last year – 17% reduction in production in coca crops using ‘social control’ based on human rights observance – the fact that coca isn’t necessarily for drug trafficking or drugs. Although this specific to Bolivia we believe that we should have new non-traditional practices in eradication of coca.  It has shown more positive results than in the past.  The common and shared responsibility issue is not well reflected.  This is an accepted concept that is understood and needs to be further highlighted. Concerned with reference to securitization – we’re making this too punitive a document that doesn’t reflect the political situation.

Spain:
This is a document of great political dimensions… Capitals need more time.  Time should not be a barrier, the time is an issue for reviewing texts and giving joint positions and different departments need to weigh in.  Supports the EU position. There should be better balance between demand and supply. This is a review and should focus what has been done, what needs to be done.

Confusing wording around legal reforms. Some countries allow private personal use of certain drugs but that is different to decriminalisation and legalization – how does this fit with the conventions?  In terms of the wider debate on drugs this must be with the full respect of the 3 drug conventions. We support open and transparent debate within multilateral framework/ conventions but anything else is confusing/misinterpretation.

The debate is on public health looking at consumers, demand aspects of drugs.  These are regular issues at CND are all components of the plan of action.  But it is something quite different to include there, alongside health and consumption, the issues regarding legalization and decriminalization of certain drugs. Unless we can hear what these “certain drugs” are and if they fit within framework of conventions.

Spain wants the JMS to be the basis for the preparatory work for the UNGASS. There is precedent for this – the whole preparatory process took place in 1998 here as the sovereign competent body on drug matters.

Netherlands:
We are making progress and this is closer to final version. There is a need to have the WHO feature more dominantly the following ways:

  • The WHO role is in line with treaties.
  • In relation to NPS –there is a clear mandate for WHO in scheduling. If we want to go ahead in understanding and controlling these we need to do so through the WHO.
  • Access to essential medicines – WHO has equal role with INCB and UNODC.

Mexico:
Structure is now good. We support the recognition of new debates.
We support the current wording regarding the preparation for UNGASS – this should be in line with the debates taking place in New York. We want to see more balance between supply reduction and demand reduction and international cooperation.  Our aim at this midterm review is a political evaluation looking at what has been done.  Consider the opportunity that there will be at high level meeting in March next year. Don’t think we should repeat paragraphs from AP and PD. Suggest that the JMS appeals for established for evidence-based goals which allow for follow up on progress (set indicators) for UNGASS which would be real parameter with scientific evidence for objective prognosis.

France:
Support EU statement. Would like to recall importance of 3 conventions… have difficulties with parts of the statement. Understand there is a need to encourage debate but do not accept ‘decriminalization with the use of certain drugs.”Can’t accept this language as it stands.  Stressed the need to retain language around the links between drug trafficking, corruption and organized crime (opposing Argentina and Pakistan). NPS and alternative development are important issues.

Germany:
Appreciate structure. It was not possible for capitals to be here and we can’t talk to US and Canada – we want to see harm reduction mentioned in the text. Called for stronger language on role of the WHO.  And asked for stronger references to public health.

There is controversial wording and legalization language not acceptable.  Suggest compromise language and replace with words “a broader assessment of ways to sustainably reduce violence,   corruption and other unintended consequences associated with established supply reduction measures.” Alternative development is a very important issue for us. Germany is cooperating with many countries around the world on alternative development.  Should have more positive views than current one and we would like more positive language including removing references to ‘eradication’ and replace with ‘address’ and add ‘sustainable’ before ‘reduction’.

Cuba:
Concerned about references to securitization and the feferences to legalization. Not sure about the links between trafficking and certain crimes. Cuba has repeatedly said this is a UN body and the FATF should not be referred to here.  Include more on common and shared responsibility.

Taking into account complexity of issues analyzed here, important that we have enough time analyze and debate.  Experts in capital need to be consulted.

Australia: 
Pleased with progress that has been made and the current draft.  One concrete suggestion around reinserting some focus on strong partnerships between health and law enforcement sections: ‘Note the importance of public health and law enf partnership in ensuring demand is reduced in a way which facilitates close communication and does not deter drug users from treatment which reduce the risk of overdose and infection.’

Austria:
Wanted stronger reference to financial support for UNODC.

Portugal:
Supports EU statement.It is an important paragraph that refers to decriminalization as it is about innovative approaches. We don’t support legalization but we do support decriminalisation. It is a valuable approach based on our national experience – it is about protecting drug users health and well-being and encourages treatment. Independent evaluation says its cost effective – it’s very effective – many positive effects. We value reference to ‘decriminalisation of drug use’. Decriminalization is one element of a comprehensive strategy facilitating access to treatment and social integration, reducing adverse consequences of drug abuse.  This framework of decriminalization doesn’t mean legalization

India:
Not yet received detailed comments from capital. More importance needed for the issue of diversion… continues to be major challenge.

Japan:
Problems for time differences and capital has only had 1.5 days to review text so no instructions from capital on this draft.  Added reference to human security.

Italy:
Supports EU statement.  The world drug problem continues to pose a serious threat to all humanity, in particular youth, our most valuable asset. There is relevance in text of UNODC and Convention against corruption.  Would propose to strengthen references to these important tools to counter and reduce supply threats.

USA:
This is an improved draft and things moving forwards and  believe we can get consensus based on this draft. It’s a bit long but understand competing interests.
Appreciate civil society language and want to see that unchanged.  What is the process leading up to here? We want to proceed to agree text and put some paragraphs to bed. Let’s get to detailed issues and agree what we agree on and work on parts we need to work on. The reference to ‘harm reduction’ is problematic for USA. We do not want to see CND to endorse that term – Chair has suggested negotiating compromise language on the margins… would like to do this. Decriminalization and legalization language is problematic. We want CND as preparatory body for UNGASS… (supports Spain) and we want reference to the FAFT. Harm reduction could be ‘support and care services as outlined in the UNAIDS, WHO,  UNODC technical guide’ instead.

Russia:
Text is a great improvement and a good basis for our work. Commend structure.
How does Chair plan to organize work going forward? Will there be a new proposal? (Chair confirms that they will work on text as it is on the screen but a new version will be made after this round). Proposal on how to organize the work… when next draft is distributed please attach the document on the screen so we don’t lose sight of proposals made by the different delegations. We need more time between intersessional meetings for capitals to input. We don’t think we should have an artificial timetable – it is not realistic to have a clean text. We feel it is important to come up with a high caliber document.
Achievements section needs to be re-written as it requires a complete overhaul. We would be willing to contribution. We are carrying out a REVIEW here under PD and AP – if our achievements are so modest they can fit into two paragraphs then perhaps there will be a good argument for people who want to reform the whole system.  Are our achievements so modest?  Many concrete outcomes and events.  Produced a set of principles for AD in Lima.  This is an achievement.  UNODC has developed prevention principles.  An achievement.  Should be mentioned in the text.  Should be rewritten completely. When we work on the new version of the chair’s proposal, we would like you to base yourself on the mandate of the CND must include everything that corresponds to the mandate.  Have heard many proposals today.  Some fall outside the mandate of CND.

Swiss:
The draft is innovative and forward looking. We attach great importance to coherence within the UN system especially with regard to illicit drugs and there must be strategic cooperation between UN agencies – as well as for UNGASS and also for civil society involvement. In terms of HIV/AIDS – we have committed to reducing new HIV infections by 50% by 2015 – this issue should be strengthened in the document. We ccho what has been said by other delegations in highlighting the WHO’s role with regard to scheduling. We call for the end of the use of the death penalty. There should be balanced evidence based drug policy in demand and supply. The availability of medicines is important as is INCB’s and WHO’s roles in this regard but in all cases there should be inappropriate regulatory barriers to access.

Proposed new paragraphs under challenges and priorities under demand reduction:
Commit to working toward reducing transmission of HIV among people who inject drugs by 2015. (from the Politcal declaration on HIV/AIDS)

Stress the need to develop the evidence base for effective supply reduction interventions by measuring their impact on the availability of internationally controlled substances, the size and value of these markets and the harms they cause to public health and security.

Notes that the international covenant on civil and political rights prescribes that in states that have not abolished it, the death penalty may only be imposed for the “most serious crimes” and affirms that drug related offenses do not fall under this category.

Sweden:
We would like to align with the EU. Pakistan suggested new paragraph for extradition for money laundering but we don’t agree and this should be deleted as CND as no mandate in this regard. Decriminalisation and legalization are problematic issues that we cannot accept.

China:
Capital needs more time. China reiterates that the review is for reviewing implementation so the JMS should not modify the purposes of the PD and remain within the conventions. China is deeply concerned about the worldwide debate – this is beyond the conventions. The INCB has made clear its position on this issue and the INCB position represents most member states’ positions. Too many paragrahps on NPS so we need to merge these paragraphs more.
Regarding harm reduction, many countries are concerned about this wording – we do not want reference to harm reduction in the ‘achievements’ section.
On the death penalty – there is no evidence to prove that abolishment of the death penalty is conducive to efforts to control drugs… we do not see this as relevant to the JMS.

Venezuela:
Thanks Chair for the process. Minor issues raised although objected to inclusion of reference to human security by Japan.

Morocco:
Needs to see more references to shared responsibility. Echo reservations made by France, Spain, US, Italy, etc. with regard to legalization and decriminalization – must delete those references. Adds another paragraph:

Stressing the need to strengthen and intensify joint efforts at the national, regional and international levels to tackle the illicit cultivation of crops in a more comprehensive manner in accordance with the principle of common and shared responsibility including by means of appropriate tools and measures enhanced and better coordinated financial and technical assistance and action oriented programmes.

Brazil:
Welcomes new structure and limits interventions to general comments
Joins voice to many delegations that object to decriminalisation and legalization, this needs further discussion. There is a conceptual problem in linking the world drug problem to poverty in this text. For alternatives to imprisonment we still need better language.

Ireland:
We join with US, GER, FRA for SPA proposal to amend the language on decrimalisation and legalization. Prefer ‘welcome’ rather than ‘acknowledge’… for civil society involvement – civil society is mandated to be part of the deliberations (Res 56/12). Ireland has found civil society contributions very useful and appropriate. There is the important proposal made by Swiss – Ireland is committed to abolishment of the death penalty. Where it does exist – minimal standards must be met under human rights law, these must be adhered to – drug offences are not among the most serious crimes as agreed by ECOSOC. We support the Swiss.

UK:
We do not have full instructions at this stage. Legislation makes us uncomfortable. New paragraph proposed:
Acknowledge that law enforcement activity alone cannot address these challenges and recognize the importance of promoting holistic approaches that set the preconditions for a successful response by dealing with the root causes of criminality through building good governance, strengthening rule of law and combating corruption and recognize imp of disrupting organised criminals including through LE activity efforts to recover criminal assets, support for victims and witness and prevention programmes.

Belgium:
Support for the Swiss language on the death penalty. We ask to retain paragraphs that make linkages between drugs and organised crime – this is from 2009 PD. What does MEX mean when talking about ‘and other inputs’ for the UNGASS?

Norway:
Norway is opposed to death penalty in all cases and in all circumstances – we support Swiss proposal. We also support role of civil society in policy making at national and international level and we want reference to their important role.
Access to essential medicines is crucial. We want to keep reference to FATF.

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