Committee of the Whole (Wednesday – Afternoon) – Resolution L.6 – Enhancing International Cooperation to Combat the Synthetic Opioid Crisis

Chair: We’ll start where we stopped earlier – we’ll start with L6 then proceed to L7 and L11. Preambular paragraph beginning with acknowledging grave concern. Who will start us off? Can the sponsor please update us of any updates?

USA: During the break we had productive bilaterals, and have a worked through text with China. After ‘exploiting the market,’ please add ‘in part due to increased demand for drugs,’ Thank you Chair

Norway: I have a problem with the wording ‘innovative methods’ – they are mixing fentanyl with heroin without knowing, but ‘innovative’ is a positive word; could we suggest ‘new mean methods’? Is that the correct wording in English?

USA: we support the intent here from Norway, perhaps we could try ‘new and dangerous’?

UK: One this point we can agree with ‘dangerous’ although it would be nice to call drug traffickers mean, I’m not sure we can do this. We note the compromised language with China, but I’m not sure we have the evidence to say that – could we delete ‘increased’

China: We suggest ‘in part, due to increased demand for drugs’

UK: we need to see the evidence for this – clearly there is demand, but from what we see in America, people are not aware they are taking these opioids as they are mixed with other drugs. I am willing to accept demand, and suggest that ‘increased’ is not appropriate here

China: Because the rise in demand, the drug traffickers are exploiting the market – this is evidence of a rise in demand, in some countries

Chair: Any other comments?

Belgium: we echo the remarks made by the UK for deleting ‘increased’ – we don’t see the evidence – singling out this issue, we believe it puts too much on people who use drugs or patients

Germany: where it says ‘security in some cases’ which case are we talking about? Organised crime, or webinised fentanyl? We are unsure whether we should have the security nexus in here, and from the German perspective we don’t think there is evidence. We’d be really happy to delete ‘in security in some cases’?

China: I’ll go back to the word ‘increase’ – the figure is increasing, although I’m not sure of the exact number. If it is not rising, why are we here talking about a fentanyl crisis?

USA: there is an increase the population looking for stronger drugs. What I see in Canada is an increased demand for highly potent drugs.

Chair: Gives the floor to Turkey

Turkey: Questions the concept of ‘security’. The idea was not to focus on the weaponization of the product. The core or essence of this paragraph is related to the public health dimension. We need to be aware with the actual developments on the ground. Our law enforcement should take this issue into consideration. We should not block this dimension. We are open for suggestions for constructive language from other delegations.

Chair: We will bracket this paragraph for now so that we can move on. We will now move onto PP bis.

Norway: This delegation has put this into resolution 55/7 – promote measures to prevent drug overdose in particular opioid overdose.

Chair: Norway, we have already closed this matter. Are you now proposing a merger of the two?

Norway: We are not proposing a merger, but instead putting the PP into resolution 55/7.

Chair: The chair will not allow for the reopening on the paragraph that was already agreed on.

Spain: We should also be taking into account the necessary law enforcement bodies as handling can be a serious threat to police officers. We are flexible as to the wording, but we would like to request the addition of ‘for law enforcement in order to increase public awareness. We should separate both types of capacity building.

Germany: To get it clearer we could add ‘for law enforcement safety in workplaces and capacity building’

Norway: I think we can delete ‘in workplaces’ so that a wider sector is covered.

Spain: Thank you for the proposal. Perhaps the addition of workplace reduces the scope for capacity building. As it is on the screen it is acceptable to us.

Germany: We agree with Spain.

Venezuela: My delegation has no objections; however, we do believe that this will not fit here as it is not in line with resolution 55/7. We believe this inclusion will change the meaning of the resolution.

USA: Since we have already referenced this resolution in a previous preambular. It might be in the best interest to delete this paragraph.

Spain: We have no issue with this. However, we believe capacity building is important as the safety of the police force is important and needs to be referenced in a later paragraph.

Chair: Let’s move on to the next preambular paragraph.

USA: I just want to provide a bit of context – there has been much deliberation on this one – we propose the sponsors alt paragraph that consolidates the original efforts from our previous discussion.

Chair: Does any delegation wish to comment on this, can we endorse it?

Belgium: Thanks chair and US. We’re still uncomfortable with the word ‘global’ – its not in the title and we already meaning ‘national, regional and international’ levels

USA: through recent global SMART report, we see that this needs a coordinated global response. This issue is coming up across many continents.

Australia: were concerned at the last phrase: it mentions non-medical use, my anxiety here is non-medical use is not reflected. Could be misinterpreted and mean any opioid could be scheduled. Could we ensure the reference in the beginning to non-medical use is also reflected in this sentence ‘persistent and harmful synthetic opioids’

Canada: I support the US with how the paragraph is written, we support the inclusion ‘global’ – but Australia has a valid point

UK: We support the language and understand Australia. As we are talking about international scheduling, we wonder whether the secretariat could confirm how the CND can action this?

Secretariat: International scheduling of substances takes into account medical use, we believe that this paragraph is in line and can be included

Chair: With that clarification, can we agree to approve that paragraph? I see no objections, so then it is approved.

Singapore: In line with the first PP can we add, non-medical use of synthetic opioids.

Germany: Coming to the bracketed text. We are not in the position to have effective, because we don’t have ineffective legislation.

Brazil: We would like to support Germany, we believe that ‘appropriate’ is the correct word to use in the paragraph.

USA: We would like to provide some clarification stemming from the informals. We propose considering the alt version as shown on the screen:

 ‘Recognizing the important role played by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the treaty mandated roles if the International Narcotic Control Board and the World Health Organisation, in collecting data to inform scheduling recommendations made to the CND, particularly as related to synthetic opioids.’

 Japan: I would like to thank to US for the acceptance of the language of the text that we agreed on.

 USA: After the NPS factor, it should say from March 2018 and welcoming publication should be plural.

Chair: I see no objections, so this paragraph is agreed.

Spain: Reverting back to what we have already said. We could cover our proposal in the eighth line. We need to enhance national and international action on new psychoactive substances.

Japan: This paragraph concerning psychoactive substances is important.

Chair: Gives the floor to Brazil.

Brazil: The inclusion of ‘and safety’ is not quite clear. It would not make sense to change the agreed text as we have agreed to it informals.

Spain: After all of the preambular paragraphs, I will provide an additional paragraph that shares our views.

Chair: This paragraph is endorsed as I see no objections. We can move on.

Germany: In the third line, we would like to include in regional or international.

Chair: Gives the floor to Norway.

Norway: By using international and regional, are we also looking at bi-lateral cooperation. We propose the addition of bi-lateral.

USA: We are supportive of the proposals. I wonder if we are limiting ourselves. I would like to propose International, regional and bi-lateral.

Chair: Thank you, any other comments? I see no objection. PP8 approved. Any comments on PP9? Ok I see no objections – PP9 approved. We move to OPs.

Spain: I’m going to propose a new preambular paragraph ‘noting the need for capacity building to help secure the safety of enforcement units while pursuing illicit trafficking of these substances’

USA: Thank you – it looks very good to us – we have some slight modifications –we prefer to say ‘law enforcement’ rather than ‘enforcement’; ‘illicit trafficking of synthetic opioids that have no medical use’ rather than ‘substances’

Belgium: does production also need to be included as well as trafficking

Venezuela: I have two concerns; the first – if we leave ‘trafficking of synthetic opioids that have no medical use’ – do we not show concern on trafficking of synthetic opioids that do have medical use? Secondly, when we talk about ‘production’, the more appropriate noun is ‘manufacture’

Germany: We are happy with ‘no legitimate medical use’

Chair: Can we consider this paragraph for adoption?

Venezuela: We still have a concern in regard to trafficking of all opioids – in the PPs what we see is a broader concern than what is in this paragraph

USA: From our perspective, this proposal was to be consistent with the rest of the text. We are fine ending this paragraph after ‘synthetic opioids’. We are supportive with this new PP

Chair: Can we approve? New PP approved. Lets move to OP1

Japan: I would like to propose to insert after ‘synthetic opioids’ (third line) – ‘and the other new psychoactive substances’. We don’t request to insert in all paragraphs – just in this paragraph which says ‘general measures’ – this insertion will not dilute the intention of this resolution

Turkey: Our views are in repetition of what we have said before. We have Ministry of Health in our delegation, our position is to be relevant with actual happenings on the ground. We agree with Japan. We would like to propose – (line 4) after ‘health’; ‘while also taking account of other relevant aspects of the issue, such as safety, law enforcement and security’ 

Belgium: We think it is important that we have a focused resolution that tackles the problem in a comprehensive way. We prefer to delete the amendments, but can live with ‘issues, such as safety, law enforcement and security’

Brazil: We agree with the inclusion of terms such as safety and law enforcement, but do not agree with the term ‘security’

Turkey: We understand and appreciate Belgium’s concern and for the sake of compromise, we would like to ask that we include ‘, in some cases’ after the word security. This caveat allows a buffer zone for everybody.

Germany: Apologies to the delegation of Turkey, but we do not feel comfortable with Turkey’s comments. We cannot start creating fictional cases and must deal with the real situations we have.

Chair: Germany, are you proposing that we delete ‘in some cases’

 Venezuela: From a demand reduction perspective we can focus of reducing the demand. When discussing synthetic opioids, we should say ‘to reduce demand for synthetic opioids for non-medical use and combat trafficking’

UK: I would like to propose a compromise for the second half of the text. On the fourth line we should add the ‘welfare of mankind’.

Chair: We are spending a considerable amount of time on this and I may have to suggest that we bracket it.

Turkey: This delegation propose that we add ‘taking into account safety and security of the population.

China: We would like to remain with the original statement.

Chair: It looks like we will have to bracket this decision. Do the delegations agree?

Belgium: No, we prefer the wording used by Germany.

USA: We would like delegations to refer to OP2 alt:

 Calls upon member states to explore innovative approaches to more effectively address any threat posed by the non-medical use of synthetic opioids, by involving all relevant sectors, such as broadening domestic controls of synthetic opioids, reinforcing healthcare systems and capacity building to law enforcement and healthcare officials to respond to this challenge.’

Germany: We would have to change the third line to broadening domestic and regional controls.

Iran: I would like to add ‘as appropriate’ after the Member States.

USA: We would like to change ‘or’ after domestic to ‘and’

Belgium: We prefer the wording ‘healthcare professionals’ instead of officials

Chair: I see no objections, so that is agreed. We’ll move to OP2bis

Turkey: We propose a minor change instead of ‘doctors’, ‘health care personnel’

Germany: we support Turkeys proposal

Iran: We would like to change ‘urges’ to ‘calls on’

UK: Add in after personnel ‘to the threats posed by the non-medical use of synthetic opioids’

Japan: ‘personnel’ should be ‘professionals’ as in previous paragraph

UK: Sorry – confused on the meaning of ‘illicit demand’ – can we just end it after ‘fentanyl’?

Chair: can we adopt – OP2bis approved – move to OP2ter – any comments?

Germany: Delete second bracketed language ‘on a voluntary basis’ – this would be in the mandate of the organisations

USA: Much discussion on this paragraph in informals – this is the most agreed paragraph that we have

Chair: So can we remove brackets now?

USA: (line 1) we accept ‘requests’ (line 4) we accept ‘challenges’, the rest of the brackets need to be discussed

Nepal: We would like to remove ‘voluntary basis’

Venezuela: A question to the secretariat – the aim of this clarification is what is voluntary here, the reporting or another topic?

Chair: While we wait, lets go to OP3?

Germany: Just a slight one – ‘urges’ is very strong language – we would feel better if we insert ‘invites’

USA: This OP is very important to the US delegation on national control of substances – could we try ‘encourages’ rather than ‘invites’?

Germany: In the spirit of compromise, that’s ok

Chair: Can we approve as amended? OP3 approved. Lets go back to OP2

Secretariat: I consulted with INCB as well – the information we refer to comes from the ARQ. These are international requirements – they are not voluntary, the INCB requires reporting on this. We suggest: ‘UNODC in consultation with INCB and WHO to report to CND’.

Chair: I give the floor to the US.

 USA: Another issue that came up in informals was a date that the report would need to be provided. I would ask the secretariat if the CND reconvened in December is a reasonable deadline or if this deadline should be extended.

Secretariat: WE will have to consult further on this matter, because the timing might have financial implications.

Chair: We will bracket this for the moment.

USA: Perhaps if we can lead it bracketed and I can then work to providing an alt taking into considerations the discussions today.

Chair: We can then move onto OP4.

USA: We would encourage the COW to ‘request the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’

Belgium: We can live with the proposal with this exception. We prefer ‘treatment of their abuse’ on the fifth line.

Chair: Can you confirm what is on the screen reflects your statements?

Belgium: We think it is important that we have a focused resolution that tackles the problem in a comprehensive way. We prefer to delete the amendments, but can live with ‘issues, such as safety, law enforcement and security’

Brazil: We agree with the inclusion of terms such as safety and law enforcement, but do not agree with the term ‘security’

Turkey: We understand and appreciate Belgium’s concern and for the sake of compromise, we would like to ask that we include ‘, in some cases’ after the word security. This caveat allows a buffer zone for everybody.

Germany: Apologies to the delegation of Turkey, but we do not feel comfortable with Turkey’s comments. We cannot start creating fictional cases and must deal with the real situations we have.

Chair: Germany, are you proposing that we delete ‘in some cases’

Venezuela: From a demand reduction perspective we can focus of reducing the demand. When discussing synthetic opioids, we should say ‘to reduce demand for synthetic opioids for non-medical use and combat trafficking’

UK: I would like to propose a compromise for the second half of the text. On the fourth line we should add the ‘welfare of mankind’.

Chair: We are spending a considerable amount of time on this and I may have to suggest that we bracket it.

Turkey: This delegation propose that we add ‘taking into account safety and security of the population.

China: We would like to remain with the original statement.

Chair: It looks like we will have to bracket this decision. Do the delegations agree?

Belgium: No, we prefer the wording used by Germany.

USA: We would like delegations to refer to OP2 alt:

 ‘Calls upon member states to explore innovative approaches to more effectively address any threat posed by the non-medical use of synthetic opioids, by involving all relevant sectors, such as broadening domestic controls of synthetic opioids, reinforcing healthcare systems and capacity building to law enforcement and healthcare officials to respond to this challenge.’

 Germany: We would have to change the third line to broadening domestic and regional controls.

 Iran: I would like to add ‘as appropriate’ after the Member States.

USA: We would like to change ‘or’ after domestic to ‘and’

Belgium: We prefer the wording ‘healthcare professionals’ instead of officials

Chair: I see no objections, so that is agreed.

 Belgium: Could we add ‘prevention and treatment’

Chair: can I put it to the floor to adopt this paragraph.

USA: from an editorial perspective, could we remove the word ‘by’?

 Chair: I see no other comments, so the committee is agreed. Let’s move to OP5.

Germany: From my delegation, we cannot go along with the drug surveillance list or voluntary controls, because in my country we cannot do anything without having a legal basis. I would like to discuss this with the US on this matter.

USA: this paragraph is in reference to the Global Drug Programme and the INCB. We want to use these online portals and I am not sure what the challenge would be since these are voluntary programmes. The language may not clearly explain that, but that is the intent of this.

Germany: To promote within the national legislation the use of drugs surveillance list’ and after that we should really delete voluntary controls, because this cannot be perceived in the national legislation.

USA: perhaps ‘as appropriate’ may be a useful caveat? We would like to keep voluntarily controls as our domestic legislation allows us to retain that language.

Germany: I propose to delete the word ‘voluntary’. This could be a way out.

 USA: Thank you for Germany’s flexibility, we would be willing to go along with the proposal shown on the screen.

Chair: Can we consider adopting this paragraph.

China: We share a similar position to Germany. This paragraph brings a lot of banning force and responsibility to my country.

 Chair: Delegates, can we go along with that? I see no objections. It is approved. Let’s move to OP5 bis.

 Belgium: We have understood that naloxone is not always sufficient, so we would like to re3phrase the last line to say ‘naloxone and other measures based on scientific evidence to reduce drug related mortality

Germany: We would like to support out support for Belgium’s comments.

Chair: Can we adopt this paragraph? I see no objections. Let us move to OP6. There is a bracket in there, is that to be removed?

USA: I believe we are in a position to remove the bracket at this point.

Chair: Are we ready to adopt this paragraph? I see no objections. Let’s move to OP7.

USA: I believe we can remove these brackets as well.

Germany: Thank you to the US.

China: I would like to suggest that we still use the word ‘encourages’

Germany: The fourth line should read ‘trafficking of opioids for non-medical use’

Chair: Any other comments? May we consider this for adoption? I see no objection. We will then move to 7bis.

China: We would like to add:

‘encourages also member states to share information on equipment frequently used in the illicit manufacture and analysis of synthetic opioid and top better monitor the illicit manufacture, and to share analytical and toxicological data of synthetic opioids to improve the capacity in identification and risk assessment’

Germany: We would like to query the need for this operative paragraph as everything mentioned in there has already been addressed in previous PPs and OPs.

UK: We complete agree with the comments of Germany. We don’t see the relevance on

China: I fully understand the doubts and concern of the other delegates. In China we uncovered laboratories that manufactured fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.

Chair: There is a proposal to delete the OP. I would like china to respond to that.

 China: We still insist that we keep this paragraph.

Germany: After listening carefully to the comments of the Chinese delegation. How should we share this information? What happens if this shared information gets into the wrong hands.

USA: I n informals we had a lengthy discussion. I wonder if it is helpful to revert back to the original p-paragraph. I wonder if my colleague from China is able to be flexible? M

China: The information on the manufacture analysis is key. We insist on keeping this information.

UK: We would like to support the US. For us, the equipment used is not important, because the equipment can be used for other things and we do not wish to make all scientific equipment suspicious.

Turkey: To reach a consensus we would like to add ‘to share information to the extent possible and on a voluntary basis’

China: WE can accept this compromise.

Germany: As I explained 20 minutes ago, we cannot do anything on a voluntary basis. We must do everything on a legal basis.

France: The intervention just made covers some concerns we had. I think it would be difficult to understand a basis on which we can share this information. Perhaps we can bracket it for the time being.

USA: I think I may have a way out. ‘to the extent possible, and consistent with national legal frameworks,’ Then we could delete ‘on a voluntary basis’

Chair: I would like to here yes or no answers from the floor.

UK: I would like to add the word ‘when’ before consistent.

Germany: We can agree to the text as it is.

Chair: Can we approve this now? I see no objections. It is approved. Let us move onto paragraph 8.

USA: We were very close to consensus of this paragraph. The only issue was to do with the date. Due to the situation in the US we wanted to streamline this deadline if it is feasible with the secretariat.

Chair: Thank you US. Let us move on whilst the secretariat is consulting on this matter.

USA: The bracket word ‘crisis’ can be substituted for the word ‘challenge’ and then we are able to remove the brackets around international and then the ones around ‘to learn’ and ‘response’

Germany: We delete ‘ an mobilixze a coordination and strategic international response’

USA: Wanting to retain an element, we propose that the expert group meeting ‘propose priority collaboration for an international response’

Germany: how about ‘propose core elements’.

Secretariat: I can confirm that subject to funding we should be able to hold a meeting in the early quarter of 2019, before the 62nd CND.

Belgium: We are worried about scheduling extra meetings. To avoid extra costs, we propose that the meetings be held in the margins of the CND Reconvened or the CND Intersessional.

Canada: Could we propose that instead of the word ‘before’ this meeting happens ‘around’ the 62nd regular session of the CND.

Secretariat: We will need to consult further on this matter.

USA: We do not have any opposition. Perhaps a way out could be ‘62nd regular session of the CND taking into consideration cost implications for Member States’.

Brazil: Are we retaining the word ‘before’ or ‘around’. My preoccupation here is that before the 62nd regular session we have the ministerial segment. It would be very hard to organise this.

Chair: Can we adopt the paragraph with the amendments? I see no objections. Let us move to OP9.

USA: We can now delete ‘collective’ and include ‘global’

Chair: If there are no further comments can we agree on this? I see no further objections, so it is agreed.

USA: To help clean this text up. I believe we can delete the ‘secretary general’

UK: Now that we agree that we are inviting UNODC and recognising UNODC’s leading role maybe we can change the second line to ‘acting as a global focal point’

USA: I am taking into account the proposal from the UK. The intent of this paragraph was that we recognise the challenge and international crisis and that we should focus of curbing the trafficking of synthetic opioids. Working from the proposal from the UK

‘Invites the UNODC to act as a global focal point, within the UN system, to coordinate efforts to implement activities to address the threats posed by non-medical use of synthetic opioids’ and we would delete the rest.

 Netherlands: If we could change ‘the global focal point’ to ‘acting as a facilitator’

USA: Could we try; to act as a coordinating mechanism within the UN system on efforts to implement activities’

Spain: The final proposal from the US seems definitive. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that the UNODC had to carry our all these activities in any case.

Norway: I think it is a good suggestion that we have coordinator or maybe have ‘coordinating body’.

Germany: I think it is an excellent proposal and we could live with both suggestions.

Russia: ‘invites the UNOD to continue to act’

Netherlands: We could live with the suggestions from either Spain, Germany or Russia.

USA: We don’t love the addition of ‘continue to act’ but we are happy to be flexible.

Iran: We suggest replacing ‘threats’ in the third line with ‘challenges’

Chair: I see no objections to the objections of this paragraph. Let us move to OP10 bis.

USA: I believe that we hadn’t figured out the specific placement of this OP but believe we can delete the bracketed item in the paragraph.

Chair: I believe the key challenge the placement of this paragraph and not the language.

Belgium: We feel strong about this as it focuses on the access to controlled substances for medical scientific purposes.

USA: Is the intent meant to be on general opioids or synthetic opioids?

Chair: Can we move to OP11. Are we ready to approve it?

Iran: Can you share some explanation as to whether the agreed language is for UNODC to provide extra budgetary resources?

Secretariat: I can confirm this.

Chair: I see no objection. This paragraph is agreed. We have done a complete reading of this text, but there is some bracketed item which still require discussion.

USA: Thank you Chair. Could we revisit the paragraph that starts with ‘acknowledging with grave concern the international’

Norway: Do we intend to use the last 15 minutes to also look at L7?

UK: after consulting with other delegates we agreed we could change to the following:

‘acknowledging with grave concern the international challenge posed by the increased trafficking the non-medical use of synthetic opioids’

China: The demand is increased, so we insist that the sentence read ‘in part due to increased demand’

UK: I would like to suggest in the demand section we could also add ‘in some countries’

China: May I ask that the UK colleague give us an explanation of ‘in some cases’

Turkey: In some cases, this caveat is lifesaving. Sometimes, we have this difficulties in certain parts of the world and it other we don’t. We are flexible in regard to this situation.

Germany: We already made a proposal but let me be general. I suggest that we add ‘in some cases of security for the population’

Turkey: If those delegations do not feel any threats in the upcoming time. We are accustomed to these languages. We urge the German delegation to accept our threats and challenges.

Belgium: We would like to express our proposal made by the UK and by Germany.

Iran: We have two other comments. We have a reference mentioning new and dangerous methods. We believe we should delete the word dangerous. The methods are new but not dangerous.

We also suggest you add production.

Chair: I give the floor to the US. They will be the last speaker.

 USA: We added dangerous to reflect the new phenomenon we are experiencing. To be flexible we are willing to just go ahead with ‘new methods’.

Chair: Are we able to agree on the paragraph with the comments from the US.

China: I would like to propose some additions…

 Chair: Sorry China, but I would like a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.

 Germany: No

 Belgium: No

 Chair: We will need to bracket this information and come back to it.

USA: I believe that you had asked me to go back an create an alt paragraph. Would you allow me to read it out?

 Chair: Are you proposing this addition rather than looking at what is on the screen

 USA: I am in your hands

 Chair: OK, let’s listen to the US and we will have additional informal sessions

 USA: Request member states to continue to provide information, within existing reporting requirements of the Secretariat on national efforts to address the threat posed by the synthetic opioids and also requests the UNODC, in consultation with the INCB and WHO within their respective mandates to report on any such information received from Member States during the 62nd session/reconvened.

 Chair: Tomorrow at 10:00, we will do first readings of L7 and L11. Thereafter, we will cover L9, L4 and L6.

 Canada: Can I have your estimate for the first reading of L11.

 Chair: It is very difficult to give an estimate

 

 

 

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