Committee of the Whole – L.4: Supporting the availability, accessibility and diversity of evidence-based treatment and care for young people affected by drug use disorders

Title

Pakistan – We recommend adding to the title, ‘Young abusers of drugs, while ensuring effective law enforcement measures and related penal provisions.’

Portugal – We request inclusion in the list of states putting forward this resolution.

Netherlands – We don’t think it’s apt to introduce that kind of language [referring to Pakistan’s suggestion of a title amendment].

UK – The UK aligns itself with Portugal and the Netherlands – we cannot support the language addition by Pakistan. Young abusers of drugs is a negative label and a step back by this Commission.

Colombia – In respect of Pakistan’s proposal, it is in line with what other speakers have said; we likewise believe this is not relevant in the context of this particular draft. From our perspective, the change introduced by Pakistan could change the meaning of the resolution and we cannot support it.

Spain – We’re far more comfortable with the original language of the title and echo the statements made by the Netherlands, Portugal and others.

Australia – The key issue in making decision about treatment for young people is whether they’re evidence-based. In the informals there was substantial focus on the terminology of young people with substance use disorders, and this is accepted terminology which should be used.

Chairperson – I would suggest leave the title of the resolution in brackets, because here we are not agreeing in anything.

Germany – We’re not happy with what he heard from Pakistan. I think it’s worth first clarifying the title in order to move forward on this resolution.

Chairperson – Here we’re having a problem of not understanding what we really want.

Sweden – I would agree with Germany that we stay on this issue in that it will not be possible to move on forward on the resolution without addressing this. We do not support the suggested language from Pakistan. As Australia put it, young people with substance use disorders is accepted language that is science-based and should be used.

The phrase ‘young abusers of drugs’ would take us in a stigmatising direction that would hinder treatment for this group.

Slovenia – I think the title reflects the substance of the resolution and if we change it we’d have to change the content of the resolution. Therefore, we don’t support changing the language.

Brazil – We don’t support inclusion of this language for the reasons laid out by Germany and Sweden, among others. We’d ask Pakistan not to emphasise this in the title.

Uruguay – We join countries in stressing the need to keep the title the same. We understand Pakistan’s position as being to strengthen the concept, but if we talk about strengthening it, Uruguay would appeal for flexibility on the part of Pakistan.

Israel – The basis of this resolution was keeping in mind young people suffering from substance misuse and the terminology was adopted from DSM5.

France – We’d like to underline how much we supported the previous title before this meeting. The title as proposed by Pakistan runs counter to the aim of the resolution as we perceive it. Their suggestion changes the tone of the entire resolution and is not in line with the aim of the resolution. The issue of criminality does not have anything to do with treatment.

Egypt – We support Palestine and Yemen in supporting Pakistan’s proposal.

Canada – We support staying with the original title. The second part of the suggestion regarding young people and penal provisions we believe is already covered in the body of the resolution and doesn’t need including in the title.

Pakistan – To highlight again, the reason for having the term legality is important because scientific evidence-based treatment has a certain discussion to it. We proposed ‘legality’ because of the element of consent to having the treatment, for example, if the consent of the child was involved. There are certain cases of liability on the health professionals.

We’re not opposing the accessibility to treatment, but are concerned about cases going to courts on whether consent was involved in treatment of young people. We’re flexible on the term substance use disorders, or abuse of drugs. But, I submit that the term abuse of drugs is utilised in the drug conventions. It is not about provision of treatment, but about the aforementioned court cases. Therefore, we would like to see our suggested language included. People are being injected with drugs and used for criminal activities which must be considered here on the question of legality.

Chairperson – May I remind you that we’ve been on the issue of the title for half an hour.

Norway – It’s important to address the issue of treatment of young people who have substance use issues. We suggest we keep the original title using substance use disorder, and children and young people.

Iraq – I align Iraq with Palestine, Egypt and Pakistan. We’re not trying to shift the content of the resolution to something covering legal and criminal justice. We’re looking at it from a technical position. We put human rights first when treating young people, but there are some complexities to this as we have seen cases similar to Pakistan.

Austria – We align ourselves with comments made by Netherlands, Portugal and others. We cannot accept the proposal from Pakistan as we believe it changes the substance of the text.

Sweden – I fully understand the legal argument in this, and agree to a certain extent that all forms of treatment has to be legitimate in the national context. We have a number of caveats in the resolution  to ensure it is sensitive to national legislation and I hope we can move ahead on this based on the understanding this has been taken care of.

USA – We have 6 references to national legislation in the text so what’s one more in terms of adding it into the title? So maybe the original language just with the addition of ‘national legislation’ at the end of the title to cover the whole of Pakistan’s phrase.

Pakistan – I humbly submit that when we’re talking about scientific evidence-based treatment there are certain age limits for drug offenders. There are concerns around whether you provide alternatives to incarceration through offering treatment. I submit that the treatment options are in addition to punitive measures and for that reason I appreciate the USA comments, but in order to cover the issue properly we have to use the terms on legality to keep in line with the UN drug conventions.

Chair – we should find a solution on the title. Please deliver us some way of advancing. Please go and talk about this outside while we continue with the rest of the resolution. We must keep in mind that we are interested in the care and treatment of children, and this is all in the conventions.

Germany – I must state the following. Pakistan did not attend informals before, this could have been tackled beforehand. We would have preferred to see you before in the informals.

Pakistan – I thank my dear friend from Germany but my delegation is very small, we are a developing country with limited capacity and we were not able to attend the informal. Nobody can tell us to go to an informal or not, we have the sovereign right to discuss any part of a resolution at the CoW.

France – France would also like to support the German proposal. We hope we will be able to adopt a constructive consensus in organising an informal meeting with all other member states interested in participating.

USA – I am trying to find a way to move forward with the text. There seemed from Pakistan that there was some degree of flexibility on the second half of the title (keeping legality in brackets).

Brazil – Again, in the same spirit as the US colleague, maybe at the end we could say “in line with the international drug control conventions”. I am not sure I understood if it is necessary to add law enforcement measures and penal provisions in the title.

Pakistan – We appreciate the constructive approach shown by our friends. As a matter of flexibility, we can agree with the “children with substance use disorders”, to lead to some sort of compromise later on. We take back “drug abuse” but we want to highlight this at some stage. For the time being, we want to keep “effective law enforcement and penal provisions” in brackets and discuss with our friends where we can reach some condition.

Chair – I suggest that we continue keeping the title in brackets and we must keep in mind that the text has some meaning itself. We don’t necessarily need to keep the law enforcement bit here. But I agree we need to hear the opinion of everyone. I need you to take this into account.

Uruguay – Just a brief comment before we leave this for further consideration. All the delegations are seeking a consensus and understanding Pakistan, we have now proposed three solutions forward, so we call on flexibility from Pakistan on this matter.

Preambular paragraphs
No comments on PP1.

Yemen – I have something to add after PP2. “Also recalling article 36 of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocole according to which : “[paragraph read]”. We must have some link between this article and the other articles mentioned in the resolution.

UK – It is important to recall article 36 but it refers to penal provisions and therefore don’t see the relevance.

Netherlands – I echo the UK. I don’t think it makes sense to cite complete articles from the conventions. The PP1 already affirms this. I also want to ask Yemen if the co-sponsors have been consulted on including new paragraphs. Either you introduce something that has already been consulted upon, or we go to further informals. This brings us nowhere.

Portugal – The objective of this resolution is clear – providing health care and treatment to young people. We all have to own this resolution, but there is a limit to what we should introduce without changing the spirit of the document. If some want to add penal provisions and law enforcement, they should feel free to do it, but they shouldn’t change the spirit of the resolution.

Chair – I think it is time for Israel to go along with the different delegations that have problems on what is already there and get an agreement. Because here, it is an exercise of what has to be added or taken out, but it is not a debate to find a solution for approving the resolution. What is giving me a headache is that we go back to citing new full articles in the conventions, while we know we are here working under the conventions. If you tell me to cite article such and such, I can just look it up, there is no need to write it in black and white.

Iraq – With all my respect to other countries, we are all parties to the conventions and it is not acceptable to my delegation on what we attended or not. We all have instructions to move ahead to a consensus based document, but this should not be understood another way. We have been exercising articles 4 and 19, but every country is able to say what they think of the resolutions. I want more constructive discussions in that manner.

Chair – See, I am here and I don’t see any constructive interventions. We are still 2 paragraphs down this resolution after more than an hour of discussions.

Colombia – I listened to the proposal for the inclusion of the article in the 1961 convention, and we have issues to the title. We might as well refer to a completely different resolution. Since obviously all countries have issues attending consultations at the same time, we would like to suggest your view Mr. Chairperson that we consider the amendments proposed by others. These two amendments I believe change the spirit of the resolution. If we had those comments in writing at least, some delegations could react to it in a facilitated discussion. I am concerned we have spent some time on this, we should be constructive but it also places constraints on our ability to clearly understand what can be done.

USA – The position of my delegation is that article 36 of the Single Convention is not relevant. Use is omitted in this article, and we are talking about use here. This is confirmed in Article 3 of the 1988 Convention. Second point on this: it is very unclear as the conventions don’t mention whether they apply to children. What is clear is that they apply to national law. In the USA, children are never criminalised. So we really should not make reference to this article here.

Yemen – With regard to the proposal by Yemen, we do appreciate the spirit of resolution. The aim is to develop a framework in accordance with domestic laws of all states without any exception. We want a framework to counter what is happening.

Palestine – We appreciate your wisdom and your opinions Mr. Chair. My delegation is not trying to waste your time. But we ask member states to be patient. We know where we are in the CND, we are only an observer state. And as such we attended the meetings of the CoW. We listened to a number of interventions. We call upon all states to be patient and listen to the opinions of other states who have been expressing their concerns on the resolution. We do support Yemen’s addition as it is in consonance with the spirit of the resolution.

Pakistan – We have heard the proposal from Yemen and our understanding is that it seems logical. It is the reason we suggested changes in the title as there is a problem in many countries on the legal implications.

Israel – We want to reintegrate children well in our society, this is the objective of this resolution.

Sweden – On the legal issue, I think that article 36 refers to cultivation, production, distribution, etc. but does not refer to use. It is a resolution on what we treat users. Article 38, mentioned here, refers to use and treatment. We already have a reference in the resolution to the conventions as a whole, and I am curious about why this is not enough. We don’t treat a dispatcher or a producer.

Pakistan – Article 36 b refers to abusers of drugs who have committed such offences and refers to treatment, rehab, etc., in accordance to article 38. This is the clarification.

Egypt – I was just checking article 36 and should be mentioned in its entirety. I support the addition made by Yemen, supported by Palestine and Pakistan, in order to have a balanced text.

Chair – I ask you now to please help. I ask your kindness to please consider what I am considering – I don’t think this draft resolution is ready to be considered here now. Could we allow more time to fine tune it and add modifications that seem to be deemed appropriate? We need to continue. Please get together and find an appropriate way forward.

[Sent to informals]

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