CND Day 1 – Agenda item 6(b): Change in the scope of control of substances

Commission will identify the notifications in the order they were received. Begin with mephedrone recommended by the UK. Then will look at ketamine recommended by China. Then will look at reocmmendations from the WHO including (a) AH-7921 should be placed in Schedule I of the 1961 Convention; (b) gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL), 1,4-butanediol, 25B-NBOMe
(2C-B-NBOMe), 25C-NBOMe (2C-C-NBOMe) and 25I-NBOMe (2C-I-NBOMe) should be placed in Schedule I of the 1971 Convention; (c) N-Benzylpiperazine (BZP), JWH-018, AM-2201, 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), methylone (beta-keto-MDMA) and mephedrone should be placed in Schedule II of the 1971 Convention.

Secretary of the Commission – Commission has before it a conference room paper containing information on the amended proposal from UK regarding mephedrone, namely suggesting scheduling it under Schedule 2, rather than Schedule 1. Regarding ketamine, the proposal has been revised to suggest Schedule 4 rather than Schedule 1.

Member states explicitly asked to have voting procedure re-explained. After the introduction, the CND will be asked to take action. Normally asked to take consensus, on proceeding to a vote, or the substance in question, or any other action it wishes to take. If the CND has consensus on going to a vote, simple majority will be required in accordance with Rule 58 for the substances recommended by the WHO. For substances recommended under the 1971 convention, two thirds majority is required. These majorities are unaffected by number of member states present. If the CND does not have consensus on going to a vote, a member can ask for a “vote before the vote.” Simple majority would be required. In accordance with Rule 59, the voting is done with a showing of hands. First will ask for those voting for, then voting against, then abstaining. Then will announce the outcome of the vote and the scheduling decision if taken. Representative may request a roll call. Then, vote will be taken in English alphabetical order.

1971 Convention – Mephedrone in Schedule 2

UK – Over the past three years, the UK has worked to demonstrate global leadership on NPS. Committed to working with international partners. Working closely with UNODC and WHO. January 2014, requested the provisional control of mephedrone. Objective was to use mephedrone as a pathfinder, to should how the international scheduling system could deal with NPS. UNODC has helped us navigate the notification process, and thanks to WHO for evidence-based review of mephedrone. Mephedrone is a prevalent, persistent, and harmful NPS. 46 countries reported mephedrone use. Associated with number of deaths and public health harms. Linked to 60 deaths between 2009 and 2014 in UK. No recognized medical or scientific uses. Trafficking of mephedrone funds organized crime. Mephedrone poses a substantial risk to public health. Originally recommended Schedule 1. However, recognize the international evidence base from WHO, and supports them to put it in Schedule 2. Call on all to vote yes to putting mephedrone under international control.

WHO –  WHO ECDD met in June 2014 and mephedrone was reviewed. First time reviewing this substance by WHO. Preliminary data from countries indicated that this substance may be responsible for causing significant harm. Committee considers risk to be substantial. Evidence of use warrants scheduling. Most appropriate under Schedule 2 as it is very similar to amphetamine.

Canada – Support the scheduling of mephedrone, in particular because it is the first NPS to be notified and proposed for international schedule. Recognize excellent support from UNODC and WHO.

India – Mephedrone is not approved in India for medical purposes. Mephedrone report of harms are sparse in India. Production in India has been reported. In spirit of shared responsibility, India has already placed it under national control in February 2015. Support international scheduling.

Korea – Not used for medical purpose in Korea. Not objection to putting it under international control. Appreciate UK’s sensibility to move the scheduling from 1 to 2 in accordance with WHO’s recommendation.

Colombia – Progress and challenge of international control of NPS. Colombia observed the new global phenomena of NPS to substitute for conventional synthetic drugs. A new drug appears virtually every five days. There are short and long term impacts, but several of these have high impact effects, causing fatalities among consumers. Many forensic laboratories find it difficult to detect new drugs, so difficult to identify them and thus difficult to ban, prohibit or control NPS as governments need time to introduce new legislation while producers often circumvent the law. Colombia aware of the rate of appearance of NPS and the response from the system that evaluates the risk and possibly schedules. In order to face NPS, Colombia has instituted its own early warning system. Believe that communication and cooperation between government, scientific, and academic communities is essential. Colombia has asked drug policies to be based on evidence, need to have due regard for views of WHO. Colombia thanks the UK for reviewing its proposal for mephedrone and bearing in mind the WHO recommendation. Colombia will support this.

Sudan – Support inclusion of mephedrone as it seems to be very appropriate given the information we have received. No abuse of this substance observed in Sudan. Realized others have nationally controlled this substance. Recommend that lists of domestically controlled substances be available to other countries for review. Feel it can be included in Schedule 1.

Only members of the CND vote. 47 in favour of schedule 2. None against. 1 Abstained.

CND decided to include mephedrone in Schedule 2.

1971 Convention – Ketamine in Schedule IV

China – March 2014 China notified the proposal to schedule ketamine under the 1971 Convention. Recent years have witnessed the ever growing risk of ketamine consumption and trafficking, causing harms to public health and social wellbeing. Quite a few countries have introduced national controls on ketamine. Previous CND sessions have expressed serious concern on the persistent risk of ketamine use, production, and trafficking. INCB also drew attention to this issue. These circumstances lead us to seek a need for a coordinated response through international cooperation to the threat posed by ketamine. By the end of December 2014, we were informed of the summary of WHO ECDD. Quite a few member states have expressed their views in writing. In view of divergent perspectives, China in March 2014 submitted the proposal to schedule under Schedule 4 rather than Schedule 1. In our view, Schedule 4 control measures is a balanced approach. Prevents abuse and trafficking of this substance while ensuring availability particularly to developing countries. Past week we have listened carefully to views of states and others. Thank those who support putting ketamine under Schedule 4. Noted the reservations of other delegations. In our discussions, some delegations expressed their wish to postpone the consideration of a Schedule 4 proposal to allow parities more time to consider. Although we think our proposal is reasonable and balanced, we are open to the view of postponement. We think this is constructive to finding the broadest consensus. Formally propose that the CND defer action on the scheduling of ketamine at this session. Postpone consideration of this matter. Going  forward, countries and international organizations, including the WHO, may wish to study further the data on ketamine abuse and trafficking. Look in depth from all perspectives the desirability of controlling ketamine under Schedule 4. Hope this proposal can get unanimous support of all delegations.

WHO – We critically reviewed this substance following its two previous critical reviews. Information provided by China was brought to the ECDD attention. Consensus was that ketamine is widely used as an anaesthetic and is an essential medicine according to the WHO and more than 100 country lists. Ketamine does not currently pose a substantial enough risk to be put under international scheduling. Countries with abuse problems may nationally control the substance, but international control would limit access to this essential medicine.

Thailand – Support the cooperation on international control of ketamine. Thailand supports the proposal made by China to postpone consideration.

Netherlands – We welcome the decision of China not to vote on ketamine.

If countries have experiences on the medical factors of ketamine we’d invite them to share them with other countries.

Italy – We’d like to thank the Chinese delegation for deciding to postpone the decision to schedule ketamine. The Chinese decision will help us to fully examine and understand all possible implications of this issue. We think it will be possible to receive more information from the WHO.

Germany – We’d like to thank China for the decision just made. We share the view it is not the time to make a decision on scheduling ketamine, and believe we need more time to assess the situation properly.

India – We appreciate the position of China seeking to postpone the decision on ketamine. As far as India is concerned, ketamine is a vital medicine as it is used as an anaesthetic in our country.

We encourage member states to analyse the matter appropriately in this one year period

USA – We support the decision by China to postpone consideration on ketamine scheduling. I’d align our country with the comments by Germany and Italy. It’s not time for a vote on this matter, and we need more time  to gather information on this matter to ensure any scheduling would not hinder medical availability.

Iran – Iran has controlled ketamine domestically, but we support China’s flexibility regarding international controls.

Russia – We echo the comments made by others and welcome China’s flexibility as we need more time to properly consider this matter.

Pakistan – According to recent reports by the INCB and UNODC , there is an observed abuse of ketamine and this is a substance that needs to be brought under strong control. We note that also ketamine used as an anaesthetic is causing abnormalities in children. However, we welcome the postponement of the decision as we need more time to analyse the situation.

Republic of Korea – We also welcome the postponement and flexibility displayed by China, on the condition we look at the issue to properly consider

Australia – We’d like to acknowledge the concern of Korea regarding ketamine misuse. We’d be happy to work collaboratively with China to share knowledge on ketamine misuse. However, we consider the availability of ketamine in the developing world as an essential medicine to be of critical importance. Therefore, we would not support its scheduling, and welcome postponement of consideration around ketamine.

Indonesia – We welcome postponement of consideration on scheduling ketamine. For Indonesia, ketamine is used as an essential medicine.  We’re also aware of abuse of this drug and welcome more discussions on this matter.

France – We would like to join others in thanking the Chinese delegation for postponing consideration so that controls don’t hinder access to this drug in the developing world where it is an essential medicine. However, we do echo concerns about its non-medical use.

Nigeria – Ketamine is widely used as an anaesthetic in Nigeria and we welcome postponement of the vote. It’s important to consider the need for its availability for medical use, especially in the case of emergencies.

Egypt – We’d like to express appreciation for the request made by China to schedule ketamine, but we welcome postponement of the vote until more studies are done on this issue.

Colombia – Bearing in mind that these substances have been considered by the WHO at various points, we’d like to stress this drug is used as an essential medicine in the developing world and believe that its misuse in certain countries does not justify its scheduling. At the same time, we’d like to echo the views of others that this substance can be controlled domestically by countries, and welcome China’s decision to postpone the decision on scheduling ketamine.

Canada – We’d like to thank China for its flexibility and decision to postpone this issue. We’re concerned that placing ketamine under international control could have serious impacts on developing countries.

Tanzania – I’d like to add my voice to others in thanking China for deferring scheduling vote of this substance. Ketamine is an essential drug for our population.

Namibia – We’d also like to thank China to postpone the vote so we can properly study this issue. Namibia uses ketamine for anaesthesia and for veterinary purposes.

CND the CND defer action on the scheduling of ketamine at this session, postpone consideration of this matter so more information can be gathered. 

1971 Convention – AH-7921 in Schedule I 

WHO – Not been previously pre-reviewed or critically reviewed by the WHO. Based on information brought to our attention that this substance is of special serious risk and has no recognized therapeutic use. It is an opioid with morphine like effects. ECDD considers that degree of risk of abuse liability warrants its placement under international controls. Recommended to place it under Schedule 1.

Sudan – According to information from WHO, seems substance is very dangerous. Don’t have enough information on the areas this substance is abused, and the extent to which it has reached an alarming level. It must be scheduled, but we need to know the nature of the drug and the areas and countries we can expect this substance to come from to Sudan.

CND has consensus to proceed to a vote.

CND votes to place AH-7921 in Schedule 1. 

1971 Convention – Decision to schedule GBL and 1,4-butanediol

Chair – We move to the next substance that are GBL and 1,4-butanediol, which is recommended for scheduling by WHO to be placed as schedule I under the 1971 convention.

WHO – During the discussion of GHB, the committee noted information related to the abuse. Both substances have no defined medical use.

Chair – Both substances will be considered individually. Are there any comments on this proposal?

Australia – We note the recommendation by the WHO. However, these substances have legitimate industrial use in Australia. Placing strict controls on these substances would have considerable effects on automotive and electronic industries in certain countries.

Placing these under import control which would require more resources to administer, and advise member states that experience misuse of these drugs to look into domestic control measures.

Japan – These substances are used in industrial sectors. Therefore, we can’t support their inclusion in Schedule I.

Belgium – We’re fully aware of misuse of these substances, but we can’t ignore their industrial use. Therefore, Belgium cannot support the  proposed scheduling.

Canada – We have significant concerns over the scheduling of these substances and can’t support their international control.  We do note issues concerning their misuse, though.

Republic of Korea – Regarding GBL , international controls would limit its industrial use. We therefore recommend more analysis of this issue and postponement of the vote.  We don’t support recommendations made by the WHO.

India – GBL is produced in the country and is used industrially.  International controls would hamper their legitimate use, therefore we don’t support international controls.

[Uncertain of country] – Concerning these substances, we suggest that the WHO critically review its proposal in light of the industrial use of these substances.

USA – We cannot support the WHO recommendation on these substances. The recommendation is based solely on misuse concerns and the fact they have no medical use. However, more weight needs to be given to their industrial use. Scheduling would adversely affect access to these substances for legitimate use.

Malaysia – We believe scheduling these substances would affect economies of countries that are reliant on these substances for industrial use.  We don’t support the recommendation by the WHO. We believe countries with misuse problems with GBL should look into domestic control.

Iran – GBL has various industrial uses in our country and regulating it could have adverse effects. Therefore, we don’t support international control.

Thailand – Both substances are widely used in the industrial sector in our country.  We don’t support their control.

Colombia – We have noted the degree of risk to public health and society attributed to misuse of GBL. We, bearing in mind the fact the world drug problem has implications that are social and economic in nature, believe on this occasion that we should not include these substances in control schedules.

International Chamber of Commerce – We call on members to vote against scheduling these substances under the 1971 convention, as there has been no examination of the socio-economic impact of imposing international controls. Scheduling would bring certain industrial sectors to a halt.

Chair – Do we have consensus to not take any action on this issue? Preferably we can work on consensus and not put this to a vote. Is that agreeable? Regarding GBL, do we have a consensus? There are no objections, it is so decided.

Regarding 1,4-butanediol, do we also have a consensus? It would seem so. There are no objections.

Neither substance will be scheduled. 

1971 Convention – 25B-NBOMe (2C-B-NBOMe), 25C-NBOMe (2C-C-NBOMe) and 25I-NBOMe (2C-I-NBOMe) in Schedule I

WHO – None have been previously reviewed or pre-reviewed by the WHO. Information brought to WHO that these three substances pose a serious threat to public health and society, and there is no recognized therapeutic use. Preliminary data from countries indicates it may cause substantial harm and has no medical use. Degree of risk to public health and society is especially serious. Noted its use in medical research, but there is no recorded therapeutic use. Evidence of abuse warrants placement under international control. Recommended to place them in Schedule 1 of the 1971 Convention.

25B-NBOMe
46 countries voted in favour.
1 voted against.
1 abstained.
CND decided to include 25B-NBOMe in Schedule I of the 1971 Convention.

Austria – Explain our vote but will do it at the end of the whole voting procedure to avoid repetition.

25C-NBOMe
46 countries voted in favour.
1 voted against.
1 abstained.
CND decided to include 25C-NBOMe in Schedule I of the 1971 Convention.

25I-NBOMe
47 countries voted in favour.
1 voted against.
0 abstained.
CND decided to include 25I-NBOMe in Schedule I of the 1971 Convention.

Austria – Misunderstanding. Will provide a comment at the end of all the remaining substances, not the three substances just voted on.

1971 Convention – N-Benzylpiperazine (BZP), JWH-018, AM-2201, 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), methylone (beta-keto-MDMA) in Schedule II

WHO – Comment on BZP first. Has been pre-reviewed. Critical review was warranted. Similar effect to amphetamine. Degree of risk to public health and society is substantial. Therapeutic usefulness has been assessed to be little. Considerate evidence of abuse warrants its placement under international control. Recommend to place under Schedule 2. Regarding N-Benzylpiperazine (BZP), JWH-018, AM-2201, 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), and methylone (beta-keto-MDMA), none have been pre-reviewed or critically reviewed. Preliminary data from literature of different countries indicated the substance may cause substantial harm and have no medical use. Evidence base concerning the substance is limited. Cases of fatal and non-fatal after consumption. Degree of risk associated with use of these substances is substantial. Therapeutic usefulness is assessed to be none. Substantial public health risk and lack of therapeutic risk. Recommend to place under Schedule 2.

N-Benzylpiperazine (BZP)
48 countries voted in favour.
1 voted against.
0 abstained.
CND decided to include N-Benzylpiperazine (BZP) in Schedule 2 of the 1971 Convention.

JWH-018
48 countries voted in favour.
1 voted against.
0 abstained.
CND decided to include JWH-018 in Schedule 2 of the 1971 Convention.

AM-2201
48 countries voted in favour.
1 voted against.
0 abstained.
CND decided to include AM-2201 in Schedule 2 of the 1971 Convention.

3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV)
48 countries voted in favour.
1 voted against.
0 abstained.
CND decided to include 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) in Schedule 2 of the 1971 Convention. 

methylone (beta-keto-MDMA)

49 countries voted in favour.

1 voted against.
0 abstained.

CND decided to include methylone (beta-keto-MDMA) in Schedule 2 of the 1971 Convention.

Austria – Agrees that effective measures against rapid emergence of NPS are important. We also agree that measures at the national level alone are insufficient. Effective cooperation between all states is essential. However, with regard to the specificity of the NPS phenomenon, Austria considered that it is highly preferable to develop new and tailor made instruments and mechanisms to tackle this specific problem. Producer and dealers must be hindered to easily and rapidly replace substances as soon as it is banned. Continued production of new variety of NPS needs to be stopped in order to tackle the problem from the root. Austria has made serious steps towards new grounds. Reacted to the NPS phenomenon at a national level by passing the New Psychoactive Substances Act (NPSA). Entered into force in 2012. Nation law has two major features that reflect the particular circumstances of NPS. NPSA pursues a broad generic approach, but directs criminal proceedings to the supply side only. Both features together build legal obstacles to a general scheduling of NPS unless an individual NPS precisely fulfils the criteria. NPSA pursues a broad generic approach, meaning not only individually defined substances are covered by the NPSA. Permitted to define classes of substance if more suitable than specifying individual NPS to prevent distribution and health hazards. A series of substance groups are defined by the Ministry of Health. Even those new NPS which are subject to today’s CND vote belong to one or another of the substance groups in the already existing Austrian NPSA. Criminal proceedings are targeted to the supplier side. Statuary offences do not cover the mere possession of NPS, but are targeted towards the supplier side. Criminal sanctions focus on production and distribution in the illicit market. Does not effect any legitimate use. Law avoids criminalizing consumers. Does not criminalize mere possession in order to ensure an open access to consumers in terms of prevention and harm reduction. Any NPS distributed as a new drug to the consumer market will be confiscated, even in hands of consumers. Overall experience has been positive. Willing to continue down the NPSA path. Gaining experience with this completely new approach. Picking out one or other substances in the broad groups which are subject to NPSA would lead to highly undue results when the law is being applied by courts, and would not be in line with Austria’s constitutional principles. Therefore, Austria needs to reserve its decision. Although can’t handle NPS as precisely has been done today, their production and trafficking is criminalized in Austria. Readiness to cooperate with international community on the basis described.

France – Welcome scheduling of these substances. Provide some detail as to the votes we cast. France would have preferred Schedule 1 for N-Benzylpiperazine (BZP), JWH-018, AM-2201, 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), methylone (beta-keto-MDMA). For GBL and 1,4-butanediol, France voted against, but we need to be aware of the public health challenges posed by these substances and take measures to address them.

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