CND intersessional – 25 January 2017: Preparations for the 62nd Session in 2019

CND Chair. Member states established 2019 as the set date for the 2009 political declaration. This will take into account the 2030 Agenda and the UNGASS outcome document, and the CND will therefore have to decide how to organise itself for 2019. Last week I convened meetings with four regional groups and listened to ideas in preparations for this agenda item. I am in contact with the African Group, it is the last group to meet. Once that has been done, we will have a good understanding of ideas and expectations. Views so far  have enabled me to work on some points of convergence which I will review after discussions with the African Group. I will then share with the meeting of the extended bureau so that all groups get them at the same time and can provide some feedback. Then the chair will draft a resolution which will be short but set some stage for the preparations to the 62nd session. It is my intention to put this forward within the timeline planned for other resolutions, so it will be ready on 13th February and I will start intensely on this so that it is ready before CND itself starts as I won’t have much time to facilitate these talks after CND starts.

What I have noted so far is a middle ground.

  • In general people reaffirm the leading role of the CND as the main policy making body for drug matters.
  • Second, there was a recognition that UNGASS was an important step in the efforts to effectively address and counter the world drug problem and that the outcome document is the latest global consensus on targets and operational recommendations on the world drug problem.
  • There was no general appetite for starting a new negotiating process. The majority of countries were really focusing on implementation and how we can move towards implementation. I would see the preparation on focus of the implementation of the recommendations included in the outcome document as well as those of the 2009 political declaration and 2014 joint ministerial statement.
  • The UNGASS process should be continued on all 7 thematic areas, with the expertise of all stakeholders on that matter. I refer back to the excellent report of the post-UNGASS facilitator on this in terms of ideas. There was a positive attitude on the involvement of other UN agencies within their respective mandate to strengthen interagency cooperation. Coming from New York, this is what is being asked from us and all the subsidiary bodies. Broad participation of civil society and the scientific community was welcome and should be facilitated.
  • Many but not all felt that 2019 will be 3 years since we’ve had a high level meeting on drugs, so my reading of a middle ground here is that we will organise a high level segment at the margins of the 62nd session to take stock of the efforts made. It is too early to decide if there will be a new negotiation, so there was no consensus on having a new negotiation. I kept the point open.
  • There was a clear iteration of efforts to achieve the SDGs and address the world drug problem as two issues that are complimentary and mutually reinforcing. There will be a systematic review of progress of the SDGs. There is a need to contribute to the data collection on implementation of the SDGs.

These are the middle ground elements identified so far. I must be fair to all and some are not middle ground but I want to move forward in an expeditious way and keep options forward and leave time for other resolutions that will be forthcoming. I will revert with points in writing after my meeting with the African Group, it should be early next week. Are there comments to this?

Brazil. I want to comment briefly on the brief you’ve given us now which complements what Amb Moitinha has said. 2019 is a process of follow up of the UNGASS, UNGASS was a landmark on international debates and therefore there should be a structured process for follow up. More particularly we want to thank the Ambassador for his idea on structuring the next intersessionals. The October and these meetings were very useful but we agree too that these should be more focused so that we can bring experts from capitals. And of course the process should also remain open and inclusive. On organisational matters, we appreciate if, in line with what we have discussed, there could be a clear picture of how the list of speakers in the opening session could work, especially on the question of the ‘level’ of the high level speakers.

CND Secretariat. I suggest that at the first meeting of the extended bureau I will ask my colleague from the Protocol Unit to be present and discuss with you how this will be working. We are also receiving advice from New York on this matter. We might have a number of requests for high level speakers there so as soon as we know more about that, we will share information. There are different groups with cabinets/ministers, etc. This requires a lot of national coordination as well. What really counts is the timing of the request with a first-come-first served request. This is all I can say for now but I look forward to working closely on this with you to see how we can make sure that this comes to as good a result as possible.

CND Chair. If we have the new secretary general of the UN, we will of course inform you as well.

Mexico. It’s a pleasure to work with you and we welcome your ideas on close coordination between Vienna and New York, the side events organised by CND and CSW. We also like to highlight the consultation process here in Vienna and decision to submit a draft resolution for modalities in 2019 and future work. We agree with your intention to seek to reconcile positions and focus collaborations on substantive work. Mexico attaches the utmost importance on these following points:

  • the outcome document is the most recent consensus by the international community on commitments since 2009 and 2014. The methodology followed to date on the 7 themes of UNGASS serve as a precedent for our future work and provide guidance for future processes.
  • The CND bears responsibility on the fulfilment of the SDGs. Close cooperation between CND, UNODC and other counterparts will be fundamental in this regard and in the fulfilment of UNGASS. The MoU between UNODC and WHO also represent a good step forward. The monitoring of progress made on gender also show the importance of collaboration with CSW and the statistics commission. We must also welcome the valuable contributions of regional bodies and NGOs.
  • I once again welcome your leadership for future work.

Ecuador. I want to use this opportunity to reiterate our full support to your work and we attach the importance you gave to transparency and dialogue on this important preparatory work on the 62nd CND. We want to reiterate our position that it would not be useful to embed in a process of negotiation of a new document or political declaration. Our point of departure should be the consensus of the outcome document to focus on the 7 chapters covering the full range of aspects of drug policy. We also look forward to supporting you on your work in negotiations. On other matters, we thank the CND Secretariat for its information, and we are aware that Ministers are given priority on the opening session, but apart from that high level ranking, the principle of first-come-first serve should apply. It would be a good idea to continue consultations with the legal departments in New York, as well as with the IAEA. There, only ministers are given priority, others are given priority on first-come-first served.

CND Chair. I understand the differences in culture of speaking, and I know it’s difficult to cut short speeches of Ministers, but the process has to be fair for all and it is my ambition for the CND, based on the meeting of the bureau.

Guatemala. We want to make some small comments. We have heard your proposal regarding the invitation to chairs of the CND, but it would be useful to have a meeting for the chairs of agencies to speak. The CND plays a leading role but we have also heard in a number of statements delivered including by the USA that in order to have systemwide coherence we should hear from chairs of agencies to work together in a coordinated manner when we talk about implementation of the UNGASS outcome document – how to work jointly all together. This year is something we have to start working on. All relates to the agenda 2030. Regarding the logistical matters, what would be important is the following – having clarity on how will be at the podium and who will speak from their seats. This is something that requires accountability and clarity.

CND Secretariat. We are sending an invitation to the heads of every single UN agency who have work of relevance to what we are discussing here at the CND. This is the case for the CND and for intersessional meetings. I have spent in November and December a lot of work to follow up with individual focal points to convey the message that we value their participation at CND. Some like the colleagues from OHCHR have come again both in October and these days. It has been appreciated by many of you. It is the same procedure we’re following with other UN entities – I can convey the message and Mr. Fedotov does that at the level of UN entities, but we also rely on you with your contacts to other UN entities to bring this message across. If they cannot come in person they can intervene by video conferencing. We rely also on member states to have additional entities coming here. On the point on who speaks from the podium or from the floor, it has often been the case that ministerial rank speakers speak from the podium, and then as we move to ambassadors these are done from the floor. This cannot be discussed again here. We are here to help the best way we can so if you have suggestions please bring them to the extended bureau and we will see what can be done.

CND Chair. We are now moving to side events. We are victims of our success! We are becoming more and more popular. We have a record high or 101 applications for side events during the spring session of the CND. This means work, a lot of work for the Secretariat and all of us. But it does demonstrate the high level of work for the CND. The CND Secretariat will do as much as it can. Side events will start on Monday at lunchtime, and will start at 8 am from Tuesday to Thursday. At the Human Rights Council events start at 7 am but I don’t think it will be good for us here. Not all events can take place at the ideal time and preferred date due to the large number of side events. No further room can be allocated as space needs to be kept for meetings of regional groups and for negotiations of resolutions. The guidelines and agenda of side events will be shared a month before the CND. The guidelines for side events are posted on the CND website and contain a lot of information to help answer FAQs. It is my pleasure to give Joe the floor for more information.

CND Secretariat. We really try our best to accommodate all side event request received. We see this as a sign that everybody sees it as relevant to be here. We will, to be utmost, see how we can make it happen, but I really hope you will understand that it won’t be possible to give everyone the preferred time and venue, and we should also spread the events over the week to ensure that there are not loads of side events happening at the same time. My colleagues will get in touch with you to make this as fair as possible. We received the first requests 2 minutes after the timeline started. These requests will have priority to those sent 2 minutes before the timeline expired. We thank all of our colleagues form the conference management services.

CND Chair. I now turn to the last item on the agenda – any other business. I see no interventions from the floor. After my meeting with the Africa Group I will have at least two extended bureau meetings and keep you all informed. I am always available to all of you as chair, and will work with our facilitator. I express thanks to the interpreters for all their work, as well as the conference management officers to ensure that we have translation in all UN languages.

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