Agenda item 1a, preparations for the joint meetings of the CND and CCPCJ
CND Chair – At least 2 meetings will be held on 10th December on administrative and budgetary matters. The advanced unedited report of the director for 2016-2017 budget is now available online on the UNODC website, along with the text of the draft resolution which was shared with member states by email.
We will also take into consideration the consolidated budget for UNODC. The advanced unedited version of the report was circulated as well over the weekend. Informal consultations on the draft consolidated budget were held on Friday. The text was further reviewed yesterday and shared yesterday evening. Another informal is scheduled for today.
The CND will also consider the strategic framework for UNODC for 2016-2019 which will be made available in the form of a conference room paper.
Agenda item 1b: preparations for the meeting of the CND on 11th December
CND Chair – 10 am to 1 pm: we will consider administrative items remaining on the agenda. We will also consider changes in the scope of drug control. The WHO will provide recommendations for the scheduling of new psychoactive substances to help member states in their scheduling decisions in the next session. This is based from the WHO meeting in mid-November, and WHO will present the outcome of that meeting. Follwing the closure of the 58th CND, we will discuss the 59th session. Officers to be elected will be from the following groups:
- Chair: Eastern Europe – Czech Republic
- 1st vice chair: Western Europe – Norway
- 2nd Vice chair: Latin America – Brazil
- 3rd Vice Chair: Africa – TBC
- Rapporteur: Asia/Pacific – TBC
Agenda item 2: preparations for the UNGASS on drugs
CND Chair – ICAD 2 was held in Thailand in November. I had the honour of chairing it. We had 200 participants from 40 countries, including 13 international organisations. Conclusions and recommendations were reached. We have shared those by email to form the substantive basis for the UNGASS. I want to express my appreciation to all colleagues who sent representation to Thailand.
UNGASS Board Chair – The resolution on the UNGASS was adopted by the UNGA. We keep receiving contributions (e.g. INTERPOL or special rapporteur on the right to health) which are posted on the UNGASS website. Events and briefings continue to take place (GRULAC meeting, special CND event with the president of the UNGA). The PGA is being kept informed of what is happening in Vienna and we keep informed about NY events. A number of side events will be held here, with the Portugal experience, the Swiss/Colombia/UNAIDS/UNODC/WHO/OHCHR event, etc.
Regarding the agenda of the UNGASS Special Segment tomorrow – this will be held under agenda item 8. At its regular session, the CND adopted resolution 58/14 on the UNGASS. As discussed yesterday in the extended bureau, the three subitems under agenda item 3 on the UNGASS include: consideration of the draft provisional agenda, consideration of the outcome of the UNGASS, consideration of other matters. This allows member states to discuss key subitems.
On agenda item 4 for the UNGASS Segment in March 2016, the preliminary agenda was adopted in March under resolution 58/15. The last intersessional informed us that the special segment would last from 14th to 16th March 2016, which will also leave enough time for the regular CND segment.
Intersessional meetings will be held in January and February with informal consultations. The dates will be announced as soon as possible.
Agenda item 5: we will discuss the organisational arrangements for the UNGASS round tables.
Priority issues of today’s meetings: with regard to the outcome document, as requested by resolution 58/8, the CND will produce a short, substantive, concise and action-oriented document. The UNGASS Board has shared an updated version of the elements paper on 2nd December. Work on the draft outcome document will continue after the CND reconvened. The finetuning of the elements paper will enable the Board to elaborate a first draft of the outcome document to share for consideration in January 2016. The text should be ready to approve in March 2016 for onwards submission and adoption at the UNGASS.
Pakistan – I reiterate our support to the UNGASS Board. I want to touch upon the structure of the paper. It is important to know that we have not reached consensus on some key issues including structure, we went from 6, to 8, to now 5 themes. We want to retain the structure of the 2009 political declaration. But in the spirit of collaboration, we will agree on 5 themes. There is hardly any need to do further experimentation with the structure if the document is to be short and action oriented. Secondly, regarding the balanced and integrated approach, this should be reflected in the document, the same approach that underpins the 2009 Political Declaration. I am afraid the updated elements paper does not reflect this principle. I also want to raise a question – how will we address international cooperation? This should be a cross-cutting theme. On some specific point, I want to add a new preambular paragraph around enhancing institutional capacity, training, financing, etc. to combat drug trafficking. On PP17: “mainstream” is condusing. On PP19 around NGOs: “including for treatment and rehab” should be added. We suggest including some operational recommendations: 1- include youth facilities for prevention, 2- include families, social workers, religious leaders and others in prevention, 3- on HIV prevention, the first recommendation is hardly operational, 4- developing countries must be assisted in opening treatment and rehab, 5- more training is needed for treatment, 6- on trafficking, we should use the recommendations included in the previous iteration of the elements paper on capacity building and law enforcement.
UNGASS Board Chair – The exercise is not that of wording but of idea sharing.
Luxembourg on behalf of the EU – We support the decision of the CND to produce a short, substantive, concise and action oriented set of recommendations. We welcome the revised version of the elements paper reflecting the round tables of the UNGASS. We would like to put forward the following operational recommendations. On principles, we believe that drug policies should be evidence based and balanced. On demand reduction, there are issues already covered: on improving the quality and scope of demand reduction services, including access to demand reduction services in prison, and measures to reduce HIV transmission and other blood borne diseases. THe EU proposes to include: member states should ensure minimum quality standards for demand reduction, with close cooperation with WHO UNODC and UNESCO for prevention measures and the development of a comprehensive strategy for drug policy. The document should outline risk and harm reduction measures; “member states should implement measures to ensure access and availability of risk and harm reduction measures as outlined by WHO, UNODC and UNAIDS”. Countries including CSOs and others should be involved, in particular there is a growing threat of blood borne transmission through drug use. The revised elements paper includes a recommendation on drug treatment programmes. We want to emphasise the use of medical and non-medical measures, and responses to new patterns of use, based on evidence. This should include OST.
We welcome the emphasis on availability, accessibility and affordability of essential medicines. On human rights, the EU is pleased to see that important elements are included, especially in the field of criminal justice, including alternatives to prison and proportionate sentencing for drug offences. We should also include: call to ensure consistency of drug policies with the rule of law. On emerging issues: the proliferation of NPS is well reflected in the draft, but should also include prevention, treatment and harm reduction measures.
Prevention of crime and tackling trafficking routes, plus improving international cooperation is also included in the document. We underline the importance of addressing precursors and the prevention of their diversion, including for ATS. We want to include the prioritisation of disrupting criminal groups involved in money laundering and corruption instead of focusing on drug users. We should improve evidence based indicators on supply reduction.
On Alternative development (AD), we consider that the outcome document should include coordination of UN agencies such as UNDP, and provide adequate funding. National policies should incorporate integrated approaches focused on alternative development, with the meaningful participation of affected groups in the design and implementation of the programmes.
Civil society should be involved in policy implementation. Member states should promote dialogue with CSOs and the scientific community, as well as affected populations including people who use drugs in the design and implementation of policies that affect them. We welcome the CSTF and the scientific network.
On the death penalty, the EU and member states recall our opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances, and member states should impose a moratorium.
Click here to read the full statement
Mexico – I want to refer to the elements document before referring to the draft decision shared by the Board. This third version compiles many issues that are positive. We also think it is positive that there is an initial para that frames the recommendations. The preamble is a bit long and repetitive, which may be inevitable in this state of the debate. One element should be included: coordination of entities within the UN system to support work carried out by UNODC and build upon its work. Also, a further section should be further strengthened – that on development policies. The manner in which the subjects have been presented should be turned around – AD should come first. Much progress was made to reconcile interests on social prevention of violence and interventions focused on youth, gangs and comments made by Pakistan around strengthening the social fabric. We could also share concerns on the death penalty, and we recognise the work on highlighting proportionality of sentencing. We highlight also the work carried out on alternatives to incarceration. Without going through this line by line, these are the comments we would like to make: we want to know when and how the description will be conducted.
Japan – We welcome our points dully reflected in the elements paper. We support the 3 drug control conventions as a cornerstone of drug control. We also consider that NPS are matters of great importance and should be reflected in the document. We have elaborated provisions on NSP and ATS. We note links between drug trafficking, terrorism and organised crime and these points should be reflected. Fourth, we are pleased to see as a general pint the increase in the use of operational proposals. We work on the inclusion of matters of SMART. We appreciate the great efforts of the Board to make this document short and concise. At the same time, it is important to continue examining how to make the recommendations substantive and action oriented. At times these are contradictory. We shoudla lso have in mind the financial aspects. First on NPS and ATS, we welcome the inclusion of SMART. We hope that it is reflected that Global SMART covers ATS. The mechanisms of INCB are critical in tackling precursors and these should be reflected too. We want to actively participate in the process an thank you for your guidance.
Switzerland – We are about to enter the negotiations of the outcome document. We are still in preparatory moments, but here we see already some flesh and muscles in the new elements paper, and we thank you for that. We have 8 specific points dear to Switzerland: 1- human rights: we want stronger language. The right to life and health are not yet specified. Same goes for cruel and inhumane punishment and these are highly relevant to drug policy and should be spelled out. For Switzerland there is a direct link between human rights and technical cooperation in the field of LE. 2- highlight the value of experimentation in drug policy. To address new challenges there should be innovative policies and we should value experimentation and lessons learned, based on scientific monitoring and evaluation. 3- critical assessment of drug policies. The Secretary General has called on discussing what worked and what didn’t. Are we spending our limited resources on evidence based and effective policies? Are we actually implementing a balanced approach? We must identify measures to reach an effective balance between demand and supply reduction. This means giving more emphasis to public health on resource allocation. 4- harm reduction – there is more to policy than demand and supply. Harm reduction is effective, saves human lives. A truly comprehensive and balanced approach includes demand, supply and harm reduction and the document cannot be ignored. We suggest another subtitle. 5- adequate availability of essential medicines – the document should acknowledge that the system has led to the global crisis of avoidable pain, and this should be addressed using WHO guidance. 6- Agenda 2030: while this is mentioned, we want to see much more of the substance and spirit of this in the document especially in the AD section. The narrow focus on drug eradication should be reduced. We cannot limit our efforts to people or regions that cultivate drugs. 7- Common and shared responsibility – we support this principle. In our view we share responsibility not only with other states, but also with CSOs. Certain elements of drug policy such as healthy lifestyles and intervention do need to go through community strengthening with the help of CSOs. 8- Structure: we welcome the structure but we want to see titles and subtitles reflect the resolution 58/8 and the roundtables adopted on the UNGASS.
Ecuador – We are pleased to know that this first version includes substantial improvements on themes and elements. We welcome the recommendations following the structure of the roundtables. But we want the titles to reflect these roundtables. This will ensure and guarantee a balanced approach. The recent visit of the PGA in Vienna proves that we are headed in the right direction. The three drug conventions provide the framework of drug control, as well as human rights treaties and the rules of jus cogens. This should take into account the health and wellbeing of human kind. We must extend stronger support to transit countries, which are most affected. We would hope more attention to a comprehensive vision of drug policy, creating a new architecture at international level with new agencies included: UNDP, UNAIDS, WHO, UNESCO, to make it possible to reconfigure drug policy through the inclusion of structures that reflect national and international focus. We support the redoubling of efforts to expand AD and preventative AD, with involvement of communities in programmes, and include measures to reduce their vulnerability. But this will be ineffective if they don’t receive real support with access to markets. I reiterate the importance of the discussions that will be held during the roundtables. These should be headed by member states at the highest possible level. We should carry out a realistic evaluation of what has been achieved to date.
Brazil – We appreciate the inclusion of many comments from previous intersessionals. This new version is an excellent improvement. We appreciate the fact that it reflects the structure of the roundtables. It is a solid basis for the zero draft. With that in mind, we want to share comments on the preambular part and operational recommendations. The preamble should convey a strong political message – reiterate the commitment to the 3 conventions, a commitment to redouble efforts to face current and emerging challenges, we must recognise that we should seek more effective results and we should be welcoming reviews and assessments of our control policy, finally we think it important to conduct a critical assessment. The preamble should reinforce the messaging around balanced approaches. On the operational recommendations: 1- treatment section: we want to go beyond the recognition that addiction is a health disorder, it is not a crime. Compulsory treatment should be ended. We should also highlight the important of harm reduction. 2- organised crime; we should highlight the priority of countries to combat organised crime, and the importance of institutional cooperation to counter money laundering. We shoudl reiterate the importance of agreed languages on the links with terrorism. 3- human rights: we should define quantity thresholds to differentiate between users and traffickers. We welcome the section on legal guarantees in criminal justice proceedings. We want to recall our statement on the death penalty for drug crimes. We understand that there are divisions between member states on this issue, but the UNGASS is an opportunity to discuss this issue and consider a moratorium on the application of the death penalty. 4- we want to highlight the importance of including health indicators. In closing, we look forward to negotiations in January in the same constructive spirit. The new secretary for drug control in Brazil is here today and will present tomorrow, and is ready to engage with member states and CSOs.
Russia – We welcome the work of the UNGASS Board on the elements paper. At this stage, our task is to look at conceptual elements of the document. The concepts can become a good platform for work. But it requires improvements. We want to focus on the fact that the current structure of the document prevents it from addressing all aspects of the world drug problem. We want to suggest that we focus on developing pragmatic recommendations and we revert to the issue on how to organise them at a later stage. We need them to be clearly balanced. We also believe that the structure of the document should clearly follow the ideology of the 2009 Political Declaration. It should reflect new phenomena in the area of drugs, particularly the increasing ink between production, trafficking and international terrorism. The humanitarian element should not prevent the international community to respond to the threat to international peace and security that pose drugs. The right to life should be insured by member states from drugs taking the lives of thousands of people each year. Our recommendations should be as meaningful and as operational as possible, with specific and concrete measures.
Guatemala – We welcome the five thematic issues of the elements paper. There is a need for a light motif on the current draft. We agree with Switzerland about building upon items already agreed upon. The Board has managed to submit a text that is a matter of priority for all countries. It is not perfect but is a point of departure, and builds trust on the way forward in the negotiations process. The first phase has concluded now. I want to highlight the following inter-alia: we need to work on a short and concise preamble that highlights key issues: the 3 conventions, human rights and key other issues. We hope that we will be informed on the 2nd phase and what the timeline is to negotiate on the text.
China – There are three issues to raise: 1- structure: The last version of the outcome document included international cooperation. What we fail to understand is that without meeting any opposition, the element is missing in the new structure. We do not want this to be diluted or separated. International cooperation is one of the three pillars stipulated in the 2009 Political declaration and we want it to be strengthened, not weakened. We hope the Board will give thought to this issue. 2- We should respect the sovereignty and integrity of member states, there is no one size fits all. With regards to the 3 UN conventions, all states are entitled to formulate and implement its own drug policies and laws. This right should be respected. On the issue of the death penalty, we are opposed to any approach that is one size fits all. The abolition of the death penalty is in the sphere of national states. This is linked to the huge harms paused by drugs, and abolishing the death penalty is not good in this regard. This point will prevent us from making any progress. 3- the 3 UN drug conventions are the cornerstone of drug control. The CND and its subsidiary agencies are the competent agencies in the field of drugs.
Colombia – We note the positive progress made on the elements paper and welcome the structure. in keeping with the headings established in the agreed resolution, we should add “drugs and health” and “drugs and crime” for the document to have true added value. We also want to add a few aspects: as a general comment on the preamble, we note substantive changes and we will not go to this but it does not mean we agree with the language. We recall the 3 UN conventions as the cornerstone of drug policy, and want to refer to the contributions by member states, UN agencies and NGOs there. We also need to highlight the lack of results in achieving a drug free world, and want to note the increase i drug use worldwide – this should be reflected. Regarding drugs and health, this should go beyond demand reduction and include harm reduction, eliminate obstacles to access for medical and scientific purposes, as well as highlight best practices. ON drugs and crime, we agree with the majority of elements, but want to include an analysis of the causes and consequences of involvement in crime. On human rights, we need a more inclusive perspective as most people affected are rights holders. Economic and social rights and the right to life should be included. We need to include a reference to the abolition of the death penalty, as well as: decriminalisation of drug use and possession for personal use, as well as eliminate stigma around drug users. We also want to add something on identifying the risk factors around women’s involvement in the drug trade. On new challenges, we should include new challenges nationally to tackle the drug problem beyond NPS, addressing: the need the rebalance drug strategies and international cooperation with a rebalance between law enforcement and the need to uphold human rights, the need to promote dialogue with NGOs, respect the autonomy of states in the monitoring and evaluation of drug policies, helping states to review their drug policies taking into account their national realities, the need to highlight access to essential medicines, the need to establish new indicators on demand and supply to reflect goals, improve availability of information, implement monitoring measures, improve technical assistance. Around AD: we need to include tackling the negative consequences on the environment, establish a fund to implement AD, ensure adequate training, ensure traditional use of illicit crops, ensure common and shared responsibility, exchange experiences on drug trafficking, take into account all links to involvement in the drug trade.
United States – Over the past 18 months, we have had a range of opportunities to propose ideas for the UNGASS. There has been strong reaffirmation of the 3 drug conventions. The US government used the UNGASS as an opportunity to review the 2009 Political declaration and address challenges since 2009. The time has come to move forward, to review progress and review some of the new challenges. We also want to support efforts to develop an outcome document. We note broad concurrence in many substantive areas of the document. But we note our reservation to the 5 panel structure. We note that one purpose of the panels is to highlight all issues of importance, but this is not the purpose of the document. We want to refer to the structure of the 2009 political declaration. It is not critical to decide on the structure now. We should focus on substance, and would propose we move beyond structure and discuss substance, removing any heading at this point. We refer back to a phenomenon highlighted by the UK yesterday that of NPS. Another issue is that of access to essential medicines which is currently buried in the demand reduction section. We also support the proposal of linking AD with the SDGs. We should let the structure follow our key points. We also have a problem with new themes proposed in the current elements paper. Finally, I want to make a quick point on timeline. We need this to be properly detailed. Any information the Board can share would be helpful to make sure we come prepared.
Iran – Regarding the elements paper, the root causes have been forgotten. Current policies only address the side effects, they only seek to minimise and eliminate drugs to ensure the welfare of humankind. First attempts should do with eradicating production, with AD, as well as an expansion of prevention to the supply side. Regarding the structure, many times I repeated that we should focus on the 2009 Political declaration. Regarding human rights, this is really important and each paragraph should mention human rights. But on the death penalty, we are not in an appropriate place to discuss it. We should discuss it in the human rights forums. Regarding transit countries, there is harm there as they are producers and trafficking countries. We should discuss how to help them if they don’t have the ability to tackle the issue with action oriented recommendations for them.
Austria – We fully align ourselves with the EU statement. We make the following remarks in our national capacity: we have been following a human rights and health approach for many years. We are pleased to see these principles reflected in the elements paper. We strongly believe that the world drug problem will only be tackled through a holistic approach on health, human rights and criminal justice. UNODC bases its work on this approach. We are pleased to see its leading role reaffirmed in the elements paper. The outcome document should invite the UN family to emit their recommendations within the existing framework. We welcome the human rights standards but also want to focus on eliminating the death penalty. This has been expressed by many member states and hope the paper will reflect this. The inclusion of CSOs and the scientific community should also be recognised. We will continue to actively participate in the negotiations. Tomorrow, the Minister of Social Affairs will deliver a statement.
New Zealand – Our apprach to drug policy is based on compassion and proportion and want an elements paper reflecting these principles. The structure is useful and helps set up recommendations. I want to highlight issues of importance: we have been a strong proponent of human rights language and cooperation between law enforcement and health responses. But we need language on the death penalty. We support Switzerland on innovative approaches such as our approach to NPS. We should reflect this to deal with the challenge of NPS. We consider the link between organised crime and money laundering as critical and welcome inclusion of this language on this issue.
United Kingdom – We support the EU statement. We are making progress with the document. we support the member states on the need to complete the negotiations before the conclusion of the CND. We note progress on human rights but must continue to be ambitious on this issue. Like Mexico, Brazil, Colombia nd New Zealand, we condemn the death penalty and want its inclusion in the elements paper. We support language on access to essential medicines, and the document should address issues with this regard. We appreciate the strong focus on health in the outcome document including evidence based treatment. The joint ONUDC/WHO/UNAIDS technical guidance on HIV should also be reflected and are key for the SDGs. We should include measures that go beyond treatment but focus on social measures for housing and community strengthening. We should highlight the need to review criminal justice systems and use mitigating or aggravating factors, as well as alternatives to incarceration. We should be smart on crime, and broaden indicators on law enforcement. Alongside Japan, Colombia and the US, along with others, who participated in the G7 group on NPS, we appreciate the strong conclusions on NPS. These should rely on evidence based approaches focused on sharing forensic and other data. We must include WHO assessments and need for CND to make informed decisions to control NPS without affecting availability of such substances for medical purposes. We must develop strong consensus language on NPS. We recommend separating paras on NPS, precursors and chemicals as these are separate issues requiring a separate response.
Indonesia – We appreciate the elements document. On structure, I support the US, Russia and Pakistan. We underline that discussions on substantive issues should reflect a balanced approach, based on the 3 drug conventions. There are also some elements that need to be addressed: the proposal to review sentencing measures with alternative measures. This is a matter of sovereignty of states. On the death penalty, this does not breach any international law. This is a question for each country to decide. We take note of the human rights in criminal justice. We also take note of the sovereignty of states in their criminal justice system. This is the case for the death penalty. There is no one size fits all approach, each member state should adopt the criminal justice measures that are best for addressing their national issues. The UNGASS is an important forum to discuss progress and challenges based on a balanced and integrated approach. The outcome document should reflect this and the member states’ strong commitment in this regard.
Venezuela – It is necessary to refer to the world drug problem in the preamble. It is something that has been approved and want to use this formulation. We also want to mention the differentiate impact of the drug problem in countries. We also want to focus on public safety instead of safety and security of individuals. We welcome the mention of the 2030 Agenda. In the operational recommendations, we want to focus on language of the 3 drug conventions – drug use, drug abuse, illicit drug use. We can touch on this during negotiations. We also want to refer to treatment and agreed language. We should go back to approved language. In Section 2 on crime, there is a need to stick to agreed language, in particular general language on crime and organised crime. We will make more specific recommendations at a later stage of the negotiations.
Romania – We welcome the structure of the document as it is. A clear and complete approach with operational recommendations will enable us to address challenges. We want to clearly highlight the significance of tackling drug control based on human rights, including alternatives to incarceration. We want to mention the role of civil society as an added value. On operational recommendations – we should ensure harm reduction and the role of CSOs in carrying out various initiatives. We should also increase efforts to tackle organised crime, terrorism and money laundering. We should increase partnerships with local, regional and national actors. I want to reiterate my country’s policy on the abolishment of the death penalty. I align my remarks to the EU statement.
Belgium – We align ourselves with the EU statement. We want to promote the issue of availability of substances for medical and scientific purposes as a key pillar of drug control and this should be reflected in the preamble. On the recommendations, these are currently captured within the demand reduction section. Demand reduction and ensuring availability of substances are two different elements. This could be addressed with the creation of a separate section or with a clarification in the introduction that availability of essential medicines is not a demand reduction measure.
Jamaica – We welcome the UNGASS as an opportunity to review progress, as well as an opportunity to review the drug control regime. We appreciate the work on the outcome document. We are willing to participate in the fine-tuning of the document. We support a balance approach that rejects a one size fits all approach. International cooperation is critical but should not undermine sovereignty of states. Human needs are crucial and evolve, they must address specific needs of specific communities at a given time. We may need to adopt an approach that may not view demand reduction and supply reduction and harm reduction as mutually exclusive. We must focus on what works in a country and community. The international regime must give us room to experiment based on what is appropriate in each country. We must also acknowledge the positive use of narcotics for example for medicinal use. We should make them more available within and across borders to address health, human rights and development. We also welcome AD based on sustainability, access to market and development. Under the operational recommendations on crime, there should be a point on how we address drug trafficking with the media and our societies, addressing the problems faced by the fact that our efforts are sometimes undermined by the media. We welcome CSO participation and work.
Thailand – On the structure, we prefer the 2009 Political declaration structure, but we agree with the USA that it’s best to focus on substance. The 3 drug conventions are the cornerstone of drug control. We support the proposal from China and Pakistan on enhanced capacity building and assistance, and the CND as the lead agency in the drug control system. We agree that we should add a stronger language on this. We want to see the completion of this outcome document at the CND 2016.
Norway – Thank you for the new document, which reflects the deliberations so far. When we look at the drug problem going back to the 1990s, the volumes are increasing and the outcome document is a chance to get it right. We are here looking at new language, we want innovative language and want to address new challenges posed by links to terrorism, and new substances. This is an important year, we had meetings on financing development and we adopted the SDGs. These should be in the preamble as a key overarching principle. We agree with the many statements around the 3 conventions as the cornerstone of our work. At the same time we see the complexities of drugs and we welcome the references in the operative part of the document of other UN institutions. We want to work further on this. As for access to essential medicines, we should give more visibility to the issue in the text. We need operative and measurable targets in this area. We agree with the many statements on strengthening the human rights aspects of drug control as well as the abolishment of the death penalty. Access to treatment should be voluntary. Policies on harm reduction and alternatives to incarceration are key. On supply reduction, we look forward to discussions, we need enhanced measures and targets and need more international cooperation to target the key actors in the market. We welcome what is now reflected in the text on the role of civil society, but we believe that their role is broader and should be strengthened in the text. Finally, we are working on text around the challenges and vulnerabilities of women.
Sweden – We align with the EU statement. Around health policy, this should be based upon a broad approach where the health of the individual is at the centre of policies. We have made a proposal to invite WHO to develop a comprehensive strategy outlining the public health approach in drug policy. We cannot request a specialised agency to do this, but the UNGA could invite one to conduct a specific activity and invite the UNGA to do so. We also want to promote inclusive social services ensuring participation of drug users regarding their own lives, as well as active participation of families, clients, etc. in policy formulation. This aspect is very important. Tomorrow, we have a side event on ensuring drug user participation. Finally, we should seek the engagement of UN programmes and agencies to integrate their efforts in countering drugs in their regular activities. We had a special meetings in New York a couple of weeks ago and it is important that we have a clear message in our document where we ask for more engagement of other organisations. For now, we can only see a few examples of that today. The final question is that of the 2030 agenda. We should go for more operational activities in this regard.
Singapore – We support the increased emphasis on the operational recommendations. We strongly support the fact that these should be based on the 3 drug control conventions. We share the idea of shortening the Preamble, and also to organise the paper around the structure of the 2009 Political declaration. We want to focus demand reduction on prevention and rehabilitation, we believe that demand reduction and rehabilitation will only be effective if the pull and push factors are addressed in an evidence-based way. We should eliminate the scourge of drugs and eliminate its use in society. We emphasise the importance of a targeted approach for targeted drug education so that relevant stakeholders are engaged properly. A comprehensive prevention measure is key. Reintegration in society for drug users is essential: psychology-based programmes, educational programmes, employability skills programmes, family based programmes, faith based counselling. We welcome the statements by China and Iran on the death penalty. We want the document to be finalised in March 2016 in the lead up to the UNGASS.
Argentina – We want to thank you for the draft. We want to indicate that we support this at this stage and we will not submit wording. We note with satisfaction a gradual improvement, less redundancies, a focus on fundamental pillars – mitigation, strengthening the leading role of human rights. We must strengthen a balanced approach to address the world drug problem and we want to highlight the role of the 3 UN drug conventions. We want to highlight the need to agree on tangible recommendations and want to be able to submit plausible recommendations met with agreement in the coming months.
Uruguay – The document is very valuable. It establishes a structure that will make it possible to work on the two prior versions and will provide us with a consensus base to reach a good outcome. Uruguay supports the work accomplished and provides us with a good basis but reference should be made to prevent stigma and discrimination of drug users. Also, not referring to harm reduction at this stage is a mistake. We know what harm reduction is and omitting it will not help us in reaching a consensus in the future. Human rights and health are the cornerstone of our system. As stated by Switzerland, we must strike a balance between the successes and failures and we must take that stock and this should be reflected in the document. We should take a broad based approach. Any panacea should be based on a strong diagnosis. Here, we must move from a “war on drugs” to addressing the drug problem, we must explain how we moved from eradication to AD and preventative AD. This is what we need for the UNGASS. At some stage, we had a repressive approach. We defined the principle of shared responsibility and this is progress. It is clear at this stage that the UNGASS will focus on health and human rights -this is a significant change. We must recall what was said by Colombia, Switzerland and the USA around the changes since 2009. We are talking about 1 new product per week. Do we have any ways and measures to tackle this situation? We need to tackle these new possibilities.
Algeria – We want to mention a few important elements. On the structure of the document, we ought to base it on the 2009 Political declaration. The current drafting exercise we are doing here should complement the work done in 2009 so we don’t see the point of creating a new structure. Around the objectives of 2009, we believe that we must be clear on whether we are still aiming to achieve these objectives. Moreover, we haven’t heard anybody speaking against an integrated and balanced strategy on the world drug problem, this should then lead us to use the 2009 structure. As far as my delegation is concerned, we should strengthen the link between organised crime and terrorism. Venezuela stated that there was pre-agreed language agreed in 2009 we should use.
Australia – I want to focus here on access to essential medicines and NPS. We believe that the language on access to essential medicines is good, but we have a comment on placing this issue under demand reduction. these two categories address two different issues and should be separate or would like the introductory para to highlight this differentiation. Around NPS, we suggest that the elements suggested under NPS should be included in the ATS section and these two should also be separate. Regarding precursors, we should strengthen the international reporting system.
Spain – We align with the EU position and the countries that have called for the upholding of human rights, for users with a health approach, and al those who have committed drug related crimes. No such crime should lead to the death penalty. We also want to mention the success of policies and programmes on harm reduction – they are most effective in many countries. We want to support Uruguay that it is acceptable language. We support the principles of national sovereignty, but at the same time this shouldn’t prevent us from engaging in dialogue in this process.
South Africa – I wish to reiterate some of the positions raised by China, Pakistan, etc. and I support the US position on the structure. On some of the political issues and references to human rights, we must strike a balance between the two sets of convenants. We don’t imagine this document to be flowed with civil and political rights. We don’t support selectivity of human rights issues, we either take all of them or none of them. On the so called alternatives to incarceration, we cannot try to hide our own responsibility here – we must implement drug control in full and we do not any form of legalisation, we take our responsibility fully and seriously.
Agenda item 3: UNGASS roundtables
UNGASS Board Chair – Member states agreed with the format of the UNGASS roundtables. I open the floor for inputs on this agenda item.
Mexico – As expressed in the previous intersessional, the Mexican government had some observations on the draft decision. Firstly, we feel that we shouldn’t change the number of panellists. The participation of other UN bodies did contribute to the debate. In para c, which deals with the chairs of the roundtables, we feel that the proposal is too limiting. The regional groups should be able to freely choose the chairs of the roundtables.
Costa Rica – With regards to this item, my delegation has a concern under para c, on who will chair the roundtable. Our position is that any UN member state should have the right to chair whether or not they are members of the CND or not. This is a UNGA event and we are all equal there, we all have the right to vote, and there should be no distinction whether we are members or not.
Colombia – The subject of the roundtables is at the heart of the event in NY. So we have the following comment: in para c, requiring that the chair should be high level and designated among the regional groups by the PGA, including an additional rep from a UN body. We should delete the prior list of speakers – it limits the interactive debate to a series of statements. The list of speakers should be determined on a first come first served basis allowing a degree of flexibility. What will happen to the conclusions of the roundtables? We should add: “shall include concluding remarks from the chairs, with the panellists having a few minutes to reply”. We should have a summary of the conclusions to be shared as a written report and distributed as an UNGASS document. This is to eliminate any doubts in the process. We will provide a written copy of these amendments to the secretariat.
South Africa – I wish to oppose the previous three speakers. We agreed in the resolution what we wanted and we had not foreseen that we would go back 5 steps backwards. This UNGA is led by the CND and we have agreed this already. We know exactly what we are doing. About the written report of the roundtables proposed by Colombia, I am not sure about this proposal – are we going to negotiate another report? THis is not something we are going to support.
Ecuador – With regards to this draft decision, we agree on most of the points mentioned. However, in para c, the co-chairs of the roundtables should be members chosen by the regional groups at the highest level, because this special session is meant to deal with subjects at the highest possible level. So most countries will be represented at the highest level. We would like to ensure that we will have high level representation in the roundtable. I also believe we should have a panellist from academia in addition to the CSO panellist. I agree with Colombia that we shouldn’t have a prior speakers’ list. We need an open and interactive debate. A list of speakers will detract from that. We should delete the rest of this paragraph therefore.
Russia – I would like to support South Africa. We have agreed on this draft decision, we have a large amount of work ahead of us so if we have to change agreed items already agreed it will be problematic.
United States – We believe that the agenda logistics of this decision do reflect the discussions held in March. It is important to maintain the modalities of the chairs for the roundtables. We understand this document to have been consulted and agreed with the PGA in New York. We agree with the last comment – there is a lot ahead of us in the agenda so we would encourage all to remain on the task ahead of us.
Pakistan – The first three speakers have proposed substantive changes. I will have to seek advice to the capital, I cannot make substantive comments. But we would like to stick to Resolution 58/8 and not go beyond that.
China – We must also seek the opinion of our capital. Our position at present is to keep the present text. Any changes must be based on sufficient reasons. So we support Brazil and Pakistan.
Switzerland – Like other delegations, we would like to see an open and interactive debate at the roundtables. To have a pre-established list of speakers would be contrary to this principle so we would like to delete the section on this issue. We also think it is important to have the conclusions of the roundtables reflected in a written document. Could you clarify what is the standard practice for this? Can we assume that there will be a written report that will be part of the legacy of the UNGASS?
UNGASS Board Chair – There are a few points to clarify based on your contributions. On the one hand, Mexico said we shouldn’t change the number of the panellists. But in comparison to the 58th Session Segment, we had then representatives of each regional group chairing the discussion. At the same time, you want an interactive discussion. We also have the proposal of academia to be presented in the panel. The whole question is that of an adverse relationship between number of panellists and interactivity of the roundtables. The standard operating procedures for the events is to have a list of speakers to give everybody the opportunity to speak. This is to ensure that countries have only one or two opportunities to speak. We understand that the structure there is a bit different and we need to have an agreed list of speakers. What we need to look at is how to achieve interactivity and the panellists. On chairing, each regional group has the opportunity to choose who will chair the roundtables. If we want roundtables that include academia, civil society, other UN agencies, relevant stakeholders, we need to navigate the discussion in a coherent way. Regarding the chair summary – this is a standard operating procedure. This is part of how we do business, it is how it happened during the 58th CND Session. Once again, we have talked about perceptions on how to organise the roundtables. It’s a maximum of 30 speakers/interventions per roundtable. The original proposal was that there would be no panel at all. We pushed back on this based on the experience of the 58th CND Session. So the middle ground here is to have a prior list of speakers. And here again, this will be incumbent upon the co-chairs from each regional group to be able to navigate the discussion in a way that ensures the interactiveness and the comprehensiveness of the discussions.
Mexico – I would like to know how you will be organising the work. I thank you for your explanation. But it is still the prerogative of member states to take decisions. We expressed reservations on the need to set up the Board. But we have always cooperated based on resolution 58/8. So I am sorry if we have to go back to procedure but this stems from proposals being made. We cannot accept the text as it stands and we need to have a formula that avoids these procedures that are really not necessary.
Morocco – During the last intersessional, we had questions on the chairs of the roundtables. With regards to the list of speakers, you said NY needed a list of pre-established speakers. But I recall that the CND is leading on the preparations so it should be up to us on how to organise this. Of course we are willing to compromise.
Guatemala – We are referring to the draft decision. I am pleased to see the internal workings contained in para c, d, e of the draft decision. I would be grateful if we were to continue with this, if we could include who will be on the roundtable, who the speakers will be. Perhaps we should state that they will be members of the UN agencies and bodies as we have always stressed that the UN system should be strengthened and participate more actively in UN related events. This is probably where we should start. We should give a more comprehensive explanation. This is the same for para d. We have be asked to define the list of speakers. It worked expeditiously. We can achieve that again. By going to NY, it looks like we are going to the lion’s den. We need to remain strong and make sure the event works in a satisfactory way. We should have the process written in black and white.
Ecuador – Thank you for your explanations. However, our doubt is about the text which states nowhere that the Board should chair the roundtables. It is up to us, member states, to decide among our regional groups. This is why we have doubts. There is no clarify on the specific tasks of the Board. We want to see opportunities for other members at higher level, we want to ensure that.
Colombia – Thank you for your explanations. With regards to the pre-inscribed list, I agree with what Guatemala and Morocco have said. It is a practice and as states we have the power to decide on what will enable us to crystallise an interactive debate. We insist on sticking the line on pre-agreed list of speakers. We don’t know what we will say yet. We agreed that the list of speakers would give their talk and it is what will launch the debate. On the subject of co-chairs, we agree with Ecuador and Mexico. We need 2 people from the region chosen by the regional groups represented at high levels. Finally, in Resolution 58/588, it is agreed that the conclusions will be presented in the plenary – so why is there a problem with a written version? We would ideally have wanted these reflected in the outcome document as an annex, but we are flexible on that.
Russia – The arrangements for the roundtable stem from the resolutions of the CND and the UNGA. We believe that the mandate of resolution 58/8 specifically mentions that the CND has a role as the leading agency in preparing the UNGASS and the organisation of the roundtables. The relevant para is 3f. On this basis we will continue working on this document.
Uruguay – I am a bit lost with all of this. With regards to the roundtables, after deciding on the composition of the roundtables, when it was decided regional groups would choose two reps to chair, we thought that the mandate would go all the way to the UNGASS. This was successful. But Uruguay cannot support the document as it stands today. The issue is one of substance: 10 member states are in favour of the document and 10 are against it. How are we going to work on this? Will we reach an agreement at this intersessional or will a solution be imposed? If so, that means we need to impose a solution in all cases. If anyone doesn’t want delays, it’s Uruguay. We need to get into the substantive parts as soon as possible, but we must find a negotiated consensus.
UNGASS Board Chair – There is obviously no consensus on this issue. We will resume discussions at informals tomorrow at 2pm on this issue.
CND Chair – Thank you for the rich discussion so far. I also want to encourage all the participants to attend the informals just announced at 2pm. We need to reach a consensus that will satisfy as much as possible the comments made so far. Tomorrow we will start at 10 am.