Home » CND 59th Session Reconvened – Friday 2nd December

CND 59th Session Reconvened – Friday 2nd December

Session started with administrative issues and the adoption of the budget resolution – amended from Monday after FINGOV meeting (E/CN.7/2016/L.16 – Implementation of the budget 2016/2017 for the UN drug control programme).

Agenda item 6. Implementation of the international drug control treaties.

Chair: Under this item we have invited the WHO to present to present the recommendations of the 38th Meeting of the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. It is the role of the WHO ECDD to provide timely information to the CND on scheduling of substances. At the last meeting of the ECDD that took place from the 14th to the 18th November the committee evaluated 12 new psychoactive substances. Gilles Forte (WHO) will now present recommendation of the 38th Meeting of the ECDD.

Gilles Forte: Before explaining outcomes, I will explain principles of the ECDD and the role of WHO under treaties. ECDD is tasked with looking at level of control of a substance with reference to the potential risks for public health. In our work, we are guided by 1961 and 1971 Conventions and we consider very strongly the preamble the of the conventions with respect to ensuring health and welfare, including availability of medicines. We focus strongly on the prevention harm to public health but also we also consider how scheduling affects availability of medicines for public health.

The ECDD meets annually. 12 – 15 experts are on the committee and are selected according to their recognised expertise and knowledge. They are selected through a robust mechanism and appointed by the Director General of the WHO. The members serve in their personal capacity and they must be completely clear of any conflict of interest. We ensure respect for geographical and gender balance. The INCB and UNODC are observers. The guidance document for the functioning of the ECDD was updated in 2010 and endorsed by the Executive Board of the WHO.

The work is based very strongly on robust scientific evidence. Looks at similarity and likelihood of abuse to substances already controlled (pharmacology), 2 – convertibility, 3 – degree of seriousness of adverse abuse, 4 – dependence, 5 – impact of scheduling on availability.

There are large numbers of NPS on the market and we have to conduct a prioritisation process together with our partners (INCB, UNODC and civil society) which looks at side effects, propensity of harm and data on availability. We also engage with member states to provide data (both published and unpublished) and we conduct a thorough review of published literature.

At the last ECDD meeting, 12 NPS were reviewed and there was also an update on cannabis and cannabis resin. The preparation of the ECDD meetings takes around 1 year. Pre-reviews and critical reviews commissioned at least 6 months in advance.

Substances reviewed:

  1. U-47700;
  2. Butyrfentanyl (Butyrylfentanyl);
  3. 4-Methylethcathinone (4-MEC);
  4. 3-Methylmethcathinone (3-methyl-N-methylcathinone; 3-MMC);
  5. Ethylone (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-ethylcathinone; bk-MDEA; MDEC);
  6. Pentedrone (α-Methylaminovalerophenone);
  7. Ethylphenidate (EPH);
  8. Methiopropamine (MPA);
  10. 5F-APINACA (5F-AKB48);
  11. JWH-073;
  12. XLR-11 (5-Fluoro UR-144, 5F-UR-144).

Results of the meeting:

Substances recommended to be scheduled in Schedule I of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961), as amended by the 1972 Protocol:


Butyrfentanyl (Butyrylfentanyl);

Substances recommended to be scheduled in Schedule II of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971):

4-Methylethcathinone (4-MEC);

Ethylone (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-ethylcathinone; bk-MDEA; MDEC);

Pentedrone (α-Methylaminovalerophenone);

Ethylphenidate (EPH);

Methiopropamine (MPA);



XLR-11 (5-Fluoro UR-144, 5F-UR-144).

Prepare for critical review:

3-Methylmethcathinone (3-methyl-N-methylcathinone; 3-MMC);

Keep under surveillance:


There is not enough data on these last two substances at present so further evaluation is needed.

We then conducted the update on cannabis and cannabis resin and we recommend that a specific ECDD meeting be dedicated to cannabis in next 18 months. This will constitute a pre-reviews:

  • Cannabis plant and resin
  • Extract and tinctures
  • THC
  • CBD
  • Stereoisomers of THC

The rationale for these pre-reviews are:

  • Use of cannabis globally is increasing
  • New cannabis related pharmaceutical preparations are available
  • Cannabis has never been formally pre-reviewed or critically reviewed by the ECDD
  • It is a continued response to CND res: 52/2 of 2009
  • At 37th ECDD meeting, the committee requested that the secretariat begin collecting data on cannabis for a future pre-review which is now going to happen
  • Since 2014, 4 updates on cannabis have been presented so it is time to move a pre-review.

What do we mean by a pre-review?:

  • Preliminary analysis of a substance and findings at this stage should not determine whether the control status should be changed.
  • The secretariat shall supply the supporting information required for the pre-reviews to be carried out.
  • The purpose of a pre-review is for ECDD to determine whether current information justifies a critical review.
  • The purpose of a criterial review is to assess whether ECDD should recommend re-scheduling.

Philippines on behalf of Asia Pacific group: We emphasise that the 1961, 1971, 1988 conventions are the cornerstone of international drug control. Essentially all drug control policies must be in line with these conventions. The purpose of these conventions is ‘drug control’ and we must not lose sight of the purpose of these conventions. They provide the necessary guidance in the emergence of new trends. From our perspective the conventions are more relevant than ever in our efforts to address the world drug problem.

United Kingdom: The UK welcomes WHO’s work on evidence based reviews on harmful substances. International controls are important part of our balanced response. We appreciate the alignment of the ECDD timetable with the CND timetable to take scheduling decisions.

We welcomes efforts to address gaps in data and we call on MS to support these efforts by improving national/regional data gathering efforts.

USA: The US welcomes this discussion on how to improve functioning of the scheduling of substances. On the issue of NPS, we need to work diligently to prioritise substances for review and we welcome efforts of ECDD to review NPS in a timely manner. The ECDD should meet more regularly to keep up with proliferation of NPS. This briefing at the reconvened session is welcomed but we suggest that the ECDD should hold its meeting earlier. The US had requested that ANPP and AMP be reviewed. These are precursors to fentanyl which is now leading to high numbers of overdose deaths in US. We call on member states to respond to the INCB questionnaire which will help to bring a decision to the CND in March. We also encourage member states to attend the meeting in Thailand hosted by INCB in Feb 2017 on NPS. We support the collaboration between WHO and UNODC on the availability of controlled substances and the US pleased to support the joint global programme. We should devote attention to implementing UNGASS using existing mechanisms and not create costly, burdensome new mechanisms to the disadvantage of states who struggle to support Vienna meetings.

Nigeria: 60% of our population is between 15 and 35 years and cannabis is a very serious problem for us. We want to be part of this research on cannabis.

Agenda item 8:

Chair: ECOSOC welcomes work of the CND and links to the SDGs. How to further collaboration with other functional commissions of the ECOSOC? Next year the theme of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) will be on eradicating poverty. SDGs 1, 2, 3, 5, 19 – will be reviewed in depth. For CND – SDG 3 is important but also SDG 5 (gender issues feature strongly in UNGASS outcome doc). On the 9th November at the meeting of extended bureau, we discussed the letter from the President of ECOSOC. CND is invited to provide a contribution to the 2017 HLPF and a contribution will be circulated to the CND.

USA: On agenda item 8 – while CND has a leading role, other bodies have a pivotal role as well. The UNGASS outcome document calls for increased cooperation between public health and criminal justice sectors. And other agencies are also important, UNAIDS provides important input on perspectives relating to injecting drug users and UNDP links with drug trafficking and development. More can be done to involve other UN agencies like expert panels, brefings to the CND and/or side events. We also need to involve civil society representatives as well as those from the scientific and medical communities. Having NGOs appear by video was very positive during the intersessionals. The links with the SDGs will be important for the implementation and the CCPCJ should be involved in these efforts. With donor support,  UNODC can help MS in this work to monitor and evaluate progress against goals 3 and 16 and evidence based responses to drugs and crime.

Agenda item 10: Preparations of 60th session.

Chair: On dates and other organisational arrangements we agreed to move item 4 of the provisional agenda to under agenda item 6 (follow up to UNGASS) under which MS will discuss the recommendations of the outcome document. MS agreed item 6 would be now called: Follow up to UNGASSS held in 2016, including 7 thematic areas of the outcome document. This was agreed.

The following dates were agreed for the 60th session of the CND. 13th to 17th March for the regular session and 7th -8th December for the reconvened (tbc – based on UNGASS follow up). The deadline for submission of draft resolutions for the 60th session is 4 weeks prior to the start on 13th February at 12 noon.

Agenda item 11: Any other business…

No other business

Agenda item 12: Adoption of the report of the 59th Session.

E/CN/.7.2016/L.1/Add.7, Add. 8, Add. 9

Add. 7 – report on organisation of session and administrative matters:

  • Adopt the report

Add. 8 – report – chapter on the special segment

Mexico: We propose an amendment to Addendum 8. Paragraphs 25 and 26 should appear after paragraph 9. This would help the document to better reflect the role of the CND and other agencies as well as role of civil society.

Pakistan: We can make comments on any paragraph on Addendum 8. Minor suggestion on paragraph 8 to this sentence:

“Many speakers welcomed the adoption of the outcome document by the General Assembly…. And noted that it represented a milestone” [delete] “in the international debate” and [add] “in the ongoing efforts to implement to the 2009 Political Declaration and Action Plan towards an integrated and balanced strategy to counter the world drug problem”.

We are flexible about Mexico’s request but want to ensure that UNODC must give balanced attention to all seven chapters of the Outcome Document and call for greater attention to be given to developing countries that require technical assistance.

Ecuador: We would like an amendment to Paragraph 10 to now read:

“Many speakers reaffirmed their commitment to the three international drug control conventions,[ADD] “as well as to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, which constituted the cornerstone of the international drug control system”.

Brazil: We have noticed many paragraphs in this report are phrased strangely. Some issues with the phrasing which means that it not clear if it was some countries that stated things or whether it is a consensus position. But we don’t ask for any changes.

China: With reference to Pakistan’s request for support to the developing countries – we need to provide support to them and this should be reflected in the document. We should equally treat every chapter in the UNGASS outcome document and not put emphasis / weight on any specific chapter.

US: We request Ecuador to repeat their language on paragraph 10.

Nigeria: We ask that on paragraph 23 we add ‘cultivation of illicit crops and illicit drug activities’.

Russia: On paragraph 10, in light of Ecuador’s proposal we propose to change the start of this paragraph to start with ‘some speakers’ instead of ‘many speakers’.

Peru: We support Pakistan’s proposal and we will not support Ecuador’s proposal which gives a wrong or erroneous snapshot of what happened here. This would lump the conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights together.

Egypt: We support Peru.

Guatemala: We fully support Ecuador – we can say ‘some countries said this and other countries said’ we should reflect what actually happened here and that there was a debate.

Ecuador: We don’t agree with Nigeria’s proposal to delete paragraph 23 – cannot accept this proposal.

Chair: I think you misunderstand – Nigeria didn’t ask to delete paragraph 23 but to amend it.

Slovakia: On Paragraph 10, we support Ecuador and support ‘many’ as 28 countries of the EU said this.

Chair: The secretariat suggests that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is mentioned in paragraph 13. Will this suffice? Otherwise we need to call for a 5 minute break and the different groups need to find agreement on the proposal from Ecuador.


Ecuador: After our discussion we agreed to add to paragraph 10:

“Many speakers reaffirmed as well the commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights along with the three conventions as the cornerstone of the international drug control system”.

Russia: We don’t accept this. The conventions and Universal Declaration of Human Rights are now counter-posed – this would suggest there are two different camps here in our commission that do not agree.

Nigeria: We support Russia. It should be either or. We cannot have both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the conventions in the same line.

Mexico: We agree with Nigeria on that point and as Russia said there are two different view points here.  Some of us think differently. Some think the conventions are the cornerstones and others think that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are of equal importance. This is a report of our discusssion. There are two different views – that should be acknowledged.

China: We have two comments. That on the status of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we believe in the previous paragraph number 13 already makes clear the close relationship between the conventions and Universal Declaration of Human Rights. One compromise is to advance paragraph 13 to be immediately after paragraph 10.

Secondly, this point relates to statement by Asian and African groups – both mentioned the establishment of a world free of drugs. This position is not reflected in the report, we propose a new paragraph on a ‘society free of drugs’ to be included and to use the paragraph from the UNGASS outcome document on promoting a society free of drug abuse.

Belgium: We support Ecuador and we don’t agree with Russia. We don’t see this in terms of opposition, we had a debate. This should be reflected. For many delegations the juncture of the three conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is critical and this view should be reflected in this report as well.

Guatemala: This is not a negotiation; this is a report and this is just a reflection of what was discussed. During the break, interested delegations met to discuss this paragraph. There are two points of view in the room.

Colombia: The report must reflect the discussion that took place. In terms of paragraph 10, my delegation agrees to second proposal by Ecuador. This is an expression of opinion. There are other things we don’t agree with but we don’t ask them to be deleted from the report. On paragraph 8 and Pakistan’s proposal to ‘delete international debate’ – this is not acceptable. There is a debate and that should be reflected.

Peru: We support Russia an agreed that the cornerstone is the conventions. However this is a report and should reflect what was said. When we negotiated with Ecuador in the break we came to this agreement and we appeal to flexibility of member states to submit the paragraph as suggested by Ecuador.

Malaysia: We support China’s proposal for society free of drug abuse and a paragraph to be added. We also support the proposal to keep paragraph 10 as it was earlier.

Slovakia: We support the compromise language proposed by Ecuador.

US: Just when we thought there was wide agreement in this room that we would focus on UNGASS implementation we are having this discussion. We agreed with original rapporteur’s language…. But now we think should just use the language in the outcome document to resolve this.

Pakistan: We are responding to Colombia on the deletion of the “international debate”, we support that Colombia said this in their statement so this could be a separate sentence as a compromise.

Brazil: We want to keep the reference to the ‘international debate’ and Pakistan should propose new language if they want to change this.

Singapore: We support the new paragraph on a society free of drug abuse. And we support the US proposal not to re-litigate positions in the report. We support moving paragraph 13 to after paragraph 10 as suggested.

Thailand: We support the proposal to add a paragraph on a society free of drug abuse. The US proposal  to use the outcome document language may be a way out to conclude this discussion.

Chair: I propose a 10 minute break to find a compromise and ask the relevant delegations to come to the front.

Peru: Before that, through you could I ask the room – is the proposal negotiated with Ecuador acceptable to the room?

Russia: There will be a lengthy and heated debate here.

Ecuador: We will read out paragraph again.

“Many speakers reaffirmed as well the commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights along with the three conventions as the cornerstone of the international drug control system”.

Russia: We have go to back to where we started. We cannot accept this. It pitches the proponents of the 3 conventions and the proponents of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights against eachother – it is sad that we have this oppositional view. We will continue with the work at the UNGASS to create a consensus towards implementing the UNGASS outcome document.

BREAK is called to find compromise language.

Chair:  Apparently consensus has been reached on paragraph 10.

Ecuador: Thank you for the flexibility shown by other delegations. We agreed to leave paragraph 10 as it is and add a new paragraph 11 which will be the current paragraph 13 but with a new sentence at the start:

“Many speakers reaffirmed the position that the three international drug control conventions along with the UDHR constitute of the cornerstone of the drug control system.”

Pakistan: On paragraph 8, we agreed to amend as follows, “Some speakers noted that the UNGASS outcome document represented a milestone in the ongoing efforts to fully implement the 2009 Political Declaration and Action Plan on international cooperation towards an integrated and balanced strategy to counter the world drug problem. Some other speakers noted the outcome document represented a milestone in the international debate on the world drug problem in the lead up to 2019.”

Chair: There are appears to be no conflicting views on China proposals to add the paragraph on a society free of drug abuse. So can we accept this report as orally amended here today. The report is adopted.

We now need to look at Addendum. 9 on “Policy directives to the drug programme of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and strengthening the drug programme and the role of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs as its governing body, including administrative, budgetary and strategic management questions”

Canada: We commend rapporteur for this report. We have a comment on paragraph 7 which says there has been an increase in special purpose funding. This is not accurate. Special purpose funding has gone down so we need to reflect this more accurately. We also wanted “UNODC to assess the impact of the large reduction in voluntary contributions received in the last year”. In paragraph 10, we want to insert “practical real-world” before the word “impact”. This language will help us to get closer to what we actually want.

USA: We would like a new paragraph on encouraging UNODC to develop a culture of evaluation.

Chair: The report is now finalised. And the meeting is now closed.


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