Committee of the Whole – E/CN.7/2014/L.8

Promoting drug use prevention based on scientific evidence as an investment in the well-being of children, young people, families, and communities


Thailand – Introduce draft resolution L8, “Promoting drug use prevention based on scientific evidence as an investment in the well-being of children, young people, families, and communities.

Chair – Is the title acceptable?

Venezuela – Should align ourselves with the 1971 Convention. Should say “Promoting drug abuse prevention,” so substituting “abuse” for “use.”

Austria – Prefer “promoting drug prevention,” so delete “abuse.” Makes things broader.

Thailand – Could agree with Austria.

South Africa – What do we mean by “young people”?

Thailand – The intention of the draft resolution is prevention, and when we talk about young people, it is because we look at them as a target group, so we want to create prevention programs for them specifically. Role of family is very important, so that is why we included the whole range of “children, young people, families, and communities.”

India – Are you outlining the drugs? 

Thailand – Intention was to outline this work with the existing development of international standards of drug use prevention developed by the UNODC. On this point, we are flexible one way or another. We wanted to align the title with the UNOC standards.

South Africa – Replace “young people” with “youth” so we are inclusive of all age groups.

Australia – Problem with “drug use” because that could also imply legitimate use of medical drugs. Our preference is “drug abuse” but could live with “drug prevention.”

Chair – Suggest keeping the title quite broad by using “drug prevention.” Should we consider leaving the name “young people” or just delete it?

Russia – Now we have a gap in the notion of target groups (i.e. between children and youth).

Thailand – Requests technical explanation from the secretariat. In principle it is fine, but would like further explanation if there is some difference meant by these words.

Secretary – In general we use “youth” or “young people” according to the definition used by the UN as below the age of 24. Wanted to include “children” because it makes sense to start prevention early. “Children” means 0-10 years of age. Nevertheless, UN standards state that there is no official definition for these ages. Adolescence would be under youth. However, adolescence is a special period where experimentation starts, so may make sense to single out this age as an additional one that we need to pay special attention to. “Children and young people” is the same as “children, adolescence, and young people.”

Thailand – By using “youth” we can keep the language tight and cover the context.

Russia – Use “adolescence” instead of “young people.”

Canada – Resolution 53/10 says “children and young people.”

India – This does not make an impact unless we define “drug prevention.”

Canada – Drop the “the” before “youth.”

Russia – Thailand did not want to make a resolution to support only the Rights of a Child, so we can be inventive with the title.

United States – Prefer to go back to using “abuse” in the title. Don’t know what drug prevention means.

Egypt – Essence of draft resolution is to deal with drug use prevention. Relevant in the title. Omitting the reference of “use” is obsolete, as we would divert from the main objective of this draft resolution.

Spain – “Drug use prevention” is more restricted, so support the proposal from Austria to keep it as “drug prevention.”

Venezuela – Preventing drugs is not what we want to prevent, we want to prevent drug abuse. There are licit drug uses. Should read “drug abuse.”

Germany – We had this discussion several times. Tried to find alternative language. Everyone should be flexible.

Egypt – The intention of this draft resolution is to promote drug use prevention. May as well refer to it in the title itself. Should read “Promoting the UNODC international standards on drug use prevention as an investment in the well-being of children, adolescents, youth, families, and communities.”

Thailand – Flexible. However, should not omit “based on scientific evidence” from the title, as Egypt just recommended. That is the essential aspect that must be captured in the title and the text.

Venezuela – Amended title from Egypt does not capture the essence of the resolution. Go back to the original title.

Chair – Leave the title in brackets for now. Go on to the preamble. PP1?

Switzerland – PP1. “Protect children against the illicit use,” as that is how it is said in the Conventions.

Chair – PP1 is agreed as amended. PP2?

South Africa – Have to keep the paragraph consistent with the title in regards to the target groups that are outlined.

United States – Keep PP1 in brackets.

Chair – Bracket the word “young people” and will follow the title later throughout the rest of the resolution.

Thailand – Flexible. However, how will adopting South Africa’s request affect the reference to 64/182?

Chair – Retain language as it is, as it is a reference to agreed language.

South Africa – The issue is consistency.

Chair – PP3?

Venezuela – Should adjust the text adapting it to the title of the resolution. 

Chair – We will adapt the content to the title as needed. Apart from the title, is PP3 acceptable in terms of content? Agreed. PP4? Agreed. PP5? Agreed. PP6? Agreed. PP7? Agreed. PP8? Agreed. PP9? Agreed. PP10? Agreed.

United States – PP9 – What do we mean by “promotion of drug prevention should take into account international human rights law”?

Argentina – The idea of this paragraph is to reaffirm the importance of human rights in this area.

United States – Can we reformulate? “Stressing the importance of taking into account human rights obligation in the implementation of drug prevention programs, particularly those focusing on…children, adolescence (whatever we agree on for the title)”?

Finland – Add “and policies” after programs in the United States’ revised paragraph title.

Chair – Agreed on this paragraph. OP1?

United Kingdom – “Invite” instead of “urge” and “consider expanding” instead of “expand.”

Chair – OP1 Agreed. OP2?

Canada – “Invite” instead of “urge.”

United Kingdom – Delete “particularly through sustainable funding.”

South Africa – Go back to preamble PP5 to detail whom.

Venezuela – Add “particularly through.”

Egypt – Issue of prevention as an investment. Omitting the issue of funding does not obtain the objective of this paragraph. Prefers to retain “sustainable funding” in this paragraph.

Thailand – Egypt is right about the intention of the paragraph.

India – Agree with Thailand and Egypt. Must request states to put budgetary resources aside for this.

United Kingdom – Any funding decision made on a national basis is subject to a review process, so difficult to agree on funding being allocated towards this in advance. How about taking out the word “funding” and using “measures”?

Egypt – Can agree to “measures to finance.”

Algeria – Support United Kingdom’s amendment because it takes into account national priorities and what is at stake at the national level. We can’t request states to make these sorts of pledges.

Japan – Agree with United Kingdom.

Egypt – This issue of avoiding the financial aspect that is to be provided to the training to policymakers is awkward for Egypt. Must decide whether we want to provide this training or not. Need to discuss funding, as otherwise this will impede such training to commence. “Measures including the finance of” instead of “measures.”

Switzerland – Similar concerns as the United Kingdom.

Thailand – We already changed “urges” to “invites” in this paragraph, so the funding recommendation is a possibility. That addresses the concern of the United Kingdom and others. Believe the question of finance would add value to the resolution.

Canada – Similar concerns as the United Kingdom. Propose “measures including the financing of” and then after “researchers” include “as appropriate.”

Algeria – We are referring to states with different levels of development and therefore resources and priorities. This language is difficult to accept because of this. Propose adding “concrete” before “measures,” and taking out the reference to financing.

Thailand – “Invites” and “as appropriate” is enough to accommodate the concerns of Algeria and others.

Egypt – Agrees with Canadian proposal.

United Kingdom – Instead of “particularly” use “including inter alia.”

Egypt – Use of “including inter alia” is inappropriate. Use “especially” instead.

Chair – OP2 Agreed. OP3?

United Kingdom – Instead of “increase” say, “make use of.”

Egypt – “Make use of” changes the essence of the paragraph. Do we want to increase scientific evaluation or increase the use of that we already have? Rather retain the original language.

Cameroon – Back to OP2. Do not understand the wording of “sustainable measures”?

United Kingdom – Uncomfortable with the use of the word “funding” and believe “measures” can include elements other than funding.

Cameroon – Delete the word “sustainable” to make it more understandable.

Chair – Let’s not go back to paragraphs we have already agreed to.

Cameroon – “Sustainable measures” doesn’t mean anything and can’t be translated into French.

Chair – Will delete the word “sustainable.”

Thailand – Propose if the word “sustainable” is deleted, perhaps we can change it to “adequate.”

Chair – Replace “sustainable” with “adequate.” OP2 Agreed. OP3?

Cameroon – The term “young people” should be put in brackets, as with other paragraphs.

Chair – Yes, we will do that for everything. What about the content?

Algeria – In favour of evaluating the effectiveness of programs, but why increase? Evaluation costs money.

Egypt – Rather go with “further evaluate.”

Cameroon – Add “as appropriate” as well.

Thailand – One concept is missing and is extremely important. We are missing the essential part of what we are trying to put forward, that we could add value to prevention programs by using scientific evaluation. Retain the notion of scientific evaluation. Flexible on how we alter the language to capture this.

Chair – Suggest “and enhance.”

India – Consider “periodically undertake.” Ensures it is done consistently and is binding.

Cameroon – Periodic evaluation is fine, but prevention programs are not scientific. We are using terms that could lead to difficulties. Thailand should not insist on “scientific,” as that would limit things.

Thailand – Request our colleague from the secretary to shed light on the importance of scientific evaluation of prevention programs, regarding how we determine the effectiveness of prevention programs.

Secretary – Question of degrees. Must do a scientific evaluation if you want to know if your prevention program is effective. That is why the paragraph called for “systematic and scientific evaluation of effectiveness.” A scientific evaluation does not need to be a randomized control trial. There are other forms that are not as difficult, but are still effective scientific measures.

Egypt – Propose, “Encourage member states, as appropriate, to undertake periodic, scientific evaluation of effectiveness…”

Venezuela – Agrees with Egypt.

Cameroon – In Cameroon, not sure how we can scientifically evaluate the talks that we do in schools to prevent drug use? Sounds great in concept, but not sure how to implement. Instead of “as appropriate” say “where appropriate” or “if applicable.”

Thailand – Prefers “where applicable.”

Chair – “Periodically undertake” instead of “undertake periodic.” OP3 Agreed. OP4?

Switzerland – “And early detection and intervention” after “prevention”

Finland – “Enhance and further” before “develop.” Rather have “prevention” alone (i.e. does not accept Switzerland’s revision). Add “and polices” after “programs.”

South Africa – Include “Member” before “states.”

India – What does Thailand mean by “designed to encourage effective alternatives to drug use”?

Thailand – Alternatives to the measures designed to prevent youth and children from being involved in drug use.

Egypt – Thailand, do you mean alternatives to drug abuse?

Cameroon – Drug use is better than abuse. The aim is that young people don’t get their hands on drugs, not just abuse.

Venezuela – Issue of use and abuse will be resolved when we agree on the title.

Chair – Yes, we bracket the word “abuse” and come back after we resolve the title.

Canada – “A healthy way” rather than “healthy ways.”

Venezuela – What kind of information is to be disseminated?

Cameroon – When would science based information be disseminated to young people? If we talk to them about this, it encourages them and makes them curious about drugs. It is counter-productive. Suggests that we delete this paragraph.

Thailand – Mexico proposed this paragraph. Disseminating information related to prevention in an easy to understand and accessible manner to different groups, including children.

Mexico – Information is disseminated for prevention, not to make youth curious about drugs.

Venezuela – Paragraph should be amended to reflect the explanation provided by Thailand and Mexico. “Need for member states to ensure when disseminating information to children…the information should be scientific-based and easy accessible.”

Cameroon – How will you disseminate scientific information to very young children about drugs? We need to keep young children away from this information. We can give this information to their families, and to them when they reach adolescence. Prevention must be appropriate for who you are targeting. Fervent appeal to not use science counter-productively.

Algeria – We are reaffirming the need. Lets soften the language by saying, “encourages.” So those who want to can disseminate this information, and those who do not, can also find their way through flexible language.

Canada – Must keep “in an accessible format.”

Cameroon – Do not want this sort of information disseminated to children and young people.

Thailand – Can go along with proposal made by Algeria and Canada. The important thing in this context is the risk to public health, which children need to understand.

United States – Suggests, “Encourages Member States to widely disseminate scientific based information in an easily accessible and age appropriate format, stressing the scientifically known risks to public health.”

Egypt – We are getting to the exact meaning with the United States’ proposal. Add “harmful effects of drug abuse” rather than “risks.”

Cameroon – If people insist on having young people in this paragraph, call for a restriction on scientific based information on the dangers of using drugs, because as it is worded, it is not clear what sort of information would be used.

Venezuela – Propose “dangers of abusing” rather than “using.”

Cameroon – When you talk about young people, we want to stamp out use, not just abuse. Lets put this in brackets.

Chair – Put the whole paragraph in brackets for now. OP5?

Algeria – Sequence of paragraphs change. Place OP3 after OP4.

Chair – Talk about sequence in informals when we talk about title.

United States – Seek clarification from secretariat that “to continue” does not involve any financial considerations?

Secretary – No financial implications.

Chair – OP5 agreed. OP6?

Thailand – OP6 intends to talk about capacity building aspects. Suggest we look at the second option in the square brackets.

United Kingdom – Cannot accept use of the word “financial.”

Egypt – Same issue of financial that came up with training. Actions require financing and technical assistance. Without those, the draft resolution is irrelevant. Need to include these.

Cameroon – Cooperation is not limited to assistance. Exchange of information is important, and it has been overlooked. Add “exchange of information.” “Financial” should be there.

Indonesia – “In order to” changed to “with a view to.”

United States – Most of the assistance is technical assistance. Technical assistance encompasses financial assistance. Addresses concerns of all colleagues.

Canada – Supports United States.

Cameroon – We are talking about assistance in every sense. Can’t include technical without financial. Talking about countries that need financial assistance.

Yemen – Technical assistance needs financial support.

Chair – Keep OP6 in brackets for now. OP6 bis? Agreed. OP6 ter?

United States – Why reference to human rights? UNODC should not have to consult with the UN High Commission on Human Rights before they do things.

Argentina – We share the view of the United States. Not our intention to make another control for the UNODC. Perhaps we can say, “invite the UNODC to coordinate…”

United States – Instead of  “with the UN High Commission on Human Rights” say “with other relevant UN entities, as appropriate.”

Yemen – Agree with the United States. Change “invite” to “enhance.”

Cameroon – “Entities” should be “bodies” or “organs.”

Chair – Propose “organizations” rather than “entities.”

Switzerland – Preamble in paragraph 1 for Rights of a Child, now have the correct formulation. “To protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs…”

Chair – PP1 is agreed.

UK – PP6: want to remove the mention of “financial assistance”. Egypt responds by stating “all kinds of assistance, including technical assistance”. France asks to keep para 6 in brackets until the delegation agrees to the proposal.  

Financial implications presented by UNODC Secretariat.

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