Home » Resolution L2. Application of the principle of proportionality in implementing drug control policies (continued)

Resolution L2. Application of the principle of proportionality in implementing drug control policies (continued)

Netherlands. We had informal informals with interested delegations and a solution was found for almost all outstanding issues. I ask the UK and Italian delegations to present the conclusions on behalf of the EU.

Preliminary paragraph 4

Italy. We had intensive discussions, with the most concerned delegations, in particular Vietnam and China. I will introduce amendments agreed. Could I ask you to go directly to the points within the text: PP4: compromise para reads as follows – replace “Recalling” with “Taking note of the”, and then add another PP right after this one: “Recalling the principle that it is the responsibility of states to define crimes and determine appropriate punishment for drug-related offences”.

China. We are grateful for the UK and Italian delegations for their efforts. We went to informals, but we are still not in a position to agree as we have consulted with capital. We are still of the view that the current resolution 58/5 focuses more on the cooperation between law enforcement and health authorities. Therefore we hope that the newly added wordings could be deleted. At the time we listened to the presentations by the Italian delegation, but we said we would discuss with national experts – following this consultation we are not able to accept this.

Preambular paragraphs 5-6

Italy. The following part of the consultation referred to the following para PP5: “Recalling the relevant UN standards… including, as appropriate, the revised standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners…”. This was the first part of the compromise. Then we would delete the following paragraph (PP6) on the INCB report.

Vietnam. This is a matter of procedure. We would like to have all the revisions of our Italian colleagues to see if it reflects exactly what was agreed in informal informals.

China. We welcome the deletion of the para on the report of the INCB. However, concerning the para above, which refers to various rules, after consultations with our domestic experts we still reserve our observations on the para. Referring to all these rules of this para is not appropriate as this resolution is on proportionate sentencing and these rules have exceeded the topic. This is more about treatment of prisoners and juveniles in prison settings. It’s not that we don’t support these rules, but that it is not related to this resolution. We therefore propose the deletion of this paragraph.

Italy. What can I do now? I will simply take note of the observations of our colleague. It is the second time that what we agreed in our consultations is being discussed again because of national Chinese experts. But we will go ahead and introduce the other changes we have discussed during the break. We discussed with our colleague from Vietnam and ask to introduce a new para after “Recalling further the principle enshrined…”, which reads as follows: “Recalling the principle of sovereign equality and territorial integrity of states and that of non intervention in the domestic affairs of other states”. This is the first proposal made together with Vietnam.

The new para introduced by Vietnam and reviewed as follows for compromise: “Noting that for some member states the option of providing alternative measures to prosecution or imprisonment is not currently provided for by their national laws”.

Egypt. I want to apologise because I couldn’t participate in informals. We don’t have major reservations on the first para. But we have comments on the second – we talk about alternatives to imprisonment, but we have an issue with “alternatives to prosecution” – what would that entail? Secondly, there is a judgement here on “currently” which implies that some countries may want to change their policies – this is presumption. Let’s not have any value comments added here.

China. I want to clarify the remarks made by our Italian colleagues. We agreed to the incorporation of the 4 rules in the text. It is not the fact. We have always believed that these rules are extrenuous to the theme that is proportionate sentencing. As for recalling the principle of sovereign equality para, it has its value here. We want to propose a small revision – we want to change “domestic affairs” to “internal affairs” as it is the term used in the UN Charter.

United States. I am getting a little confused as there doesn’t seem to be a compromise in the compromised language. The conventions provide alternatives to prosecution when they address discretionary measures. So I hope this satisfies those who had a concern on that. I don’t agree with all the language in this resolution but for the sake of compromise I hope we can go ahead with agreeing.

France. On the para on alternative measures – maybe we can revert to the terminology of “alternatives to conviction and punishment”, but we are flexible on that.

Netherlands. When China introduced the term “internal” – article 2 of the 1988 Convention has the words “domestic affairs” so let’s stick to the wording of the convention itself.

Egypt. On the second para, I would like to thank France for the proposal, but I find that “alternatives to conviction” interferes with the work of judges. “Alternatives to punishment” are ok as it is a decision of the judge. There is also an element missing at the end of this para there was a sentence on the non applicability in national legislation.

Italy. The compromised language would replace this language: “currently not provided by their national laws”.

Egypt. If we lose this sentence, the whole para removes any meaning. This para needs a bit more work. Maybe we can fine tune it a bit more.

Chair. I have a question on the second part here “noting that some member states…” – some member states are saying that they don’t want to interfere with the work of the courts. But in some countries these alternatives exist. Here we are only stating reality. Here we should recognise the way countries are dealing with these issues differs, there are flexibilities, and I don’t see any issue with that.

Iraq. I am referring to the Chinese proposal. I cannot accept the proposal of the Netherlands. According to the conventions in Arabic language it states “internal affairs”, not “domestic affairs”.

Chair. This is a technical translation issue.

China. With regard to the difference between “internal” and “domestic” it is a technical issue, which depends on whether we refer to the UN Charter and the 1988 Convention. This is a secondary issue. The real issue is the nature of alternative measures. Now I heard the remarks made by the Egyptian colleague. He has doubts on the para “Nothing that for some member states…”. We share his concerns because for us, whether alternative measures are part of sentencing is doubtful. Therefore if it is difficult to get agreement on this paragraph in terms of language we may consider doing away with it.

Morocco. On the issue of “domestic” and “internal”, we have the mention of “internal” affairs in the 2009 Political Declaration and in the Joint Ministerial Statement.

Vietnam. We wanted to explain the agreement referred to by our colleagues. For the second proposal, we agreed to “currently not provided for” so that it is not so negative. But we need to keep the second part: “not currently provided for by their national laws, and so is not applicable”, and also need to keep the ref to “drug abuse offenders”.

Russia. For the sake of compromise I would like to propose new language: the main idea is that some member states provide alternative measures while others don’t. We could try to formulate it as follows: “Noting that some member states may provide alternative measures to prosecution or imprisonment which do not entail any impunity, in accordance with their national legislation”.

Operative paragraph 3

Italy. Let’s continue with OP3: the compromise is the following: “Also invite member states to consider, subject to the basic principles of their legal systems, to develop measures such as treatment, rehabilitation or social reintegration to be used as alternatives or additional measures to conviction or punishment for drug-related offences, in accordance with article 3 of the 1988 Convention”.

Argentina. We want to call on all delegations to consider the fact that there should be no prejudice to territorial integrity and sovereignty and the principle of non-interference. But language has been included in this para. In the spirit of compromise we should all be flexible. Each country has its own situation but the principle of sovereignty is included later on.

Iraq. I have no objection about the Italian proposal, but when I checked the convention, “education” is a key element so wanted to seek clarification on why this was not included.

United Kingdom. This deletion was to make some delegations more comfortable. It would be more accurate to delete the word, but we offered to drop it. If everybody is for including it here, I am for it.

Venezuela. We were not able to engage in informal informals. We want to propose a minor amendment to add “punishment for drug offences of a minor nature”.

Italy. This was extensively discussed in informals. The original intention was to limit the scope of this para to minor cases. But during informals, we needed to add “additional measures” and therefore “minor cases” was removed as the conventions did not provide for this.

Venezuela. We now have a concern. Our preference would be to remain within the scope of the conventions, and delete “additional measures”.

United Kingdom. In relation to reference to “alternative measures”, we accept the compromise to incorporate “or additional” measures, but then we cannot use “of a minor nature”. But we do add a reference to article 3 of the 1988 convention so the intention of this para is clear.

Venezuela. I thank you for the explanation. Can we put the OP in bracket until we’ve had more discussions on that?

Operative paragraph 5

Italy. On OP5: we have alternative language discussed but not yet agreed definitely. We are still in consultation. Proposal would be on the 2nd part of the para: Invite UNODC upon request to provide technical assistance… and also request UNODC to assist member states in sharing information, lessons learned, experience and best practices on proportionate sentencing”.

China. For now we cannot agree to that part on sharing information. We want to continue informal consultations.

United States. One way forward would be to add, at the end of OP4, “and in this regard requests UNODC to report to the CND on the information received from member states, on a voluntary basis, at its 63rd session”.

China. I express our appreciation to US colleagues but I have serious concerns on this. UNODC does not have reporting obligations. We hope this part will not be included in the resolution.

Vietnam. We fully share the concern of China. We cannot go along with the request of UNODC producing any report.

United Kingdom. We continue to listen with open ears in this regard. We welcome the inclusion to OP4 by the USA (this is now taken out by the Chair). We are at the hands of our fellow members to find language. We are trying to find a way for this information to be shared. At the moment we don’t yet see how we can close the circle of sharing information as stated in OP5 so far. We look forward to hearing more.

Indonesia. We cannot accept the US proposal. Individual member states can report to CND themselves on a voluntary basis. We must stick to the para as it was before the US intervention.

United States. There have been some misunderstandings. There are various reportings. When we say “report”, we don’t ask for a separate report, but there should be some way for the CND Secretariat to share information received, otherwise how could others benefit from best practices received from their colleagues.

Australia. I will be brief as my US colleague has said what I wanted to talk about. I implore my colleagues to find a way forward on next steps for sharing information, and state what they envisage for that para. What is required to appease this para?

France. Compromise language could be “request UNODC to support member states in sharing/exchanging this information”.

Chair. This para obviously needs some more work.

Germany. It is regrettable that compromise language is still not acceptable. When the compromise is not standing anymore, then we need to renegotiate the other paras that were added as part of a package. We have had so many informals now, we need to make sure that all interested parties are involved in informals.

Vietnam. Before we move to informals, we want to give a proposal on the mention of resolution 58/5 in PP: “Taking note of the resolution 58/5”. In the title of the resolution we would like to propose some addition: “Promotion of proportionate sentencing for appropriate drug-related offences of a minor nature in implementing drug control policies”.

Operative paragraph 6

China. I want to make one clarification – if we don’t make any reference to the UNODC report, does that mean that there will be no fiscal and budgetary implications?

Secretariat. On that draft resolution, there will be some extrabudgetary resources necessary for UNODC to provide technical advice.

Chair. I see no objection to OP6. I hope that informals can continue on this resolution. Let me underline that all those interested must attend the informals.

Netherlands. I must admit that I am a bit hesitant to have yet another informal. We have had informals and informal informals where consensus was agreed and then consensus disappeared again. I don’t know how to proceed in informals if this is the case.

Morocco. I support your proposal to go on informal informals and come up with agreed language. It is better to go for another set of informal informals and arrive at a consensus.

Netherlands. We have to consult in the EU so I would suggest meeting tomorrow morning, 8:30.

China. What we need now is whether we can have the print out of this current version so that we have all the information we need when we go to informals tomorrow.

Chair. The printout of the resolution as amended can be ready in 10 minutes.

Iraq. It is a request for distinguished delegates – there are other small delegations. It is not lack of will for us not to participate, here I am alone. So I hope that the delegates do not take it wrongly that we do not show up at the informal.

Finland. A technicality issue here – there were paras deleted that we didn’t agree on so I hope that we can continue the negotiations on a para that reflects the negotiations so far.

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