Home » CND Intersessional 17th November: The Way Forward – Preparations for the sixty-second session of the CND in 2019

CND Intersessional 17th November: The Way Forward – Preparations for the sixty-second session of the CND in 2019

Bente Angell-Hansen (Norway), CND Chair: This is the day I’ve been looking the most forward to. The question is how do we carry what we have done forward. It’s also a specially good day because the Mexican Ambassador is in the room. On behalf of all of us, we congratulate you on the nomination by GRULAC as the Chair of the 61st Session. Not yet formal, but it will be in December. As the present Chair, you can count on me. I also want to thank the regional groups for the second round of dialogue meetings. You got the Elements paper from me, about a week ago, and I was impressed by the very many and good, concrete, comments that I got on that paper. Because I know that meant that many of you were doing this in parallel with the UNCAC meeting. What I would like to say in broad terms is that I believe, listening to all regional groups, that the first draft of the Elements papers is more or less a middle ground. I am always trying to build on what can unite us. That doesn’t mean we must ignore the tricky issues that divide us, because that is what brings us to maturity and leads us to advance in the different parts of the follow up. But the discussions we had show this is the middle ground. I particularly value that many of the comments expanded in what was circulated in a very constructive way. It’s very helpful for me, including what I hear in this meeting, as I start working on a revised paper; that I expect will be useful for the next Bureau. I will briefly go through the comments as they were given to me by regional groups. I see that there’s still a very recognisable nuance in the membership when it comes to the emphasis of the different documents, from equal emphasis to having the UNGASS follow-up as the main platform. I believe we need to build on all the work that has been done by colleagues before us, but recognise that the UNGASS is the latest and recognise the more than 100 operative recommendations are there. We are progressing on the talks on the ARQs. On the statistics, I’m happy to let you know that the Secretariat will go through some of the preliminary findings that will be in the first of three reports on the biannual ARQ-based reporting. For some regions, particularly Africa, we still have a much too low response rate to have statistically significant data. So, to enhance the statistical competence of many countries, also in other regions, will be key; because we all want to work on a solid factual basis. If we have a one-track approach, we need to have a reporting system that includes UNGASS. It’s up to our Commission to formulate the questions relevant to our work. How we include the SDGs is also an element to discuss. I had a very good conference call with ECOSOC, on Wednesday afternoon this week, and i think it is to our advantage that we give visibility to our work in New York. We are part of the UN system. And we work within the three UN Drug conventions. On how we see the 62nd session, and the conduct of that Ministerial Segment, we also had a preliminary discussion. This part needs to become more concrete but by and large people were comfortable with this layout. An NGO Forum/segment prior to the Ministerial was something that would be studied further. In terms of the Outcome, I think most of the countries I listened to would favour a Chair’s summary in combination with a resolution that maps the way forward; an operational resolution that provides guidance, that allows for a review after 5 years and a revisit in 2019. No one advocated for a new political negotiation. The resolution would be short and focused on the future, and countries were open to this. This menu is very much relevant: Ministerial Statement, Chair summary, Resolution. The value of the CND is always that we are able to address new challenges. That we have a facts-based approach. That we are relevant because we can be there and interpret and convert the new challenges. In this basket, the darknet, the proliferation of NPS. For many of us, we were very concerned when we heard the statistics on the supply side coming from Afghanistan. I reiterate the words of Fedotov: this is not something that hits Afghanistan, it hits us all. We have a resolution on transit countries. This will have ripple effects all over and needs to be addressed in here. I remember the Paris Pact negotiations that we also held some time ago. We need to address the real issues.

CND Secretariat: As you know, the Secretariat is in the process of preparing the fourth biannual report on actions taken by member states to implement the Political Declaration and Plan of Action, for consideration by the 61st Session. We are in a process of preparing this report that many different parts of the UN got involved with. We will do all possible to finalise this report by the end of this week, to make an advance version available by Christmas. To explain a bit, this biannual report is a single report, in the sense that is based on responses of member states to parts 1 and 2 of the ARQs. Important to mention that this biannual report is to be read in conjunction with the 2 annual reports of the secretariat, as our Chair referred to already. (…) There’s another annual report on drug abuse, another one on drug trafficking. Just to make sure that there’s no expectation that the biannual report includes data on use and trafficking. When it comes to the biannual report, which focuses on the elements contained in the Plan of Action of 2009, I want to recall that we have reports prepared in 2012, ’14 and ’16. The methodology is the same to have continuity, consistency and comparability of data. Our colleagues who prepare it not only analyse the data for the last biennium but also progress, improvements, challenges since 2009. Brings me to the issue of coverage. In terms of the response rate, we are still at the same of the first three cycles, around 50% of members responded by the extended deadline. We see that across cycles, the Member States submitting are to a large extent the same. 90% have submitted their responses in at least 3 out of the 4 reporting cycles. Only 4% of Sub-Saharan countries are represented in this group. The representativeness of the conclusions is limited. Among the countries responding, a considerable number of questions are left partially or not responded. There are a number of areas where it is impossible to write representative conclusive. In terms of the contents: demand reduction, 90% of member states respond, and say that their strategy includes this pillar, covering prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, reintegration, prevent health and social consequences of rug use and monitoring and research, most entrust a central coordination body with the authority related to demand reduction (ministries of health, social affairs, education, law enforcement and justice). In the fourth cycle, we see a higher involvement of civil society. Around 1/3 of Member States say that their national demand reduction strategy remains underfunded. For Sub-Saharan Africa, that’s half of member states. Evidence based interventions for at risk groups are represented, but more than half concern limited evidence interventions (mass media and providing information). The availability of health services in prisons remains much lower than in community settings, particularly for pharmacological settings. Same applies for services on prevention, treatment and care of HIV and other infectious diseases. In the fourth reporting cycle, increase in the provision of ART and HIV testing and counselling, but also services for prevention, diagnosis, treatment of TB; also in prison settings. In terms of supply reduction. 80-85% have an approved written strategy. The monitoring og precursors remains at the core of these activities with almost all members states being engaged. It seems that in almost all member states, customs and national/federal police are in charge of supply reduction. Worth mentioning that on the basis of the reporting, the involvement of military has decreased in this cycle. We also see that the different types of anticorruption measures addressed to law enforcement seems to have become more common over time. Measures such as obligations to report suspected corruption, professional ethics training, external oversight, obligation to declare assets of staff. (…) Increased training on new challenges related to technology. In 2016, 53% of MS say the technical assistance received is sufficient. Still half of MS’ needs are not being met. For African countries 38%, Americas 1/3, Asia/Oceania 45%-60%. When it comes to alternative development, those reporting say they have a gender aspect. We see better reporting on environmental consequences and environmental sustainability. Regarding countering money laundering and promoting judicial cooperation, 95% responding MS report engaging activities to counter money laundering. Since 2009, many countries report that they have criminalised money laundering (a steady increase over the years). The number of countries reporting that their legislation did not allow for asset sharing agreements seems to have decreased. The number of countries reporting on having measures in place to seize assets has increased. Regarding international cooperation on criminal matters, some progress with regards to bilateral, regional, international agreements on extradition and related. But uneven across regions. Mostly in Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean. Most frequent reporting about multilateral arrangements at the regional and sub-regional levels. When it comes to practical difficulties such as slow formal procedures, lack of a common language, or inability to identify counterparts, we see a decrease in reporting on this practical difficulties section. In those areas, positive trends but still a lot of gaps.

Chair: This is preliminary data from all of us, but not all of us because unfortunately half of us haven’t reported. This is reporting that concerns documents before UNGASS. We might want to look into efforts of simplification because we want data on all countries. I open the floor to the discussion on how we move together, forward.

Estonia (on behalf of the European Union): The European Union and its Member States wish to thank you for organising this intersessional meeting in which we can share our views on preparations for the sixty-second session of the CND in 2019. The EU and its Member States acknowledge the steps made with the three UN documents adopted in the past decade: the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action, the 2014 Ministerial Statement and 2016 UNGASS outcome document. We wish to continue developing the drug policies and work towards and beyond 2019 in implementing UNGASS outcome document and its operational recommendations. We know that since 2009 policies, practice and knowledge have evolved. The EU and its Member States believe that, building on the Political Declaration and Plan of Action of 2009 and the Joint Ministerial Statement of 2014, the outcome document of the special session of the General Assembly of 2016 outlines the most recent situation and developments of the world drug problem and represents the latest new global consensus in drug policies. As enshrined in the EU Drugs Strategy, we recognise the need for a comprehensive, balanced and evidence-based approach to drug policy. Therefore we strongly support the implementation of the UNGASS outcome document and specific instruments for its implementation in order to strengthen public health and human rights dimension of the world drugs problem, which globally should receive at least the same attention and commitment than the remaining elements of the global drug policy, as for instance the law enforcement side. The previous intersessional meetings, focusing on the seven chapters of the UNGASS outcome document, allowed us to see the progress made under these topics. The best practices shared showed a wide variety of policy solutions to an equally varied array of problems and national/regional situations. The UNGASS outcome document structure gives us an opportunity to discuss all these complementary and mutually reinforcing dimensions. In that light, the priority for the EU and its Member States as regards the ministerial segment of the 2019 CND session is the implementation of the recommendations outlined in the UNGASS outcome document. When it comes to conducting a review of the progress made in addressing the world drug problem, we support an assessment which would be objective, scientific and evidence-based. The EU and its Member States find UNODC to be best placed to conduct such assessment, supported by other UN agencies and relevant regional and international organisations to make the best possible use of existing sources of information, like other review schemes, including regional mechanisms, and does not impose additional burden for Member States and their practitioners. The EU and its Member States welcome the work commenced to improve drug-related statistics.When collecting only relevant and reliable drug statistics we can be sure of providing the right response to the world drug phenomenon. Therefore, we need to ensure that future work towards and beyond 2019 will lay groundwork in identifying gaps in the current drug statistics and explore possibilities to strengthen existing data collection and analysis tools at the international and national level. All possibilities to strengthen and streamline existing data-collection and analysis tools, including improving the quality and effectiveness of the annual report questionnaire, should be analysed in this process. The EU and its Member States see two important directions in which this work should proceed: first, streamlining and simplifying the annual report questionnaire so as to increase the response rate, second, including new questions related to the lacking UNGASS indicators reflecting this renewed UN approach to the world drug problem, for example on new psychoactive substances or alternatives to coercive sanctions. Last but not least, the efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to effectively address and counter the world drug problem are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Therefore the EU seeks to further strengthen the link between the UNGASS recommendations and drug-related Sustainable Development Goals. Madam Chair, Mr Facilitator, the EU and its Member States consider the UNGASS outcome document to be the pivotal document in the field of drugs representing the latest renewed consensus. Encompassing the relevant aspects of the previous agreements, the UNGASS outcome document shows the way forward to 2019 and beyond. Therefore, efforts in view of the ministerial segment of the 62nd session of the CND should be focused on implementing commitments made during the UNGASS in 2016. We should not negotiate a new political document. We also believe that any review to be conducted should be cost-effective and transparent. It must include all relevant UN agencies and involve civil society and scientific community.

United Kingdom: We thank the Chair for the first draft of her elements paper on the process for 2019. We align with the statement from the EU. The Ministerial Segment of the 62nd session of CND will be an important milestone to review progress and continue to build. We recognise the efforts taken by the global community to address the world drug problem in line with the 2009 Political Declaration. The UNGASS document builds upon this consensus and it is crucial, in the lead up to 2019 and beyond, that we continue to monitor progress against this UNGASS document and capture the balanced approaches taken by member states. In this spirit, the Commission’s work for 2019 should continue to be based on the UNGASS framework. We should avoid adding budgetary pressures to UNODC and should use existing reporting mechanisms. The agreement for 2019 should be forward looking and implement the UNGASS. We support efforts to improve the quality of the ARQs and are pleased to see that this will be discussed at the expert group meeting planned for January. We are keen that civil society and academia continue to be involved in the CND and the 2019 Ministerial Segment. The UNGASS document is pivotal, and we do not believe that a new document is needed. Efforts should be focused on implementing this document and aligning to the drug-related SDGs.

United States: We appreciate the productive discussions in the CND intersessional meetings so far. The US supports the call in Resolution 60/1 for a two-day Ministerial Segment in 2019. We encourage member states to remain steadfast in their commitments to the 2016 UNGASS document. We support a 2019 meeting focused on practical implementation of the 2016 recommendations, as these represent the most recent agreements made by the international community. We are prioritising the following areas: tackling the emergence of new psychoactive substances – including fentanyl and its analogues – by adding them to the international control regime; the use of PENS and other platforms to identify high-risk shipments, but these are only as good as the data inputted into them; raising awareness of the effectiveness of drug treatment and the international standards on treatment and prevention; stemming the flow of illicit crops – including coca and opium poppy – and disrupting the supply via the internet and mail. We believe the process should acknowledge the important work being done in Vienna and by other UN agencies in responding to the world drug report. It is important to emphasise CND’s leading role, and to highlight the role of civil society. We hope that the 2019 meeting will see broad participation, such participation will foster more in-depth discussion and will allow policies to be more easily translated at the national level. We urge broader participation of member states in the 2019 meeting and the UNODC workshops on practical implementation. Civil society have much to contribute, and offer a diverse perspective of efforts outside of the public sector – and we look forward to including them in the 2019 meeting in line with the ECOSOC rules. We look forward to solidifying these processes at the 61st session in 2018.

Israel: The UNGASS outcome document provides the international community with the tools to tackle the world drug problem, share best practices and opportunities. Looking forward, we want to share some of our efforts of implementation – which reflect our priorities and the future work that needs to be done. Israel is concerned with the impact of drugs in younger generations, and implement programmes that strive to keep the use safe. This starts as young as kindergarten with life skills programmes, and the integration of parents and significant adults. We provide vocational rehabilitation as a key part of the demand reduction strategies for youth. Youth do not tend to seek services, so we must reach them and provide safe alternatives. We are promoting legislation to include recovery services under national health insurance law. Support is given to patients receiving OST, such as allowing them to use vocational courses and find friendly employers. A new programme seeks to rehabilitate convicted offenders. Israel passed legislation to combat new psychoactive substances in 2013, and dozens of substances were placed under temporary control and then under permanent control. We have not seen many new substances entering the market, and prevalence of use remains low. We support efforts to streamline data collection through the ARQs, and welcome the expert group meeting in early 2018. International cooperation is essential, and is an opportunity to share our evidence-based practices and experiences.

Guatemala: Thank you for the transparency in the discussions on the elements paper, and we are positive about this initial exchange of opinions on what we want and expect for 2019. In the coming months, we need to make a decision at CND on the path to follow. It is clear that the debates before and after UNGASS reflect emerging challenges and progress. We agree with points 1 to 3 of the elements paper, but we need more clarity on what we mean by implementation – this is the problem when agreeing a document and then reviewing implementation ten years later. Regarding resolution 60/1, two points need to be reinforced: UN system-wide coherence, and the link with the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. We need to strengthen data collection through the ARQs, and the expert meeting in January will deal with this. Paragraph 8 talks about a one-track reporting system, but we need to look at this in more depth and see what the changes are. We support the continued implementation of the seven UNGASS chapters, but we could find ways to speak on specific topics such as gender to make these meetings more practical. We need to examine the pros and cons of different formats, and the option of parallel and more interactive formats based on those used elsewhere in other areas and by civil society. Technical assistance needs to be included. Rather than formats, we need to decide whether it should be a declaration or a statement, and there are decisions that member states need to make. A Chair’s Summary is not enough of a mandate for this. It could be both. But we agree with most of the points agreed in this section, and thank the CND Chair for her efforts. We welcome the Ambassador of Mexico as the incoming Chair.

Singapore: Thank you Mme Chair for conducting consultations in a transparent manner. The process should reflect consultations. A short and clear format should be drafted to engage member states in a constructive manner. There is no need to negotiate a new political document in 2019. The focus should be on review and implementation of existing policy documents. My delegation wants to highlight our views on what could be strengthened in the current paper: we need to allocate space for the 2009, 2014 and 2016 documents. 2009 set out the review year of 2019. Second, in our effort to review the ARQs, data collection should remain precise and focused, and not place a new burden, especially for developing countries. There should be technical assistance on the new ARQ. The issue of the low response rate was highlighted by the CND Chair and the CND Secretariat. Third, the implementation of the UNGASS outcome document serves to implement OP36 of the 2009 Political Declaration. We should focus on needs and priorities of member states. This requires further discussion. We can benefit from discussion on provision of high quality data and the streamlining of the political declaration through the ARQ. Finally, the 3 conventions are a good basis for discussion. With regard to the civil society hearing a day before the segment, we also need to discuss this. My delegation thanks you in carrying out consultations and drafting this paper.

Chile: We commend the valuable work for conducting this session of the CND. Your performance has contributed to a friendly atmosphere which we hope will guide the forthcoming presidency by Mexico. We recognise the validity and relevance of the 2009, 2014 documents, while recognising the balanced approach of the 2016 UNGASS outcome document. So we cannot agree that the document emerging from UNGASS should afford a higher rank from 2009 and 2014. Such an interpretation enjoys no justification in the documentation negotiated and agreed during UNGASS. Different realities and proposals coexist. One cannot propose to be ignorant of these realities because they are different from their own. The challenges in tackling the world drug problem means we need to find an integrated approach to blend these different approaches. It is essential to improve the quality and quantity of the statistical information produced by UNODC so that we can adopt positions based on scientific evidence. The chair’s document should be brief, precise and focused on the 2030 agenda on the SDGs. We should use a multilateral framework under the principle of shared responsibility.

Czech Republic: We support the UNGASS outcome document and its focus on health and human rights. Given that the UNGASS outcome document represents an important progress, we do not believe we need a new political document, but we wish to focus on UNGASS implementation. We support the wider role and cooperation of UN agencies such as WHO and other agencies responsible for human rights, poverty, or infectious diseases. Civil society should also be able to participate. CND should support active participation and influence of relevant UN agencies, such as the OHCHR or WHO. On WHO’s role in drug policy, we support efforts for better collaboration with the MoU and enhanced coherence in delivering better together at national, regional and global levels. They both have mandates in drug use and dependence. They have complementary roles. CND remains the main policymaking body on drug matters, but close coordination with other UN agencies is critical. We need to cooperate with NGOs which has been among our priorities. We sponsored a resolution on civil society participation in 2011. We welcome their important role in addressing the world drug problem and know that these organisations should play a participatory role. They are in touch with drug users and have good practice. They should be involved during the whole negotiation. The participation of UN agencies and civil society in the process is a welcome development. Thank you.

Iran: I thank the CND secretariat. The 2009, 2014 and 2016 documents collectively and without competing and based on complementarity and reinforcement is conducive to make a comprehensive political framework to guide 2019. The targets of OP36 in the 2009 political declaration are still relevant. There is no need to negotiate a new political declaration. Procedurally the review should be member state driven. Along the same lines, CND intersessionals should focus on UNGASS implementation but also the 2009 Political Declaration. Concerning the ministerial meeting, the 2019 meeting should be conducted around the 2009 Political Declaration. The participation of civil society and the hearing is not appropriate. We look forward to a short document in the form of a CND resolution capturing: 1- the results of a comprehensive review of the implementation of the 2009 document; 2- a reaffirmation of commitments included in the 3 documents of 2009, 2014 and 2016; 3- follow up activities; 4- a 10-year timeline; 5- a reaffirmation of the role of CND; 6- means of implementation, technical assistance and financial resources. We reiterate our firm commitment in reaching a consensus based agreement on the way forward.

Colombia: We are facing the great responsibility, which implies for this Commission, to prepare the Ministerial Segment of 2019, which should take stock of current commitments to address drug-related problems and define the course of global policies as of that date. With the aim of contributing to a serious and frank debate I will state the position and proposals of Colombia. For the debate we have three documents. First, the Political Declaration of 2009 with its Action Plan, product of the evaluation that this Commission made of the commitments acquired ten years before, in the 1998 UNGASS. The 2009 Political Declaration reiterated the goals of 1998, which were not fulfilled.

Secondly, the 2014 Joint Ministerial Declaration that resulted from the High Level Review that this Commission made on the Political Declaration of 2009. In that Declaration, the States recognized that 15 years after the UNGASS 98, despite the efforts and some achievements, the drug problem continued to be – as it is today – a serious threat to the health, safety and well-being of all humanity; that undermines sustainable development, political stability and democratic institutions, including efforts to eradicate poverty. Likewise, the Ministerial Declaration expresses deep concern about the high price paid by society, recognizes that many of the problems persist and that new difficulties have arisen. It should be recalled that the review of the Ministerial Declaration enshrined the commitment of the States to strengthen their efforts and comply with the goals of the Political Declaration reiterating those of 1998.

Thirdly, we have the 2016 UNGASS Outcome Document that differs from the previous two in several substantive aspects, including the structure that increases the pillars of drug policies from three to seven, which expands in an important way, the possibilities to take into account a reality that is very different and much more complex than that of 1998 and 2009.

Although the three documents are complementary and reinforce each other in relation to the fight against supply and illicit economies, they are not related to fundamental issues such as: broadening the public health approach; the incorporation of a specific chapter on respect for human rights; the recognition of new and changing challenges; flexible interpretation of the Drug Conventions and autonomy for national policies; the deepening of the concept of alternative development to frame it in sustainable development; and technical cooperation aimed at a comprehensive and balanced development in order to address the causes and consequences of illicit crops, production and trafficking, addressing the risk factors that affect individuals and communities, among others.

Given these deep differences between the three documents for Colombia, it is clear that the international community cannot go backwards, and it is not possible to merge the recent 2016 UNGASS Document with the 2009 Political Declaration or with the revision document issued in 2014. The 2016 UNGASS did not solve all of the predominating and serious problems that the repressive and undifferentiated approach have; for example, consumption was not decriminalized, which is essential for a people-centered approach. There was also no agreement on the elimination of the death penalty for non-violent crimes related to drugs, which is essential in terms of respect for human rights. However, we highly value the 2016 UNGASS Outcome Document because it enshrines the most recent global consensus and advances in the direction of humanizing the approach to illicit drugs that is why it constitutes, without a doubt, the underlying basis for the formulation, monitoring and evaluation of policies as of 2019.

In light of this, the preparatory process for the Ministerial Segment of 2019 should be oriented, first, to evaluate the results of the Political Declaration and its Action Plan, with special emphasis on the targets set forth in Article 36. The balance should be transparent, honest, participatory and evidence-based in such a way that we can learn from both the achievements and the shortcomings that will work for a positive implementation of the 2016 UNGASS.

For an efficient preparation of the Ministerial Segment of 2019, we propose that in his fourth Report on the Political Declaration and its Plan of Action, the Executive Director of the UNODC should carry out a general and final balance of its implementation. The final report of the UNODC should be complemented with the respective balance reports of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and the relevant UN Specialized Agencies, especially the World Health Organization (WHO), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UN-Women and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Similarly, we consider it important to count on contributions from Civil Society organizations, the Academy and regional intergovernmental organizations.

For the discussion of the Balance Documents of the Political Declaration and its Plan of Action, we propose that this Commission includes the topic in the Agenda of the 62nd Session, in March 2018. The final balance, with all the aforementioned inputs, should lead us to a serious and honest discussion based on the evidence, including the available figures showing the successes and also the failures in the formulation, implementation and follow-up of the Political Declaration and its Plan of Action. Once the final balance of the Political Declaration and its Plan of Action has been carried out in March, we consider that the preparatory process for the Ministerial segment should focus on agreeing on the development of a 2016 UNGASS Operational Plan that will transform the 103 operational recommendations in a document that can be subject of monitoring and evaluation of its seven thematic areas. Undoubtedly, in order to fulfil this purpose, it is pertinent and enriching for this Commission to ask the Secretary General of the Organization for his participation in order to promote greater coherence of the United Nations System in actions to address the world drug problem and for the definition of conducive mechanisms where the General Assembly stays abreast of the process for the final review of the Political Declaration and of the 2016 UNGASS implementation.

Finally, I would like to emphasize that the application of the UNGASS operational recommendations requires the identification of gaps in current statistics and the qualification of data collection and analysis processes. This task, which has already been undertaken by the UNODC, requires a continuous work plan, in partnership with the Statistical Commission, which we hope will be discussed at the meeting that fortunately has been convened for next January.

Malaysia: We join others in thanking you for the background paper as the basis for facilitating these discussions. We welcome your consultations in an open, transparent and inclusive manner. While we observe the positive language of the resolution on the 62nd resolution, these elements are part of pre-existing language. Cherry picking of language could lead to misunderstanding. We view that the background paper should take into account the views expressed by all member states. On para 1: we view that the language in OP1 in Resolution 60/1 should be fully expressed, on the complementary basis of the 2009, 2014 and 2016 documents. On para 2, we recognise the role of CND on drug related matters. In relation to other UN entities, we prefer that the preferred language of OP8 of resolution 60/1 and resolution 60/6 be used here to show support for UNODC and CND as the leading entities in addressing the world drug problem. On para 3, hearings and consultations should continue to be pursued in a balanced and transparent manner. The sharing of experiences should continue. On para 4, we agree that new policy documents are required, but we should focus on equal priority of the three key documents of 2009, 2014 and 2016 for a realistic outcome. On para 5, we look forward to receiving the annual report of the UNODC EC on the implementation of the 2009 political declaration. On para 6, we agree in identifying new changes, challenges and gaps based on available resources. We also take note of the term ‘pragmatic’, as there is no one size fits all approach. Pragmatic or fact-based approaches should be considered taking into account the interests of all member states. On para 7: the ARQ is an important tool for UNODC to consider the world drug problem. Improving quality and effectiveness of ARQ does not respond to the challenges of developing countries in providing data. We are not in favour of review, we are in favour of providing technical assistance and capacity building to countries on how to report on the current ARQ. We must have a single understanding on reporting to facilitate the CND work. On para 9: we recognise the target of OP36 of the 2009 Political Declaration. Para 10: we are not in favour of organising CND meetings on the 7 thematic chapters of UNGASS. On para 12: we note the contributions of civil society through sharing of experiences and best practices. In line with other practices at the UN, a standalone meeting with civil society is not necessary. On para 13: we support a joint ministerial statement or a CND resolution as long as it is a balanced text. On para 14: we should have a good representation of views of states in addressing gaps and new challenges. We should reaffirm our commitments with equal attention given to all three documents, highlighting progress. We should highlight the goal of a society free from drug abuse and improving the response rate of ARQs. We hope our views will be taken into account for the organisation of the 2019 event.

Norway: Thank you. I thank the UNODC for the informative presentation. The UNGASS outcome document, based on lessons learned from the 2009 and 2014 documents, points to actions to be taken. It covers all thematic aspects and represents the most recent global consensus. Furthermore, it welcomes the SDGs as complementary and mutually reinforcing. These processes go in parallel and are important in assessing the negative effects caused by drug policies. We also seek to understand how to improve our policies and have learned that a health approach does not result in increased use. Efforts are complementary to abstinence. Now focusing on the way forward: the aim is to advance the health and welfare of mankind, addressing social and health problems related to drugs. On how to reach these goals, the UNGASS outcome document is a turning point to tackling the world drug problem. It is now time for action, implementation and monitoring. We need new metrics and indicators to assess progress. It is timely to review the ARQ so that we can capture data relevant to the commitments agreed in NY and at the SDGs. We also should reflect on existing targets and lessons learned, and setting more realistic and achievable goals. We look forward to the expert consultation on statistics and the ARQ in January. The ARQ should reflect the UNGASS outcome document and increase the response rate. I also want to draw your attention to the background document and resolution 60/1. We need to ensure progress.

Peru: Thank you. My delegation wants to thank you and the facilitator and the secretariat for your tireless efforts throughout this year of work. We are especially grateful for this work on the future and way forward for the consultations you held with the regional groups. I want to say how relevant your presentation on the background document is. On this document, I want to refer to a few elements here. We would like to underscore the value of my delegation to the document, as well as the 2009 and 2014 document. We want to reaffirm the validity of these two documents as well. We appreciate that this was acknowledged in the background document and the complementary of the UNGASS outcome document. We also appreciate the reaffirmation of the principle role of the CND and agree that coordination with other UN bodies is important. We believe that there is no need to negotiate a new policy document and above all, we deem it important that in the run up to 2019 we should take into account the real efforts made since 2009 and how the political declaration has been implemented, especially in terms of where the gaps are and how we can improve on them. This is the only way we can define where and how we will progress. We attach importance to data collection to contribute to the evaluation. Peru is open to continue talking about improvements to the ARQ and the single reporting system. In terms of the intersessionals, we consider that we need to assess the regularity of the intersessionals so that states can have enough time to present specific actions which will be relevant for sharing and for us to consider comprehensive issues, not necessarily as part of UNGASS but also in the 2009 political declaration as well. On the ministerial roundtables, we should continue talking about these to define how they will take place based on the subjects we deem worthy of stressing. Now on a final CND document in 2019, we agree with the chair’s summary that it should be objective and balanced instead of a ministerial declaration. This should be accompanied with a CND resolution on procedures to follow in the future with a mid-term review. Thank you for your efforts and congratulations. We will continue to cooperate constructively on this subject.

Netherlands: Thank you for the open and transparent process and your background paper which provides a starting point for future discussions. We align with the EU statement. I highlight some key issues for the Netherlands on the post-UNGASS process, our work for 2019 and beyond. We highly value evidence based policy making. We need to know before we act. So we should have a good data collection tool, and capacity to respond to it on the current state of affair of the world drug problem. Resolution 60/1 is a good basis for this. We should adapt the ARQ to make it more relevant, simplify it to ensure better response rates. Only after a full assessment of the situation can we think of other plans to address the world drug problem. The 2019 event comes at a right time and this should be streamlined at the event. UNGASS is the leading document globally. All parts of the 2009 political that we consider as work in progress are reflected in the UNAGSS outcome document. So we should choose this document for progress. We should not focus on lengthy new negotiations.

Mexico: My country grants importance to these intersessionals to identify good practice and lessons learned on the instrumentation of the UNGASS outcome document. We thank the CND chair and Post-UNGASS Facilitator for organising these meetings. The debates should be a constant work of the CND. We reaffirm our commitment to this way of conducting these multilateral discussions. The pivotal role of CND has been given renewed impetus thanks to joint efforts from specialised UN agencies. We should give priority to coherence and cross-cutting elements, and CND should not remain in the outskirts of this. We reiterate the relevance of the omnibus resolution on drugs to keep paying attention to the work of CND at the UN General Assembly. Mexico is observing how to consolidate the 7 chapters of the UNGASS through the multiple efforts of national and regional instrumentation. Mexico believes we should extend our dialogue on experience and innovative methods for each country based on their realities. Progress made together in acknowledging the importance of aligning our work with the SDGs and a gender perspective in drug policies in pursuit of comprehensive prevention and comprehensive actions are key for Mexico. We support the document circulated by the chair after effective work, as this is a valuable contribution to feeding into the discussions on 2019.

Russia: I am grateful for your efforts for the 2019 session of the CND and ministerial segment. We align with resolution 60/1 which recognises that the 2009, 2014 and 2016 documents are complementary and mutually reinforcing. This should guide the work of the CND for 2019 and beyond. The UNGASS OD is the political arm of the 2009 Political Declaration, and does not replace or compete with it. We continue to promote a society free of drug abuse, reaffirmed at UNGASS. Some delegations think 2019 will review the UNGASS outcome document. This is not the case. The 2019 review is about the 2009 political declaration – we should not forget our target of 2019. We should have a broad range of tools. We should follow up implementation of all documents, not only the operational recommendations of the UNGASS. The targets ad goals of para 36 of the political declaration continue to be relevant. There is no need for a new political declaration. We have serious doubts about positive results on reaching consensus. The ministerial segment should focus on discussions among foreign ministers around international cooperation. We propose an option of a chair summary with a concise CND resolution incorporated in the summary. The resolution may contain one para only reaffirming the new target date for the implementation of the 2009 political declaration. In resolution 60/1, we reflected on possibilities of updating reporting mechanisms, but the results should be presented at the 62nd session of the CND for assessment. Efforts to achieve the SDGs and address the world drug problem are complementary but we believe it wouldn’t be correct to counter the world drug problem just from the perspective of the SDGs which don’t include anything on supply reduction. A comprehensive and balanced approach should remain.

Uruguay: Thank you for the background paper and all the work done in a transparent and professional way. On the elements document for the way forward, I want to make the following comment: UNGASS is not only the most recent international consensus. It is a milestone in the way the international community seeks to address the world drug problem. For 2019 we should seek active participation of other UN agencies and CSOs. The transparent, inclusive and comprehensive way CND is performing its work should be protected and maintained. We should assess and reflect on progress and shortcomings over the past 10 years. This was one of the elements we could not achieve at UNGASS. There should be an honest review process to make the way forward more realistic. We should improve data collection through the ARQ. We recall that we also wanted a short document at UNGASS. So it would be more appropriate to have a chair’s summary on deliberations with an operational document with a timeline for implementation.

Egypt: Thank you for all your efforts in preparing the last rounds of CND intersessionals, bearing in mind the importance of exploring possibilities for the way forward for 2019. We stress the leading role of the CND on UN matters. We also stress the following points: we believe that the 2009, 2014 and 2016 documents are complementary and mutually reinforcing, as agreed in resolution 60/1. It’s important we highlight the relevance of the political declaration on the continuing basis for the world drug problem. It does not only include our objectives, but also our political commitment to the whole process, which was derivative of the other two documents in this matter. So the 2009 political document remains a cornerstone. There is no contradiction in prioritisation. The UNGASS outcome document provides operational recommendations, while the 2009 document provides an umbrella for the implementation. We want to raise two political details. First, identify the gaps in achieving the targets of the 2009 political declaration beyond 2019. We call on the secretariat of what has been achieved and what still needs to be achieved. Focus should be given to increasing the response rate of the current ARQ. Secondly, we need to create a new roadmap beyond 2020 to keep the political commitments and focus on the world drug problem, keeping in mind the timeline we had established in 2009. Any further discussions should focus on complementarity of the three documents. We also don’t believe there is an urgent need to work on a new document for 2019 – as long as we keep harmony in the 3 documents we have. I hope we can find the way forward in this matter.

Argentina: Thank you for convening the meeting, it is a pleasure to see the Ambassador of Portugal here too. At this advanced staged of this morning’s debate, many things have been said and reveal a convergence on some of the central aspects of the task ahead of us on next year’s CND meeting and the 2019 evaluation. The orientation of the debates you have organised with the elements document is useful. I think that we are seeing an emergence of the idea that there is no huge appetite to reconstruct or deconstruct past consensus or ambitious programmatic document. We are seeing that there is a respect for the comprehensive programme framework which includes the UNGASS outcome document, focusing on results and achievements rather than working on a conceptual plan. This should be further consolidated during the next session. I am pleased to see the Mexican Ambassador taking the baton from you to guide us next year. In your elements document, there are important points which are in line with the practical vision Argentina wants. For example, improvements or refinements in the reporting system. This is an idea that could be pursued with perseverance to make some improvements. A single reporting system is a good idea but we would need more details on how this would be implemented. It is also important to have a high level ministerial segment without any laborious work on negotiations of a high level document, but we should have good representation from our countries to discuss the world drug problem. Thank you for your contribution, we will continue to work with you until the end of your term.

CND Chair: I want to give NGOs the opportunity to speak. We will see if we continue after lunch or not.

Canada: Thank you for your work as chair of the CND and leading the discussion on the UNGASS. We are committed to the implementation of the 2016 UNGASS outcome document and the 2014 JMS. We welcome the preparatory process for the ministerial segment in 2019. We want to see a review of progress made since the 2009 political declaration. We are not in favour of a new document, the UNAGSS is our consensus, it was a milestone and represents the most recent and comprehensive international consensus. It should focus solely on implementing the 7 thematic chapters. They are balanced and comprehensive, focusing on gender, human rights and health. We oppose the renewing of the 2009 targets. UNGASS is the overarching document leading on international efforts.

El Salvador: We thank you for your work in the consultations with regional groups and work undertaken in these intersessionals, which have enabled us to work on UNGASS and the 2009 and 2014 documents. We appreciate the efforts to cover the most important aspects in the background paper for preparations to the 2019 high level meeting. First, we have no objection to including a segment of the UNGASS recommendations in the post 2019 report system. We have already included this in the drug policy in our country, as reflected in our drug strategy. But this should be undertaken within existing resources and national capacity. Second, we have established the importance of civil society engagement in all fields. We agree with including a civil society segment prior to the 2019 meeting. We encourage this to be a forum for constructive proposals and the pursuit of synergies with the public sector. We consider that we do not need a new document. The challenge is to reconcile the implementation of existing documents and resources associated with that.

Australia: Thank you both and the CND secretariat for organising this intersessional meeting. We recognise the efforts of member states in pursuing the recommendations of the UNGASS alongside the 2009 political declaration. These documents are complementary although the UNGASS outcome document is a milestone and most recent consensus. We recognise the role of WHO, UNODC, INCB and others in implementing UNGASS. We remain supportive of resolution 60/1. We support the existing governance structures and will support CND for the 2019 review. It is an opportunity to also review human rights and development issues. We are aware of the efforts of member states in implementing the UNGASS outcome document and seek cooperation in pursuing our efforts. We continue cooperation in a balanced, humane and evidence-based way.

Ecuador: We thank you and the facilitator and the secretariat. We highlight the work you’ve performed with regional groups. The UNGASS is an important milestone. For our country, the outcome document should be the basis of the future. There is no need to negotiate a new document. We welcome the Mexican Ambassador as the future chair of CND.

China: We are of the view that the 2009 political declaration, 2014 JMS and 2016 UNGASS outcome document are mutually reinforcing and complementary, as reflected in resolution 60/1. We should pay equal attention to all documents, as opposed to outing anyone of them. We should not prioritise these documents according to their timeline. We support the CND’s leading role in implementing drug policies. We welcome other UN entities’ participation. But this should not weaken or dilute the role or responsibility of the CND. We support UNODC, INCB and other organisations, and their role in countering the world drug problem. We want to step up collaboration with these organisations. On the ARQ, we should increase the response rate, while not imposing additional burdens to developing countries. They should not be made more complicated. There is no need for a new political document in 2019. We should focus on existing documents and the implementation of the 3 drug control conventions.

Brazil: Thank you for all your efforts and the way you have contributed to these efforts which have led us to good results. We agree on the convergence which is now in the room. We have a sound basis, with resolution 60/1. We agree there is no point in revisiting this. We are satisfied that the commitments are complementary for the post 2019 efforts. This is why we feel there is no need for a new political document. On the basis of your work and the elements paper, a mixed option would be the best with a chair summary and a resolution focusing on procedure for follow up with a timeline, the question of the ARQ and the review process, and following up on implementation of all the commitments. Indicators are fundamental. Scientific evidence should be the basis of the discussions post-2019. A one approach to data collection seems like a good idea. We hope the meeting in January will be useful. Finally, aligning this follow up process with the follow up of the SDGs seems like a positive step. Thank you.

Algeria: Thank you for your concern to mark the process of preparing a document which reflects the positions of member states in an inclusive and transparent approach for 2019. We thank the secretariat for the details and information this morning. I restate our conviction regarding the complementarity of the 2009, 2014 and 2016 documents. Our country is committed to implementing all these documents. But the 2009 political declaration remains essential and topical. Para 36 prompts us to conduct an evaluation to lay out the path beyond 2019. This will provide information to understand the gaps. Negotiating a new political declaration is not necessary or advisable.

Costa Rica: Thank you for all your work and negotiating skills. We are grateful for your elements document which will be useful to guide the discussions. We understand you’re seeking to identify common ground. In this context, Costa Rica welcomes the most recent agreement reached at the UNGASS session. The guidelines allow us to demystify drug dependency and how to address the world drug problem. These small steps are vital for strategies that are consistent with international law and the 2030 agenda for development. We highlight prevention and treatment, as well as health related issues, human rights approaches, scientific evidence as a pillar which should be improved. We recognise the complementary nature of the 2009 and 2016 documents. We need to focus on implementation, not a new negotiation. We should focus on health, human rights and law enforcement. We should be guided in our work by the need to carry out periodic reviews. We think it’s important to negotiate knowledge and generate inputs from civil society which are essential. Finally, on the outcome of the session, we share the view that we should have an operational resolution with a chair’s summary.

Morocco:  The UNGASS outcome document is the latest existing consensus. There is no need to issue a new document.

South Africa: Thank you for your work and the regional consultations. I thank the secretariat for providing information on forthcoming events. We reiterate a few points we have said in the past: safeguard the 2009 political declaration and its objectives. We see that more needs to be done to clarify many questions from the elements paper. But we must understand how to move forward between now and March 2019 to get these clarifications. Could you please give us an indication of when you are going to close the elements paper? At CND 2018 or is there any other platform for member states to continue deliberations on these questions?

CND Chair: Let me respond to this. The elements paper is not a negotiated paper, it is how the chair sees a middle ground. It is my intention now to build on the excellent interventions I have heard today. I will now send this paper to all of you in a way that is helpful, including clarifying some of the questions and points which have been made here. Some points need to be clarified further in dialogue and consultations/negotiations between all of you. It is now my pleasure to give the floor to the VNGOC.

Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs: I would like to begin by thanking the Chair together with the Facilitator and the Secretariat for your eminent work to include civil society in the follow up on UNGASS and the implementation of the Outcome document. For many of our member organisations, especially from the global south, this has been an invaluable opportunity to share expertise and practices, both successful and unsuccessful, addressing existing and new challenges related to the prevention, treatment, harm reduction and recovery.

When we now are looking forward to the ‘Ministerial Segment’ meeting in 2019, and the review of progress made against the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action, we welcome the proposal from the Chair to incorporate a Civil Society Hearing. To make this event as constructive as possible, we would like to stress the importance of having civil society consultations and inputs during the whole preparation process, and not just on this one day. One possible way to achieve this is to arrange another consultation during September-October 2018 where shadow reports from civil society can be discussed.

To be prepared for this, the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs believes that promoting a culture of respectful and constructive engagement within the civil society community, as well as with other stakeholders. VNGOC can help identify what works and what can be improved in order to optimally respond to realities on the ground. We are also uniquely placed to identify the common ground that is held within a diverse civil society sector. It is our belief that such a culture of mutual respect constitutes the basis for sustainable responses to drug-related problems.

On the practical level, the VNGOC is already working alongside the New York NGO Committee to reorganise the Civil Society Task Force to mobilise voices from all over the globe for 2018 and 2019. The challenge here is funding, where the Member States must feel responsibility. Without special funding, the representation of civil society will be limited to a few representatives who can engage here in Vienna, mainly groups from the global north. This would be a missed opportunity for us all.

To conclude, the VNGOC remains committed to a respectful and constructive dialogue with all stakeholders, from grassroots communities to UN Missions. It is our belief that such dialogue will go a long way to ensure effective implementation of international drug policy commitments, Agenda 2030 goals and targets, and, most importantly, achieving meaningful and lasting change in our communities.

International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC): Thank you for the opportunity to address the CND today as part of this discussion on ‘the way forward’. I am making this statement on behalf of the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC). IDPC is a global network that promotes drug policies that are based on human rights, human security, social inclusion and public health. Firstly, we would like to join other civil society colleagues in thanking the CND Chair, the UNGASS facilitator and the CND Secretariat for supporting the prominent inclusion of civil society perspectives in the thematic intersessionals on UNGASS follow-up. Civil society representatives from all over the world have been able share perspectives and experiences with member states, and further enrich and contextualise these important discussions on implementing the UNGASS recommendations.

We would like to take this opportunity to give a few short reflections on the process for 2019 when member states will “take stock of the implementation of the commitments made to jointly address and counter the world drug problem, in particular in light of the 2019 target date”. The 2019 moment is an important opportunity to build on and consolidate the progress made in the UNGASS Outcome Document. It is also a critical moment to honestly assess the progress made since 2009, as well as acknowledge the failures of global drug control and its negative impacts upon health, human security, human rights and development. This honest evaluation did not take place in 2014 (the mid-term review) or at the UNGASS in 2016. A genuine, transparent, scientific and inclusive review process ahead of 2019 will allow member states to reflect on the ongoing validity, and utility, of targets focused on the elimination of the drug market and the establishment of a society free of drug abuse.

The UNGASS outcome document, representing the most recent global consensus on drugs, provides a strong framework based on its forward-looking 7-theme structure for elaborating much more meaningful and measurable targets on progress – such as towards achieving universal access to controlled medicines, reducing the prevalence of HIV and Hepatitis C infections among people who inject drugs, reducing poverty (as a socio-economic determinant of engagement in the illicit drug market) and reducing over-incarceration – to name a few. There is also much to be gained from reviewing data-collection efforts, current metrics and indicators, as well as the “quality and effectiveness” of the ARQ in light of the UNGASS recommendations, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.

The process of review, and of reflection, ahead of agreeing an outcome for the ‘ministerial segment’, should be open and inclusive, involving all relevant UN entities, civil society, academia and affected populations. The strong engagement of other relevant UN agencies in the post-UNGASS intersessionals is very much welcomed – giving both a different perspective as well as offering their technical expertise on key issues relating to their mandates. The CND should continue to encourage and formalise their participation in the upcoming review process. The active participation of all Member States should also be strongly encouraged, in order to “foster an in-depth exchange of information and expertise on efforts, achievements, challenges and best practices” with respect to drug policy.

Finally, in terms of civil society participation, we welcome the suggestion for a civil society hearing ahead of the ministerial segment. We highlight that meaningful civil society participation will require opportunities to provide input to the review process as well towards the recommendations for beyond 2019 in addition to the proposed hearing. Civil society participation in the UNGASS process was very encouraging and now provides an important benchmark as we move forward. Thank you for your consideration, and your continued commitment to the meaningful participation of civil society.

Ann Fordham (IDPC).

CND Chair: I now revert back to the question from Iran on statistics. The report is coming out in a few weeks. There might be changes, this is a draft. But we are happy to share the headlines and I will work on that together with the CND Secretariat. I also want to take the closing of this round of intersessionals and post-UNGASS follow up to thank the Post-UNAGASS Facilitator. You have been a tremendous help for the chair and for so many days you have guided our work in an excellent manner. It has been a pleasure and hope to see you here very soon again. I thank all member states and civil society, as well as other organisations which have been here, in particular WHO which has been here regularly. We fully recognise Jo and the CND Secretariat for the webcast, the videos from the global south. We are able here to have a global outreach, always respecting the pivotal role of the CND itself. I will refine the elements paper. Thank you all and thanks particularly to the conference services and the interpreters. They are vital to our work and always show a lot of flexibility to facilitate our work. I wish you a happy and well-deserved weekend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *