Home » CND Intersessional Meeting – 28 October: Alternative development; regional, interregional and international cooperation on development-oriented balanced drug control policy; addressing socio-economic issues

CND Intersessional Meeting – 28 October: Alternative development; regional, interregional and international cooperation on development-oriented balanced drug control policy; addressing socio-economic issues

Post-UNGASS Facilitator. Before we start, I want to give word to the Secretariat to deal with the issues of yesterday’s afternoon session.

CND Secretary. Thank you, let me give you an opportunity to make an appendix to yesterday’s session. You will recall that there is a specific reference in Chapter 6 to the work of subsidiary bodies. You referred to the work of the regional level in implementing the UNGASS recommendations. As already mentioned, there is a specific recommendation to strengthen the CND subsidiary bodies with exchange of information from practitioners with different experiences and expertise. In Africa, a number of bodies have done some work, there have been additional working groups on access to essential medicines, as well as talking the specific needs of young people. Recommendations have been submitted to the CND and will be considered in March next year. The same happened in Latin America and the Caribbean with a meeting in Santiago at the beginning of October to mainstream a gender perspective. You will recall the Mexican resolution at this session of CND on this topic. Recommendations made by the regional body have been included in the report and will be before the Commission in March. This week, there was a meeting in Colombo of the Asia group on mainstreaming the gender perspective enabling people to discuss the issue. Thailand has been promoting the Bangkok Rules as you recall. The last meeting of the subsidiary bodies will be the RIAD subcommission at the end of November to discuss children and youth. There is also a subcommission of Europe taking place every 2 years, this meeting will take place in June 2017. In between we will have the CND regular session, the anniversary session in March 2017, which will be an opportunity for CND to take stock of the work of its subsidiary bodies and decide how to deal with this work in the future.

UNODC. The recommendations contained in the outcome document support the implementation of the 2030 agenda on SDGs. The CND as a functional commission of ECOSOC contributes to its work. To this end, the CND this year has submitted a contribution to ECOSOC under the theme “2030 development agenda, results”. The CND has sent a written contribution to the high level forum on sustainable development on “no one left behind”. The 2016 high level political forum marks the inaugural year of the 2030 agenda. The forum assumed a function of review. The CND and the CCPCJ have provided inputs to the forum, in which they outlined their contributions to the 2030 agenda and what contributions the Commissions were making to the SDGs and the specific targets relevant to their mandates. The new website was created holding that information for both Commissions and contributions are posted there.

For next year, the UNGA decided that the theme of the high level political forum would be eradicating poverty. For 2017, the UNGA decided there will be a set of 6 goals for review, as for 2018 and 2019. For 2017 – goals 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 14. We will need to reflect that in the contributions of the Commissions. On goals 1 and 3, we will need to take into account the goals of the UNGA and the work being done by the two Commissions. This is most obvious for goal 3 which focuses on health. Target .3.5 mentions narcotic drugs abuse, which is central to the work of the CND and included in the outcome document. It also mentions goal 3.3 on ending HIV among PWUD. Target 3.8: UNODC works with WHO and CSOs to achieve universal health coverage and access to safe and quality essential medicines. The work of the CND can also be linked to goal 5 on gender equality. The outcome document devotes a subsection on cross-cutting issues including women and drugs, including mainstreaming a gender perspective in the CND work and programmes, and we adopted resolution 59/5.

Post-UNGASS Facilitator. We are now moving to tackling Chapter 7, the last of the outcome document, on development. After that, I will present concluding remarks and ideas on the way forward. I ask you to limit your interventions to 5-7 minutes and share information on concrete activities for the implementation of the UNGASS outcome document. If you wish to offer more information, we will post this on the UNGASS 2016 website. I will use my discretion to give the floor to delegations according to the flow of the discussions.

Aldo Lale-Demoz, UNODC. I am happy to be here to introduce this thematic discussion on development oriented drug control policies, UNODC has a long history in this area. I want to emphasize that both the outcome document and the SDGs are going to bolster our collective engagement in sustainable livelihoods which is no longer about crop substitution, it also happens in other programmes of UNODC in counter-piracy in East Africa, the implementation of the Mandela and BKK rules in prison to rehabilitate prisoners with good success in Panama and Kyrgyzstan. Final comment on partnership – for UNODC it is not desirable, it is essential. We have learned that all these projects will not yield good results unless they are framed under the broader context of the rule of law, education, etc. Therefore, UNODC alone cannot go far, partnership is essential. It is with other UN agencies – FAO, WFP, UNIDO, UNDP; but also with other bilateral donors and international financial institutions (World Bank, Inter-American Bank, etc.). Other important partnerships are with the private sector. I have myself run programmes showing the necessity to work with the private sector. My colleagues will give us more information about our work in specific countries, and research conducted.

Jorge Rios, UNODC. I will present on AD in a way that is hopefully interesting, and recap why the outcome document is as rich as it is, having taken up a lot of experiences and best practice. We are all familiar with the pillars of what we do – the 3 drug conventions. I want to say that perhaps if you look at the 1961 and 1971 conventions and how best to address illicit crop cultivation, we mostly focused on criminalisation and law enforcement. Through that time, there was limited success with what we now call AD. We focused on substituting crops with others, limited development programmes. This led to rethinking of the international community.

In the 1988 Convention, in article 14 we see for the first time a reference to AD. This was a bit tenuous and perhaps a reluctant phrase “cooperation may include AD…”. It was still on the edge, but member states were starting to read this principle a different way. From there, we have adopted the political declaration, with a different understanding of development interventions through a comprehensive approach, recognising the 3 pillars of drug control for the supply side – this was eradication, LE and AD – and for the first time the inclusion of affected groups. In the 1998, we adopted a definition of AD. This was a pivotal moment in the debate where AD was defined as a process for the sustainable reduction of crop cultivation, mentioning human rights, links to under-development and poverty as a driver, it mentioned a comprehensive and balanced approach between demand and supply, it mentioned the broader community including financial institutions, and shared responsibility.

Moving on 11 years – this was a landmark moment, with the 2009 high level segment and the political declaration and plan of action. Here again, the long-term investment issue was highlighted and cooperation with the wider community. This was a major shift in how we approached AD – it was for the first time a real development issue. The MDGs were highlighted, and identified that there had been limited funding for AD. The IFIs were called to support the agenda. For the first time, the issue of preventive AD was mentioned, as was the importance of measuring the impact of the interventions through the Human Development Indicators and not only crop eradication.

Concurrent to this, there was a number of activities carried out by member states, leading to the International Guiding Principles on AD. Not only did this build on from 2009, but the Principles recognised that para 46 f and g of 2009 were critical, ensuring that before taking eradication further, sustainable livelihoods were in place. Development had to be provided before eradication. The Principles of 2013 (I express gratitude to Thailand, Peru and Germany as well as CSOs for this) provide guidelines and principles for member states considering implementing AD.

When we were adopting the outcome document, the SDG discussions were in the other room. A lot of our goals were also relevant to the SDGs, 15 goals of the SDGs are highly relevant, and the other 2 are kind of relevant as well, focusing on social services that AD should deliver to communities if it wants to be successful. This provides a basis for member states’ adoption of the UNGASS outcome document. The document underscores the importance of addressing poverty, improving the rule of law and governance, it has to be framed in a development approach (infrastructure, government, involve local communities, access to markets for produced products), shared responsibility, empowering communities and providing ownership, it talks about the Guiding Principles and how member states should provide technical assistance to implement the Guiding Principles. It also talks about IFI involvement. It also focuses on broadening AD to areas that fuel crime, reintegrating offenders, etc. Livelihoods are not only income, it’s also health, environment, etc.

This is a model for UNODC to implement the UNGASS outcome document. We understand that we must work with communities growing illicit crops because they have no other alternatives, no access to land, may have criminality in the area. We’re talking about land ownership. We work proactively with member states to ensure that the use of land is contained in any provisions in our agreements. A perfect example of this is what we’re doing in Myanmar. We introduced land titling to communities in two areas where we work. This has been of great benefit because people have now access to their land, and have perennial crops. Land ownership is important for a number of reasons – making people feel they have ownership over their production. We also provide workshops on how to be a responsible land owner.

The UNGASS also talks about the private sector. For many years, we have decided where it is that we want farmers to grow, and this has not been successful. We’ve therefore ensured that the private sector is involved so that we see what it is that the private sector needs – what variety of cacao they need, what kind of butter used, etc. We therefore use this to identify the demand in the private sector. We should continue to explore this private sector because globalisation offers so many opportunities.

The UNGASS also talks about the environment. We revamped our programmes to ensure that we take into account the impacts of AD on the environment. In Peru, we introduced natural chemicals to conserve the soil. We do the same in Lao and Myanmar. We also look into waste management. Another important programme we’ve had has been our project in Colombia. Nowadays with forced deforestation, this has been really important for farmers to have sustainable forest management while continuing to produce responsibility and efficiently. Another project in Bolivia which has now ended was also very successful and is in a phase of sustainability.

All of this is related to working with local communities and engaging them in project design, implementation and monitoring. In Peru, Myanmar, etc. farmers are heavily involved. The UNGASS also highlights the importance of engaging the broader development community such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, etc. I also already mentioned GIZ and other donors. Next year, we’ll start working with cannabis communities to help them implement the outcome document, in particular in Morocco. You need legal frameworks, the rule of law, gender mainstreaming, and indicators.

Anya Corebon, UNODC. I want to give you some background information about the UNGASS outcome document and research conducted. When we drafted the World Drug Report in 2015, it included a thematic chapter on AD. There is a lot of information, best practice and examples of AD. But we also found areas for improvement and that needed more attention. From a research point of view, we found we needed to move to evidence. We need to do more research on the drivers of illicit cultivation before we design projects and programmes. We must show that our AD projects bring value for money by doing better impact assessments. And we need to make clear that AD is not only about number of hectares of illicit cultivation, we must strengthen the link with sustainable development, involving the development community.

How can we progress on these issues? In UNODC, the illicit crop monitoring programme is closely linked with AD and has gathered a lot of information on the environmental and socio-economic conditions of coca and opium growing areas. In Myanmar and Afghanistan, we have coverage of interviews with farmers and at the broader level. Our programme is focused mapping land use. We must make better use of what we have because we have a lot of information available. We also look at socio-economic surveys and vulnerabilities of households. This survey from Myanmar shows how households use money from illicit crop cultivation: medical supplies, food, education. It shows that these families in Myanmar are very poor, vulnerable and income is used for the essential household livelihoods. What we also do is map different factors influencing illicit cultivation to determine where there is a higher risk of illicit crop cultivation, and we can then implement preventative programmes. We also interview women to better understand their role in illicit cultivation. These are quotes from two women with different conclusions – in the first one, they decide to engage in illicit crop cultivation, while in the other case the woman has no decision making power.

In Afghanistan, we have a powerful monitoring component in our project. This includes using our information at the stage of project design and targeting, based on what we already know. Then we conduct baseline socio-economic surveys and analysis of land use. Depending on the duration of the project we monitor this throughout, and at the end we conduct impact assessments. If we do it like this, it allows us to do this before and after with control groups, so we can compare with communities not targeted by AD. This is important because some of the major critics of AD are that results might not be linked to AD but other factors such as economic growth. It’s difficult to link improvement with specific AD programmes. This is where this monitoring tool becomes very important.

We are focusing on the development impact of AD, linking it to the SDG discussions using similar indicators. We are going to try to improve the evidence base of AD projects with impact assessments, improvement of socio-economic surveys, using the sustainable framework and the SDG indicators. We will improve comparative tools between countries to show effectiveness across countries looking at the same analytical framework and indicators.

Lastly, we have to look at doing more detailed gender analysis. We are planning to do that in semi-structured questionnaires to get real information about the role of women. Ultimately, if we do it the way we do it, we go to villages and households, we get to talk to the men. We must make extra efforts to talk to the women.

Colombia. Thank you very much to our colleagues from UNODC for their presentations. Colombia’s experience tallies with that of UNODC, we’ve worked hand in hand. Everything explained to us today shows how AD has evolved globally and in Colombia. My comments are general in nature, to explain that in the context of development, to tackle drugs, we are designing measures based on reducing vulnerability. To maintain conditions that will improve the wellbeing of our people or at risk of crop cultivation, and prevent their continuation. We have reshuffled our institutional architecture and are about to launch a comprehensive development strategy for people affected by crop cultivation with crop replacement, road building, land titling, education, work with the private sector. To progress, we must promote partnerships and initiatives with innovative cooperation to attract stable investments that will lead to sustainable employment in zones and communities affected by illicit crop cultivation. This will make it possible to empower communities and show they can contribute to meet these specific needs. As part of this strategies we hope to contribute to UNODC’s role and increase cooperation with other UN agencies. In keeping with the recommendations of the outcome document, we also focus on research with UN agencies, academia, and civil society to better understand the risk factors contributing to illicit crop cultivation and improve effectiveness of our response. We must also continue exchange of experiences and lessons learned based on the Guidelines for AD.

Morocco. This is a most important meeting to highlight AD and as reflected in the new resolutions of the UNGA and the CND. We reaffirm the need for a comprehensive approach to eradicate illicit crop cultivation. Early on in 2000 Morocco participated in the search to attack the underlying causes of illicit cannabis cultivation in particular with AD and preventative programs part of a sustainable strategy to curb crop cultivation via education, rule of law, institutional frameworks, economic growth that is comprehensive in nature, improving the living conditions of the population. AD remains a key component of supply reduction and eradication of cultivation. Reducing cultivation means reducing demand which is unfortunately still increasing. The reconversion of local economies requires alternative solutions towards AD. Surveys show that where there is a lack of bold policies for AD, the prospect for development remains an illusion. LE efforts, even the most efficient, fall short if they are fragmentary and lack long term measures. For AD, these programmes are to be supported by eradication. We regularly destroy illicit crops. This takes place with aerial and mechanism and manual eradication. Despite obstacles and financial problems, we’ve succeeded in destroying large surfaces of illicit crops. We had a reduction of more than 65% of illicit crops. Cannabis is mostly cultivated in modern Morocco in the Rif. Article 14 of the 1988 Convention stipulates that member states should cooperate to integrate rural development leading to substitution cultivation. We’ve identified new sources of revenue with replacement crops and new income through other non-agricultural rural activities. It’s been bound to a comprehensive development approach with the IMDF initiative launched in 2005. LE efforts, punitive measures and forced eradication are not enough. Alternative replacement and economic sustainable assistance is important. We will retain contacts with growers to identify new sources of income. UNODC should replicate its technical assistance programmes, working with stakeholders to provide financial and technical support to reduce and eliminate illicit crop cultivation. Recommendations in the outcome document provide a solid basis that should encourage the sustained international cooperation for countries to provide viable AD programmes bringing together affected populations, UN and other financial institutions.

Slovakia (on behalf of the European Union): EU and member states have always promoted alternative development as a holistic approach. We are happy that the importance of alternative development is increasing in recognition on the world stage. More countries have set up alternative development policies. We note that a whole chapter in the 2016 UNGASS outcome document is dedicated to alternative development. This affirms the importance of alternative development & broadening policy beyond cultivation based policies. This broadened approach needs to be further discussed by member states. In 2006, EU adopted a common approach on alternative development. It is necessary to combine supply reduction and development reduction measures and a necessity that development leads to parity and long term alternative development. Alternative development should be: non conditional, non discriminating and properly sequenced, target realistic objectives and ensuring ownership among target communities. On a global scale, EU and member states are the most important donors to alternative development. There exist massive bilateral programmes, some of which I will mention here. Since 2000, the EU has funded and worked on 2700 alternative development projects in Bolivia which has helped 1267 communities. This involved access to basic services, food services and strengthens local governments. The EU has helped develop a sophisticated system based on community surveillance to control coca production. UNODC monitoring has shown there has been a 39% fall in coca cultivation between 2010-2015 (from 31000 to 22200 hectares). EU further supports Peru in the implementation of national strategies versus drugs. Major goals include alternative development based on legal and economic activities, including those that support local economic development indicatives. Our flagship EU/Caribbean programme – COPOLAT2. In the field of alternative development – events have been organised and studies completed under the first phase of the programme (2011-2015) including Certification schemes for alternative development products. Needless to say there are many more programmes in the region. EU has addressed trade imbalances to favour goods from drug producing areas since 2005 and has boosted exports from Colombia, Bolivia and Peru by providing access to European markets. EU and member states are longstanding (and the largest) donors to UNODC. Assistance has been provided for programmes for the fight versus drug trafficking and regional programmes for counternarcotic efforts in Afghanistan. Mr Chairman – we note despite the broad endorsement of alternative development we feel as if funds assigned to alternative development have been insufficient and therefore we would like to call upon international actors to increase their financial support for alternative development. We are convinced that alternative development efforts make a strong contribution to sustainable development goals. In order to implement the UNGASS 2016 outcome, much work still needs to done. We also thank Civil Society organisations for their active participation in these proceedings.

Ecuador: First we would like to thank the department of alternative development within UNODC for their most edifying presentations. Ecuador is not a drug producing country however, due to its most sensitive geographic location, we have undertaken urgent measures to address the scourge of drug cultivation. With regard to our public policies versus drugs, Ecuador focuses on the concept of a healthy lifestyle – wellbeing of society through a preventative culture. We are engaged in preventative alternative development as an institutional process as well as state process. To tackle social phenomenon of drugs, Ecuador has a comprehensive vision of common and shared responsibility, fully compliant with human rights and peaceful coexistence. In addition, we take note of the environmental devastation of illicit drug cultivation. Eradication ignores the cultural dimension of the use of the plants for the manufacture of drugs. It also fails to acknowledge the human displacement from aerial fumigation and affects on health of populations. While crop control strategies have indeed led to the temporary disappearance of illicit cultivation, sooner or later it will be back in other nearby areas. As is well known, comparing to the balloon effect, if one presses a balloon somewhere, it will bulge somewhere else. No matter how strong our commitment, eradication will always fail as demand will always be there. Ecuador has therefore used a holistic vision – public policy based on alternative development as significant alternative. When communities are supported by the state, it distances them from criminal organisations and drug trafficking. Ensured a balance between comprehensive and sustainable development addressing both human, gender, cultural and political rights. Guarantee a maintenance of an economical profitable society and stable social fabric. Ensure that local histories, identities and cultures are respected. We are currently witnessing various components merging in social interplay in the drug economy. This leads to microtrafficking, intrafamilial violence and problematic drug use. Consequently there exists a need for urban alternative development. We have constructed programmes that help the most vulnerable segments in both rural and urban areas. Ecuador is in the process of drawing up vulnerability index which highlights socioeconomic factors such as unemployment, level of education, criminal history, infrastructure, family structure inter alia. The index serves to identify segments of population who will use drugs and turn towards drug related activities. We can then use targeted interventions to appeal to local authorities for providing basic services in these areas. 8 alternative development projects have proven to be sustainable and have been handed over to their respective communities. In evaluating the implementation of alternative development near our northern border, we are looking to sustain a number of projects launched a few years ago but postponed due to lack of funding. In fact, the northern border area was first place where the alternative development programmes were launched. A case study of a successful product of alternative development in urban areas has been noted in issues surrounding microtrafficking in Quito. We have looked at preventing addiction in adolescents and have established training workshops to better equip the communities. We appeal to the international community to support alternative development and call upon UNODC to continue its painstaking work and its role as a catalyst to further alternative development

Thailand: We promote human centred community based sustainable principles. Given we have 60 years of experience, we would like to share it with interested countries as well as organisations. There has been extensive cooperation between Thailand and Germany especially with the BMZ and GIZ: a continued global partnership on drug policy. The project will take 3 years from 2016-2018. 1st phase – provide training for interested countries. Thailand is holding an expert group meeting hosted by Germany, Thailand and UNODC in November this year. It will explore ways to link alternative development to sustainable development goals. Alternative development in Thailand has advanced a great deal and we are now in the process of sharing knowledge. Our Focus on crop eradication has been a great success and we are looking to increase community empowerment leading to increased community strength. In addition Thailand is working with Myanmar – discussing community work especially with minority groups.

Mexico: A few months before 2016 UNGASS, the community adopted 2030 sustainable development goals. As part of the agenda, the international community agreed to promote peaceful society free from fear and violence. As a result of lack of infrastructure, violence has ruptured the social fabric. This has lead small time networks to join large organised criminal organisations. Consequently, drug policy cannot be separated from the framework of sustainable development. Based on our own experience, this has become one of our main priorities in our drug policies. The delegation welcomes the UNGASS outcome document devoting a special chapter to balanced development and drug policy. Drug policy should consider sustainable development and alternative development to be a main perspective as it is a very useful tool to address the problem of drugs in both rural and urban areas. It is clear that there are communities affected by drug trade in both urban and rural areas and the Government has a responsibility for development in both. The recommendations of the UNGASS outcome document need to be implemented into actions. In this sense we have to acknowledge certain significant achievements – adoption of guiding principles of sustainable development. Any adopted policy should be centered on the human being – consistent with justice. We must promote system-wide coherence and continue the work of UNODC, FAO and other UN organisations. Mexico would like to reiterate its commitment to work on international and regional level towards a broader conception of drug sus dev.

Pedro Arenas, Observatorio de Cultivos Declarados Ilícitos (OCDI): We work with producers and also with organisations such as the IDPC and TNI. 2016 UNGASS was attended by a producers representative but little time was devoted to it. Links between rural poverty and peacebuilding must be given more prominence. We welcome inclusion of the correct order and the need for further efforts to uphold human rights, the progress made at ICAD 2 and the efforts of Thailand and the UNODC. Alternative development is a sustainable effort – and involved broadening the efforts of the state including building infrastructure. Discussion this year at the Global forum of prohibited crop producers: Coca, cannabis, and opium poppies are part of cultural and scientific development and policies should not exacerbate existing tensions. We reiterate that growers should not be punished – they are not traffickers. Use of force breaches human rights law and eradication contravenes a correct order of progress. Working together with growers should be seen as a priority. International cooperation should do more with local democratically elected organisations and land holders, crop growers and women should be more involved In this process. We must look to resolving issues with property rights and link to environmental efforts such as deforestation.

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Germany: Germany of course aligns with Slovakia’s statement on behalf of the EU. Mr Chairman, after a long period of preparation, the UNGASS outcome document was adopted. Germany is very satisfied with the document and believes in its guiding character. It is particularly happy with alternative development and related socioeconomic issues. Incorporating issues on alternative development interventions has been a priority of Germany and EU: a balanced approach of development policies to address the root causes of drug problem in sustainable fashion. Rural development in drug producing areas has been continually funded from both Germany and the EU. We believe that international engagement in this field has to be increased from a funding point of view as well as significant research into alternative development. As mirrored by the UNGASS outcome document: policies have changed and the world drug problem has diversified. The traditional view of drug production in a few source countries in the global south and consumption in the global north is aging. These lines have become increasingly blurry. The old ideas of supply side interventions have partly lost their significance. Consequently we need holistic approaches. Development and health related chapters in the UNGASS outcome reflect this evolvement. The UNGASS outcome document confirms relevance of alternative development. There are three issues that Germany would like to highlight 1) For the first time, the UNGASS outcome document broadens the concept of alternative development, embraces urban settings, drug production and trafficking related phenomena and not just crop production to be targeted by development interventions. 2) UNGASS outcome document establishes a clear link between drug policy and sustainable development goals and calls for a measurement of success of drug policies. Human development indicators can now engage other UN bodies. 3) UNGASS outcome document makes an urgent calls to international donors for alternative development and related issues to overcome funding crisis to address the world drug problem. The real work is about to begin: the outcome document needs to be operationalised and translated into practice and produce measureable results until 2019. Germany has recently launched 2 initiatives to intialise the chapter. In cooperation with UNODC and Thailand, a series of meetings have been convened to discuss implementation of the outcome document. Germany is also starting an innovation lab with LSE to address illicit drug economies. We will be happy to report on these initiatives at the next 2017 meeting. We continue in our endeavors to convert the outcome document into practice.

Peru: Highlight work with UNODC on alternative development. The UNGASS Outcome document includes an entire chapter on this issue, which is welcome. The success of AD around the globe shows how an effective implementation contributes to tackle the world drug problem. DEVIDA works building the capacity of local governments for the design, implementation and evaluation of productive projects and infrastructure. We guarantee the empower, inclusion and ownership of local communities. When designing the most recent national strategy, considering the Outcome Document, we identified capacity building at the national level as a priority. We have also worked establishing partnerships and innovative initiatives to cooperate with private sector, civil society and international financial institutions to foster job opportunities for these areas. More must be done to support our efforts focusing on the development of social capital. Our objectives are: design productive proposals for infrastructure and financial services with a participatory approach; create job opportunities for the youth and curb the migration of people into coca growing areas; ensure access to basic services and food security; prevent environmental deterioration; and strengthen state presence. The CICAD mechanism in its new strategy, as well as COPOLAD, have considered the recommendations on this topic on AD and create spaces for us to cooperate on these issues. Peruvian eradication strategies have obtained significant results.

Switzerland: Like Ecuador, Germany, Mexico and others have noted, we are encouraged to go beyond alternative development programmes on rural areas by considering urban development initiatives. There are communities involved in activities that do not relate to cultivation, and are also vulnerable to drug trafficking organisations and their negative consequences. Particularly people in marginalised areas. Project PROJOVEN (Honduras) offers opportunities like this, giving young people opportunities to learn trades allowing them to build resilience and break out of a vicious cycle of violence and poverty. Vocational training is a part of a more comprehensive programme including life skills. We invest over 6 million dollars on this project, and we collaborate with the Government of Honduras on this project. We are convinced that in our efforts we should follow the SDG goals of Agenda 2030, including promoting education and life opportunities. This includes a target on promoting vocational training for children in vulnerable situations.

United States: AD is a fundamental pillar of the international strategy against drugs. We support programmes to promote the rule of law, build peace and a culture of legality. We support using the UN Guiding principles on AD. We’ve worked with Afghanistan. USAID helps Afghans who depend on agriculture find alternative legitimate livelihoods to drug markets. The Kandahar Food Zone programmes builds infrastructure, develops standards and procedures for associations, supports vocational training. Alternative livelihoods training to over 2000 residents. We’re developing two new programmes in Afghanistan in collaboration with UNODC and a development agency. We support programmes in Peru including social cohesion activities and alternative livelihoods. Conditional support tailored to communities’ preferences. AD programmes sequenced in a way that they are preceded with eradication, successful reduction of coca cultivation. In Colombia, we work to build governance and capacity of local authorities and empower local organisations to strengthen legitimate leadership, build transparency and accountability and improve municipal provision of services.

Russia: AD is an essential component to resolve the global drug problem. This issue has been exhaustively discussed by the Outcome Document. We note the outcome of the work achieved at the workshop held last year organised by the government of Thailand, Myanmar, Germany and the UNODC. Initiatives in Afghanistan have not been met with support by donors, which is a situation we expect to change.

Ricky Gunawan – LBH Masyarakat: My name is Ricky Gunawan and I am from Indonesia. I am the Director of LBH Masyarakat (or Community Legal Aid Institute). One of the marginalized groups that we have served in the past decade is people who use drugs. We also strengthen the capacity of people who use drugs by providing human rights education. With regard to the UNGASS outcome document, it is regrettable that the document does not explicitly address a number of important serious human rights issues, such as the abolition of the death penalty. However, we believe that there is still hope. In implementing the Outcome Document, it must be noted that states should do so in accordance with the international human rights law and does not rather concentrate on the international drug conventions that have not been successful in addressing the world drug problem.

The obligation of states to protect, respect, and fulfill human rights is at stake when we see the implementation of repressive drug policy in several parts of the world. Mass incarceration of drug offenders is taking place in many countries, and the law enforcements target certain racial group or poor people when it comes to encounter drug crimes. We then ask, is this a just policy? How can extra judicial killings to particular barrios be considered as a solution to drug problems while these barrios are desperately struggling to overcome extreme poverty?

And how come the death penalty is maintained as a formula to deter people from using and trafficking drugs, while there is no evidence to suggest that the death penalty curbs drug crimes. Let alone, the law and practice of the death penalty in certain countries blatantly ignore the rights of people with mental illness and failed to comprehend the vulnerability of migrant workers or victims of human trafficking.

The drug problems: using, trafficking, production, and cultivation, all of those, are in the playbook of the criminal organizations. And to address such acute drug problems, states cannot do it by themselves. States must listen and work together with people who use drugs. States must conduct open and honest dialogue with people who use drugs in their countries to identify challenges and seek solutions. States must stop stigmatization and dehumanization of people who use drugs in their countries as well.

By continuing the use of punitive criminal justice approach to this problem, states will only alienate people that they should embrace to achieve success. We are aware that many states have, over and over again, failed to see the underlying problems of social inequality and systemic economic deprivation that contribute to the drug problems in their respective countries. These issues may differ from one country to another, but fulfilling basic rights such as the right to health, adequate housing, accessible education, and free from stigma and discrimination, will certainly help, because then people with problematic drug use will seek help without any worries of being imprisoned and this situation will drive people to work in licit economy. And to achieve that goal, a better world for our youth, a clear message should be conveyed to the people: that the governments are with us, and not against us.

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Nigeria: Outcome Document is a close ally to the 2030 Agenda (SDGs). Despite significant progress in certain areas, efforts have not reduced the global cultivation of crops used for drug production. Cannabis remains the most widely cultivated and abused drug in Nigeria. The consequences are felt in terms of psychiatric admissions. Eradication alone will not solve the problem of cannabis. AD programmes infused with a poverty-eradication strategy and enforcement strategies are needed. We have launched a master plan to tackle and address all drug-related problems, including cannabis. We request UNODC to continue to support countries, upon request, to continue developing AD programmes when appropriate. We seek support from governments who have been successful implementing AD. We are committed to keep supporting UNODC in drug control.

Indonesia: We share the commitment of MS reflected don the Outcome Document in terms of AD. We have prioritised eradication. We respond to the drug issue with urgent action, which is a part of our comprehensive approach including AD. It includes alternative livelihood programmes. Three strategic pillars: urban alternative development (capacity building, training for youth, prevention), rural alternative development (root causes of cannabis cultivation), marketing support (facilitate access collaborating with private sector). Complemented with enforcement, treatment, prevention, and wider efforts. Poverty is at the root of this problem, hence the need of development programmes. Reaffirms the Conventions as a guiding principle. We are concerned by the statement of the Indonesian NPO LBH Masyarakat. The substance of the statement is unrelated of the thematic agenda this morning and we are disappointed in this regard.

Post-UNGASS Facilitator: This is the responsibility of the Vienna NGO Committee. We will relay the comment.

Japan: We prioritise AD and support Afghanistan in this regard. We advocate for human security and the importance of a human centred approach with a long-term perspective. A successful approach for AD must emphasise this. AD must be framed by the SDGs, including gender mainstreaming. We want to increase our cooperation with UNODC and other member states.

Kathryn Ledebur – Andean Information Network: We have worked closely with the international community and the government to look at the impact of forced eradication, and AD conditioned to forced eradication. This alternative was first implemented in the Chapare region. The EU programme in the region had objectives around poverty, basic services, education, social welfare, and specific focus on working with coca growers as citizens and key actors in this project. This has led to significant results and a viable dynamic programme that establishes synergies between the workers, NGOS, UNODC, Government and EU. We have seen a 30% reduction in extreme poverty, a monitoring system that provides tool by precise monitoring to all stakeholders, and many other positive welfare gains.

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Myanmar: We have been facing drug problem for many years. We have tried to handle this problem in a comprehensive way. The focus has been on supply reduction and law enforcement, which has led to limited results. We have decided to develop a balanced and comprehensive new national control policy in line with the principles of the Outcome Document. On September of this year, we had our first intergovernmental meeting to start defining our strategy. We sought input from all aspects of the policy. We organised five thematic working groups with relevant stakeholders, including NGOs and international partners. We will meet again in November. In January of next year, a new intergovernmental meeting will convene to discuss findings. In March of next year, we aim to release. Poverty is at the heart of our issues with cultivation. Widespread eradication can lead to food insecurity. Families live off these crops. So we develop sustainable AD programmes supporting households in cooperation with international agencies and neighbours. We consider environmental and social inclusion concerns, and alternative livelihoods into our programmes.

China: The global volume of cultivation remains large. Some regions are weak to control cultivation. China calls, thus, for the following: maintain the principle of common and shared responsibility, increasing input into AD. Continued support and input from the international community to obtain results. China has strengthened cooperation with Myanmar and Laos, including financial incentives, capacity building and medical goods. Regions with serious drug problems are usually poor, economically unstable, so they need stronger development efforts. AD must respect local conditions and be targeted to local realities. Important to follow the strategy of SDGs. We should avoid a negative situation where there’s overreliance on assistance and no resilience. We stress the uniqueness and diversity of regions. The models can mutually inspire. We note the achievements of Thailand and Peru, and recommend UNODC supports taking stock of their success. We also encourage countries to experiment with approaches consonant to their contexts. We want to stress the full implementation of the Conventions. The sustainability of AD affects areas of cultivation and neighbouring countries; requires pooling efforts. The international community must enhance technical and financial assistance to develop capacity. Recipients must ensure they abide by their international obligations. Sustained development can be affected by lack of efforts by recipient countries, or overreliance on local efforts not coupled with joint efforts.

Brazil: The inclusion of a development chapter is of utmost importance, especially on the road to achieve the SDGs. AD is undeniably a tool to achieve the SDGs. We would like to see the debate and strategies on this topic diversified, adapting to the realities of countries of all regions. It shouldn’t be limited to rural areas. Focusing on eradication and crop substitution, AD strategies can neglect people involved in the market in urban contexts and who are in situations of vulnerability. We welcome the momentum to promote actions aimed to improve the welfare of people in urban environments, and we’re glad the Deputy Executive Director has highlighted this issue and suggested expanding the strategy.

Linda Nilsson – WFAD: When we started the process towards UNGASS in 2014 I did an intervention here in Vienna saying that too often the debate is dominated by organizations and representatives of the western world, although the majority of us are not men in dark suits. A lot of work still remains but important steps have been taken in the right direction. World Federation Against Drugs, and our 200 member organizations, are pleased with the inclusiveness of the civil society in the UNGASS process, and the many possibilities for civil society to express our view. The need to include civil society is mentioned in the outcome paper and I also welcome that we are well represented here to give our voice on the implementation of the outcome paper.  I also think that we from the civil society learned a lot from this process on how to organize ourselves to ensure that people who are affected and are working with the problem from all over the world are able to give their input. The outcome document has a lot of good elements and strategies, we have a roadmap, the big work now is to turn the words into action. We need to mobilize ordinary people and the local communities if we want result, the civil society is vital in this. This is also why our international network, Drug Policy Futures, has identified one big challenge both for governments and NGOs in the period towards 2019: To mobilize one million communities in a global wave of prevention.

WFAD welcomes the operational recommendation on alternative development and fully support the initiative to promote inclusive economic growth and initiatives that contribute to poverty eradication and the sustainability of social and economic development. It is evident that we need not only to remove the cultivation of illicit drugs, we also need alternatives that improve people’s possibility to have a good life. We welcome the connection to the sustainable development goals, there is a specific goal around substance abuse; (3.5) To strengthen prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol. This is the essence of the issue, we need to connect the world drug problem to sustainable development BUT when doing this we need to also remember that we still need specific interventions to reduce the use of drugs. We know that the need for treatment is unmet in many countries and prevention, to support and protect the youth of the world is not universal.

Substance use is an obstacle to development and poverty and lack of possibilities to improve life can be an engine for both trade of illicit drugs and use of illicit drugs. As I mentioned WFAD has around 200 member organizations around the world, the majority of them are located in the global south and are working with BOTH specific initiatives on illicit drugs and more general development issues. For example Livelihood and Vocational skills Training to enhance socio-economic transformation of disadvantaged young people through advocacy, psychosocial and skills development for self-reliance and reintegration with their families. They work with street children, slum youths, juveniles, out of school youths and other disadvantaged groups to increase their possibilities to break the vicious circle of poverty, lack of opportunities and substance use.  The aim is to enable children to live a meaningful successful life, and to protect them from illicit drugs, all in line with the convention of the rights of the child.

WFAD is right now planning to start implementing cooperation project between our members that will contribute to regional cooperation and to address socioeconomic issues related to both production and consumption of illicit drugs on a local level. We know that many of our members are doing vital work and this work can be multiplied if they are connected to each other. We are therefore planning to gather our members and together do assessment to identify problem areas and use them to develop the work already being done. We are aware of some problems already, such as the lack of data in big areas of the world, access to resources and the problem of sustainability of many civil society organizations. By capacity building and networking to shareexperiences, research, reports and emerging trends in the region we aim to increase our efforts to implement the many good strategies in the outcome document. And we of course need and wish for cooperation with member states. The outcome document also provided us with an important tool to demand action from you, to actively promote a society free from non-medical drug use and remind you about your determination to address public health safety and social problems resulting from drug abuse. I can promise you that we will continue to remind you about this. 

Post-UNGASS Facilitator: The last seven sessions provided very valuable opportunities on how to translate the recommendations of the UNGASS Outcome Document into action. I appreciate the active participation of Member States, NGOs, agencies and other stakeholders. I will only highlight some key points: on Monday 10, we discussed Chapter 1 (Demand reduction and related measures), and we highlighted best practices in areas such as prevention, sharing of data, multidisciplinary cooperation, social exclusion, fight against stigmatisation, and reducing consequences of drug abuse. On the afternoon, we discussed Chapter 2 (Access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes), mentioning barriers and opportunities for progress, including supply management systems, importance of cooperation, legal barriers, and actions to provide training and capacity building for health authorities and practitioners. On Tuesday 11th, we address Chapter 3 (Supply reduction and related measures), with discussions exemplifying actions towards the prevention of drug related crimes to counter the illicit trade of drugs, measures on border control, the need for capacity building, sharing information, address the links between trafficking, corruption, money laundering and organised crime. On the afternoon, Chapter 4 (Human rights and cross cutting issues), there was a strong focus on national measures to promote proportionate sentencing, including alternatives to incarceration, implementation of age and gender appropriate interventions. On the morning of 27th October, we moved to Chapter 5 (Evolving trends and emerging challenges) to discuss new realities, new legislation related to NPS, ATS, including methamphetamine, as well as precursors and pre-processors, the need to enhance capacity building, improve data collection, the importance of indicators to measure effectiveness of policies, importance of early warning system, real time information sharing, need to counter drug related activities on the internet. On the afternoon, we addressed Chapter 6 (International Cooperation) reaffirming states cannot act alone and the world drug problem must be addressed in a multilateral setting, many illustrated concrete national efforts with multifaceted and diverse counterparts, underscoring the role of the UNGASS as increasing the momentum for more international cooperation, and the importance of UNODC and CND collaborating with the rest of the UN System and civil society, the importance of regular exchange of information, good practices, and lessons learnt at all levels for a balanced approach. This morning, 28th October, our discussions focused on Chapter 7 (Alternative development). We are planning a second round of shorter meetings to discuss specifically concrete actions for the Commission. This would take place during 2-3 consecutive days at the end of January. We also want to encourage thinking around the importance of regular exchange with the CND subsidiary bodies, who are key to the successful implementation of the Outcome Document. Also, the Post-UNGASS website will be accepting MS submissions related to inputs on the implementation of the UNGASS for public access.

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