1. Preparations for the regular segment of the 59th session of the Commission
(b) Normative segment: Scheduling of substances based on the international drug control conventions
Dr Martin Raithelhuber (expert on synthetic substances) – On the subject of synthetic substances, it important to note that customs are usually the first ones to discover smuggled goods. The police and other forces however need the means to be able to detect these good. Improved forensic and laboratory technologies to detect New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) is crucial. We try to bring information on the general subject of NPS together in an early warning system to make this knowledge useful for all member countries. We need to understand the unwanted effects of these substances. Finally, the map of the emergence of NPS shows that all countries have discovered one or several of these and introduced one or several controls to target the NPS market. The UNODC is already providing a large amount of the information on this subject. New technologies have to be explored and promoted especially in those parts of the world which are not yet in a good position to detect NPS. We are trying to promote these technologies through training at conferences, in regions such as Asia. We will continue this line of work. This is just one example of what some states and groups can do in response to the NPS emergence. On this positive note, I’d like to conclude this presentation.
UK – Thank you. This was a good overview of the threats and challenges and what can be done. We have time for questions so I can give the floor to any questions that arise now. Three questions are being raised. My colleagues from Pakistan, France and the United States will have the chance to speak, in this order.
Pakistan – The delegation of Pakistan has observations rather than questions. Thank you to Australia and the UK for leading the debate here in this session. The context of NPS is an interesting one. The challenges we are faced with here are large. International cooperation needs to be enhanced to deal with this problem. I would like to pick up a very specific point. There are gaps in dealing with this challenge, e.g. data and information gaps as well as gaps between countries in their capacity to deal with these problems, e.g. through their law enforcement agencies. Hopefully a UN document will highlight these problems further. Thank you.
France – Thank you. We actively support the movement towards tackling this challenge. Law enforcement is an important part of tackling this problem, and communication plays an important part in prevention as well. Specifically, I would like to hear as a follow-up on the presentation if there are some concrete results with regards to improved communication.
Dr Raithelhuber – Drug testing is an important part of informing users of what they are consuming, regarding the dosage or the actual chemical substance. This is a type of risk communication that exists in a number of countries. Alternatively, directly addressing young people over the internet, such as through social media etc., is an option. A number of countries have developed such programmes, notably the UK with their Talk to Frank and radio programmes, which targets young people who might take drugs, and these are just some of the possible programmes.
USA – Firstly we would like to express personal thanks to your leadership and your effort for this session. It is important to look at all the critical tools we have at hand to tackle this new problem. It is important to develop an international response together with the INCB. We need to collect data. Your efforts have shown that there are a number of tools under the convention that we can use as a temporary measure. My own government will propose a resolution to take things a further step forward. We are working bilaterally with a number of countries and there have already been a number of strides in the past year towards solving this problem. Chemical control needs to be moved into the NPS world and responses and we need to push down on this to make it happen effectively. Thanks again.
Russia – This event marks an important milestone in consideration of this specific issue of the NPS. I wish to align myself with my colleague from France with regards to the issue of prevention. This affects both the demand and the supply side of the issue. Some countries aren’t aware of what they can do to prevent the international supply of such substances. The issue of informed decision-making on scheduling shows the need to improve the response to this wide variety of substances. Some brief remarks would be appreciated on the methodology required. For example, with regards to ketamine: it has a wide pharmaceutical/medical use in many countries whilst being under wide international control as well. As a citizen I know that there are other drugs available for similar reasons in Russia since the 1970s. What will shape the recommendations made?
Dr Gilles Forte, Policy, Access and Use, WHO – Thank you to the UK and Australia for organising this briefing. Talking about coordination amongst agencies, we have made a lot of progress in the past years especially working on the criteria required for scheduling. At one of our last sessions I made a detailed presentation on this criteria. As was mentioned by some of the speakers today, there is a problem with data in particular for NPS, because we cannot study it by proceeding in the same way as with other substances. Animal and human studies are impossible. Thus, there is an urgent need for cooperation with sharing the data available from medical centres, health workers, etc. We need to raise awareness as well, for example in the young population. We need to inform them of the possible symptoms and effects. Implementing prevention through health workers and professional can provide more data that can contribute to the body of research which can be used by countries as well as bodies such as the UNODC. There are examples of initiatives by countries like the UK that show how treatment and prevention can be addressed. Currently there are almost no treatments for the side-effects or diseases linked to these NPS. Therefore we need professionals to be included in this debate. Resolution 58/11 explains these points very clearly therefore we are positioning ourselves within this resolution. However, we still need more resources to support these initiatives and capacities. Thank you.
Mexico – Due to the fact that this presentation was on a very complex problem which requires comprehensive responses, it would be useful to have a map like the one of the number of substances reported but with abuse figures to compare these figures. In line with my French colleague, I’d like to ask what kind of measures can be aimed to prevent abuse and also to promote harm reduction through interventions. Thank you.
Dr Forte, Policy, Access and Use, WHO – Harm reduction is obviously high on the agenda of the WHO. We are working through different streams, e.g. on the issue of drug injection, which creates potential risk such as HIV/AIDS and the WHO is engaged in this stream of work trying to promote injection safety to prevent such epidemics. But there are many other examples such as prevention of substance abuse and we are also working on a programme that is looking at the prevention and treatment of dependence and drug-related disorders. There are a number of interventions that try to reduce the harms. We are obviously not involved in the supply reduction approach. There are a number of other programmes that try to address that.
Iraq – This is my first time taking the floor this year so I would like to wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year. We would like to make a few statements with regards to the matters brought up this morning. We are aware of the costs of dealing with the challenges that arise though NPS: we ourselves are in the process of collecting data on the subject, which is useful whether they are from the national or regional level or from NGOs, and we are in the process of verifying this data. But meanwhile new NPS are emerging. Thus, speed is an issue. Keeping in mind the gap between countries at various stages of development, it will be costly especially for some countries. Are there any possibilities to unite different countries? We are speaking of cooperation in a very broad way but it is difficult to materialise such cooperation on the ground.
Colombia – Thank you to Australia and the UK for this important event. We would like to show Colombia’s support on any movement towards solving this problem and we will host an event on the subject in March.
Dr Tettey, Chief Laboratory and Scientific Section UNODC – To give you a quick summary, over the last 12 months we have worked together with different regions to help establish the early warning system and exchange of data. We have covered West Africa, South East Asia, South Asia and others, and there are even more plans for the future. So, there is an early warning system. And there is a system to verify information before it is handed to other countries.
Belarus – Thanks again to the organisers and specifically the representatives of Australia and the UK. My government is also planning to hold a special event at this year’s CND and we hope that many will want to attend. Thanks once again. It is great to see more involvement by international organisations.
UK – This session is now closed. Thanks especially to our panellists for giving up their time and giving us such a comprehensive overview. I look forward to working with all of you. Good luck with your work for the rest of the week.
CND Chair – Thanks to all the panellists, this marks the end of this special event. We will now have a short break.
(c) Operational segment
CND Chair – I now declare the first intersessional meeting of the 59th session open. You have the draft agenda in front of you. Are there any comments or questions? I see none, and therefore the agenda is adopted. The pre-sessions will be held on Friday the 11th of March. Regarding speakers at the opening of the 59th CND session, we will have statements by the UNODC Executive Director, followed by the chairs of the regional groups, then high-level speakers. Speakers will then be able to make statements form the floor. Speaking time of max of 10 minutes to chairs of regional groups, and 5 minutes for high-level speakers. As for draft resolutions and decisions, the deadline is the 15th of February at noon. To date, only one draft resolution was submitted by the Netherlands, on behalf of the European Union on the principle of proportionality in drug policies. I now open the floor.
Australia – We would like to inform that we are also currently drafting a draft resolution.
USA – We have a resolution on NPS on the voluntary cooperation on NPS and chemical control and the international treatment standards.
Peru – We are drafting a resolution on prevention and I would like to give the floor to Thailand who will present a joint resolution.
Thailand – As mentioned by Peru we are working on a resolution on the UN guiding principles for alternative development.
Belarus – We are drafting a resolution on NPS and responses to this problem.
Chair CND – In line with the debate on resolution, I would like to state that all relevant documents will be made available on the website in all 6 official languages. Amendments should be made on the final edited version. Revisions must be clearly marked by using track changes. More information is available on the CND website. Resolutions will be negotiated from 3 pm on Wednesday 16th of March until Tuesday 22nd of March. We will also consider the substances recommended for scheduling in the drug conventions.
The recommendations put forth by WHO are as follows: A, acetylfentanyl should be placed in schedules I and IV of the 1961 Convention. B, MT-45 should be places in schedule I of the 1961 Convention. And C, para-methoxymethamphetamine should be placed in schedule I of the 1971 Convention and alpha-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (alpha-PVP), methoxetamine, and para-Methyl-4-methylaminorex should be placed in schedule II of the 1971 Convention, and phenazepam should be placed in schedule IV of the 1971 Convention. The commission will consider the recommendations one by one. The CND Secretariat transmitted these recommendations to all governments for feedback based on the 1961 and 1971 conventions. A reminder was sent to member states this week. The note will also contain the specific assessments on which these recommendations are based.
As for the operational segment: item 3 will focus on the policy directives to the drug programme and strengthening the drug programme including administrative, budgetary and strategic management questions. Item 8 will then turn to the contributions by the Commission to the work of the Economic and Social Council. The theme for the 2016 session will be “moving from commitment to results: The 2030 agenda.
We will continue with the second item on the agenda, which is preparations for the UNGASS. I now give the floor to Ambassador Shamaa.
2. Preparations for the special segment on UNGASS preparations to be conducted at the occasion of the 59th session of the Commission
Shamaa, UNGASS Chair – I would first like to thank everyone present here today. Together, we will begin to define the modalities of the UNGASS document. As has been the case since 2014, we received contributions which are now posted on the UNGASS website. Likewise, it’s worth mentioning that there are two events organised by the General Assembly President in February. About the CND special event this morning, I would like to thank the Permanent Representative of Australia and the UK.
The timeline has enabled the board to bring out a draft zero of the document, and hardcopies are available. This text has been the subject of debate and the drafting will continue over the next few days. The board will provide more detailed information at a later stage. I would like to ask everyone not to go into detailed reading today but stick to the aims for today which is to produce and discuss general feedback. I would like to open the floor with these words.
Netherlands, on behalf of the European Union – I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU and its member states. I will act in the spirit of diversity and cooperation between countries and regions. The EU would like to thank the UNGASS board on their work on the draft document. We appreciate that you chose to take a new approach and decided to introduce new topics such as NPS and access to controlled medicines. However, some key elements need to be introduced or reinforced. Firstly, the EU would like to underline that two elements are missing: the abolition of the death penalty as well as risk and harm reduction. If we want to tackle the global drug problem we cannot allow the omission of these subjects. If we want to move forward we must discuss these issues here and throughout the next few weeks. The EU opposes the death penalty on all levels. It has no proven effect on reducing the drug problem. UNAIDS and other agencies have proven the effectiveness of risk and harm reduction measures and the UNGASS must recognise this as well. Drug policy must be founded on an evidence-based, multi-disciplinary approach and effective coordination, and it must be balanced approach. The EU would like to stress the important role of civil society and academics. Their role should be recognised, respected and encouraged. Clients of drug-related services, organisations of people who use drugs and families should be taken into account. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights should be the cornerstone of the response to the drug problem. We would like to encourage local, national and international responses. The EU is looking forward to further input to the process of developing the outcome of the UNGASS 2016. Read the full speech.
Colombia – My delegation would like to express its gratitude to Ambassador Shamaa. We appreciate the fact that the chair has created an opportunity to debate a range of themes that covers many aspects of the drug problem. We appreciate a balanced approach with regards to health and human rights. Mr Chair, as Colombia pointed out on previous occasions, we must take a realistic approach. We must recognise that there are different realities and approaches and policies. It is important to respect the autonomy of states. We look forward to a broad debate in the spirit of diversity, which will make for a more substantial outcome document. Thank you.
Mexico – Let me express my satisfaction at seeing Ambassador Galuska as the new head of the commission. Thanks to the members of the UNGASS Board for their support in preparation of the UNGASS. This zero draft document is a good basis of debate for the outcome document. We will try to make general comments about the draft. On the process, it seems to us very appropriate that we align ourselves with a methodology which allows for a broad discussion. It will make it possible for us to make a better quality and possibly more concise document. The 8 pages that we have in the draft with all the comments will be more than 20 but the idea is to keep it concise. So a lot of work needs to be done by the Board to keep it this way. A second or third draft might be necessary before we can move to a line-by-line analysis. As far as the Mexican delegation is considered, there are three types of issues. All of these issues are at the forefront of our mind. There can all be expressed in different shades of meaning and nuances, but some have still not found their way into the document at all. The EU delegation has already brought some of these up. But I would also like to emphasise the issue of development, not only alternative development, but also the importance of the recently adopted 2030 agenda of the SDGs. We need to contribute to this and the UNGASS needs to concern itself with socio-economic issues. There should also be more recognition that the overall UN system should be involved, not just the CND. Tackling the world drug problem requires greater interaction and more involvement of the UN system as a whole. Furthermore, these discussions taking place here seem to be somehow distant of the ones taking place in our country. Depenalisation or even legalisation of cannabis is one example of an important subject. Other countries have had a similar debate and have even introduced a new legal framework and this has been absent from our debate here. I think this is something that, be you for or against, needs to be addresses. This is important for everyone, including for third party countries. We need to be more open and flexible with regards to these issues. Countries are implementing flexible approaches with regards to consumption, but we need flexibility on the production side as well. The Board should look to give us the opportunity to discuss these issues. The positions of member states really should be discussed and taken on board. Many countries are prohibitionist and others are considering new and innovative solutions, and all of these subjects need to be addressed. Thank you.
France – Good morning and thank you Mr Chairman. I would like to congratulate Ambassador Galuska for his appointment. I would like to highlight a few of the factors which we find particularly important within the frame of this debate. The abolition of the death penalty is a major issue for us. Harm reduction is equally something that we feel needs to be discussed more, as well as increased participation of civil society. And we find it important to mention human rights more in any draft or outcome document. These are the issues we feel need to be better addressed, in particular that of prevention. In New York we will organise an event on prevention specifically targeted at young people. We would like to invite as many of you to attend. Prevention should be an important subject for all of us.
Australia – Australia sees the UNGASS as a very important opportunity to take stock of the progress in implementing the 2009 political declaration, and as an opportunity to think about results and practical actions. We therefore put a lot of weight on what we can agree in the operational part of the UNGASS outcome document. We want to thank the Board for the special session and the Bureau of the CND for the extensive work that has been done today for the preparations of the UNGASS, and its management of the on-going draft of the outcome document. We believe that the UNGASS should be a platform to build international support for balanced, evidenced drug policies to achieve tangible outcomes. In taking that view, we promote a balanced policy between health and law enforcement, which includes all levels of government. So we are pleased to see that the outcome document drafted so far reflects these elements, with a balanced approach to demand, supply and harm reduction. It reflects that the 3 conventions are the cornerstone of drug policy.
Challenges include the emergence of NPS and their precursors, including ATS and methamphetamine. In Australia this is a great challenge, in particular ice. We have used considerable resources to address ice – 1 person in 11 uses ice in the country. We have recently developed a national strategy to prioritise support for workers, families and communities. We prioritise partnerships with source and transit countries. International cooperation is a high priority for us. We support calls in the outcome document to promote regional and international cooperation, such as the Global SMART Programme. Australia remains concerned also about the global disparity in global access to controlled substances for medical purposes. We have worked with the INCB, WHO and UNODC and the Union for International Cancer Control, including at the latest CND to address the need for access to essential medicines. We are pleased to have been able to support some pilot programmes to do so, in particular in Ghana. We will continue to address gaps and capacity issues. We are pleased to see this addressed in the outcome document.
We strongly support the need for adequate and proportionate sentencing to be reflected in the draft. We agree that high level trafficking and organised crime should be punished. But we do oppose the death penalty in all circumstances. Australia calls for the abolition of capital punishment. There is an extensive body of research internationally that shows that capital punishment is not efficient at addressing crime. The outcome document should reflect that in accordance with international human rights law. I look forward to seeing the revised draft and continue discussions in a constructive manner in the weeks ahead. We look forward to agree on a short, concise and action-oriented document, to be agreed at the upcoming CND.
Italy – Allow me to congratulate Mr Galuska as the CND Chair. I thank the UNGASS Board and you personally Mr Chairman for the very effective work done in the past few months. We align ourselves with the comments made by the representatives of the EU. The UNGASS 2016 will be a useful opportunity to promote the collaboration on drug policies with a human rights-focused approach. We reiterate our request to include in the document a reference to a prohibition of the death penalty for drug related crimes. That is of crucial importance for our country. The outcome document should reflect the recent call by UN entities to abolish the death penalty for drug related crimes. We look forward to a lot fruitful discussion. The promotion of consistent and proportionate legal punishments and alternatives to punishment can be one of the main outcomes in line with conventions, although we also recognise that the drug problem links in with a wide range of crimes including terrorism, organised crime, etc. With regard to the section on alternative development, we propose increased cooperation with the Food and Agricultural Organisation. Thank you.
Guatemala – Thank you. Mr Chairman. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Ambassador Galuska from the Czech Republic in his position and I would like to thank the board for the new draft. We would like to take advantage of this intersessional draft reading to comment on the general document and the negotiations in the past few days. After all previous meetings Guatemala’s position is well known and needs not to be repeated here today. However, in terms of the structure of the text before us, we observe some repetitiveness in the preamble. With regards to the substance, we appreciate your patience in listening to the views of all members. All the comments reflect a great effort on the board’s part and allowed us a better understanding of the matters at hand. But we think a lot of the language is repetitive and we believe that there is a need to find consensus-based language. All recommendations handed in should be considered by the board, and issues that need to be addressed include transit countries, a gender-based approach, and consistencies and cooperation between UN agencies. Regarding the themes, four issues require better dialogue as well. Flexibility of enforcement, the role of human rights in policy, harm reduction work and the new realities some of us are faced with. These are only the principle issues. Mr Chairman, we are open to consider all issues, those we disagree and those we agree on. It is essential we have an honest dialogue to improve the mechanisms. It is not to impose approaches on anybody. Let me also re-emphasize once more the need to address the repetitiveness in the text. Thank you.
Romania – Congratulations to Mr Galuska. Mr Chairman, I will be making my statements in addition to those made by the EU representatives. First, let me express my appreciation of the UNGASS Board for all their hard work in the recent months. The issue of NPS is being addressed in detail which we are pleased to see. The National Anti-Drug Agency of Romania will organise a side-event on this subject. Romania finds itself an important country in the Balkan heroin transit route, and for this reason, Romania has noticed changes in the trade: to give an example, the quantities of heroin traded are found to be ascending. Poppy production in Afghanistan is increasing, as is the range of pharmaceutical products being used illegally. Third, a new criminal code contributed to the trend of detecting more drugs as explained above. Fourth, more people are being convicted for drug-related crimes. A large Romanian drug trafficking network was broken up in the time frame 2012/2013. These are just some example of the current needs and the real situations in some countries. Romania appreciates an increasing movement towards prevention for children and young people, and the development of public campaigns. Moreover, we value the positive steps some countries have taken to prohibit the death penalty. In conclusion, Romania is expecting that the final draft will include more reference to human rights and to civil society participations.
Uruguay – Let me welcome the Ambassador of the Czech Republic for his appointment as chair of the CND. With regards to the matters at hand, we have some doubts as to which methods are the best. We have seen a lot of discussions on the text in the recent weeks, and we recognise that there is no consensus, in fact there is actual dissent in the room. Old concepts that have become obsolete are included in this debate. We should come up with a new and innovative text. That’s why we’re here and holding the UNGASS in April. We should all accept that the realities of the drug problem have changed. The idea of the war on drugs is not as important as protecting people; repressive politics have failed in the past century and in fact have caused harm. The increase in consumption and growing violence, the variety of drugs available, the corruption of those in charge of enforcement, overcrowding in prisons, all of this is a reality. Without an effective diagnosis of the problem there can be no effective treatment. Real diagnosis would show that repressive politics have failed. The so-called drug warriors keep nursing old, obsolete ideas. With regards to the drug conventions, everyone accepts them, but it doesn’t mean the methods used to attend to this problem are correct. Furthermore, the three conventions are subject to modification. All UN documents have evolved over time. When these conventions were drafted, the Internet didn’t exist, and gender wasn’t as much a topic of debate. Therefore we need a more diverse discussion inclusive of these currently important subjects. We consider a zero tolerance approach to drugs wrong, but other countries have the right to this approach. However, some countries including Uruguay are looking for alternative solutions. We call for diversity in opinion and methods and we encourage everyone to face today’s realities. Penalising drug use is not valid in our opinion and can cause harm on several levels. Alternative measures to incarceration and repression should be seriously considered by everyone; and finally, our country would never approve of the death penalty as a legal measure. To conclude, we should all work towards diversifying our approach. Thank you.
China – Congratulations also to Ambassador Galuska for his appointment. Under the leadership of Ambassador Shamaa, the UNGASS Board has produced effective work in preparing for the UNGASS. I would like to share several comments on the document at hand. We support the adoption of a particularly concise and highly operable document. In the past, we have seen some progress in our consultations. China will continue to be cooperative in these matters. We believe we can have a final draft before the UNGASS. Secondly we believe this document should reflect the role of the conventions. At the same time, it should reflect the important role of the CND, INCB and UNODC. With regards to the existing international drug control mechanisms, we are confident that those are very effective. The UNGASS should find the shortcomings of the previous papers and work on improving these as opposed to overthrowing previous mechanisms and trying to introduce revolutionary methods. That would be a disaster in many ways. We also need to respect the principle of national autonomy and accept the different realities in different states. All countries have to base policies on their own realities and laws. We don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all approach. Not one region or state should impose their views on others. The outcome document should not impose any restrictions; countries have different views on the death penalty, that is a reality. We don’t believe a debate of even a week on this matter would be sufficient, as the differences on this subject are so great. We don’t believe international law requires the abolition of death penalty for any crime. In fact, we oppose any mentioning of death penalty in the outcome document, this would just be an excuse to place barriers on countries. We think the outcome document should reflect different approaches, and stress should be given to a supplementation to previous documents rather than a new emphasis on only one approach such as human rights or public health. That would bring chaos and would result in a fragmented approach. Thank you.
Ecuador – We would like to welcome and congratulate Ambassador Galuska in his new position. Our country will fully support you in your work. Also many thanks to the Board’s hard work. The draft prepared by the board creates an opportunity for a new analysis and reflects views of the international community with regards to possible outcomes of the UNGASS. Real and actual issues should be addressed. The idea of our meetings is not to reinforce the status quo but to provide an opening of frank discussions on the subject of drugs. The structure of the document should be further improved and requires a shorter preamble, a suggestion previously made which we support. We need to reflect the discussions that occurred at roundtable meetings. We would also wish a stronger emphasis on issues pertaining to human rights. Any drug-related policies should always focus on human being, the rights of the indigenous people, on vulnerable communities, and on the environment. We believe policies should aim especially at reducing the harmful effects of drugs. The aims to always have in mind are health, justice, and education and successful measures are those addressing socio-economic progress and eliminating marginalisation practices of drug users and communities affected by drugs. Ecuador supports the involvement in this debate of a group of experts by the UN agencies including academia and civil society. Mr Chairman, with regards to the chapter on new realities and emerging threats, we recognise the individual and sovereign experiences of countries. It’s important to recognise national regional and global strategies and challenges confronting transit countries. We hope for a future focus on alternative development and prevention methods. This can be carried out simultaneously to general socio-economic development and service projects. These concepts should be broadened to become matters of international interest and to prevent the return to illicit crop cultivation.
Switzerland – Thank you and also from us congratulations for the new position of CND Chair, Mr Galuska. Please know that you will have the full support of Switzerland. We recognise the importance of the policy-making role of the CND. This recognition and responsibility do not mean that the body should limit itself to its work from 2008. We want to address the world drug problem in its entirety. This includes issues of security but also other subjects. We all need to make an active effort to see the contributions made by all countries. New insight should be used as a source of inspiration for responses to the old and new challenges. We are pleased that negotiations have started constructively. Thank you personally and to the Board for your patience; negotiations this interactive are long, but important. Discussing a text forces us to explore all our positions and views. Even if we cannot immediately find a common ground, we should resist the temptation to resort to old agreed language. If we want to avoid a fragmentation of the system and maintain a common and shared system, we need to renew and update the language. We should see UNGASS as an opportunity to do this. Thank you.
Norway – Congratulations from our delegation to Mr Galuska. Let me echo the gratitude to you, Ambassador Shamaa, for the progress and work we have done so far. The process so far has been good and inclusive of civil society groups. This is important due to the necessity of a facts-based approach. It is vital that we learn from experience. When it comes to the death penalty and human rights I would like to reemphasize what the EU has been saying. I would like to put forward the special focus we would like to have in the text on women and children. There is so much data from various organisations and bodies which shows the merit of good text on women and children. I would also like to underline the need to address the huge global gap in access to controlled medicines, like Australia has said. Looking at the challenges, I would say that we need to do more to address the main actors and those that support them, include through their linkage to corruption and even terrorism. I would also like to add that I see we can do more with regards to transit countries and their needs. I feel encouraged by the debate so far, it has been friendly and encouraging for our ability to address these issues, and working in this spirit we will certainly be able to conclude with a balanced and fact-based document that looks forward into the future. Under your able leadership we will certainly be able to achieve this.
New Zealand – Congratulation to the CND Chair and also to the UNGASS board and Chair for this draft. We support the methodology used for the purpose of these discussions. We support the aim to produce a document highlighting practical steps that can be taken to solve drug-related problems. New Zealand is happy about the debate on NPS which we are all trying to address. Mr Chairman, an approach based on human rights and abolition of the death penalty is of vital importance. An integrated response is required. We need to continue working alongside families and vulnerable people. Drug use is only one of the issues that affect them. We appreciate that the draft is addressing harm reduction approaches. We hope for a final and forward-looking document, which will be a considerable but not unrealistic challenge.
Russia – Thank you. Thank you to the UNGASS Board and CND for their efforts in preparing the special sessions. Congratulations also to Mr Galuska. Mr Chairman, observing today’s discussion, I would like to express disagreement on the statement that we cannot have a common denominator since approaches to drug policy are different. Our common denominator are the three drug conventions, which are the cornerstone of our efforts to combat drugs, and rightly so. Thus it must be a balanced document and a consensus basis that must be acceptable to all. During the special session, everyone will be given the chance to reflect their viewpoints. Reducing supply must not fall into the shadow of the efforts to reduce demand. Once again we have seen the flexibility of the conventions especially on the international and national level and their ability to be implemented to face various existing realities. At the same time, addressing the drug problem is possible only by addressing the security issues that stem from drug supply. Restricting our debate exclusively to human and health matters does not address the scope of the problem of demand either. Drugs are used as a lifestyle choice, we have to admit that to ourselves. We all have a shared responsibility to address the world drug problem. We need to take account of the cross-border consequences that can apply. Returning to notion of flexibility, we would like to reiterate the importance of taking into account the national context. The Commission has a crucial role to play as the central policy making body in the area of drug control. The UNGASS will enable us to continue our practice of many years of constructive drug control in accordance with the conventions. This is the only possible modus operandi. The special session was never intended as a revision of the fundamentals of drug control, but rather to focus on practical recommendations. UINGASS is a milestone on the road to 2019 when we will have a full-scale review of the 2009 implementation.
Argentina – Thank you from the Argentinian delegation and congratulations on the nomination of the CND Chair, and thanks also to the UNGASS Chair for the preparations and your patience. We have the opportunity to look forward to New York. Since our last session in December, my own country has taken a number of steps forward and experienced change. The fight against illicit substances gives us a chance to work even more closely together, and has increased in importance for us. At the national level we welcome the idea of bringing new topics into the zero draft, e.g. illicit use of Internet or NPS, and international discussion on this can be beneficial. With regards to recommendations section, it could benefit from greater clarity. The 2014 resolution was the guideline to this document but a briefer document is required, although it is our own fault that the document is not concise enough. Whilst we are working on introducing new language, we should aim to shorten this document and you can you can count on our cooperation and help at thinning it out. An overly highbrow and philosophical debate has no place in this document, more practical language is necessary. Another general comment to help make the document more operational is that the preamble section can be shortened. We also suggest follow-up recommendations for the time period after the UNGASS. This should be the key role of the commission as the main body in drug policy, and language highlighting this could be strengthened.
Indonesia – Thank you to everyone and to the Board, and also congratulation to the new Chair from us. Indonesia appreciates the negotiations of this draft. We would like to make a few comments on this matter. We would like to underline that discussion must take in a balanced account different approaches, and that we should continue to make the three UN documents the cornerstone of any discussion. We would also like to reinforce the importance of leaving mention of the death penalty out of the document. The magnitude of the drug trade poses a great risk to society and requires corresponding judicial response. In this regard, there cannot be universal death penalty application. With regards to human rights, we would like to reiterate that good intentions between states should be limited by respect for the principle of sovereignty. The outcome document should not force a one-size-fits-all model. Effective application of a criminal justice system to hold all criminals accountable for their actions is important.
Iraq – Mr Chairman, peace and blessings be upon you. Mr Galuska should know that he can rely on our support. We would also like to acknowledge effort of Chairman Shamaa for his patience and work. This outcome document is only the beginning of our road to address the global drug problem. We would like to underline our commitment and support for any negotiations. UN conventions should be reinforced as the cornerstone to address the world drug problem. The role of CND as a specialised body that deals with problems and strategies should equally be emphasized. As to the UNGASS taking place in April, we would like to support the recommendations from the roundtables and support action-orientated recommendations. The UNGASS will be a unique setting to discuss the drug problem and hopefully to strike a balance between demand and supply. Iraq would like to acknowledge the valuable efforts of the board in dealing with the subject of NPS. We recognise that illicit trafficking and great financial opportunities that can link to terrorism and other forms of crime as well. We would like to commit to the need to fight such terrorist groups. In conclusion, I would like to mention two items that have been discussed intensely in the past. We welcome that there should be alternative means to fight drugs, whilst addressing fields such as health and human rights in balance to addressing all approaches within criminal justice system. However, some representatives should take into account not to undermine the role of criminal justice policy of certain countries. The human rights and health-focused approach should not be at the cost of other processes.
Costa Rica – Congratulations to the new Chair and our thanks to the UNGASS Board and chairman for their hard work thus far and preparations for April. Further comments should be reflected in the revised version. On the text itself, we have three general comments to make. Firstly, we are pleased that the discussions has begun, although timidly. We look forward to finding out where the basis of consensus might be found. Secondly, to contribute to the effort to tackle the world drug problem in a consistent way, it is important to look at operational activities of the UNODC and INCB in the broader context of UN system. It is important for the international community to work together, as suggested by resolution 58/11. Thirdly, Mr Chairman, we would like to reiterate our interest in an outcome document that would find new metrics of drug policy success as we can see that we need to find ways to measure real change. As has been said by the Uruguayan representative, if there is no diagnosis, there can be no treatment.
Pakistan – Warm congratulations to your Excellency for your appointment. Ambassador Shamaa, thank you for your leadership in conducting the process within the timeline you described a few months back. Pakistan has shared its comments on hopes for the UNGASS outcome document before. But I am obliged to share a few priority points here. The way we perceive the zero draft is that there is more agreement than disagreement. We have deep respect for all proposals, and we are sure that our bond is strong enough to reach common grounds. Pakistan is one of the main countries that are struggling with the drug trade, and it is important to us that challenges and needs of transit countries are properly reflect in the outcome document, both in terms of content and structure. Pakistan used to be in favour of a three-pillar model, but now, sensing that other colleagues would be willing to have different structure, we are also willing to consider other models. But it is clear that the issue of transit countries should be properly captured. Our national approach gives a focus on law enforcement, and this approach should be properly represented in the document. Thirdly, it is important that the result of the UNGASS is enhanced international and regional cooperation. We have co-sponsored documents with China and we believe this kind of work can lead to a more result-orientated work. A question that this delegation is asked a lot is whether the documents really are going to address the needs of Pakistan. Pakistan is one of many countries that can benefit from enhanced cooperation and this needs to happen specifically; making general statements will not help anyone, especially as various countries face different problems. Everything from previous conventions is valid and gives us a framework in which to move forward from. Chair, with regards to the issue of addressing illicit crops, we need to address the problem at the source or else we will not be able to solve it. The zero draft and eventual outcome document needs to reflect this. We have heard many different proposals on what can be done and some of these do not agree with each other. An eventual document should preserve an element of balance. We would like to emphasize loud and clear that success would be the preservation of a balanced and integrated approach. Pakistan will not support any proposal that enforces legalisation. Apologies for not having prepared a statement in advance. We look forward to working with you Mr Chair.
Morocco – We would like to express congratulations to the new CND Chair and also our deep appreciation of members of the Board for the draft of the outcome document. The document has attempted to express views of all different delegations and we are sure that we will arrive at a successful conclusion. This draft is a great starting point and takes into consideration the different positions. We would like to restate our commitment to the previous drug conventions and are hoping for an integration of various stances on legal systems and countries with different levels of development. My delegation expresses its satisfaction and admiration of the climate that has prevailed which is constructive. The most important part is having a balanced approach on the methods of combating the world drug problem and the between the different elements pertaining to security and health. As has been said, we all have a shared and common responsibility. This must be translated into reality to enable countries to overcome new and continuing challenges. There are increasing links between traffickers and terrorism, and there is increased use of maritime and air routes to trafficking drugs. We also confirm the importance of alternative development to combat drugs and illicit farming; we support all national and regional initiatives that are based on alternative development. We would also like to note that the CND should indeed be the body that is tasked to ensure the implementation of the issues raised in 2016 until our next meeting in 2019.
El Salvador – Congratulations again from us, Mr Galuska, know that you and the UNGASS Board have our full support. Allow me to make the following statement: the three international drug conventions are the cornerstones of our work. El Salvador is also a transit country, and the realities of these countries need to be taken into account. Cooperation on all levels is of high importance, and we must keep different realities in mind whilst carrying out discussions. Youth and gender requires special attention. The CND holds key responsibility in all drug policy related matters, thus this body should be responsible for following up on the operational conclusions of the UNGASS. We would like to reaffirm our political will in supporting the UNGASS process whilst hoping that no subject is missed, such as for example gang crime. We look forward to successful results.
Sweden – We associate ourselves with the representative of the Netherlands on behalf of the European Union. The consensus document should be short and concise; it should have a broad agenda that everyone should agree upon. But the main task is to create political momentum. Good language will not suffice to implement effective results on the local and national level. Our own governments and communities need to react to our conclusions here in Vienna, but they often have other things going on. The agenda in Sweden for example has shifted as the movement of refugees is becoming more important and therefore drugs are becoming increasingly less important in the public eye. To give this subject some momentum we need to have good language coming out of the UNGASS. We would like to emphasize the importance of prevention which is a key question. The document so far has good language but Article 33 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child should be referenced specifically to address our responsibility to protect minors from drug consumption, trafficking and production in all shapes and forms. We would like to add at this point that Sweden is hosting a side event on prevention and Queen Sylvia of Sweden will participate in this event, and we invite you to join us as well. We would also like to integrate the subject of gender in the document further to help discuss the range of issues in this field. Thirdly, health should be an agreed upon perspective; we would like the document to be clear in its commitment to support the WHO expertise and other competent bodies such as the UNODC to develop a comprehensive strategy with regards to drug policy for 2019. This is something that Sweden will discuss during the WHO Board meeting happening now in Geneva to ensure an increased focus on health drugs. About SDGs, we believe that they play a very important role for general development and specifically drug policy, and international cooperation and other UN and specialised agencies play a big role in enabling this process. So let’s use these bodies for their purpose and to mobilise the whole UN system.
Chile – Thank you and congratulations of course to Mr Galuska. New document that is being prepared by the board should include statements we have already delivered along with other Latin American states, but we would like to add certain elements. We agree with the methodology chosen by Ambassador Shamaa to go through the text as we are doing. We align ourselves with other speakers with regards to the good climate in this session, and we hope that this good spirit will be maintained. Some elements are particularly important to the delegation of Chile specifically. Naturally, they will not all be reflected in the final document. However, reference to the three drug convention documents is important, as well as a focus on human beings and human rights. Additionally, we agree that the CND must play a leading role not just during the preparation for the New York event but also with regards to the follow up after the event. It is also important that we debate NPS, prevention and most importantly, the cross-cutting element that is the gender-based approach. Chile is in the process of organizing a side-event in New York on drug consumption and prevention with a gender-based focus and we invite you all to attend.
Afghanistan – Congratulations to Mr Galuska also from the delegation of Afghanistan. And thank you Board for all the hard work that has gone into this zero draft. In general we believe that we are moving into the right direction and would like to share three broad comments on how to improve this text. About the structure of the text, we feel that it is becoming longer than we had intended when we began this process last year, and we hope that we will be able to shorten this, avoid repetition, shorten the preamble and merge paragraphs in the next few weeks. As for the scope of the theme “new realities”, we have more to say but would not like to take up too much time and will share our comments at a later stage. In the course of our work, we need to make more use of the findings and trends analysis provided in the recent reports, as this will help us adopt a more evidence-based approach, and we must base our recommendations on these findings. Thirdly, we believe that we need to better connect our work to some recent international developments. For example, with regards to the development component, we need to better reflect the SDGs in our outcome document, specifically under alternative development, and the justice response elements needs to be based on the work done at the Doha declaration. Without naming any initiatives, we need to base the work on recent more national initiatives.
Bolivia – We would like to express our gratitude to the CND secretariat, to congratulate the UNGASS Board for their work, and to wish Ambassador Galuska all the best possible outcomes. The progress obtained to date is very substantial. There are significant cross-cutting elements that are being discussed. Recognising the different realities and different responses to tackle this problem will help address the global drug problem alongside with recognition of shared responsibility. Overcoming unilateral visions will help to take over a holistic approach. Increased civil society participation signifies progress. Different realities do not require us to lower our standards, the opposite is the case: nuances do exist but we share the same goal. As we try to address this common problem, we need to remain unified as well as diverse, and these are that we fully support. We even dare to suggest that unity and diversity should be adopted as a slogan for UNGASS 2016.
Peru – This delegation would also like to congratulate Ambassador Galuska for his appointment. In turn, I would also like to thank Ambassador Shamaa whose work has given rise to a transparent and broad-ranging debate. Peru values the elements included in the document, and we are certain our objectives will be attained. We would further like to agree that the previous drug conventions should remain the cornerstone in this field. This will help us address the issues at hand in a pragmatic way. Peru welcomes the fact that the document addressed controlled substances for medical and scientific research purposes, development, that we have not overlooked other aspects such as drugs and crime or drugs and health, and that the subject of NPS is brought up as a reflection of our new realities. We are aware that this drug problem must be addressed in an effective way, guided by shared principles. We have heard proposals to decriminalise use, which we welcome. However, we strongly oppose the idea of legalisation. Drug commercialisation runs counter the conventions, and the commitment of the international community to combat the global drug problem. Whilst there are still weeks remaining to draft this document, we need to work together to achieve further progress, and progress will depend on all participants’ willingness to progress. We also agree that the CND should be responsible for appraising the recommendations and prepare the plan of action. Chairman, Peru will continue to participate throughout the process in a constructive way and you have our full support.
Korea – We believe that the drug problem should be viewed as a socio-economic one. Individual and public health, security and development play a big role. Having said this, my delegation is supporting remarks by other delegations. The document should be concise. The three drug conventions should be the cornerstones and should be continually applied. On the subject of criminalisation, this is important to this delegation and my country would not be able to accept decriminalisation. We should give weight to improving past policy rather than attempting to be so ambitious to implement a revolutionary or ground-breaking approach. Mr Chairman, we hope for a successful outcome to the UNGASS 2016.
USA – We would like to express our support for the chair of the CND and the board and applaud their hard work in moving forward with the meetings. This document is a significant start, anyone who has worked in this field before will know that narrowing it down from 100 to the approximate 10 pages that we are looking at is a great start. Listening to all the speakers and hearing the changes is a sign of success. A shift towards public health is a key priority for the USA, which is a shift towards balance and is consistent with the drug conventions and human rights conventions. One of the fundamental goals is prevention and this has not been given its full importance in the past. We would also like to note from our side that the language on international treatment standards should be taken forward to the UNGASS and hopefully beyond that point in time. It is also important that we share the research available to us between different countries. The issues of flexibility of application and alternatives to incarceration that we have had long discussions on over the past few weeks is interesting and it is important to note that the conventions to leave room for flexibility. NPS is again a priority area for my government, and the discussion provided this morning by Australia and the UK was particularly helpful, the presentations given were excellent. It shows that this is a challenge that we should all be looking at, and are there alternative policy approaches we can use to tackle this. We also need to share information through the WHO, UNODC and other agencies. Several more points that I have to make here are for example the issue alternative development and SDGs on which we hope to see this discussion move forward. Drugs undermine development and we need to consider how we can change this by focusing our efforts on alternative development. On the subject of common and shared responsibility: this is very important, we should all share and we are all facing the same problem. But we all have the same mechanism and a great system in place here in Vienna, and we need to work with all the bodies we have at hand, UN agencies, WHO, we need to make the most use of this. We further need to reinforce the role of Vienna in the next months, also past 2016.
Spain – I’d also like to lend my support to the statements made by the Ambassador of the Netherlands on behalf of the EU, but also to some of the other views we have heard throughout the course of the day. We agree with those countries saying they wish to not overstep the pre-existing framework made available by the UN drug conventions. We also believe that the outcome document should reflect all the experiences gathered by countries. We cannot continue to overlook proposals brought forward by some countries and find shortcuts that underpin a number of concepts. We don’t want to find ourselves as an entry in the Guinness book of records as the organisation that has done the most to change scientific language. We also believe there should be no taboos, everything should be up to discussion. Perhaps it is somewhat disappointing that decriminalisation is generalised as being the same as legalisation, these two are not the same under any standard or viewpoint. We would also like to ask for more details as to second document. We are wondering whether all these proposals will be fed into the document and would like to hear more details about the new version. My request is that at least a trace of the first document remains in the second version, otherwise we would be starting all over again.
UNGASS Chair – As a response to Spain, I would like to remind everyone that we are still in the first reading. We can only assess more after the reading of the first document.
Iran – Let me start by stating that the Chair of the board has done an excellent job, and we would like to thank the secretariat, it makes me forget the tiredness. Our task is to review the progress we have made so far. We will not discuss all important things. We also know that immigration or the issue of refugees is not our task to discuss. To those that ask for the abolishment of the death penalty, I would like to say that more than half of the world’s population believes in the death penalty, therefore it cannot be said that there is an international consensus against the death penalty. Thus we are strongly opposed to this suggestion. The approach to health does not concern only treatment of addictions with regards to human rights, it also means a society protected from the poisons of drug abuse. Therefore emphasizing public health also prioritises prevention and eradication and the use of law enforcements and alternative development. We had in discussion the increased link between various crimes such as terrorism and drug crime, thus it would be paradox to focus only on the health approach and not the criminal justice policy side of things – this would undermine the security problem. How is decriminalisation of drugs? Human rights are supposed to be the foundation of our work but they go hand in hand with human responsibility. You cannot have rights of the individual with responsibility of the individual. Regarding transit countries, we would like to raise the awareness that technical assistance or help should be specific and varied, for example countries such as Afghanistan and Iran might have different needs. To conclude, I have experienced the negotiations in 2009 and equally I believe we can achieve a successful outcome again as brother and sister.
India – I would like to congratulate the Chair of the CND on his appointment and compliment Ambassador Shamaa for being so effective in his work of leading us towards the UNGASS. We are quite satisfied with the current version of the document. The CND has been asked to overview this process, and we feel it is the right body to do this. We are trying not to discuss the document in detail today; however, a few issues should be highlighted further. NPS might not be the best way to go about the issue of new and diverse realities and we will suggest further alternatives. Subjects such as illicit cultivation and law enforcement should be further emphasized.
Singapore – Congratulations also from this delegation to the Chairs for the work and commitment. Singapore believes that this document is a useful document and should be based on the three international drug conventions. We welcome the emphasis on targeted prevention for youth such as on online media. We would like to offer our input on some matters: we do not need to replicate the roundtable format but should be focusing on content in a different way instead. To keep the document concise we can begin the introduction faster and take out sections of the preamble. Specificity would be appreciated, e.g. in areas such as drug forensic we could state specific operational suggestions such as testing methodology. However, we need to formulate suggestions in a way that does not restrict national sovereignty, and we should not forget that countries should be allowed to implement elements in their own way. We recognise that drugs destroy lives and we try to reintroduce people into the community with dignity. However, just as we try to focus on treating the addiction, we also need to protect others from drugs and drug users, and a pure health focus should not be implemented. Therefore a drug approach should be holistic. We still are working on a drug-free policy, alongside with the other ASEAN countries. Effective laws, a strong enforcement, active reengagement into the community, etc. are all part of this process. We are continually seeking to improve this process based on our experience. Capital punishment is part of this approach, and therefore we cannot accept calls to prohibit it through this document. We recognise that we are fighting the same problem, namely the global drug problem. We hope our response will be consistent.
Egypt – Congratulations to the new Chair, you have the full support of the Egyptian delegation. We are in the middle of a very important time for this line of work. Thank you to the Board for your work in putting together this draft document. We are positive that a good text will come together over the next few months. I would like to express Egypt’s views on some of these issues. We are satisfied with the structure proposed. This document is based on the mandate which suggests a plan of action that can be implemented by 2019, and should not consist of a new legal framework. The three conventions are the framework for our work; and non-interference and national sovereignty are of key importance for a successful outcome to our talks. The health and security based approaches should be balanced in the document, and it should take on board the various positions. We should also enable states to take whatever steps required to strengthen their national capacity and respect the drug conventions. The ultimate objective is to rid the world of the threat of drugs. On the basis of common and shared responsibility as well as assistance and exchange, we welcome a section on this subject in the paper. My sixth comment is that when it comes to balancing penalties and punishment, the death penalty should be respected an elementary part of some legal systems and ties in with international law and the UN Charter which allows states to enforce their own system, and that certain drug crimes require a very strong legal response depending on their gravity. We would like to reiterate our support for the Board, the CND is the best body to be mandated to deal with this issue.
Brazil – We would like to thank you for your work and activities. We would like to thank the UNGASS board and the chairman for the chosen methodology and the zero draft. We think this is a good basis and we have been active in meetings trying to improve this document further. Today, my delegation has not prepared a speech as our inputs were already circulated; our positions are available in writing. And we have made many statements in previous intersessionals, but we would like to use this opportunity to make more specific points. In our view, we consider that this document should have one central message, which should be that although we have achieved many results in addressing the world drug problem but many challenges remain. We should recognise that we have not achieved the results that we expected, and we should therefore have a stronger warning and enhance our efforts in fighting this drug problem. We can see this in the final paragraph but we should move this up to the beginning of the document. This goes in line with what was said by the Ambassador of Sweden about the need to create political momentum. The second comment is about the proposal for international cooperation; we suggest criteria to differentiate between users and traders. Our country might have different views, we have to work with that and accept national views. We recognise that it would not be possible to reach a consensus if we tried to include a call for the abolition of the death penalty. But we would be willing to work to include some language in the document that condemns the death penalty. We recognise that this is an uphill discussion but we look forward to holding this debate. And finally, it is also important for Brazil to reinforce its support for the drug conventions as the cornerstone that’s already set.
Nigeria – Congratulations to the CND Chair from our delegation as well, we have no doubts that work will progress under your leadership. We are very happy with the board and its work, and you have Nigeria’s full support. We should aim to make progress with regards to the specific implementation of our suggestions, and towards the implementation of the plan of action through an integrated and balanced approach, within the framework of the previous drug conventions. Mr Chairman, the process which you have initiated seems appropriate especially with regards to methodology as it will ensure a balanced approach. Reducing demand for drugs is considered an important part of the process of fighting drugs by Nigeria. Member states should however be allowed to focus on the local peculiarities. Emphasis should be made on assistance for alternative development to illicit crops. Nigeria sees the link between drug trade to all forms of organised crime –terror, corruption, etc. We support the argument that there is a need to strengthen regional and international cooperation to prevent trade and return illicit drugs to countries of origin. Another issue that is of importance to our country is the issue of transit countries. This debate should be reflected further in the text than is currently the case. Especially West African countries realise this problem first hand. Respect of principles of sovereignty is priority to this delegation. Once more, we would like to thank the board for the work. We think it is the right step into the right direction.
Kenya – Let me congratulate Mr Galuska for his appointment and thank Ambassador Shamaa for his work on the process leading to the special session. Thank you to the board for preparing the zero draft. National authorities are studying this document and we have some early observations. The drug problem has different manifestations across the world and the national specificities should be appreciated in the outcome document. We look forward to the negotiations about the realities of different countries as we try to tackle this problem. This is not only a social but also a public health issue which raises serious security problems and requires a comprehensive approach. As we continue to discuss this document, we would appreciate if practical applications would be included to help national bodies in tackling this problem. This could help contribute to achieve the SDGs, and our government sees this as a priority. We appreciate the focus on HIV/AIDS prevention and care, as drug usage is one of the main carriers, as is the case in our country. We are struggling as a transit route, due to Afghan good trafficking through our region over the Southern route. As some colleagues said previously, the issue of transit countries highlights a need for sustainable technical assistance based on the needs of the specific countries. Another important issue is that the political declaration and plan of action highlight the importance of international cooperation. The drug problem is our common problem and shared responsibility; no country can solve it on its own. It is therefore my honour to continue to offer the help of the Kenyan government for these matters.
Thailand – Thank you to everyone on the board for their efforts. As the delegation of Thailand, we see that it is important to have a balanced approach, but we don’t wish for a focus on health only but also on law enforcement which is important with regards to supply reduction. Every country has a national prerogative but we look forward to hearing all the sides on such matters. We would like to see further implementation of the UN guidelines on sustainable development and we will propose further input of the theme of alternative development into the language of the document. Thailand is going to hold a side event and would like to invite everyone to participate in it. Thank you.
Civil Society Task Force – We welcome the new draft of the UNGASS outcome document. In order to provide you with meaningful input from civil society, the Civil Society Task Force for UNGASS 2016 has respectfully submitted recommendations and priority areas for inclusion in the UNGASS outcome document. These recommendations are in part based on the results of the Global civil society survey, through which representatives of civil society have articulated their expectations for concrete outcomes from UNGASS 2016 around several noteworthy themes including: use of greater evidence-based data in drug policy making; re-evaluating indicators of drug policy success, increased use of a human rights and public health-based approach, including the specific needs of all categories of affected populations; proportionality of sentencing for drug related offences, including the universal abolition of the death penalty; the need to address social and economic harms when designing drug policies; the Sustainable Development Goals, which cannot be achieved without significant progress on the world drug problem, including prevention and treatment of drug dependence and the availability of controlled medicines; the meaningful inclusion of contributions of all UN agencies in the negotiation process of the UNGASS outcome document; improved access to controlled medicines; improved access to drug prevention and treatment service; the widespread adoption and availability of harm reduction; a reinforced commitment to reduce HIV transmission among people who inject drugs; and greater civil society involvement.
On the last item, allow me to highlight some specific recommendations: reduce barriers and increase civil society access to events. The Civil Society Task Force would welcome the opportunity to actively participate in the negotiations on the UNGASS outcome document, as yet another illustration of the inclusive and participatory nature of the UNGASS preparatory process. To make this possible, it is important that as much of the negotiations takes place in intersessionals rather than in informal meetings because civil society cannot participate in the latter. And support inclusion and communication between civil society, CND, UNODC, WHO, other UN entities working on drug related issues and Member States. The full recommendations stemming from the global drug survey are available at the websites of VNGOC, NYNGOC and www.ungass2016.org, and I encourage you to take them into consideration.
Furthermore, the Civil Society Task Force members have in the past months been convening regional and thematic consultations with civil society colleagues around the globe. The results of these consultations will be published in due course, and form another essential valuable contribution to the UNGASS process. The CSTF reiterates its readiness to actively participate in the negotiations on the UNGASS outcome document, including by providing substantive input from grass roots civil society organizations around the world. As I am coming to the end of my statement, I am delighted to inform you that his Excellency, the President of the General Assembly Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, together with the CSTF will host the “Informal Interactive Stakeholder Consultation in preparations for the UNGASS” in New York on 10 February 2016. The meeting will take place in the Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York from 11:00 – 18:00. Speakers will include a wide number of civil society colleagues from the grass roots level, along with high-level representatives such as hopefully you Mr. Chair and others. A summary of the proceedings will be submitted by the President of the General Assembly to the CND as an official contribution to the UNGASS preparatory process. We encourage you to follow the event via UN Web TV, and to encourage your colleagues in New York to accept President Lykketoft’s invitation to attend this important event, as we prepare for UNGASS 2016. Thank you.
International Drug Policy Consortium – IDPC is a global non-governmental network of about 140 non-governmental organisations. With regards to the draft at hand, I will suggest several points. Many people highlighted today that there are several challenges with the draft that can be addressed. We suggest keeping the document very focused. Of course there are many calls to action but there is an absence of action on the multilateral level. This would be important to include in the document to increase multi-lateral activity. We have suggested some actions in the document we have submitted and we think some of these should be included in this draft. Many speakers have highlighted the need for UNGASS to reflect the changing situation and realities on the ground, and we agree that this needs to be emphasized.
Secondly, I would like to address the structure of the zero draft. Of course it is hard for us as civil society to see whether these issues have been addressed in the formal sessions. We welcome the focus by most member states to protect public health and society and this is reinforced by statements made by other UN agencies. The current formulation does have certain problems. We recommend that section 1 and 2 could be combined into one “drugs and health section” with four subsections on the subjects of access, prevention (prevention should cover prevention of use but also of disorders or other side effects of use), dependence and harm reduction (specifically targeting infections and overdose) and access to essential medicines. Current formulation of ‘demand reduction’ does not properly cover these, and harm reduction is not really a subset of demand reduction. Thus we suggest this new formulation with four sub-sections. Moving onto current section 4 on cross-cutting, we feel that it’s trying to cover many issues and should maybe more clearly focus on the rule of law and human rights. A possible way forward could mirror the pre-existing human rights section whilst including human rights, proportionality, children’s’ right, and the rights to legal process. This could keep it shorter.
The last section could be placed higher up in the document, and development could be placed between health and security. Alternative development is of course an important element but it is only one part of the overall concept.
Finally, a statement in the first paragraph of each section could help explain what we are exactly trying to achieve, in other words, what the high level aim of each section is, which could make the rest of each section easier to write. These structural suggestions could help keep draft as short as possible.
Shamaa, Chair UNGASS board – Thank you, we now have to move on to the arrangements for the UNGASS roundtables under resolution 58/16, and chairing the informal consultation. Nominations should be made for five panellists and two chairs from the regional groups.
CND Secretariat – First of all, I would like to remind you that the invitations will be sent out in the course of February. Please address any enquiries to the secretariat. When it comes to UNGASS side events, preliminary information has been made available on the UNGASS website some months ago. As was announced then, an application process will start on 1st February. More information will therefore soon be posted. The space available for side effects in New York will be limited. A preliminary indication is that there will probably be only half of the spots available than what has been requested for this year’s CND (For the 59th Session of the CND, we received requests for 70 events). There are only two rooms in New York so please bear with us, space allocation will be decided but there isn’t much we can do to increase space. Please address any enquiries directly to the responsible secretariat staff in New York.
Morocco – I would like to ask if there has been a note verbal asking for nominations for panellists if so, when was it sent, if not could you send a reminder please.
Chair UNGASS – The chairs of the regional groups will receive invitations to nominate soon. Let me be the last one to congratulate you on taking over your new function, Mr Chair.
3. Other business
CND Chair – Thank you all for your kind recommendations. Next point on the agenda is ‘other business’ – sustainable development. We today have Mrs Angela Me from the UNODC Public Affairs Unit, who can provide us with further information.
Mrs Angela Me, Chief of the UNODC Statistics and Surveys Section – Our inter-regional group has done a lot of work throughout the past year on the SDGs, with observers and UN entities and other stakeholders. I am just telling you the role that UNODC has played. The document this group has finalised is ready to be presented and available online. The group has achieved a consensus on a number of indicators. Some are clean and some with asterix – the asterixed items are those without full agreement. We welcomed suggestions and comments and have found a lot of expertise. We are also the only organisation to have a global system of data collection and to know about global monitoring. It is vital to have a clear understanding of what is going on. As many of you have mentioned, the link between sustainable development and drugs is strong. We specifically have certain specific areas that we can provide expertise for. I will give you a general overview now. Target 3.1 is the only target where the drug problem appears – the group has achieved consensus on this specific issue. We had a very extensive consultation with the group. Violence against women (goal 5) and goal 10 (migration), target in goal 15 which is specific to wildlife, and finally in goal 16 targets on violence and rule of law and access to justice, organised crime, corruption, capacity of national institutions to combat terrorism and crime. If you would like to hear more I would be happy to provide more details on these subjects. We will meet one week before the CND and will come up with a final indicators framework and could bring suggestions on how the CND can help monitor.
Russia – Thank you for all of this information. About the proposals made, we would like to hear more information with regards to the goals and indicators. We wait for all the elements to be agreed upon. 3.5 prevention and treatment of drug users when it comes to defining the indicators related to prevention, there have been difficulties and common understanding was not reached between Moscow and New York. Are we correct in our understanding that it only covers treatment but not prevention programmes? Our view is that that CND as the main body in this field could have greater involvement in this fields.
Egypt – I concur with Russia that we need more information, and that we see prevention and treatment as one set. About 3.5…illicit crops eradication can be added and is more important.
Angela Me, Chief, research and trend analysis branch The group worked conservatively. There are more than 120 targets. We started with one indicator per target. That is why there is only one on treatment. At this point in time we would require more research what would be a good indicator. Treatment is more measureable than prevention and more mature from a statistical point of view. Maybe we can circulate the document or the link so that you can all see the framework.
CND Secretariat – We will include this link in the short notice handed out after the intersessional. We will continue tomorrow at 10 am.
CND chair – Another intersessional meeting will be held in February, the date will be announced in due course. Thank you very much everyone.