Committee of the Whole – L13: Promoting international cooperation in responding to new psychoactive substances and amphetamine-type stimulants including methamphetamine

Australia – this builds on work already done on NPS. We want to offer a resolution to consolidate the work CND and member states have done on the issue. We have noticed increases in the frequency of NPS use. Other countries are experiencing similar issues. We promote international cooperation and information sharing, including on ATS. Discussions have been very informative. One key change is on the title. We had previously focused on synthetic drugs, we are now working on NPS and ATS including methamphetamines.
UK and Turkey co-sponsor the draft resolution.

Preambular paragraphs
PP1 approved.

Venezuela – In PP2, we want to know what the “gaps in knowledge” are with which you are concerned regarding these substances.

Australia – When the informal consultation occurred, this para was included to reflect the fact that we want more information and information sharing, as well as international cooperation. This includes patterns of use and purity. Would be useful if other countries could share information on this.

Venezuela – I want to repeat that after 50 years we are a bit concerned by this issue of knowledge gaps on internationally controlled substances. We understand concerns on NPS, A way of saying would be: “and the concern posed by knowledge gaps regarding NPS”.

Australia – While we do agree we have a great deal of information on psychoactive substances, we still need much more on NPS, especially on prevention and treatment options.

Venezuela – Venezuela is concerned by this paragraph but in the view of achieving consensus we withdraw our proposal.

PP2 approved.

Russia – One question on PP3 and PP4 regarding the mention of “markets”, are these licit markets?

Australia – The markets we are referring to are both licit and illicit ones, including drugs that are being diverted from licit drug markets.

PP3 approved.

Russia – At the end of PP4, it’s not clear what we are talking about. Keep “internationally controlled drugs” out?

China – Since there are some examples for those concerning substances, we would like to add ketamine here. Although the vote has been postponed, ketamine is the substance that has the widest abuse.

Australia – We are happy with the Russian amendment. With regards to ketamine, the list is meant to be illustrative, not exhaustive.

China – According to NPS survey report by UNODC the year before last, there are seven types of NPS and ketamine is one of those. We would appreciate it if ketamine could be included as a lot of countries have expressed concerns about the abuse risk posed by ketamine.

Australia – We are talking about changes in methamphetamine and NPS. Ketamine is not an NPS and we are not proposing that other types of drugs be included. We don’t want to lose the focus of this resolution by including all types of drugs.

China – According to some definitions by UNODC, in that publication it refers to substances that are not included in the conventions are NPS, and ketamine is among those. This is what we want to refer to here. Otherwise, in the spirit of compromise, we want to remove mention of other substances.

Australia – We are happy to accept that and thank the Chinese delegation for that suggestion.

Egypt – I am just asking about what is this report we are talking about. Should we quote it here?

Australia – We are not referring to UN reports but to scientific reports in particular nation based. I can provide those, and we understand that there are other reports in particular from the UNODC Global SMART.

Egypt – Deeply concerned by some national and regional reports on increase in availability.

Australia – Accept this as a useful clarification.

Russia – I have to comments, one on PP4 “deeply concerned about reports of” seems confusing. Could we change and say “deeply concerned about trends of availability”? As for PP5, from what I understand the co-sponsors refer to both licit and illicit markets; we want to change the potential opportunities part of the paragraph.

Australia – Propose “deeply concerned about increased purity and availability… as indicated in some national and regional reports”.

PP4 approved.

PP5 approved with minor changed based on Russia’s suggestion.

USA – In PP6, we thought it would be useful to talk about the way countries control these substances. We propose for insertion: “including temporary control measures within certain states”, this is to highlight that with respect to NPS ordinary control is not fast enough to tackle the fast changing market. So we want to mention temporary control. These are also mentioned later on in the text.

Australia – We are more than happy to include that and thank the US for their sensible suggestion.

PP6 approved.

Russia – In PP7, “can pose” have negative connotations here and this in itself can pose challenges. Perhaps go for something more neutral.

Australia – we propose “present”?

PP7 approved.

PP8 and PP9 approved.

Germany – PP10: for the sake of consistency, add “further”.

PP10 and PP11 approved.

Russia – On PP12, we want to make one point clearer: “can be accompanied by challenges”.

Egypt – We want to recall the function of WHO – provide scientific and medical recommendations, not “technical recommendations”.

PP12 approved with these amendments.

USA – On PP13 my understanding is that the WHO bases its recommendations on scientific and medical bases, but their recommendations are not scientific and medical ones.

Australia – We recommend that “technical” might then be replaced by “scheduling recommendations”.

Egypt – We want to retain our suggestion around “medical and scientific recommendations”, it is also copied and pasted from resolution 55/1.

Indonesia – We support Egypt’s proposal, coming from agreed language, and it is heavily linked to the task of WHO.

Australia – Thank you, we are happy with the medical and scientific wording. I leave the discussion open for other member states on what the most suitable language is.

USA – Did I understand that the language proposed was agreed? If it is, then even through it is technically not correct, I will not argue that it should be taken out.

Australia – This is a resolution we recalled earlier on and we usually don’t change language from a resolution that is recalled. In that resolution, the text was “technical recommendations”, not “medical and scientific”.

Egypt – PP9 in resolution 55/1 uses “medical and scientific recommendations”.

Netherlands – Then can we just use “provide recommendations”, without any characterisation.

Germany – I have checked the wording of the 1971 Convention and it relates to “assessment of medical and scientific matters”. Before we go into philosophic discussions, I think we should only use “recommendations” proposed by the Netherlands.

Venezuela – According to the 1961 Convention, WHO recommends the commission of scheduling. Something in this paragraph is missing or misplaced. For the CND to schedule substances, there is another message I can read here: “to provide recommendations to the Commission with regard to the scheduling of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances”. It is not up to the CND to assess these elements, it is up to the WHO.

Egypt – I want to make it easier here: “Recalling the mandate of the WHO under the mandate of the 1961 and 1971 conventions”, and stop there.

PP13 is approved.

Netherlands – We are facing a problem in PP14: NPS are not controlled, so we cannot say that they are illicitly trafficked. In this para, there are mentions of licit and illicit drugs. So we propose to strike “illicit” before manufacture, and add “trading” in front of “trafficking” to reflect this as well.

Egypt –  After “monitoring”, please add “inter alia”.

Australia – We agree to those changes.

Chair – I don’t think we need “inter alia” here.

PP14 is approved.

USA – Wants to add a reference to project ION of the INCB  in PP15.

PP15 is approved.

PP16 is approved.

Russia – On PP17, I appreciate the success of the European Union here, but the mention of one group, in particular intergovernmental organisations, can be taken as a reproach for other bodies and member states as performing worse. This PP is redundant from the point of view of the necessity of being more modest and not offend anybody.

Australia – I would be pleased to have this PP deleted in the spirit of good will.

PP17 is approved.

Operative paragraphs
Canada – OP1, we could reorganise the sentence to make it clearer.

Egypt – We want to mention the “patterns of use and abuse”.

Australia – We talk later on about the need to monitor trends and so on. We don’t want to focus on the whole cluster of abuse, but perhaps we can focus on problems and related health consequences. The term “abuse” does not fit here for what we are trying to achieve. “Adverse consequences” may reflect this idea better.

OP1 is approved.

Russia – We have forgotten the INCB in OP2.

Egypt – add “share expertise through appropriate bilateral and multilateral channels”.

Pakistan – We support the Russian Federation and Egypt.

Canada – small grammatical change.

Mexico – With regards to Russia’s proposal, we have forgotten the INCB so it is important to include it. We should probably not mention a single centre, the CICAD has a good centre too.

OP2 is approved.

Egypt – In OP3, can we put “after at reducing” “supply and demand”, and at the end “in accordance with national legislation”.

UK – I have a worry that the way it is drafted in a way that treatment can only be established through bilateral and multilateral channels. I suggest a slight amendment to clarify.

Germany – I would propose “To develop prevention and treatment models, and share them, through bilateral and multilateral channels”.

Egypt – Reshapes the sentence to make it clearer.

OP3 is approved.

Egypt – In OP4, after treatment models, add “through appropriate bilateral and multilateral channels”.

OP4 is approved.

Egypt – In OP5, add “to take appropriate measures”, and “to share information as appropriate”.

OP5 is approved.

Brazil – We would like to introduce a minor change: replace “medicines” with “including those relating to pharmaceutical products”.

Netherlands – About process, are you proposing to have a night session to propose that we finish the negotiations? People would like to have a break considering we still have quite a bit of work to do on this.

Chair – What we can do is go until 6.30 and then pass on to Monday to continue. The effort has been serious, we did our best.

Russia – OP6: I don’t understand what my country should do based on this paragraph. Proposes to add “continue to consider an application of a wide variety of…”.

Australia – We agree with the change.

Egypt – In relation to OP6, I want to understand the concept of this paragraph. And also, what is criminal controls? Is this language we usually use? I am trying to understand this concept to convey it to my capital.

Australia – The reason why we added “balanced approach…” was to indicate that whilst supply reduction efforts are important, demand reduction should sit alongside it. In terms of criminal controls, some measures may be outside of strict criminal penalties (restricting access, etc). I suggest alternatives could be: “criminal law and penal provisions”.

Brazil – Regarding the hazardous substances, we have a law in Brazil about these. They are not included in scheduling. Some of these substances should be included here.

Egypt – I don’t want to get into that shopping list again, we should stop at “the emergence of new psychoactive substances” and not mention any substance and leave each country expand on that themselves.

Australia – We would be happy for this, but want to hear from other delegations on this proposal.

China – I want to add a reference to ION project of the INCB in PP14 before we finalise. We cannot neglect the success of the INCB programmes.

Chair – We will stop there, but still have to round up OP6 and on all the way to OP14.

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