Committee of the Whole – L-3 Mekong Delta Region Resolution Discussion on Death Penalty

Evening Session, CoW 3/20

Resolution L3 – Mekong Delta region. (4 bis the controversial para).

PP1.  Also add “in conformity with three international conventions.”
PP1bis. Reaffirming also that countering the WDP is a common and shared responsibility that must be addressed in national regional and international settings that require and integrated and balanced approach in full conformity with the three international drug control conventions as well as consistent with international human rights obligation.  (agreed)
OP1.  Welcomes the initiatives, efforts and partnerships demonstrated by the countries of the Greater Mekong subregion in the area of drug control in conformity with their international human rights obligations in accordance with national legislation, as well as ensuring where appropriate, the participation of civil society.
OP2.  Recognizes the need for the countries of the GMS to enhance and expand cooperation between all relevant stakeholders including at the local, regional and international levels, development agencies, donors and financial institutions as well as, as appropriate, civil society, in the areas of demand reduction and supply reduction to counteract the illicit production and manufacturing trafficking and abuse of drugs and diversion of precursor chemicals that not only pose threats to the countries in the subregion but also to other parts of the world.  (agreed)

OP3Appreciates the efforts made by MS within the framework of the mechanisms of the 1993 MOU on Drug control between the countries of the GMS and UNODC and its Subregional Action plan as well as related aspects of the regional program for Southeast Asia of the UNODC in order to counter the illicit drug problems of the GMS . (insert footnote on the MOU)

OP4.  Encourages MS and other donors to consider providing based on the principle of common and shared responsibility and by applying a comprehensive and balanced approach while recognizing their international conventions as well as their international human rights obligations timely and adequate technical assistance and support to the countries of the GMS in order to strengthen their capacities and efforts to counter drug problems within the framework of the mechanisms of the  1993 MOU and in coordination with the integrated regional program for SE Asia.  (agreed0
This was the controversial para.
4 bis.  Encourages participating MS to enhance international cooperation while noting the existence of impediments to such cooperation including practices in the penal system.  (Thailand wants to delete; Norwayinsists on keeping).  Norway says it is an impediment to technical and financial assistance.  Egyptand China go along with Thai proposal to delete.  “It seems a little too far to talk about impediments, such as punishment where we are trying to express our progress and  cooperation in the region.  If we add this para then the point we are making will be cut down by such an impression.  Support delete ?? In JMS we haven’t agreed on.
Switzerland..Recall that just last week during HLR after adoption of JMS was an explanation of position regretting that capital punishment not in JMS.  Since we the MS are financing UNODC s programs and these are in the Mekong area it is important to state that these are impediments when we are helping in these regions.

China.  Would like to tell everyone in this room.  China donated 1 million US dollars to UNODC.  Most of it located in this MOU.  If you do not want to donate then it is fine.  Sorry to be so direct.
Thailand.  Within this resolution, the support we are requesting is not necessarily financial, but technical assistance or sharing of information, best practices, we just want to keep it broad.  Therefore this is the reason we should not get ourselves into he wrong idea about budget implications.

Norway.  This para was introduced as balance to para 4.  Tried to maximize and balance technical assistance and support to fight the challenges in the region.  We find this resolution very important that is why we also try to support the countries in the region.  To balance that we should also have a region as to how to minimize the impediments to such cooperation.  Not acceptable to my delegation to delete.
Thailand.  It is not acceptable to my delegation to include. No place in this draft resolution.  Has to do with expanding international cooperation.  Has nothing to do with subject being proposed in 4 bis.  With this para being in the text it shifts the focus entirely.  Shifts it entirely.  Not the original intention of the cosponsors that has to do with the subject in this para.  Should there be an interest in having a resolution that talks about such an issue there should be another resolution.  Not about human rights.
Japan.  Support comments made by Thailand.  Intention is to promote countermeasures in greater Mekong region.  Penal system not related.  I can understand the concern of some countries tht want to express concern.  Such a strategy is inappropriate.
US.  Aligns themselves with Thailand and Japan.  Understands the emotions behind this.  But this is a treaty body.  Treaty we are all a part of. Right to define a crime and punishment is sovereign right of each party.  CND is not a forum for MS to express concerns on policy issues like this.  They can attach conditions to support they provide.  My country does this, but our preference here would be to delete this para in its entirety.  Can’t accept anything talking about practices in penal system.
Egypt. Try new language Encourages MS and other donors, to consider providing timely and adequate technical assistance and support without prior constraints or conditions to the countries of the GMS based on the principle of common and shared responsibility.
China. Express our regret that we have to see the divergence in this commission in re sensitive issue of the death penalty that is irrelevant to this resolution.   Encourages MS to consider means we respect their sovereign right to provide or not provide…as a balance, the international community should reversely respect the sovereignty of the GMMS in deciding what necessary and appropriate penal system in their jurisdiction.  If we want to have the notion of penal system in draft resolution we have to change OP 4 to oblige MS and other donors to provide timely and adequate assistance.  Not possible.  It is also not possible to put irrelevant and sensitive issues in that institution. Show good spirit.
Russia.  Procedural comment.  We are not supposed to interfere with internal affairs of states.  Main principle in PD and other documents.  CND does not have competence to impose those kinds of statements.  If we are talking about a practice not prohibited by IL and permitted by sovereign state, CND does not have mandate to address the issue.  If this is a precedent, we have no clear vision what will be next.  We will see other proposals for certain action vis a vis our jurisdiction, that we will see in other resolutions?  In spirit of compromise and constructive work, we do think it should be discussed in appropriate for a.
Indonesia.  Para. shouldn’t include capital punishment.  Delete 4 bis.
Norway.  Do not propose changes in rules or practice.  I see two encouragements in these paras.  To provide, enhance, support and technical assistance.  Second, an encouragement to limit impediments to such cooperation.  Highly relevant.  Retain both.
Cuba.  Delete para.
Vietnam.  Support for suggestion to delete.
Chair.  OP4 ,we agreed as it stands.
Thailand. Delegation would like to repeat our original proposal to delete.  We have heard a number of delegations express overwhelming support to delete.  Does not command support of the room.  Respond to Norwegian colleague.  Not supposed to address anything else except enhance cooperation.  Send a wrong message. Spent enough time to discuss this issue.
Afghanistan. Support deletion of para.
Chair.  Momentum going for deletion.  Will Norway allow?
Norway.  It is important for us to have a reference to have impediments in this resolution.  We are of course ready to work on language.  We would not agree on deleting this para in full.
Denmark.  Could I suggest the following wording?  Encourages participating MS to enhance international cooperation while noting the existence of possible impediments to such cooperation.
Thailand. Can’t accept the notion of impediments.
Norway. In the spirit of compromise could go along with the Danish proposal, and no particular reference to concrete impediment.
US.  Addition of possible is an improvement and hope that other delegations could see their way to approve.  Lots of impediments to international cooperation.  Good to take note of these, such as many countries won’t extradite.  Much more neutral statement.
Egypt.  Like to thank Denmark.  Add, “which may include certain constraints and conditionalities for this cooperation.”
France. Support original proposal from Denmark.  France supports abolition of the death penalty.  Not something we would recommend including for any measures linked to drug trafficking and for that reason we want to show flexibility, bearing in mind that flexibility goes both ways.  Danish proposal that doesn’t mention any terms that doesn’t mention any terms that might be objectionable.  Want to accept the draft resolution but it can only happen if it gets maximum agreement in problematic areas.
China. We would like to support the Denmark suggestion together with Egypt.
US.  Amendment by Egypt not acceptable.
Vietnam.  Retain Egypt proposal. Replace “which may include” with “namely.”
Norway.  We could go along with both proposals, Danish and Egypt.
Switzerland.  Would like to thank Danish colleague and support US.
Indonesia. Delete para in entirety.
France. Denmark proposal based on compromise.  Doesn’t raise any terms that are problematic for delegations.  Notes that there is cooperation between MS.  All delegations should make concessions.
Russia.  Whatever we do under drug control is supposed to be in conformity with the conventions, not just recognizing.  .  going back to 4.  “in conformity with the three IDC’s…and take out “applicable”
UK opposes use of the death penalty and encourages all MS to abolish.  Denmark has brought us almost there.  “potential” instead of “possible.”
China. Appreciate amendment made by Denmark and UK, and China would also propose some more language.
Encourage participating MS to enhance international cooperation while calling for further efforts in enhancing mutual understanding, and full respect to the national laws and legislations, (EGYPT) to avoid potential impediments to such cooperation.
Thailand.  Would like to show flexibility and expresses support for China.  At least more positive connotation, and in the spirit of compromise will go along with it.
US Will support.
Egypt.  I can go along with it with minor enhancement.
Norway. Will go along with proposal from our dear Chinese colleagues but not with distinguished delegate from Egypt.
Netherlands.  Turns upside down the Danish proposition completely. Supports Denmark.
China. Expresses support for Egypt.  What we have always been doing when engaging in international cooperation.  Importance of mutual understanding.
Egypt.  I feel pity to hear that there are certain delegations who want to omit respect for full respect to national laws and legislations.  It is a prerogative for countries to receive respect for it.  If it is otherwise then we have to rethink all resolutions…
Chair.  Propose that we show spirit of flexibility here and get this para closed as soon as possible.
France.  For our delegation this is very important.  Initial language talks about capital punishment.  We have made a major concession by going along with the Danish proposal.  Can’ be accused of not making sufficient concessions.  Fully respect other laws of other countries.  Why is Danish proposal contrary to that. Bearing in mind concessions made, not using language capital punishment, we would like other delegations to be flexible.  We would like to have adequate time to discuss Danish proposal.
Thailand. My delegation, along with many other delegations, in deleting this para entirely.  We have made the decision to go along with a compromise with Danish colleague shows major concession.  Now listening to the colleague from France…concession goes both ways.  (Getting very fed up)  A number of delegations overwhelmingly rejected this para.  Through the spirit of compromise in this room we have come this far.  Fact that we now have 4 bis is a balanced approach.
China.
Russia.   “as appropriate”
Egypt…tries to do something that doesn’t work…explains the positions to everyone again.
UK… after “potential impediments to such cooperation and the benefits of enhancing mutual understanding to reduce impediments.”
Egypt.  Add “While fully respecting the national laws and legislations”
Iran.  Will not accept this para as a whole.  Suggest that we bracket.

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