Resolution L4. Strengthening international cooperation in combating illicit production and trafficking of opiates originating in Afghanistan in the framework of the Paris Pact Initiative (continued)

Russia. We are still waiting for a resolution on some of the most contentious parts of the text. There are unfortunately some gaps that we will try to overcome now under your leadership and to find some solutions that will satisfy everybody, to continue the Paris Pact process which is an important mechanism. I will be as brief as possible as we are short of time. I propose we start with the title. Yesterday we proposed a new formulation to make it as short as possible: “Strengthening the Paris Pact Initiative”, to try and reduce any difficulties and comments.

Iran. We don’t have a problem with the title as it stands, but this was a deal with other paras so if those are agreed, we can go along.

Chair. We will keep this in brackets then. Nothing would be agreed if we don’t agree on this resolution.

Pakistan. I would like to invite your indulgence here and ask for a bit more time. Yesterday we discussed the concerns by one member state on mentioning Afghanistan. We proposed keeping the longer version of the title without mentioning Afghanistan but we need to come to an agreement on mentioning Afghanistan in PPs, as a footnote. We also expect that the exact title of the UNODC report in the other para. This is the proposal from last night. We hope we can arrive at some consensus on this.

Chair. It is entirely up to you whether you indeed want a resolution on this and whether you can be flexible to do so.

Afghanistan. Based on discussions yesterday and at informals, the phrase “originating in Afghanistan” is something against the current realities and new trends and counter-narcotics efforts in the region. That’s why the Afghan delegation cannot accept this phrase, either in the title or in other paras. To save time at this stage we express the fact that this is our red line.

Chair. Could we accept it if it is in an annex?

Afghanistan. Our argument yesterday was that if we keep using this phrase, we would need to expand the scope of the resolution, which would include many more paras. This is not feasible at this point.

Chair. There seems like we have not moved at all since yesterday.

Russia. I thank all for their spirit of compromise, solidarity and understanding. It is unfortunate that despite the majority of member states agreeing to the text, we cannot adopt the resolution.

Chair. Indeed, I know the efforts put in by Russia in this resolution which is important for all of us. But I cannot see that we are able to move on this. I would also say to you that when we are at a deadlock like that, it leaves colleagues with some more long term negative feelings, which are not good for the continuation of negotiations. I wish I could be a magician sometimes to have a magical formula and help on this. I am not a magician and am at the hands of the Afghan delegation and the rest of you. This CoW is over in 50 minutes and we are at a real impasse. The preparatory work has been timely, started early, there were a lot of informals. It has been a difficult with vital national positions which have made it difficult to broker a deal.

Afghanistan. We have shown a great deal of flexibility to the extent possible. There are still elements missing but for the sake of flexibility we have agreed to a lot. Regardless of the outcome of this resolution we are supportive of the Paris Pact initiative and will continue collaborating with others. I want to once again express our appreciation to Russia for all their efforts in tabling this resolution and help find compromise language. But our position is clear and in the interest of time left we would like to be clear in terms of helping with the outcome of this resolution.

Chair. We could go through a vote here. CND is the most relevant international drug forum dealing with this. So I would like to echo what has been said with all of you.

Pakistan. I agree with you, this is such an important resolution. Our understanding is that we shouldn’t change the mandate of the Paris Pact. We hope everybody agrees. Within that framework we have proposed many suggestions. But we do want to include “opium originating from Afghanistan” as it is in the Paris Pact. We have put forward these proposals, keeping the mention of Afghanistan in a footnote. Even in PP1, there were proposals put forward yesterday as well, a very constructive one from the USA as defined in the Vienna Declaration. We are willing to go ahead with this proposal as long as we have a footnote. But this spirit of compromise has not been adopted by others.

Chair. You are the holder of national positions.

Afghanistan. I wanted to briefly remind the importance of the Vienna Consensus which is very important for all of us, in particular here. Bringing this resolution to a vote would have some very negative consequences in terms of the efforts that have been made in the framework of the Paris Pact.

Chair. There is no question of a vote for now. It is not my intention to push for a vote as it would be counterproductive.

Afghanistan. We still have some time to finalize this resolution. There is still one strong opposition and we encourage our colleagues and friends to be constructive and supportive on this comment that relates to a number of paras. We have showed flexibility on the rest of the elements and we are happy to work on a constructive manner to agree on the rest of the paras.

Russia: Thanks for your patience and extra tolerance. We have had another round of negotiations, but we cannot meet a consensus. It was acceptable to us, because it was adopted under the Vienna convention. Unfortunately, this was beyond our capacity. This is unfortunate for all signatories of the Paris Pact.

Chair: We can only do our very, very best.

Afghanistan: we would like to briefly thank all delegations for convening these meetings. We believe that we will have the opportunity to work together with all delegations on this same topic in the future. We value the Paris Pact initiative. And we will continue to negotate.

Chair: this concludes our consideration of L4. This also concludes the session of the CoW.

Pakistan: A brief couple of minutes to thank the Russian Federation for there diplomacy in this issue. We consider the Paris Pact an important initiative.

South Africa: we would like to thank you, the chair, for your dedication. We have accomplished alot.

Chair: Thank you South Africa for that. We have been working very hard together. Particularly so as we also have the parallel of the UNGASS preparations. I think the good will has permeated all of our great work. I think it is important that we can listen to all points of view. I am sure in the next rounds, in future CNDs, there will be positive outcomes. Let look to the future, which will hopefully be bright. I now conclude the session of the CoW. I thank the transcriber and everyone else sitting beside me. Let’s give them all a hand.

[A round of applause concludes the session]

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