CND Inter-Sessional Session to discuss preparations for the UNGASS – 23 October 2014

MORNING SESSION

Chair (Ambassador Khaled Shamaa, Egypt) : He welcomes to the 6th Inter-Sessional meeting of the CND during its 57th session.  As part of his role as Chair of the CND, he reported to the Third Committee of the General Assembly on the agenda item in international drug control, in particular on the work of the CND the efforts made prior the UNGASS on drugs 2016. In this regard, he informed on the high level review conducted by the CND on March 2014 and the Joint Ministerial Statement. The Third Committee has approved by consensus the resolution to hold the UNGASS on drugs to be held in 2016, and the recommendation of the social council in its resolution 2014/24 and the same for the final adoption by the Plenary.

Regarding the progress of the resolution CND 57/5 to allow the participation in the preparatory process of a broad range of UN agencies and civil society, he reports that he has met with representatives of UN agencies and they agreed to send the CND contributions to include in the UNGASS website. He was also invited by the VNGOC to participate at the civil society meeting at NY on 10th October and he held the briefing on the work made by the CND and the preparatory work on the UNGASS 2016. The Chair stresses the importance of the CSO operating on the ground to provide information of the lessons learn and the difficulties they face in the implementation of actual projects.
With regard to the meetings of subsidiary bodies of the CND, the Chair reiterates the importance of the meetings attended by head of the national law enforcement bodies meetings and the Sub-Commission. The law enforcement meeting in Africa was held on 15-19 September in Addis Abeba, the one from The Caribbean and Latin America was held on 6th-10th October in Paraguay, the third meeting of Asia and Pacific will take place in Bangkok and finally the Middle East meeting will take place on 10th-13rd of November in Vienna.

Some of the interactive discussions with different stakeholders are ongoing and due to the positive feedback we will carry on having this discussion until the 57th reconvene session. The next interactive meeting will be held on 29th of October on “How reduce to HIV infections among people who inject drugs by 2015. UNAIDS response”, with the representative from Geneva, Mariangela Simão, Gender prevention and community mobilization expert of UNAIDS. Two more meetings will take place on 19th November (SE Asia, Asia and The Pacific) and on 26th November (Africa and Middle East). All this information will be posted in the Ungass.org website.

The agenda item 2 is the preparation of the provisional agenda for the reconvene session, running from 3rd December to 5th December of 2014. This provisional agenda will be available on the website of the Commission.

On the 3rd of December, the Commission will work on the UNGASS special segment. That special segment on the preparations for the special session GA on the world drug problem will be converted in the Agenda item 9 of the 57th session of the CND. This special segment will be open to the participation of all UN state-members, observers, entities, agencies of the UN system, international organizations and NGO. The provisional agenda of the UNGASS contains a substantial debate with all stakeholders and substantial matters related to the preparation of the Special Session.

On the 4th of December, the CND will hold two meetings, related with the agenda item number10 “budget and administration”. The Commission welcomes the contribution of the Executive Director. The CND is also expecting the approval of a draft resolution on the budgets 2014-2015 from the fund of the UN drug control program. The Commission will also listen a word by the secretariat after the report made by the Inter-governamental working group has been created to monitorise the financial situation of the UNODC. The third mandate of this working group will end in the first half of 2015 pursued at an ECOSOC decision. The CND will be expected to carry out a thorough review of the working group. To facilitate consultations, the Chairs of the Commission are in the process to prepare a statement that will be discussed in the next inter-sessional meeting of 25th November is open. The CND will consider the extension of the mandate of the working group.

On the 5th of December, the CND will hold a separate meeting to consider the remaining items in the agenda. The morning from 9- 13h. Has been allocated for this purpose.

Preparation for the 58th session of the CND. The commission needs to decide the logistics and duration of the meeting. According the paragraph 7 of the resolution 57/5, eight meetings (4 days) will be devoted to the preparation of the UNGASS. The dates proposed to hold the session are from 9-17th March. On the 26th of August, the Commission distributed a draft provisional agenda on the UNGASS preparation. The Chair proposes that the preparation of the UNGASS run from 9th to 12th March, followed by the 58th session of the CND (13th- 17th) .

I have been consultation with all regional groups over the past week, the last one was with the Asian group, and try to make sure that to receive feedback from all delegations concerning the non-paper distributed last session, as well on the structures, formats and topics approached in the UNGASS 2016.

Mexico: The delegation thanks for all the work made the last weeks: trips to NY and consultation processes with the regional groups, as well as the organisation of the special segment of UNGASS. The delegations states that a non-paper was prepared and disseminated yesterday by the Mexico delegation. This is not an alternative proposal, but it aims to organise the discussion and to highlight some of the of the elements that Mexico consider more important: The clarification of the GA mandates and the CND mandates, to ensure that the exercise in NY is not only a broad discussion, but it helps to substantial changes prior 2019. Mexico stressed the importance of guaranteeing transparency and inclusiveness.

  • Also, Mexico want to ensure that this meeting is attended at high level (by PM, Ministries, Ambassadors…) as well as partners coming from civil society and from the academia. The aim of this is the agreement of a text, brief and concise, and not the repetition of previous exercises. This is desirable, and also possible.
  • Mexico aims also to increase the visibility of the preparations being held in Vienna. The aim of this exercises must be ensure visibility. High level representatives of government officials and civil society and academia. Not a single Ambassador is attending this meeting! More help needs to be done to help promote interest in these meetings and extend the participation beyond this house.
  • Another issue is to consider the cooperation between NY and Vienna. In the resolution that is currently under consultation in NY, the omnibus resolution, some activities have been included, such as holding a meeting on 2015 as part of the preparative process.  A great number of delegations have approach us [the Mexican delegation] to ask about the purpose of the UNGASS.
  • We have asked the head of the GA to provide us guide and to participate in the preparatory process. According the omnibus resolution we are preparing, we are organising a meeting in NY and we will receive contributions from member-states, organisations who are not able to participate in Vienna and from our delegations in NY, this should fed the preparatory process here in Vienna.
  • Moving into the organisation of the UNGASS on drugs 2016. A high level meeting opening might be an opportunity to approve a declaration (based on consensus, results-oriented, brief) that will help the discussions at the UNGASS.
  • The general debate should be focus on one theme or topic, not two, it might be related with the need of the GA to strengthen their efforts of the global drug problems, recognising the existence of different situations and legal instruments, such us the drug conventions, that can help to guide the debate. We think that having round-tables would be interesting to feed the debates, integrated by NGO, at the summary text will deliver by the president of the GA.
  • The Mexican delegation would like to have:
    • Ensuring clarity on the aim,
    • Vienna responsibility to increase the visibility of the preparation and the draft resolutions,
    • the modalities for the special session, both for the organisation and the participation of other stakeholds.

Italy (on behalf of the EU): The EU is compromise with the principles of Shared responsibility, an integrated balance, development, respect of human rights and human dignity and the respecte of the international conventions. The drug problem should not be tackle at UN level as a security problem, but also as a health problem, ensuring that drug users have access to prevention, harm reduction, treatment, recovery and social reintegration.  Evidence-base programmes should be a guiding elements of the drug policies to avoid that drug interventions have limited impacts and sometimes unintended consequences. The non-paper distributed by the Chair is a good bases to start preparations, we also thank the US and Mexico delegations for their contributions. The UNGASS represents an important step to review the political declaration and to reflect the ongoing debates and challenges in the world, within the framework of the international drug control conventions and other relevant UN instruments.

The EU stresses the necessary participation of the broad family of UN agencies working on health, human rights,  development and security, including UNAIDS, World Bank, UPKO, Un Secretriat UN women, UNICEF, PNUD,  so the EU welcomes the inclusive character of the non-paper, as well as the participation of civil society and the scientific community, specially in the field of drug-demand reduction. The EU points out that they should look for ensuring the participation of civil society in all round-tables and express their agreement with the topics are covering a broad discussion. Human rights should be a crossed-cutting discussion in all the workshops. The subtopics should be open, instead of a definitive list.

The roundtable “drugs and health” is as a to promote a public-health drug prevention focus as a comprehensive approach to tackle the drug world problem. The prevention of overdoses and drug-related deaths should be included here.

  • The round table on “drugs and human rights” must ensure proportionality of drug-offenses. Furthermore, the EU opposes the death penalty in all circumstances, so the EU propose to include the subtopic of death penalty under the topic number 3 “drugs and human right” and under the topic number 2 “drug and crime”. For the EU to approach way on how to promote the social inclusion of drug-related offenders is also needed under this round-table.
  • The roundtable drugs and development needs to include alternative development as a long-therm approach to tackle illicit drug cultivation in its root causes. The regional cooperation should be included here as a subtopic.

The EU welcomes the inclusion of new psychoactive substances as the spread of this substances is causing much harm. The EU encourages the revision of the workshops and to reduce them from 6 to 4, in order to concentrate efforts. They suggest the topic number 5 “Drug- science and technology” could be included under the topic number 2 “Drugs and crime”, and the 6 “Drugs and Youth”  in the number 1 “Drugs and health”.

Afghanistan: A balanced approach needs to go beyond of the ethical deliberations. Balance and integrated efforts needs to include to face the production problem, the trafficking of precursors problem and the growing link between drug-trafficking and corruption.

Concerning the selection of topics of the workshops, Afghanistan welcomes the inclusion of the regional experiences approaches and suggests a more precise assessment in the workshops, to ensure that the topics include the interest of all the state-members and regions. Some of the subtopics that could be included in the workshop are: 1. Ways to increase the effectiveness of alternative developments, 2. coordination to tackle precursors, 3. financial aspects of trafficking, 4. problems related with drug-use. Afghanistan is committed with the preparation of the special session and supports the inclusion of an item on the preparations, and the reconvene session of the CND.

Ecuador: The delegation recognises the transparency and professional work in the preparations in compliance with the resolution 57/5. The UNGASS 2016 is an extraordinary opportunity to carre an in-depth analysis on the drug world problem, relating difficulties, successes and failures. We would like to provide recommendations to ensure that the preparative processes of the UNGASS are more substantive in nature. They should not be restricted to the three pillars of the international conventions. These conventions have been proven a limited approach in the past, and we need to recognise that there are different emerging approaches and different realities when it comes to tacke this social phenomenon. There is a need of active participation, such as academia, the epistemic community, social organisations, etc. The more open the debate the richer the discussion will be. In other areas and multilateral for a broad discussions have being held to address the challenges. We cannot afford to ignore the tragic realities that we are experiencing. Drug policies has been taken by tragic realities and human being has been reduced to a second stage. The welfare of the human being should be the centre of the stage in drug policies.  There are three topic to which we would like to contribute:

  • Drugs and human rights, as this is a cross-cutting topic
  • Analysis of the international legal-framework
  • Drugs and development focussed on prevention and human health

Switzerland: UNGASS is an opportunity to put drug control into the frame of the rest of the UN community and to prove to a broad audience how drug control is engage with the “ensurance” of health and well-being. We expect the participation of all relevant actors in the preparation and in the follow up with the outcomes of the UNGASS.

The role of the UN System Task Force on Transnational Organised Crime and Drug Trafficking  in the preparatory process is key to examine the reports submitted by other UN bodies. The role of civil society and scientific-community is also vital at this stage, at the preparation moment. We should allow CSO to participate, not only as speakers in a side debate, but offering them a central place in the debate. The Swiss delegation like the idea of giving the floor to the scientific- community at the opening of the UNGASS. However, they stress that we all know that the decision-making wont be scientific but political. The scientific community must feed the debates now.

The Joint Ministerial Statement (JMS) is not the most elegant example of diplomatic work, but it was a piece of work. UNGASS should play a complementary role and address these issues that were not address in the JMS.

How we ensure drugs- availability for relief pain purposes is a humanitarian issue and many people around the world suffer from the lack of drugs for pain. This could be included in the workshops as a new topic “drugs and medication” in addition to keep “human and health”.

In the drugs and human rights: The Swiss delegation supports the inclusion of the death penalty subtopic, as well as many others, such as the humanitarian problems caused by mass imprisonment. The conventions offer place rehabilitation and social reintegrations. In UNGASS should be room to further explore this issue.  Young and female offenders need particularly attention.

The Swiss delegations share their concern with young people. The 6th proposed workshops should have a broader approach, such us “young, families and communities”. Personal development and well-being could be discussed under this heading

The list of subtopics under the drugs and development workshop should include the impacts on the environment, and how territorial control by TOC undermines the development.

We should be careful not to limit our thinking or exclude any area of the debate, and we need to ensure how drug policy can be better align with other exercises.

Colombia: The delegation thanks for the consultations and the preparations and states that the UNGASS is an opportunity for Colombia to engage a broad debate, but it is also an opportunity for international community to do so. This discussion needs to be evidence-based with objective data, and not be crossed by ideological believes.

Drug use is an issue of public policy, human rights and education. There is a need to find alternatives for incarceration for drug users and we need to recognise the mistaken approach of maintaining policies that have proven a failure in the past and to carry on with unrealistic objectives. So, we will need to examine the areas that has been a failure in therms of drug policy. A broad discussion on this matters should enable us all to promote collective solutions.

Colombia is in the process of considering the topics included in the non-paper distributed by the Chair. We need to find tune to ensure that the debate proposed in the final agenda is inclusive, as expected for the UNGASS.  The omnibus resolution submitted by Mexico in the Third Committee in New York has been co-sponsored by Colombia and will help to align the roles of the CND and the GA. The preparative efforts on the UNGASS should not be restricted to CND.

We need to establish a time-table that takes into account the inter-sessional meetings to be held between from now to December and the ongoing work between now and 2015. We need ask ourselves what the CND should focus its attention on. For Colombia is important we consider many elements that were included in the JMS adopted in March. However, the discussion should not only refer to a new review or revision of the old objectives. The agenda needs to be prepared with the participation of other UN agencies, civil society and scientific community. This is vital.

Issues such as the damage caused in the social fabric as a result of drug use, preventive policies as well as new alternatives to tackle the drug problems should be included in the discussions. The UNGASS has to reflect an objective review of the current drug policies and to apply corrective measures when necessary.

Concerning the possible contributions made for the head of national entities for combating drugs. This institutions should not be involved nor in the preparatory work of the CND neither in developing recommendations.

Russia: The Chair non paper is a good base for the discussions. The drug should be considered in its multifaceted nature. UNGASS 2016 is a step in the road ahead the 2019. We need to guide ourselves in the provisions of the three drug conventions, and ensure that any decision we make is in compliance with these international instruments.  A balanced approach is needed. The Russian delegation really believe that the CND is an inter-governamental body and should led the preparations here in Vienna.

Concerning the role of the civil society organisations, the Russian delegation approves the proposal of the chairman of the structure proposed, and agree with the workshops on drugs and crime,  drugs and health, drugs and development and drugs and technology. In the round table of criminal activity we need to include finances and concretely the financing of transnational crime. The round table on drugs and technology is a good way to consolidate academic knowledge, and to use technology as an effective way to tackle the drug trade. Overcoming poverty and providing people with alternative sources of income is a key point of the round table on drugs and development. International cooperation to counter drug trade is also needed and also how to tackle EPS that are becoming more and more dangerous.

These workshops should not engage in philosophical debates, but focus on the real threats caused by the drug trade, including cocaine and heroine trade. The Russian delegation agrees with Afghanistan: in the preparation we should reflect the law enforcement work.

Guatemala: The objective of the UNGASS is to carry out an evaluation of the failures and success and the adjustments that need to put in place in drug policy between 2016-2019. As you know,
there is a major discussion in Guatemala to see what results – if we can speak on result –  have achieved the current drug policies. In the Latin American region there is a detailed, ongoing and rich debate on the topic, that is why the thinking processes of this debate should be extended to New york.

Reducing the agenda to the supply reduction and the demand reduction are the traditional topics.  We need to evaluate the achievements and the failures of the drug policies, to face the new challenges and to consider drug policy alternatives based on health, human rights and a scientific-approach. We need to make this debate inclusive to youth and gender.

Guatemala welcomes the proposals submitted by the Ambassador of Mexico to guarantee a broad debate and participation.

Sweden: Sweden had not time to review the Mexican non paper.  There are global drug policy challenges, but also multi-sectorial approaches that have had positive aspects in combating the drug use. This link between 2016 and 2019 needs to be clarified. We need to give time to talk with civil society actors, including those that are new and which voices have not heard yet. Sweden also welcomes the participation of other agencies.

When we talk on the demand reduction, the global challenge is drug prevention, which should be included under the topic drugs and health. Local prevention is key and Sweden would be happy in sharing some local and national experiences. On the other hand, there is no universal solution for treatment. The right to access social support and drug treatment needs to be guaranteed, and while Sweden supports the WHO guidelines harm reduction needs to be seen in the wider context to be as effective as possible. Treatment, risk and harm reduction needs to be considered in a balanced way.

Drug policy is a matter of human rights, security, health, gender, development, youth…the UNODC can be a catalytic role, and we encourage the other agencies to play a more active role. Sweden supports a transparent and inclusive process in Vienna and suggest avoiding the duplication of roles in the preparative process.

The Netherlands: Supports the intervention of Italy on behalf of the EU. The UNGASS should not be a copy of the CND. UNGASS is a stop-making exercise or a place to review the successes and failures of the current drug policies. The Netherlands would like an agenda that creates more reflection, specially around the three drug-conventions. In 1961 there was no HIV, psychedelic drugs neither internet, and to review this is a matter of responsibility.

International cooperation is not covering all the topics. We need to give more room for the topic of availability of drugs, that does not fit necessarily under the workshop on “drugs and health” as Switzerland has already said.

Last week an expert group meeting on HIV and prisons was held, and the WHO, UNAIDS and UNODC presented 25 practical recommendations on how to reduce HIV in prisons. This was scientific evidence and them some member states took the floor and said “Thank you very much for the scientific evidences but it does not align with my domestic legislation or with my culture”. So, at the end with finished saying “the earth turn around the sun but we cannot agree” and scientific recommendations were not endorsed.

The proposal of the workshops is important, as we need involve civil society and academia not only by being present but also helping with the conclusions of the workshops.

Turkey: The UNGASS will provide a broad debate. Turkey welcome the contributions of all institutions of the UN system, as well as the contribution of civil society and academia. The non-paper provided by the Chair provides a substantial first draft on the agenda, although the thematic discussions should be reduced for more efficacy. Turkey also thanks the US paper, unfortunately they have not time to digest the Mexican non-paper yet.

Namibia (on behalf of the African group):
The African group is offering the diplomatic skills and capacities to prepare the UNGASS. The non-paper submitted by the Chair constitutes a good base for discussion. The African group would like to reaffirm of their commitment with the Conventions as well as with the JMS approved in March 2014, which should be taken into consideration when discussing the strengthening of the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action.  The CND is the central body within the drug policy and it is the one who should undertake the preparations and the outcomes of the UNGASS 2016.

The UNGASS needs to address the root causes of the world drug problem as well as strengthening international cooperation, economic growth, poverty reduction and promote alternative development.

The group takes note on the non paper distributed by the Chair. The African group would like to emphasize that every region has its own particularities and challenges to tackle the world drug problem. The group proposes the introduction of regional perspectives in the organisation of the thematic workshops. The group is deeply concern about the negative impact of drug abuse on public health, societies, individuals,  which undermines the fundamental human rights.

The African group expresses its concern regarding some initiatives in some regions to legalise  certain drugs. This initiatives hinder the ongoing efforts to combat the illicit production, trafficking and use, and also the balanced approach that member states have committed to follow in the global fight against the world problem.

Japan: Japan supports the International drug conventions, in this context is important to review the progress made on the drug declaration. Japan supports the idea of giving a set of recommendations ahead the UNGASS, they would need to be action-oriented. The country agrees basically on the topics proposed for the workshops, but would like to re-group the round-tables under the three pillars of the plan of action: Demand reduction, Supply reduction and international cooperation.

China: China is strongly committed with the UNGASS, and hope it will help the international community strengthing the drug system within the bases and in the framework of the three international conventions and other relevant instruments. China welcomes the participation of civil society in the preparative process and during the UNGASS 2016. Since March 2014 and in preparation of the UNGASS, the CND has carried out fruitful consultations. The resolution 57/24 tasked CND as the preparatory body for the UNGASS. This is a hard one consensus. Agree with Russia, and the GA should endorse the preparations made by the CND without any further amendment. The hard work going here should be recognised and respected by the Third Committee of the GA, and taking into consideration the limited resources, we need to try to avoid duplications.

Concerning the proposal made by Italy on behalf of the EU, saying that death penalty should be included in drug and crime and drug and drug and health. China objects the inclusion of this issue in the agenda. Colleagues already discussed this issue in the high-segment meeting this March and we finally decided not to include it in the JMS as there was not consensus on this issue, which is very controversial. We should leave the countries space to decide in this issues depending on their narcotic policies. So, we should not include the death penalty issue in the agenda items.

Brazil: Thanks Mexico for the suggestions in the non paper, however for Brazil, the three Conventions remain the main framework on the drug policy. Brazil thinks that they are flexible enough to allow a gender, human rights and social inclusion approach. Brazil welcomes the inclusive and participatory approach reflected in the Chair non paper and the participation of all the stakeholders. The result of the UNGASS 2016 should be a step in the process on the way to 2019.

With regard of the structure of the drug debate, we Brazil does not agree the division of the programme neither on the regional discussions. Brazil consider the world drug problem as a global problem and do not see an added value on the regional discussions.  Also Brazil proposes to cut the number of workshops. As the EU suggested the topics under topic 5 could be treated under the 2. Topics under 6 could be addressed under the 1.

In the workshop 1”Drugs and Health” Brazil suggests to expand the topic related to medication to “ensuring the availability of essential medicines” (and not only of pain medication).  Brazil would also include a subtopic on  “social assistance to the users” under the workshops on health and human rights.

In the round table 2 “Drugs and Crime”, Brazil suggest to include “Money laundering”. Brazil highlights that counter money laundering and promoting international cooperation should be included in the topic discussed, as many delegations have already emphasised on the importance of countering money laundering. The country would like more clarification on what the heading “corruption” contains.

Regarding the 4 “Drugs and Development”, Brazil thinks the heading is not the best one. The drug problem is a shared responsibility, but this heading might be misleading for some stakeholders, as it can be understood that the drug problem is more acute and is a responsibility of developing countries. Brazil reinforce the idea that the delegation is open to new discussions and alternatives, but  that all these discussions might accommodate in the frame of the conventions.

India: The country is very confident that the preparatory processes of the UNGASS will be rich. India stresses that the central role on the UNGASS preparations should be lead by the CND, as the delegation thinks that this is the appropriate body to handle the preparations. The papers are very well conceived. As expressed by Brazil, India does not understand the scope of the regional discussions. We are dealing with a global issue and need more clarity on this. India renews its  commitment with the three drug conventions.

India is happy with the inclusion with supply reduction and demand reduction, but we need to have more clarity on what international cooperation means. The topic under international cooperation could use the headline included in the Political Declaration “counter money laundering…”

Concerning the round table on Drugs and health, India would like to divide it on two: 1. positive impacts of the drugs (medicines), 2. negative impact roots on the negative consequences of the drug use. Concerning the round table on science, we need to be more clear on what it contains.

Argentina: Thanks the delegation of Mexico for the non-paper submission, as well as for the one submitted by USA. In all of the statements there is a common denominator: everybody is asking for a broad and inclusive debate. The expectations around UNGASS 2016 are legitimate so there is a high level of responsibility. Argentina does not enter on the specific topics of the workshops, they are appropiate and they summarise and reorder this exercise. They could be presented in many different ways, but what is important is that all the topics are included and that there are broad. Each delegation, each region, each group might have aspects that are their priority, if we engage in such a discussion is going to be long. For Argentina, the core ones are “Drugs and human rights”, “Drugs and health” and “Drugs and crime”. We need to focus on what can be done practically in the field to improve the situation, and to avoid repetition and rewriting documents.

Argentina thinks that he sentence “The high level workshops would aim to fine-tune the recommendations” is not appropriate. We need too clarify the mandate given to the workshops, we might have to discuss this in future meetings.

Nigeria: Supports the statement made by Namibia on behalf of the African group. Nigeria would like to welcome the inclusion on the workshop 4 on drugs and development.. As a member of the African group, Nigeria is concern that the alternative development is given enough attention. Human rights is a cross-cutting issue, and it might not need to stand alone as an issue.  The basis for innovative thinking should be the three conventions, that we all signed. The commitments with them should be renewed.

El Salvador: The active participation of El Salvador ahead the UNGASS comes under the political declaration and plan of action: to reduce the demand and the use, and to tackle the criminal organisations activity. El Salvador welcomes the civil society and the scientific community participation, as they have been able to develop innovative prevention programmes. El Salvador supports the cross-cutting inclusion on youth and gender in the workshops and in the international cooperation in education. As country of transit, El Salvador hopes to see included the relation between tribunal criminal structures and financial criminal organisation activities. They would like to suggest that a raising-awareness-paper could be written to explain why our delegations are working in this process. Maybe the regional delegations could contribute to this.

South Africa:
The three drug control conventions are the basis of the drug international policy. For South Africa, the UNGASS 2016 purpose should not be to review them. South Africa supports the inclusion of the sub-item “traffic and organised crime” in the round table on drugs and crime. South Africa also supports the point made by Nigeria and the African Group on the balance of alternative development (topic number 4)  Concerning, drugs and human rights: human rights are universal and interrelated. This should be a cross-cutting issue. In the latest World Drug report, South Africa has been mentioned as suffering a lot of cyber-trade, so the country would be really happy address the topic of cyber crime.

South Africa do not think that any effort should duplicate the work that the CND is doing. “Why would be studying other countries non-papers? This would move as away from the non paper proposed by the Chair.”

Egypt: The three conventions are the cornerstone of the global system for countering drugs and have to be the framework of  the preparatory work on UNGASS. We should ensure their effective implementation. We need focus on addressing the causes of the world drug problem.
Egypt highlights the importance of inter-regional groups, and would like to include items in the agenda to consider ways to reduce trade and the non-medical uses of substances such as Tramadol.  The CND must have a very important and leading role on the preparatory process of the UNGASS.

Indonesia: Indonesia supports the role of the CND on the preparation of the UNGASS. The role of the UNGASS is to identify progresses and failures on the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action. The discussion and topics should focus more on supply reduction, demand reduction and international cooperation as the main pillars of the political declaration.

Algeria:  Adds its voice to Namibia on behalf of the African Group. The discussions should take place in the context of the three drug conventions, they are for Algeria the legal framework of the international drug policy and should guide our preparations for the UNGASS. The discussions should not to leave aside certain subjects, such as the traffic and impact of drugs in societies, in particular of cannabis, we need also consider the prevention of international trade, the relation between transnational crime and corruption, and human rights, for which we need to balance the health approach and the security approach.

Pakistan: This is a very useful starting point for discussions. The UNGASS 2016 is only one step forward and a contributing factor to achieve the 2009 political declaration, and its role should not been replaced. Pakistan aligns with Russia and China: nothing coming out from UNGASS should replace the Join Ministerial Statement. The UNGASS 2016 should remain as a contributing factor to achieve the goals written in 2009 and should not set up new objectives. The three main Conventions remain very valid tool of international drug policy and there is not need to review them. The workshops proposed need to be inside of the 2009 Political Declaration and of the 2014 JMS.

We need to address those topics relevant for supply reduction and demand reduction. Under the round table “Drugs and crime”, there are certain points that need to be changed. The word “violence” should be replace with “reduce violence related with drug-trafficking”. Some clarification needs to be done on the matter of drugs and development because there is not a concrete action plan on this. The workshops need to have coherence with the recommendations, and the recommendations coming out of the workshops could fed the discussions.

The regional dimension is extremely important, and it should remain there. We have common and regional problems. Regional recommendations should retain separate status, as there are regional ways in implementing the political declaration.  The heads of law-enforcement and police-officers could stablished working groups to make recommendations and provide inputs.

Concerning the Mexico non paper, we are still trying to find the coherence of the non-paper.

AFTERNOON SESSION

Bolivia: The Bolivian delegation is grateful for the contributions made by the Chairman and the delegations. There is a special need to take into account of new approaches and the different realities when we consider the drug policy. Human rights and gender rights are cross-cutting issues.  The approach of “shared differentiated responsibility” could help to strength the international cooperation. We need to take account national specificities, including in a global world. We consider necessary to adopt procedures on in order to highlight the outcome of the workshops and ensure that are going to feed the debates.

Norway:  Norway is going to make some of the some of the preliminary comments on the Chair non-paper. In many points, Norway comments have been reflected in the statements made by the EU, Mexico, Switzerland and others. Health and welfare of the human kind is the main goal of our policies. It is necessary to perform a broad analyse on what has been achieve, and what remains. Here there is room for the neutral science. Norway backs the Netherlands comments regarding the experience of the global HIV meeting.

The UNGASS preparations must be carried out not only in Vienna, but also in Geneva and NY. The areas of health, gender and development cannot be fully address without involving other agencies in the preparations. Civil society also needs to have a key role. Input from civil society is key in the preparation process to help to build up the structures and the topics discussed, so we welcome the emerging Civil Society Task Force that will be co-convened by the Vienna and New York NGO Committees.

We need to ensure access to essential medicines, particularly for pain and palliative care. It is also very important to focus on human rights including compulsory treatment and death penalty. A gender perspective as a cross-cutting topic, from the health approach and also as a crime and prison topic.

Peru: UNGASS 2016 is a part of an ongoing process until to 2019 and in compliance with the three international conventions. The CND must play a key role both in the declaration and the implementation of the outcomes of the UNGASS 2016. As has been recognised by the GA, the CND should be able to provide the key documents to fuel the discussions in New York, and also We Peru stresses the necessity of avoiding duplication in the preparatory process.  Peru welcome the panels held in Vienna by civil society that helps to balance the debate. Peru would like to adopt a traditional format instead of the one presented in the CND non paper, so the delegations have opportunity to discuss the political declaration. The topics on the round tables should be reduced to four. In order to avoid fragmentation in the debate. Peru suggests to keep drugs and crime, drugs and development (in particular alternative development) and drugs and health.

Belarus: We need to have unified approaches to tackle the drug problem. Belarus highlights the importance of the role of the conventions, and the political declaration and plan of action of 2009.

Morocco: The delegation aligns with the statement made by the African group. We appreciate the CND non paper. The delegations supports the petition made by Brazil and India to include money laundering as a topic for the international cooperation. We should reduce the number of the workshops. Morocco supports particularly the inclusion of the workshop on drugs and development. Alternative development should be address in a deeper manner, specially when we talk on national policies. The recommendations emanated from the workshops should be action-oriented and have a leading role on guiding the preparations of the UNGASS.

We need to ensure multilateralism and guarantee that the three conventions are the cornerstone of the international drug policy regime. We categorically reject the proposal made by Algeria and South Africa about including cannabis topics in the workshops.

Sudan: All relevant issues pertinent the drug problem. This is a complex problem that involves health, science, human rights, and the required punitive measures to deter those responsible for expanding the problem. Sudan supports the statement of the African group read by Namibia. Sudan supports the UNGASS 2016 and we think it will be a good opportunity to evaluate and to review the level of implementation of the plan of action and the conventions.  New challenges as the inclusion of new kinds of drugs and psychedelic drugs need to be addressed with the contribution of experts and academia. We need to focus on legal aspects, so the national laws are aligned with the drug conventions. We need to focus our law enforcement efforts on major criminals, and provide alternatives for the minor-offenders.

USA: The US delegation appreciates the consultations carried out with regional groups, and also those carried out with NY and Geneva, which inputs are very critical and offers ways to explore participation to ensure that the wide UN community is involved in the process. The US supports the CND non paper, and in particular, agree that the JMS is a strong base for the preparation of the UNGASS and the ways to ensure that all stakeholders are included in the discussions and concerning the workshops, they should track also on the key targets of the 2009 Declaration.  The USA can probably support some elements contained statements made by other delegations, they could explore this in the working groups.

The USA thank to those delegations that mentioned the US non paper. The US delegation summarises it:

  • The remaining inter-sessional to develop a world plan focussed on using UNGASS to evaluate and launch initiatives in the 5 key targets included in the political declaration, as well as ensuring access to narcotic drugs while avoiding their diversion.
  •  Develop a schedule to provide a strong leadership ahead the UNGASS. Engage other agencies of the UN system and increase the consultation carried out by the CND. Increase synergies between the CND and the Crime Commission on Criminal Justice (CCPCJ)
  • Ensure the participation of the civil society.

France: Remember the statement made by Italy on behalf of the EU.  France fully endorses the CND non-paper. France has developed a multi-anual drug strategy that contains all the elements detailed in the CND. For the French delegation, the three drug conventions are important and provide enough flexibility to address current challenges. However, the Mexican non paper contributes to the debate and needs to be considered. There are many elements France does not endorse in the Mexican non paper, but we thanks their efforts to push the debate, although for France the UNGASS preparatory efforts must be carried out in Vienna.

France supports the endorsement made by Brazil. Human rights is a key component, but combating money laundering is a key factor also to consider. Drug prevention is particularly important in regards to youth population. Regarding the outcomes of our debates: We would be in favour of recommendations, brief and concise, in order to avoid repetition.

VNGOC

Drug control policies should be subordinated to the Universal Declaration of human rights and the conventions on biodiversity, particularly for those agreement focussing on social, economic and political rights, as well as the cultural diversity and the sustainability of the planet.

The drug control system should help to create the structures that allow the reduction of the harms that the production and use that illicit drugs can cause. The principles that we propose to guide the current drug-policies are:

  • A- Non prosecution of the cultivation drugs-linked crops and farmers growing crops and the implementation of real alternatives, within the consensual agreement of all sectors, to offer alternative to the dependence of these illegal crops.
  • B- Suspension of those operations that have negative impacts on the human health and environment, such as aerial-eradication.
  • C- Demilitarisation of areas with illicit cultivation.
  • D- Non prosecution of drug use consumption, looking for regulation of certain drugs with are substantial in a culture and guarantee respect of cultural diversity
  • E – Implement broad measures, included harm reduction programmes to prevent and treat the problematic consumption of drugs
  • F- Protection all the rights that permit a democratic society, including the freedom of speech and expression
  • G- Guarantee the sovereignty of nations, specially of producing countries
  • H- Guarantee transparency of money and the confiscation of goods

They propose a new method to classify substance according to scientific data and the harms they cause, and the permission to experiment locally alternative policies, including the legislation of certain substances. The international community can learn from theses experiences.

Mike Trace, Chair of the International Drug Policy Consortium

Thanks the delegations that made positive statements on the contribution of civil society. IDPC is in Vienna to contribute with our experiences, perspectives and ideas around a positive UNGASS.
The IDPC is a global network of NGOs with 130 members. The IDPC mission is to promote debates, to create channels of discussion between the members and institutions, and IDPC seeks to promote human and effective drug policies. IDPC current positions on the UNGASS debates are reflected in a set of small papers.

IDPC is enthusiastic supporters of the VNGOC and of the New York NGO Committee. In a couple of presentations today, an emerging Civil Society Task Force that will be co-convened by the Vienna and New York NGO Committees was mentioned. This proposal is not ready for distribution yet, but the formal proposal will be circulated shortly. We understand procedure is to send it firstly to the head of the GA and to the Chair of the CND.

The IDPC hope for the UNGASS is to have an open and inclusive debate, and that the UNGASS that reflects the rapid changes in drug markets around the world. Whatever happens in these rooms the nature of the drug markets changing rapidly and the responses that several countries are taking to respond this markets are also evolving rapidly. We don´t want the UNGSS to be a missed opportunity for UN system to address the important realities we have to face.

IDPC membership supports the involvement in this debate of the human rights, health, the security and development agencies.

We have been surprise by the low profile in this process is the role of the UN drug control task force, that has existed in NY from last 3 years and which role is to facilitate cooperation between  different UN agencies and to enable different agencies to come into the debates being held here I Vienna. IDPC suggest the Secretariat to provide more information about this task force among the delegations.

Concerning the objectives of the drug control system, we strongly support the statement by Switzerland: We need to find a way in which the drug control system aligns more directly with the  the objectives of the rest of the UN family, which are security, development and human rights, and health runs through all of them. There is a good story to tell about how the drug control system is contributing to improve security, health, development and human rights, however in the current political declaration there is not language about it. The UNGASS could help to more directly align the language and the practice of the drug control system with the peak human right principles, and it could also contribute to place the drug control system in a more successful position.

Concerning the UNGASS outcome, we invite the CND to consider have an action-focussed in this materials. And there are two topics I think everyone can agree with in this room: 1. Specific actions should be taken coming out and around the UNGASS and 2. How we move forward to facilitate wider access to essential medicines. The other one in which the IPDC members are particularly interested is in the creation of more mechanisms and best practices to improve diversion or alternatives to incarceration, drug prevention, harm reduction, drug treatment. In all these areas, many countries have positive experience to share, and strengthen the mechanism to share theses experiences would be a very positive outcome of the UNGASS.

Luciana Bertoia, Centre for legal and social studies (CELS) (Argentina)

CELS has been working for 30 years  in the field of human rights. CELS do not have a specific agenda on drug policy, but, as it happens with other organisations in Latin American, in the daily work carried out in the field, in marginalised areas, in the prisons, in the streets, within the police and also thorugh the analyses on the progressive militarization of policy practices, we have seen that are ongoing human rights violations that are inter-related with drug policies.

So we feel that we have a responsibility on  participating in this forum.

Every time we have been reported such problems, we have studied in detail such situations. In our region we have gathered main experiences and we truly believe that we should more into policies achievable aiming to reduce violence, which is a main component on drug-related policies, so we would like to participate in this process in a collaborative sprit. The panels proposed are a great opportunity to listen and engage in national, regional and global discussions.

Chair: The Chair points that the feedback has been very rich expression. This non paper serves as a basis for the preparations, The Chair will work on the comments made by the delegations and revise the version of the paper trying to take into account, as much as possible, the changes suggested. There is a collective commitments to produce a result that has practical outcome.

The next item the daily agenda is the preparations of the regular session. The deadline for the submission of draft resolutions for the 58th session of the CND will be 9th of February.

The commission should open its next session with the new Chair and three vice-chairs. The Chair will should come from the Asia group, the 1st Vicechair: Est european, the 2nd Vicechair: West european, the 3rd Vicechair: African group. Nominations should be communicated to the CND secretariat on 21st of November at the latest, so they can apply for the reconvened session to be held on 3rd- 5th December.

5th of November there will be a side event, with the second on UN on developing countries, the participation the Ambassador Martin Sajdik, president of the economic and social council and Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.