Home » CND Intersessional 16th November: Chapter VI, Operational Recommendations on strengthening international cooperation based on the principle of common and shared responsibility

CND Intersessional 16th November: Chapter VI, Operational Recommendations on strengthening international cooperation based on the principle of common and shared responsibility

Chair: Welcomes everyone to the intersessional on international cooperation – including those travelling from outside Vienna as well as civil society representatives. The agenda for today is adopted. We will start with agenda item 2: Arrangements for the reconvened 60th session of the CND and for the 61th session of the CND

The reconvened will take place on 7th and 8th December, without an additional UNGASS segment. The annotated provisional agenda now available on the website. Chairs of Regional Groups that wish to make statements to advise the Secretariat by 5th December at noon. On UNODC’s policy directives agenda item we will have the report of the Executive Director on the consolidated budget for 2018-19. Pursuant to resolution 59/1, we will also have the report of the Executive Director on gender balance and geographical representation within the UNODC.

There will not be strategic framework for UNODC for the period 2020-21 because of the UN SG’s reform initiative. Member states will be regularly be updated on this matter.

In terms of the 61st Session, the regular session will run from the 12th – 16th March, with pre-consultations taking place on the 9th March. Pursuant to resolution 55/1 – the deadline for draft resolutions is 4 weeks prior so it is 12th Feb 2018 at noon.

The composition of the Bureau for 61st Session is as follows:

  • GRULAC – Chair (Mexico is confirmed)
  • Africa group – 1st Vice Chair
  • Asia Pacific group – 2nd Vice Chair (Pakistan is confirmed)
  • EECA – 3rd Vice Chair
  • WEOG – Rapporteur

Argentina: Yesterday president of GRULAC sent a note to the Secretariat to inform them regarding the next Chair of the CND. Pleased to inform that we confirmed that Mexico will chair the next session of the CND.

Chair: This is excellent news. Look forward to continuing close collaboration with her. The WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence took place last week from 6th to 10th November. The WHO will notify the CND in due time on recommendations of scheduling of substances for the 61st Session. WHO will be invited to brief the CND at the reconvened session on the outcomes of the ECDD.

Onto other issues, the Chair of the Statistical Commission has written to the CND Chair and wishes to enhanced joint work with the CND. The CND is looking forward to further strengthening the cooperation with the Statistical Commission. UNODC is currently conducting the planning for the expert meeting on data collection at the end of January.

There will also be a “drug statistics special session” that Chair is planning to hold at the reconvened. More details on this will follow.

The Chair has also been liaising with ECOSOC and working with other functional committees that are relevant is very much encouraged. To date this has been the Statistical Commission and the Commission on the Status of Women. There are complementarities that will benefit our work and we are encouraged to do so.

With respect to the ‘Way forward: preparations for the 62nd session of the CND in 2019’ discussion tomorrow, the paper containing the elements from first round of consultations will form the basis for tomorrow’s meeting. After tomorrow, the Chair will circulate a revised elements paper to pave the way for the forward discussions for the way to 2019.

International cooperation (Chapter 6):

UNGASS facilitator: The discussions today will focus on chapter 6 of the UNGASS outcome document. We will start with panel discussions followed by the interactive debate. The Secretariat is working on a good practice portal for the UNGASS website.


  • Asia Pacific Group – Honourable Datuk Nur Jazlan bin Tan Sri Mohamed, Vice Minister for Home Affairs of Malaysia
  • GRULAC – Jonattan Del Rosario, Vice Minister, Ministry of Public Security, Panama
  • UNODC – Robert Arbitrio, Chief, Office of the Director-General/Executive Director and Strategy Advisor
  • European Commission – Antonio Dal Borgo
  • VNGOC – Martin Diaz, IEPES, El Salvador

Robert Arbitrio, UNODC: It is a pleasure to be here. Will give a review of UNODC work in this area. In terms of how we operationalise our work, we have three key frameworks that guide our work on international cooperation – the SDGs, the Doha Declaration and the UNGASS Outcome Document. This helps us to serve you as the member states. For this work, we received in the last year $290M of voluntary contributions – this will increase quite soon due to large contribution from Colombia of $360M. We are privileged to be considered as a partner to the peace process in Colombia.

We have spent around $220M. 26% on prevention, treatment and alternative development and 36% on law enforcement, the rest on further related work. Our network of regional offices and project offices around the work supports this work and the work of member states. We have a wide range of regional collaborative initiatives such as the ‘triangle initiative with Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan; the CARIC; in SE Asia we are actively engaging with ASEAN and the UNODC Indonesian office serves as a liaison with the secretariat; in South Asia, we are setting up the SARIC, a regional centre for regional information sharing on counter-narcotics.

On health, human rights and justice we also have a number of initiatives such as the Joint UNODC/WHO Programme on Drug Dependence Treatment and Care, which leads on ending stigma for people with drug use disorders. International standards for prevention have been developed via this initiative. In SE Asia, through the regional programme we support member states in border management initiatives. In Latin America, we have the REFCO initiative. We also work on good practices and lessons learned such as with a group of experts from the Gulf region on opioid addiction and HIV issues. We work with individual member states (examples such as Russia and Turkey). Finally, we plan to launch of the “judicial integrity network” by UNODC next year. This is just a snap shot of our work at the global level.

Honourable Datuk Nur Jazlan bin Tan Sri Mohamed, Vice Minister for Home Affairs of Malaysia: Sharing Malaysia’s Experiences. Thanks to the Secretariat for convening these intersessionals in an open and inclusive manner. Malaysia reinforces the balanced approach and committed to work with regional partners within the framework of the three international conventions to meet our obligations under the drug control treaties – taking into account unique circumstances of each country. Although Malaysia has adopted harm reduction since 2006, for us this is about reducing harm, and we stand firm against the legislation of drugs and committed to the goal of a drug-free ASEAN. We reaffirm the CND as the central policy making body and reaffirm the treaty mandated roles of the INCB and WHO.

Our key regional partners are Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia and we are involved in many regional initiatives such as the AAITF, ASEAN Narco, ASEAN drug monitoring network, ACCORD etc. We cooperate with foreign law enforcement agencies e.g. Interpol, DEA, Australia, New Zealand etc. We also set up the Asian Forensic Sciences Network which includes Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Republic of Korea. This initiative provides samples, drug analysis and cooperation with UNODC.

Malaysia is committed to ensuring availability of controlled medicines. We have done a great deal on capacity building, participating in trainings such as universal treatment and prevention curriculum. A total of 30 addiction professionals have been accredited, 20 officers from drug control agency are working to become national trainers. The drug control agency of Malaysia are in the midst of becoming second education provider. Malaysia is the current Chair of ASEAN working group on treatment and rehabilitation.

The 7the meeting of the ASEAN cities against drugs took place last year and we will work to build capacity on drug demand reduction. In addition Malaysia continues to provide timely information on this issue through the ARQ.

At the regional level, we committed to ensure our national policy aligns with ASEAN regional strategy – 2016-2020. Based on principle of shared and common responsibility, we promote sharing information on all aspects of drug policies. Our commitment to reaffirm the three political documents from 2009, 2014 and 2016 – these consensus documents are complimentary and mutually reinforcing. They reaffirm our shared responsibility. This is our position. We look forward to further collaboration towards taking the world drug problem.

Vice Minister, Jonattan Del Rosario, Ministry of Public Security, Panama: This is to ratify Panama’s commitment to tackling drugs and trafficking and organised crime. Will outline our work at the national level of the Ministry. Panama is a major transit hub for example 12 million passengers pass through Panama airport every year. We have a great responsibility to protect the world from transnational organised crime. Panama’s security strategy is based on upholding citizen security and safety.  The Ministry of Security has implemented reforms to tackle corruption, money laundering and associated activities. Focused on improving working conditions of staff and capacity building towards ensuring citizen security. Our administration works with regional partners and beyond. 33,000 travellers have been sent back in past 12 months who posed a security risk to Panama. We also arrested several high-profile criminals who were on the run.

In November, Panama joined the San Jose Treaty on drug trafficking to keep working to fight this scourge. It is a good model to follow. We improved security and defence equipment to fight drug trafficking and improve response times. The ethos of team work is also important, we set up joint task forces that takes an inter-agency approach.

You might ask “why is he talking about citizen safety and security?” We should not over compartmentalise this issue, we need a comprehensive approach to be effective. If we do not have competent state services, organised crime will step into these spaces. Crime and insecurity has to be addressed on all fronts. We have $90bn invested to guarantee access to basic services, as per SDGS to reduce poverty and marginalisation. Drug trafficking is like a cancer and will pervade all parts of society – we need to address the socio-economic dimensions. The war on drugs will not be won by air, land and sea, but by winning by the hearts and minds of our citizens.

We made a huge investment in infrastructure and focus on primary prevention for programmes for youth at risk. This a big part of government’s strategic plan to prevent and combat crime and has had significant impacts:

  • Fall in homicide rate from 17 per 100000 to 9 per 100000
  • Reduction in femicides
  • 5000 firearms seized
  • 175 tonnes of drugs seized
  • 50 gangs dismantled
  • thousands of young people returned to work

This is the Barrio Securas programme which has been very successful. The efforts by Panamanian state have been recognised by other countries and this gives an opportunity to engage in bilateral dialogue. We need to tackle the roots of the problems rather than just addressing law enforcement, the roots lie at the heart of our societies. We are increasing losing the human touch, especially within families, and then negative values will spread such as that propagated by TV and films that occasional drug use is glamourous and acceptable. We need strong families to instil culture of lawfulness. All crimes are based on negative values which lead to criminal penalties. We need to ask ourselves why these problems are not being resolved? We must redouble our efforts to instil culture of service and meritocracy. The most difficult task is not about operationalisation of UNGASS, we have to ensure our citizens understand that we must build societies that are violence free. This is the common responsibility – it is like football, either we all win or we all stand to lose. It is the responsibility of everyone – teachers, public servants, citizens, communicative media – informing and dis-informing. To close, we need to take global drugs problem we must combat crime across the board and we are achieving results. Work together to protect the safety and security of citizens.

Antonio Dal Borgo, European Union: The European Union and its Member States wish to thank you for organising this intersessional meeting which contributes to promoting a common understanding to ensure that drug strategies, policies and programmes advance a balanced, comprehensive, integrated and evidence-based approach on drugs. The three UN drug control conventions, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and recommendations of the 2016 UNGASS outcome document, as the pivotal reference document, all provide an internationally agreed framework for developing and implementing this approach. Bearing this in mind, we are working on a basis of a full partnership between the EU and non-EU countries and international fora, which allows us exchange knowledge and experience on the health, socioeconomic, human rights, justice and law enforcement aspects of the world drug problem.

The EU has an excellent cooperation with the Community of Latin American and Carribean states. On the policy level, over the last 20 years we have been engaging with the CELAC countries through a specially created EU-CELAC Coordination and Cooperation Mechanism on Drugs. The second phase of COPOLAD programme under this mechanism is implemented from 2016 to 2019 with allocated budget of EUR 10 million. COPOLAD II is working towards achieving the following goals: the reinforcement of National Observatories on drugs; the adoption of quality and evidence-based criteria, both in demand and supply reduction strategies, and the adoption of sustainable approaches to capacity-building and bi-regional exchange of good practices and lessons learned. One of the aims of COPOLAD II is also to strengthen this well established mechanism of cooperation, which is a key instrument for dialogue and progress on public drugs policies in both regions.

Recently, a new programme was launched under which the EU and its Member States cooperate with Latin America on the reinforcement of the rule of law and citizen security. The Programme for Assistance against Transnational Organised Crime – EL PAcCTO, aims to improve the judiciary, prosecutorial and security forces capacity to tackle different forms of transnational organised crime and co-operate in this regard and develop a more modern and efficient penitentiary system. This programme covers 18 Latin American countries and has a budget of EUR 20 million for the period 2017 to 2022. It is the first EU cooperation programme in Latin America that covers the whole penal chain: police, justice and the penitentiary system. Besides overall cooperation programmes, we wish to highlight our multi-year strategic approaches to tackle drug trafficking along cocaine and heroin routes. For that purpose, the Cocaine Route Programme was launched in 2009, and since then the EU has committed over EUR 50 million to more than 40 countries along the cocaine route from the countries in Latin America to Europe via Central America, the Caribbean and Africa. Among the components of the programme, partners have continued to contribute to the capacity building initiatives for international cooperation by law enforcement and judicial services. Both technical advice has been provided and training and mentoring sessions have been held, as well as inter-service task forces and joint operations have been established over the last years. It is worth to note the launch of the Accreditation and Training Project for the Caribbean region’s Financial Intelligence and Financial Investigations Units in January 2017 under this programme. This project is aimed at building capacity by standardized training and slowing the attrition rate of trained financial investigations professionals, and is globally the first project of this kind.

Similarly, the EU Action against Drugs and Organised Crime – EU-ACT Programme, launched in 2017 and replacing the former Heroin Route Programme, was created for the purpose to prevent the use of drugs and improve drug treatment and strengthen capacities to tackle drug trafficking and fight against international criminal networks along the heroin route from and to Afganistan, including countries in South and Central Asia, Eastern Europe and East Africa. EUR 12 million are allocated for this trans-regional project until 2020 and a number of different activities are foreseen. Such activities include national, regional and interregional training modules and mentoring cycles; inter-agency and trans-national table-top exercises and mock operations; facilitation of joint operations, investigations and control deliveries as well as incorporation of human rights safeguards, oversight and anti-corruption modules.

The EU is also active in cooperating with the Central Asian region in the framework of the current Action Plan on drugs between the European Union and Central Asia which is valid until 2020. One of the major programmes through which the goals of the action plan are implemented is the Central Asia Drug Action Programme – CADAP, the first phase of which was started already in 2001. This programme continues to support the drug demand aspect of a comprehensive and sustainable drug policy and enhance capacity of all the relevant actors while further advocating for institutionalised application of the EU best practices. The programme is composed of four components dedicated to drug policy development, monitoring and evaluation, prevention, risk and harm reduction and treatment. The EU encourages many activities such as study visits, internships or seminars.

These are only a few examples of the EU partnerships which promote developing and implementing of a balanced, comprehensive, integrated and evidence-based drug policy at the regional and international level.

Last but not least, the EU is also the major contributor to the UNODC budget – by providing funding for UNODC to further contribute to tackling the world drug problem. On this occasion, the EU and its Member States acknowledge the central role of the CND and UNODC in the international response and also welcome enhanced cooperation between Vienna institutions and other bodies within their respective mandates as agreed in the outcome document.

Question from Russia: I thank the panellist for the detailed information provided. We find the information very interesting in the area of combatting drugs, especially for the Colombia plan. We support those efforts and hope that Colombia will put an end to drug trafficking but will also achieve socio-economic development. But yesterday a review was conducted on drugs in Afghanistan and it is a shocking situation on the spread of drugs and drug production. What are the EU’s efforts in the area of combatting the spread of drugs in Afghanistan?

Question from Colombia: We would like to express special thanks to the EU speaker for mentioning the implementation of activities in Colombia and the region as a whole. These programmes contribute to the principle of common and shared responsibility in combatting the world drug problem. We can bring about recovering these territories through development. It has been of great importance for us and we thank the EU for support given in this partnership to implement the principle of common and shared responsibility.

Response from the EU: The project covers Afghanistan as well and all countries along the Heroin Route, such as countries in Eastern Europe and Eastern Africa. The programme components include: 1- national policy and operational responses, strengthen criminal justice; 2- technical assistance facility, supporting relevant authorities with good practices on demand and supply reduction; 3- cooperation initiatives to contribute to reinforce trust and transnational cooperation on drug related issues among beneficiary countries.

Martin Diaz, IEPES, El Salvador (NGO): Thank you for this opportunity to participate in the review of the impact of drug policies in Central America and the rest of the world. We must recognise the impact on human rights and violence, homicides and torture, due process, etc. In El Salvador there is a systematic violation of human rights from prohibitionist drug policies. It is time to be consistent to protect human rights. It’s time for the discourse to be aligned so that drug control protects the most vulnerable people and promotes development and security. International cooperation has a decisive role in this process. I want to refer to the UN Secretary General speech here around the UNGASS follow up process and the fact that this provides a framework to share best practices and focus on the consequences of human rights. I hope that we are on the right path and together we can implement a comprehensive and balanced approach. This will be the best way to implement the UNGASS recommendations and have an impact on the lives of all.

I call on the international community to address the violence and human rights violations in Central America. The situation is worsening with the involvement of the military which is acting with impunity in El Salvador. We are calling for an international commission on impunity to address these issues. We must also promote strengthening governmental institutions and reform the public security forces, judiciary and others given the ties with drugs, violence and security. We request countries cooperating on security measures to combat corruption and impunity in state structures. Research confirmed that there has been no detention of drug related crime among government officials. Either government officials are never involved, or the security officials have not done their job. I remind you also that prohibition based policies have made it possible to develop organised crime, corruption and terrorism. We need to reform drug control to focus on facts, science and reason, also focusing on the SDGs. Civil society remains open to build relations and cooperation with you in this regard. Read the full statement in Spanish.

Post-UNGASS Facilitator: We will now take interventions from the floor.

Estonia, on behalf of the European Union: The EU and its member states thank you for organising this international meeting to ensure that drug policies are balanced, integrated and evidence based. The 3 UN conventions, the declaration of UNGASS provide an international framework for this approach. We are implementing partnerships with member states on health, human rights, justice and all other aspects of the world drug problem. We work with Latin America, thanks to the EU-CELAC collaboration. COPOLAD II is working towards reinforcing national observatories on drugs, the reduction of demand and supply and the adoption of approaches for capacity building and lessons learned. Another aim is to strengthen EU-CELAC cooperation. Recently, we launched a new programme to reinforce the rule of law and citizen security on organised crime: El Pacto. This programme covers 18 Latin American countries for 2017 to 2022. This is the first cooperation programme with Latin America which covers the whole penal chain.

We also want to highlight our work along cocaine and heroin routes. The cocaine route programme was launched in 2009. Participants have contributed to funding cooperation among law enforcement, training, inter-service task forces, financial intelligence units, etc. The project aims to provide training and capacity building on financial investigation. It is the first project of its kind.

The EU action against drugs and organised crime launched in 2017 was created to improve treatment and combat trafficking along the heroin route. 12 million euros are allocated to this programme until 2020. Activities include national, regional training modules and mentoring cycles, roundtables and cooperation, joint operations, human rights safeguards and anti-corruption activities.

One of the major programmes in Central Asia started in 2001. It supports demand aspects for a sustainable drug policy and advocating for EU best practices. It is composed of drugs, policy development, risk and harm reduction, treatment, study visits, internships and seminars.

These are only a few examples of EU partnerships on an integrated, balanced and comprehensive cooperation by the EU. The EU also acknowledges the central role of CND and UNODC and calls for stronger cooperation with other UN institutions as relevant and as agreed in the UNGASS outcome document.

India: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak. We are a strong supporter of the work of the UN. We are a financial contributor to the UNODC, for general purposes and for projects undertaken in South Asia. India supports UNODC on projects around drug law enforcement capacity building. In 2014, 500,000 US dollars were contributed on projects relevant to the region, including NPS, regional cooperation against drugs, the use of pharmaceuticals containing psychotropic substances, law enforcement capabilities, etc. In 2011, we contributed USD 200,000 to counter drug trafficking for 24 months. We made a contribution of USD 200,000 to combat illicit trafficking in Afghanistan between 2014 and 2017. International cooperation is very important for India, as well as networking to connect regional and international law enforcement officers to disrupt drug trafficking, organised crime and illicit financial flows through intelligence sharing and joint cooperation. This is particularly relevant for India which is losing millions of rupees in money laundering and drug money. Training is an important component for capacity building. Last year, we conducted more than 300 programmes, with trainings of trainers. The aim is to educate trainers in the field of addiction treatment. We also conducted a one week training programme in Bhutan on demand reduction. This is part of our action plan and MoU between the republic of India and Bhutan. We have many MoUs with countries in the region. We reaffirm our calls as adopted in the UNGASS outcome document.

Portugal: I commend the intervention of Estonia on behalf of the EU. International cooperation at bilateral and multilateral levels is one of the essential aspects of Portuguese drug policy. This week we are hosting a conference of national drug observatories within the COPOLAD project. As you may know, COPOLAD encourages the exchange of best practices between experts with the community of Caribbean, Latin American and EU states. We hosted the 2nd Conference on Addictive Behaviours, to showcase the latest knowledge and science on drug dependencies. It gathered more than 1,000 participants from 71 countries, this represents an important contribution to a scientific approach to drug dependence. Effective law enforcement and judicial cooperation: Portugal cooperates with African Portuguese-speaking countries. We concluded cooperation agreements on surveillance. Our commitment remains strong in the fight against drug trafficking. Results have been positive: in the last decades, 500 tons of heroin and cocaine and 12 billion euros have been diverted from criminal platforms. The role of HONLEA has also been important as a forum for cooperation among law enforcement agencies, which we should retain. This shows us that opening these subsidiaries to other areas of the UNGASS outcome document and including other practitioners is key to address the world drug problem in a more balanced way. NPS are also a new challenge, appearing each day on the drug market, impacting health and social and economic aspects. Coordinated efforts and a multidisciplinary approach work well. We cannot forget the importance of operational recommendations from UNGASS, which implementation should be our focus and priority.

Jo Dedeyne, Chief of the Secretariat to the Governing Bodies, UNODC: I will give you information about what the Secretariat of Governing Bodies has done to implement the UNGASS outcome document. Information I will provide today are complementary to other presentations from colleagues from various regions. I want to focus on the importance in the UNGASS outcome document of placing the debate in the Agenda for 2030. The CND had an agenda item on how to contribute to the thematic review of the SDGs. We tried to make sure that this information is easily accessible to you. We have created a special webpage where the contributions of the CND are posted, so that you can see what is being done. We work with the CCPCJ and other subsidiary bodies of ECOSOC (e.g. the Commission on the Status of Women and the Statistical Commission).

Coming now to the different pieces of the puzzle on CND implementation of UNGASS. One part is supporting you on thematic discussions, servicing of subsidiary bodies on what can be done at regional level. Here I will present two new initiatives on implementation of the mandate you have given us to support you in implementing the recommendations of the UNGASS. The Ambassador from Portugal mentioned HONLEAS. This year, each meeting that took place had a discussion on the implementation of 60/1 tabled by Mme Chair for consideration by the CND in March. The outcome of those recommendations is contained in the report by the subsidiary bodies for consideration by the CND next March. Most meetings have already taken place. At this moment, the Sub-Commission is in session. We will also have a HONLEA meeting in Asia in late November, early December. It’s also a pleasure to meet the HONLEA Europe meeting this year, welcome back. The subsidiary meetings have contributed to hold working groups looking at cross cutting aspects such as gender, special needs for children and young people. This has already been considered by participants.

One initiative is that we have started to organise awareness raising UNGASS implementation workshops for interested countries. The rationale is that some countries don’t always have the opportunity to follow processes in Vienna and want information on what’s happening in Vienna. We developed a 2-day workshop on what is an UNGASS and how the follow up process works. It is an opportunity to bring back home all the actors involved in UNGASS implementation. The feedback received by member states is that this is an important outcome. Another outcome is looking at challenges faced and progress made and include this in the matrix we’ve been distributing. This is to contribute to the work we’re already conducting. There is a dedicated side event today where we will be hearing from Bolivia, where we’re piloting the project. We will also hear from Trinidad and Tobago. I want to ask the facilitator to show the video from Trinidad and Tobago after my presentation.

We have been referring to the good practices portal, showing how important it is to have the information from you to populate the good practices portal and have this information shared to other member states. I want to give you a snapshot of what this is supposed to look like, to motivate you to send more information to us. Then we can send this website at the occasion of the next CND. We have an entry portal with the different UNGASS chapters, and then under each chapter you can go to the sub-chapters, and then you’d go directly to the contributions provided by member states, sorted by country and by operational recommendation. The information is posted as received, we only make sure it is easily accessible. If you click further, you will have information on how the initiative taken works, progress so far, and challenges faced. This is what we are working on right now. We would appreciate it if you could send us information in the matrix. 10 countries have already done so. Any suggestions are most welcome.


Nikita Lushnikov, National Anti-Drug Union, NAU, Russia (NGO): We are not-for-profit and work on a drug-free programme. We have seen clashes in our national practice on substitution therapy and rehabilitation. We have come out with distinctive projects which have not been seen before: a treatment camp with 1500 children being rehabilitated from drug addiction, in line with a drug-free focus. We have managed over the years to bring together representatives from 7 countries to these drug camps. We adopted relevant decisions given the progressive growth given by governments around the world. We need common criteria and standards from the UN on this. In our country, we have proposals to find common ground between the leading global programmes through which we can build cooperation globally. This initiative has been supported by our foreign ministry and our Foreign Minister who has helped us organise an international conference in one of our treatment camps, where we brought representatives form UNODC. We have received support from Fedotov from UNODC. In light of this cooperation, we have managed to grab the attention of the world community and highest leadership of our state and we are co-organisers of an international conference which will be held in December with Parliamentarians and experts from 40 states. The aim is to create a parliamentary dimension for international cooperation. We have substantial experience and feel we can be very proactive and practical, not just for our country but also for the UN in general. We work in the street and with the drug consumers. We know better than anyone what drug users need and what can help them. Of course, many of us have been drug consumers, so we know better than anyone how to build dialogue and constructive cooperation. It is a consequence that drug problems have grown in our country. We can make a practical contribution. We propose our assistance and knowledge in this programme. All of those who want to visit our treatment camps can come from 16-20 January 2018 in Moscow. We are happy to work with other organisations in the UN system. We have a side event at 2pm. Anyone wishing to receive more detailed information can do so. Read the full statement in Russian.

China: NPS challenges are growing. Last year, UNGASS considered international drug control efforts, by constantly reminding ourselves of the goals we’ve set. The evolution of the world situation means we should focus on the 3 UN drug conventions and the principle of common and shared responsibility to stop the spread of drugs and fulfil the health of mankind. We have undertaken work with UNODC and attach importance to the CND. In close contact with UNODC, we have focused on international cooperation and provided training for Asian countries and in the Greater Mekong. Since 2002, we have trained more than 1000 law enforcement officials in Pakistan and other states. We have strengthened intelligence with the USA and other countries guided by the principle of common and shared responsibility. We call on the international community to contribute to capacity building through financial assistance and technical knowhow to deal with the scourge of drugs. All countries should deal with the 3 UN drug conventions and the CND as the leading drug policy body. The 2009 and 2016 documents are complementary and mutually reinforcing. We should improve legislation in drugs efforts for a targeted approach in the face of new challenges. CND, UNODC and INCB should fulfil their mandates under the conventions. We should build a community of common future against drugs. We should maintain the inclusiveness of drug control policies. We should promote cooperation in mutual respect and benefit. No country is immune, all countries should step up in international cooperation to crack down on transnational organised crime. We should jointly contribute to the common cause of drug control. We should be more stringent on the scheduling of ketamine and other NPS. We should continue technical and financial assistance, covering the entire chain. China, within its capacity, continues capacity building for all countries.

Russia: We consider international cooperation as the quintessence of the fight against the global drug challenge. No state is able to tackle drugs alone. Drug flows circle around the entire globe. To combat this threat, there must be more interstate cooperation and solidarity. We took as our starting point, when developing Russia’s strategy on drugs, the 3 drug conventions whose integrity was reaffirmed at the 2016 UNGASS. At the same time, we should establish effective mechanisms to combat global drug expansion. It is these mechanisms that must be brought together in a single whole to fight drugs aggressions. Yesterday, UNODC’s work on Afghanistan was published and the results are stunning in terms of scale and volume of the drug tragedy. This requires a comprehensive strengthening of the Paris Pact to combat the opioid tsunami. This should be pulled with other relevant structures. The UN Security Council is regularly mentioning the Afghan drug industry. It is a precondition for defeating the terrorists who have taken root in this country. This requires the involvement of qualified law enforcement officials. Criminal activities are carried out in Afghanistan, South East Asia and all the way to South America. We should bolster drug cooperation. We need for law enforcement activities to be supplemented by rehabilitation of drug addicts. It is important to exchange accumulative experience and exchange of good practice. Only international cooperation can provide the key for these transnational problems including the spread of drugs in the darknet and NPS. We rely on civil society and activities, as well as the strategic goal of ridding the community of the drug evil. We will have a conference of parliamentarians against drugs in December on pressing drug control issues for the international community, in Moscow. We hope this will help us combat the global drug menace and implement the UNGASS outcomes.

Bulgaria: We align with the EU statement. Bulgaria emphasizes that the UNGASS outcome is a major step forward in our ability to address the world drug problem including demand, supply reduction and international cooperation. It is the main policy framework for beyond 2019 and seek further progress on identifying key areas for progress, including upholding human rights. Our experience has proved that. While addressing the new challenges of the day, like NPS and internet, we should keep our focus on more classic drug threats like trans-border trafficking of heroin, cocaine and precursors. The geographical situation of Bulgaria makes it an important factor for strong partnerships in countering drug trafficking. We are a regular partner in workshops on trafficking, with the participation of Romania and countries in the Middle East. A forum was held in Sofia in 2016, where it was agreed that drugs were a global problem which required an integrated approach and common efforts of partner agencies at European and international level. We look forward to participating in a future edition of this forum. We also have meetings of the joint committee on precursors with Iran. In 2003 we signed a MoU Bulgaria-Iran. We need integration of all efforts at national, regional and international level. These two examples are only showing our commitment to international cooperation for an evidenced, balanced and comprehensive approach to drugs. We look forward to the implementation of the UNGASS outcome document.

Regional Cooperation for Africa and the Middle East: UNODC programmes in Africa and the Middle East has various regional offices and country offices, as well as programme officers in the region. IN 2016, the programme reached close to 80 million dollars. And this is going up. We have many staff, made up of experts, financial and administrative staff. Our regional officers have committed to foster cooperation with regional states. We are also committed to the SDGs, especially 3, 5, 16 and 17 and the African Union strategy on drugs. I want to provide an overview of examples of programmes in the region.

Under the project on drugs and crime, activities include support to Cote d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone to draft new drug laws and policies, implementation of evidence based drug prevention activities in Mauritania and others. We support the East African Community on HIV prevention for key populations, especially PWUD. We are developing a compendium on health and drugs in Africa. We also implement the drug control masterplans, in Mauritania we promote a balanced approach and human rights protections for people who abuse drugs. In Dakar we support a drug treatment centre in Senegal. We also support the establishment of a network of drug dependence treatment centres in Africa. We support regional cooperation on criminal justice and countering organised crime, effective investigations, etc. In the Middle East, we have a close partnership with the DCC information centre to analyse criminal information.

The World Custom Organization, UNODC and Interpol continue their cooperation worldwide. In 2016, joint airport cooperation in Africa seized cocaine, heroin, cannabis, meth and counterfeit drugs. North-South and South-South cooperation are at the core of our activities, through global and regional programmes and regional networks. The WACAP initiative aims to establish a regional network of professionals against drug trafficking in West Africa. In May 2017, a regional cooperation was signed between 3 African countries (Chad, Niger and…) to strengthen border control. In Eastern Africa, UNODC is organising an inter-regional conference to share best practice between Asia, Africa and Latin America this month in Nairobi to address demand and supply in the three continents.

UNODC projects in Africa and the Middle East ensure exchange of lessons learned and best practice, with the participation of experts from member states and from civil society. UNODC, DPA, ECOWAS, Interpol and others work to stop drug trafficking with international cooperation and information sharing on lessons learned. Other examples include UNODC’s project on HIV/AIDS prevention in prison in Sub-Saharan Africa with a new toolkit and training manual in the region. UNODC collaborated with the Wellness and Recovery Centre in Dakar providing a forum for practitioners to exchange knowledge on opioid addiction. We also promote exchange of information on asset forfeiture and money laundering in the region. I hope I could provide some relevant examples of activities in the region with the support of our donors in the region.

Post-UNGASS Facilitator: Side event on UNGASS implementation workshop will take place at 13 :15 in the C Building.


Post-UNGASS Facilitator: Welcome back. Good discussions this morning, and in the side event from UNODC Secretariat. I would like UNODC to also provide a workshop for delegates here about UNGASS implementation, as many of us were not here when the document was negotiated.

Suriname: Being a country that tirelessly tries to protect its people, and has development plans up until 2021. We contribute to sub-regional, regional and international efforts to counter drugs and crime and violence. We take responsibility for countering drug trafficking by investing significant amounts of domestic resources in cross-border partnerships which have, for the most part, yielded the expected results – although these results can sometimes be bittersweet. The evidence shows the ever-existing, huge demand for drugs around the world. It is this element which is beyond Suriname’s control, and makes cross-border cooperation essential. Suriname has the presidency of the EU and Latin America collaborative programmes. Suriname recently updated its anti-money laundering measures. With a focus on neighbouring countries and destination countries, we work at the bilateral level and regional initiatives – including efforts to reform drug legislation to allow the use of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes. This work was established by CARICOM in July 2017 to explore the barriers and determine if there should be a change in the current drug legislation. The reclassification of the drug would make it accessible for all types of use – including medical, religious and cultural purposes, as well as for scientific use in research on the value of components of cannabis.

Romania: Aligns with the EU intervention from this morning. On Chapter 6 of the UNGASS document, international cooperation is essential in the response to the world drug problem – based on an accurate assessment of the evidence of results. We emphasise the importance of capacity building in developing and transit countries. Technical assistance and financial support from the international community can help to improve data collection, trainings and improve experience of innovative methods. Strengthening the transfer of knowledge between practitioners within states and in partner countries that are faced with similar challenges. These activities, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, should be maintained so that they can be implemented simultaneously and in a mutually supportive manner. Countries that experience drug production and trafficking should continue to receive assistance to counter cultivation and trafficking. International cooperation should continue to support several programmes. The challenges of the drug phenomenon can only be tackled in collaboration, and there should be a continuous process of institutional collaboration as part of a systematic monitoring of reliable information. States should also be encouraged to create their own systems covering drug demand and drug supply reduction strategies. The establishment of independent bodies to collect and analyse information would constitute a step forward in many regions. States with experience in this regard may serve as providers of technical assistance, lessons learned and experiences for decision making. Groups such as the Pompidou Group can serve to assist with this. Governments should be encouraged to reduce the demand for drugs through prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and social integration – and efforts to promote healthy lifestyles and new opportunities in terms of education and good use of free time. Government institutions should increase their capacity to generate data and conduct studies on prevention programmes.

Turkey: We reiterate our commitment to promoting international cooperation, and to implementing comprehensive and balanced strategies. International cooperation should be tangible and results-oriented. Tailoring technical assistance to the needs of recipient countries will help achieve this. For more effective results, uncoordinated efforts should be reduced – but efforts to create greater collaboration should not result in new structures and systems. The unabated trend in cultivation in Afghanistan will bring about challenges for Afghanistan and neighbouring countries. Drug traffickers are in contact with other organised criminal and terrorist groups. Member states must support one another to counter this.

UNODC – Alexander Smith, Representative for Europe, West and Central Asia: Over the last 18 months, we completed a review of our programme portfolio in Europe, West and Central Asia, in line with the Paris Pact, and to reposition ourselves to provide technical assistance and innovative responses in a ‘one-UN’ approach. The four programme requires USD 310 million, and is inscribed in north-south and south-south collaborative efforts. The Central Asia Regional Information Centre (CARIC) has formed links with similar centres around the world. CARIC is an example of the good practices that UNODC supports and promotes. Under the law enforcement pillar of the UNGASS, UNODC works with a variety of partners to foster regional cooperation such as border and container control, intelligence, etc. We counted over 1,000 beneficiaries of technical assistance and training, including an increasing percentage of women. We connected West and Central Asia with other regions in terms of law enforcement efforts. Last February, we oversaw the signing an MOU on money laundering efforts in Afghanistan and China. In 2017, we implemented 20 training events, and we helped to connect different sectors and civil society. On sustainable development, we implemented a conference in Tehran, and we release research and reports on key issues. A new initiative was launched on assessing organised crime in the Balkans. In Kyrgyzstan, more than 200 female police officers received training on investigations. UNODC places importance on a balanced approach, and our biggest value is the trust we have with stakeholders.

Kazakhstan: We provide full support and voluntary contributions to the CARIC programme, and thank UNODC for their generous support for this centre. CARIC has proven itself as an effective mechanism. This year, it supported four initiatives across the region to combat transnational organised crime in line with the SDGs. The international community faces a challenge in reducing the number of drug addicts.

[Video from CARIC]

Ezekwesiri Eluchie, People Against Drug Dependence and Ignorance, PADDI (NGO from Nigeria): In my capacity as representative for Sub-Saharan Africa on the Civil Society Task Force towards UNGASS 2016, I and my colleagues undertook a series of consultations in eight African countries – meeting with NGOs, government agencies and intergovernmental agencies to gauge their responses towards addressing the substance abuse situation. After the release of the UNGASS Outcome Document, I have likewise continued to maintain consultations and communications with the various stakeholders in the countries earlier visited across Sub-Saharan Africa on best practices towards implementing and facilitating the document.

A critical and fundamental problem highlighted in all the countries evaluated – across East, West, South and Central Africa – was the dearth of data and statistics relating to the substance abuse, and a corresponding lack of human capacity to sustain requisite interventions in all facets of the substance abuse situation across Sub-Saharan Africa: ranging from prevention, treatment, care and rehabilitation, and interdiction and supply control. Though there was a palpable problem with regards to the substance abuse situation in all the countries evaluated, the dearth stated above made it near-impossible to understand, with any real exactitude, the scope and extent of such problems and which areas to best deploy the scare resources available to record a higher return on investments.

There is unanimity of purpose amongst the countries evaluated, that the foremost area requiring specialized, targeted, effective and sustainable technical assistance would be in building domestic human capacity in the areas of collating and maintaining reliable statistics and a database of information on the substance abuse situation. The unique role and outreach potentials of CSOs and community-based organizations as vehicles to penetrate hard-to-reach populations in Sub-Saharan Africa, places such organizations in a unique vantage position to best utilize such technical assistance.

The paucity of financial resources available in the region – and the fact that the region is generally weighed down by such basic health challenges as infectious diseases, high maternal mortality and childhood killer diseases, and immunization concerns making less funds available for addressing secondary and tertiary health care concerns – makes the prioritization of evidence based prevention strategies and practices inevitable. Financial assistance towards translating time-tested and experience-based substance abuse prevention strategies and practices in the region into scalable domestically-generated evidence-based practices was paramount to succeeding in addressing the substance abuse situation in the region.

The need for countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa, in view of the proximity in their situations, to increase collaboration and exchange ideas as to what works best within their respective countries was agreed as a panacea to the continued reliance on evidence-based prevention practices sourced from countries far removed from the situation of African countries (this is a call for south-south collaboration). The north-south collaborative initiatives should not be restricted only to interdiction and supply control approaches, but also cover prevention and demand reduction strategies and practices. We notice that there is a focus on interdiction and not on demand reduction.

On our part, People Against Drug Dependence and Ignorance (PADDI) has concentrated on building local, national, regional and Africa-wide network of CSOs and NGOs. When resources are pooled together, the scarcity of resources for which the African continent and its constituent countries are notorious for, can be converted into a pedestal for cooperation, shared responsibilities and mutual benefit towards addressing a common drug abuse problem.

El Salvador: Our strategy is based on the principles of human rights, intersectionality, evidence, etc. A country cannot address this problem in isolation. Therefore, El Salvador supported the inclusion of common and shared responsibility in the UNGASS Outcome Document. Both regional and international cooperation are important. For example, we have been working with counterparts in Honduras, Costa Rica and Peru, and contribute to programmes such as the EU-Latin America collaboration COPOLAD. We should work towards harmonisation of responses in order to achieve a comprehensive and balanced approach. We take note of what was said by the representative of civil society regarding impunity. While we respect the position of civil society, we wish to make some clarifications on this – as making generalisations without the full facts can be detrimental to our efforts. We agree that the dismantling of drug trafficking networks and strengthening institutions in this area is fundamental. This is a process which cannot transform reality overnight, but there are tangible steps being taken to end impunity. This includes the prosecution of public officials, including corrupt civil servants in the judiciary – with 14 people detained, and the operation is continuing with four arrest warrants still outstanding. Earlier this year, raids on properties included a former Mayor and an inspector of the national police. Some 5,938 kg of cocaine were seized, while marijuana seizures have dropped over the past year. With respect to the positive results of international cooperation in this field, regional programmes such as COPOLAD continue to be extended year-on-year. We remain committed to transparency on the use of funds, and anyone can check online what is being received through international cooperation and how it is being spent. This ensures that such funds cannot be embezzled. This is an important opportunity to address the in-going and new challenges facing our countries.

Colombia: International cooperation is a tool to reduce supply, money laundering among other issues. The focus on this in UNGASS 2016 allows for the building of better mechanisms and more effective responses to all aspects of the world drug problem. In this regard, Colombia has championed the importance of promoting international cooperation – appealing for a reorientation of efforts to reduce demand and supply. This must all be addressed in full compliance with international law and human rights, full respect for sovereignty of states and non-interference, fundamental freedoms and the inherent dignity of all individuals. The implementation of mechanisms to make this a reality is strongly related with the 2016 UNGASS mandate given to CND and UNODC – to boost the creation and strengthening of cooperative ties with other UN agencies. The linkages made between our efforts and the Sustainable Development Goals – especially on health, equality and peace – is welcomed and should be followed-up in the thematic review of progress towards the SDGs.

We advocate continuing, in partnership with the subsidiary bodies of CND, to address this. This includes adequate training, resources and technical knowledge to those countries requesting such assistance – headed by UNODC as well as the World Health Organization and other relevant bodies. A step in the right direction from UNGASS 2016 is reflected in the adoption of Resolution 60/6 on UN collaborations – adopted in March 2017 by the CND. This invites UNODC to step up efforts to implement joint initiatives with other UN agencies and bodies. We welcome the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between UNODC and WHO, and the adoption of a decision of the World Health Assembly to request WHO to step-up efforts in this sector and to report back regularly on the public health dimensions of the world drug problem. Notwithstanding the progress made, there are still challenges of cooperation and collaboration with some UN agencies which remain important. In this regard, it would be desirable to establish mechanisms to facilitate this collaboration.

On 26th September, the OHCHR delegate pointed out their willingness to provide support to states and others to promote and protect human rights in efforts to address the drug problem. This is very timely, and we hope that UNODC might propose actions in this area. Coordination between agencies requires a deeper discussion to ensure UN system coherence and discuss what should be the mechanisms. Attention is drawn to the emphasis that UNGASS places on measures for triangulation and south-south cooperation. Part of this lies in the development of new indicators to demonstrate results, alongside the development of better coordination mechanisms. We would like to point out that Colombia, as a middle-income country, has a policy of international cooperation with prioritises south-south cooperation. The recent agreement with UNODC on alternative development is a cornerstone of the recent peace agreement in the country. Over the last four years, Colombia has donated more than $100 million from its national budget to UNODC. We emphasise the importance of the COPOLAD project, and work with regional groups on anti-drug intelligence, and on capacity building to promote harm reduction using the experience from Switzerland thanks to the input of an expert from that country. There has also been support from Germany, and a study visit on alternative development and reforestation in Thailand. We have also been developing horizontal cooperation and are looking at the programmes in Bolivia to see if they can be applied in this post-conflict stage.

Argentina: International cooperation is an essential and crucial element to achieve success. My country has developed three projects in the context of the FOAA (South-South Cooperation), with Colombia, Mexico, Brazil and Uruguay. Argentina continues looking intensely on multilateral cooperation activities. In May, we held the Second Annual Conference of COPOLAD, which dealt with important challenges: internet, illegal drug markets and synthetic drugs. This conference was held in cooperation with the FIIAP and the Government of Spain. It was carried out with the support of the Foreign Ministry and we enjoyed the presence of Roberto Moro and Patricia Bullrich. The COPOLAD Conference afforded exchanges between the EU and the CELAC region. Likewise, we are involved in CRIMJUST, and participated of the launch in February. We took part in Operation lionfish and the training on cryptocurrencies. We are working on a meeting on this issue. The Drugs agency of the country took part of a training for law enforcers in Mexico City in September, addressing issues such as training police forces, protection of production, crypto-markets and terrorism. We aim to hold a regional course on currencies, aiming to provide skills to officials in criminal justice and oversight bodies regarding technical aspects of money transportation, as well as interdiction aspects. This meeting will take place in Buenos Aires in the 4-5 December this year.

Andrés Núñez (Regional Section for Latin American and the Caribbean), UNODC:  To support Member States to enhance international cooperation, UNODC counts on a network of field offices. Technical assistance is delivered through a host of projects at all levels. We have 780 colleagues in our field offices, 35% women. In terms of national projects, the biggest portfolio (40%) focuses directly on drug-related issues. This work is reinforced by regional and global projects, AIRCOP, CRIMJUST, global programmes dealing with drug demand reduction, HIV and money laundering, and the Containers project. In terms of financial resources, we would highlight that between 2015-16, we collected funds of around $105 million. These went to technical assistance on alternative development, monitoring of illicit crops, and others. It should be noted that over 85% of the collected resources were focused on alternative development and monitoring illicit crops. Most of these programmes were funded by the recipient countries. In addition, these national projects benefit from the support of the international community, mostly in security responses but also alternative development and demand reduction. In terms of concrete examples, exchanges of experiences at the local level among practitioners in terms of alternative development and illicit crop monitoring. We have regular mail exchanges between practitioners. In terms of technical teams, we have good exchanges, especially in South America, between these teams, and exchanges in terms of sharing experiences regarding the commercialisation of AD products. Other types of partnerships include those that link with already established networks. We provide support in terms of capacity building through the global and interregional projects mentioned. We support communities by working with the Police Community of the Americas (Ameripol); with whom we met in Mexico in September. This support focuses on the exchange of experiences between law enforcement training entities to ensure there is a common language between training entities. In terms of demand reduction, treatment and care, the partnership has been mainly supported by a sub-regional project focused on Andean countries, but also exchanging experiences on prevention, like the Strong Families programme with strong presence in Central America, but also South America. We supported the first regional meeting on NPS this year. In terms of main lessons learnt, we would like to highlight that most AD-related cooperation at the national level is funded by countries who are beneficiaries of these projects. This funding is complemented by the support of international community to these projects. We have an interesting experience of good practice exchange, with the commercialisation for AD products project. We have experiences shared with countries within the region, namely the AD logo in Colombia, which has linked AD products to fair trade and peace in the country. Further cooperation is needed on demand reduction and chemical precursors trade flow and control.

Farid Chehioueche, Foundation for Alternative Approaches to Addiction – Think & do tank (FAAAT): I am proud to share views with a refreshed commission bound by two new significant cornerstones, namely the UNGASS outcome document and the Agenda for Sustainable Development. These assess a framework where bettering the health, well-being and living conditions comes first. In line with this new policy landscape, ahead of the 2019 target date, our think-tank underlines the need for countries to implement policies that respect the international hierarchy of standards, the need for a UNODC re-focused on its primary functions, and for the Commission to continue efforts towards a comprehensive participation in its process, a renewed preparation frame, harmonized in time with the 2030 Agenda. I will introduce and develop recommendations on these three topics.

1. Member states implementation of the UNGASS recommendations​ ​in​ ​light​ of​ ​the 2019​ review of the international drug strategy: in anticipation of the upcoming diplomatic marathon, which might lead governments positions to digress from their citizens’ claims, we need to recall several key elements that would help Member States in building global drug strategies better articulated with the broad international law and rights. The​ ​hierarchy​ ​of​ ​norms​ ​unequivocally​ ​places​ ​human​ ​rights​ ​first:​ Under international law, states must give priority to their human rights obligations over and above any conflicting obligations under the drug control Conventions. Recently, several groundbreaking academic researchers have clarified this hierarchy of standards. They point that these overruling human rights, first and foremost, are positive obligations derived from the rights to health, life, physical and mental integrity, and privacy. Conformity with the fundamental rights standards starts with ending death penalty for drug-related offenses, and generally by making more proportional and less coercive the penal and administrative responses. Along with the need to respect privacy, these needed measures can only be achieved by ending the criminalization of those citizens who use drugs or engage in illicit drug-related activities to get by. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development reaffirms these principles and shows pathways to achieve good practices in line with international human rights instruments. We recommend to Member States:

  • To take advantage of their territorial diversity, encouraging development and experimentation of alternative policies and practices at the local or regional level, in particular in the regions where problematic use is prominent, or in these areas where cultivation or use are bound to tradition. In a shorter term, to make these evolutions possible, we recommend:
  • To strengthen and widen collaboration and partnership with civil society organizations, both nationally and within the international institutions. We suggest in particular to create platforms and networks, thus easing interaction and exchange of information, and including in their official delegation stakeholders from civil society organizations;
  • To back and support — including material and financially — the NGOs transversal committees and networks of Vienna, New-York and Geneva, settled democratically as privileged ways for the involvement of NGOs in international drug-related fora.

2. Work of the UNODC: Sustainability merges sense, good faith, and rationality. Although it is evident that part of drug-related issues is also crime-related, most of the concept of “crime” falls out of the scope of any matter linked to drugs. From robbery, terrorism, human or organ trafficking, tax evasion, child pornography, to copyright violations, nothing rational or systematic links these crimes to drugs. The drugs & crime issue only arises as a nuclear topic when the system has failed to put “health and welfare” at its core. The primary work to be undertaken at international level regarding drugs must fundamentally articulate around health, care, and prevention. Reaffirming​ ​the​ ​drugs​ ​issue​ ​not​ ​only​ ​as​ ​an​ ​“illegal​ ​drugs”​ ​issue​ ​is​ ​key​ ​to​ ​understand​ ​new challenges​ ​or​ ​to​ ​ensure​ ​availability​ ​of​ ​controlled​ ​medicines​ ​among​ ​the​ ​planet. In its Article 17, the Single Convention mandates a “special administration” to oversee international drug control. Although the tasks of this “special administration” were first carried out by a UN Secretary General’s Division on Narcotic Drugs, and then entrusted to the UNDCP, they eventually merged with Crime and Justice issues onto the UNODC twenty years ago. In consequence, we recommend:

  • At first, to refocus the UNODC​ as a United​ ​Nations​ ​Office​ ​on​ ​Drugs​ ​and​ ​Controlled substances​, with exclusive responsibility for providing effective leadership for all the UN drug control activities, for ensuring coherence of actions as well as coordination, complementarity and non-duplication of activities across the United Nations system, and thoroughly implementing CND resolutions;
  • Secondly, the creation of a UNOCP​ (United​ ​Nations​ ​Office​ ​on​ ​Crime​ ​Prevention​) that would implement CCPCJ resolutions, and efficiently focus on preventing delinquency and tackling, among others, those criminal organizations that smuggle with controlled drugs. In this renewed context, the reinforced and refocused UNODC could assume its legitimate role of mediator and transversal actor, in particular, creating or strengthening contacts and cooperation with: The High-level​ ​Political​ ​Forum​ ​on​ ​Sustainable​ ​Development,​ especially those focused on Goals 3, 5, 8, 10, 11, 16 and 17; the United Nations Development Program; the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; the International Regulatory Cooperation for Herbal Medicines; the United Nations Environment Program; and the United Nations University.

3. Work of the CND and role in the upcoming action plan: We welcome the work of the CND chair and the post-UNGASS facilitator and recall the need to continue efforts to allow for substantive involvement & contributions from all countries, and from the broad civil society stakeholders, including people who use or produce and affected populations.
In particular, we recommend:

  • to plug the CND on UN webTV, a broadcasting system of the UN Department of Public Information which allows for quality multilingual video diffusion as well as archival;
  • to give more importance to the CND template document, intended to collect implementation programs of the UNGASS operational recommendations;
  • to increase the effort of presence and visualization on social media

Regarding​ ​the​ ​way​ ​forward​: The UNGASS preparations included a rich and diverse consultation & review process, to try to achieve a snapshot of the various realities of the world. It was used as the basis to draft the UNGASS outcome document, which finally embraced the broad drug phenomenon. A similar, if not more extended process, should be conducted to draft the next action plan. Enough time and comprehensive data are critical. Therefore, we urge the Commission to take two steps:

  • Take the opportunity to harmonize​ ​the​ ​timeframe​ of the international action on drugs with the 2030 Agenda, by extending the consultation one year and adopting at its 63rd session a new action plan running from 2020 to 2030;
  • Secondly, in the spirit of the CND Resolution 58/8 and the UNGASS board document titled “Thematic overview of contributions to the outcome document of UNGASS 2016”, compile​ ​all​ ​Member​ ​States’​ ​plans​ ​of​ ​action​ to tackle drug-related issues into a report of Member States’ national and local strategies, and dedicate intersessional CND meetings to the presentation, debate and discussion of these concrete plans.

One significant consideration for future UN strategies to overcome the stalemate (grounded on nonconsensual past consensus) would be to switch from a doctrinaire upstream approach to an amenable downstream action plan, which encourages and reinforces Member States in their action. The​ ​zero​ ​draft​ ​of​ ​the​ ​2020-2030​ ​UN​ ​action​ ​plan​ ​on​ ​drugs​ ​must​ ​directly​ ​be​ ​a​ ​synthesis​ ​of​ ​the diversity,​ ​thoroughness​ ​and​ ​value​ ​of​ ​Member​ ​States’​ ​local​ ​and​ ​national​ ​drug​ ​strategies. Thank you for your attention.

Mexico: We identified 10 priorities in our preparatory work towards the UNGASS. The first three relate to international cooperation. First, the problem of drugs demand the international community endorses the principle of common and shared responsibility, through more intense collaborative cooperation. Bolster a common front to address crime and related offences. We need to step up cooperation and joint action to dismantle criminal organisations. Third, need for greater cooperation and coordination between UN agencies to address all aspects of the world drug problem. Mexico believes in the benefits of cooperation. My country has benefited from bilateral, triangular and regional cooperation. My country highlights the need to strengthen the commitment of specialised bodies of the UN system: UNAIDS, UNDP, UNWOMEN, and others to identify and provide technical assistance in the many dimensions of the outcome document. We highlight the importance of synergies between bodies and schemes for international cooperation. We also value dialogue to identify good practices and meet the goals of the Outcome document: COPOLAD, UNDP, many others. We appreciate the great contribution of civil society, which is far greater than we had imagined. Those efforts should keep being integrated into these discussions.

United States: We highlight the importance for the international community to encourage the implementation of the Outcome Document. We welcome the collaboration of UN agencies in their respective mandates, whilst recognising UNODC’s key role and the CND as the central body in the drug policy architecture of the UN. The US is committed to intensified cooperation and collaboration to address and counter the world drug problem. The US appreciates data sharing efforts to accelerate the rate at which WHO ECDD reviews NPS for international control. We support UNODC programmes on information exchange, such as INCB’s project COHESION ad PRISM. We support existing efforts to advance law enforcement and intelligence authorities information sharing, such as INCB programme on precursors. (…) We urge members states to support the platform, providing data and voluntary contributions. We support efforts to dismantle transnational criminal organisations contributing to the opioid crisis. The US suffered 64 thousand overdose deaths in 2016. More than ever recorded in history in a single year. The epidemic is one of the biggest crises. None of us are immune to its wrath and we need to work together to fight this threat before it claims more lives. Only through collaboration we can advance to curb threats illicit drugs.

Canada: We are committed to the implementation of the Outcome Document. Cooperation is key to address world drug problem. The insecurity of trafficking and transnational criminal organisations threatens democracy, development and prosperity; hence our commitment to cooperate and forester conditions for growth, human rights and welfare. We organise an anti-crime capacity building programme to prevent and respond to threats posed by transitional crime, primarily in the Americas. With six thematic priorities including money laundering, security systems and crime prevention. Since 2009, we have implemented bilateral programmes for the value of 108 million dollars. These have served to assist member states to address development, human rights, justice and law enforcement. Promoting proportionality, including through treatment courts. There are four countries that have implemented adult drug treatment course. Another important aspect of the cooperation work, the container control programme, which has resulted in increased seizures of illicit substances and other illicit products. We also train against smuggling proceeds of crime. Canada will continue to partner with states to address the causes and consequences of the world drug problem. We also stress the importance of mainstreaming a gender perspective into all aspects of drug policy.

Venezuela: We stress that even before the Outcome Document, our country was a fervent champion of common and shared responsibility. On that basis, we’ve argued many of our positions on drug control and cooperation. We continue to participate and strengthening regional, interregional and international cooperation strategies, balanced alternative development of all peoples, respecting human rights, and relying on public health responses.

Regional Section, South Asia, South-East Asia and the Pacific (UNODC): UNODC’s presence in the region relies on a network of 2 regional, 3 national and 5 programme offices, with additional presence for projects. We actively pursue to deepen and broaden partnerships with Member States. The programmatic action of UNODC in the region is framed by three country programmes, two regional programmes, one coming to an end at the end of the year, but substituted by a successor. With regards to the key features, in the region we can refer to $60 million. 45% channelled from the drug fund. A similar percentage in 2017 delivery to date. Trend towards a steady increase in the body of the action on the ground.  With regards to the five main items developed by Chapter 6: On technical assistance, I can offer different and complementary examples. In Myanmar, the office is involved in partnership with the government in the development of new drug policy aligned with UNGASS recommendations, following intensive consultation process and due to be formally launched in December. On the other hand, capacity building, eLearning programme, with 16,000 offices in the region benefiting. On cooperation, Mekong MOU on drug control which captures overall drug policy strategy developed and embraced by 6 Mekong programmes to contain the threat of drugs. And MOU operationalised by sub regional action plans adopted every 3 years. Promoting intelligence and information sharing: coordination in Southeast Asia. (…) More operational translation of the notion of cooperation: border liaison office network. Over 85 coordinating offices for national law enforcement agencies, cross-border cooperation against transnational threats. National agencies cooperation between UNODC’s 2 regional offices. Knowledge enhancement, information exchange: important research studies by UNODC (Threat assessment in the Pacific, and research on trends and patterns of ATS and NPS in Southeast Asia. With regards to efforts to translate in operational strategic terms the SDGs agenda: action plan to operationalise the Mekong MOU. (…) South Asia: ongoing development of new regional programme in South Asia which reflects the Outcome Document and also SDGs. Few words on cooperation with other agencies. UNDOC in the region cooperates with UNDP, UNWOMEN, UNAIDS, WHO. Ongoing work in Myanmar for instance with UNAIDS and WHO, revising the narcotics drugs law, and infrastructure in the delivery of the comprehensive package in prisons. Opening of OST establishments in 5 countries. Drug HIV services to female drug users in Nepal.

Abdellatif Adebibe, Moroccan Confederation of Associations for the Development of the Senhaja Rif Region (NGO): For ages, cannabis was considered to be a legal economical product for national consumption coming from the Central High Rif, the historical producing region in the North of Morocco, until independence. The ancestral plant was traditionally used for recreational purposes, but also for industrial and medicinal ends, until Morocco signed the United Nations Single Convention in 1961.From that moment on the growers had no alternative than to sell their produce to national and international trafficking organisations. The change in legislation had adverse effects on development in the affected region and caused a situation of repression and prosecution by national authorities. Innocent members of the community were captured and punished. Due to progressive abandonment by the state, the region fell behind in its socio-economic development and infrastructure, compared to other regions in the country. Due to increased international demand for drugs, and a lack of efficient alternative development options provided by the state and international agencies, the cannabis growers are still suffering an unstable social situation where fear and uncertainty of the future prevail. The population of the historical cannabis growing region is not just affected by demographic and geographic factors, but growth is expanding to other areas with abundant land to meet this growing demand, which is met with new varieties of cannabis, imported from Europe. For this reason we struggle against the cultivation of imported varieties that have been designed to produce high yields of cannabis resin and are destined exclusively for drug trafficking, and causing environmental damage. Our proposal is to promote our national cultural patrimony, and our human resources in the natural environment of the historical growing region, including the legal exploitation of our ancestral and indigenous cannabis variety.

Roberto Arbitrio, UNODC Chief of the Office of the Director-General: The topic was very interesting and challenging to produce short presentations. Chapter 6 focuses on partnerships and shared responsibilities, but throughout the outcome document there are references to international cooperation. The document identifies international cooperation as effective strategy against world drug problem in its security and health impacts. We heard some speakers and members states referring to Opium Poppy report launched yesterday. During the launch, a number of elements were highlighted: potential for new markets, bigger consumption, new criminal actors that could benefit from the high value of such a production including terrorist organisations. International cooperation is critical and essential. In the wisdom of MS we are working to increase our commitments. Clear indications from your wisdom and experience collective: drug trafficking networks are complex entities, articulated. We are moving away from the SPECTRE-like image of organised crime. Transnational organisations need to be addressed by international global partnerships. Connecting different dimension into cooperation. Absolutely key to share best practices and lessons learnt based on evidence and science. The global pantheism is equality important on law enforcement. Clear on Outcome Document. Effective international cooperation demands national level that creates environment for national entities to interact, regional frameworks to ensure national entities collaborate, but also interregional frameworks together look at the complexity of connections of drug trafficking networks. Important to implement a symmetric strategy to counter transitional organised crime and drug trafficking networks. Criminal organisations from the most archaic and local, to the most sophisticated using cyberspace, money laundering. Law enforcement needs to cover all the spectrum. Not asymmetrical but symmetrical to counter all aspects. UNODC will always be a partner to work with you to strengthen these frameworks and we are using the outcome document as an operational reference for all activities.

Malaysia: All of us should not forget that in our deliberations today we should observe and follow the main objective of UNGASS: to uphold the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action, 2014 Joint Ministerial Statement, and UNGASS Outcome Document. We must conform to the three UN drug conventions, sufficiently flexible to implement drug control practices according to national needs and priorities. There will never be a one size fits all because of our different situations. But I’d like to stress that in Malaysia we treat drug control as a public security issue, as it affects young people who are the future of the development of the country. Drug abuse on young people will lead eventually to generational and negative issues that destroy families and communities. Young people will feel emboldened and brave to try anything. I was watching TV this morning on Sky News. There’s a new issue in the UK of the blue pill among young people. Sexual performance enhancing drug now used by young people for recreational purposes. All drugs affect people when used in a non-prescription way, and this cannot be easily tolerated in a general way. Can’t be a totally health approach, it has to be balanced. We can’t treat drug control and the abuse of victims as a health issue. Because drugs and crime. In Malaysia, we have 48% population of inmates in prison that are in there for petty drug use and small dealing. The link between drugs and crime is by these people involving themselves in crime to finance their activities. We also know of instances of people moving from softer drugs to harder drugs. And the new phenomenon of polydrug users. We have a balanced approach. The government has decided to streamline enforcement activities. Instead of having the police and antidrug agency do common enforcement, we have separated priorities to ensure police focuses on supply (tackling big drug trafficking networks and choking money supply). We hope we can reduce supply by doing so. Hopefully with assistance of UNODC, we will continue to reduce drug supply. When it comes to the national anti-drugs agency, it handles the issue of drug users and addicts. This action will decriminalise ultimately drug addicts and users so that they’re not prosecuted, so they stay out of the crime system, using harm reduction and rehab. We aim to reduce recidivism in a more holistic way. We have had some success in Malaysia with rehab programmes and invite member countries to come to Malaysia and share our experiences in drug rehab programmes. Finally, on the death penalty, we have not abolished, but removed the mandatory penalty. Judges are free to decide what type of punishment is given to drug offenders: able to decide whether drug offenders are given death penalty or long prison sentences. So less people will be charged or given sentences with a mandatory death penalty. We hope this will address human rights concerns when it comes to death penalty.

European Commission: The EU has been a forerunner in tackling the drugs issue, before the adoption of the UNGASS outcome document. We have a comprehensive and balanced approach since the 2000s. With flagship cooperation programmes, such as COPOLAD, whose first phase was launched in 2011 and whose success was so great and its results so positive that a 2nd phase was launched in 2016, including a component on chemical precursors. We now have a new policy comprehensive framework, with a new consensus for development, offering a stronger basis for effective contribution to the implementation of the Outcome Document (…).

Martin Diaz, IEPES: We restate our proposal to the Commission to align its purposes with the Sustainable Development Goals. Adopt a Plan of Action for 2020-2030 and provide time for consultations to compile country action plans. We recommend including CND in the regular broadcasting of UNTV, using the public information department of UN. Simultaneous broadcasting in multiple languages and archiving material and facilitating the avoiding multiplication of services.


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