Plenary Session: Item 7. Follow-up to the special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem held in 2016, including the seven thematic areas of the outcome document of the special session.

Chair: Member states committed to report timely on their progress in implementing the recommendations set out in the Outcome Document. The Commission held two rounds of discussion in 2016 and decided to continue holding such discussions; a third thematic discussion was held in 2017.

Ambassador Moitinho de Almeida of Portugal: As CND facilitator for the post-UNGASS, I have the privilege to support the Commission in following up on the recommendations contained in the 7 chapters in the UNGASS Outcome Document. With all 7 thematic chapters dealt with equally, there were exchanges on lessons learned. As mentioned by the Chair, three rounds of thematic discussions were held. In line with the resolution 60/1 ‘Preparations for the 62nd session of the CND,’ I have submitted a conference room paper with me remarks on the third round of discussions. 1 day was devoted to each of the thematic chapters, aiming to facilitate interactive debate involving experts, intergovernmental organisations and 1 panellist from civil society. Representatives of other UN entities including UN Women as well as the INCB participated alongside other experts as well as CSOs participated. Approximately 50 panellists shared their expertise, over 100 member state statements were made and other 130 civil society interventions were made. It was as interactive as possible. Especially during the third round, the Commission engaged in an active exchange with the panellists. There were requests further to implement or web casting to be made available for broadcasts in Geneva and New York. Documentation on the process is available on the Commission’s website. I have asked the Secretariat to further enhance the use of the post-UNGASS website to promote further implementation of the Outcome Document. I am pleased that Ms. Jo Dedeyne will share best practices on conducting these discussions. Being part of the preparations that conduct the UNGASS and now having the opportunity to support the Commission in the post-UNGASS process, we are encouraged to further implementation of the recommendations.

Ms Jo Dedeyne-Ammann. UNODC Secretariat: At the regional level, the subsidiary bodies have undertaken a series of roundtable and workshop to see how they could further implement this work. The best practice portal is also supporting the work of the Commission in ensuring UNGASS implementation. In capitals, work has been carried out on this as well where states can convene all the stakeholders back home in doing this. At the request of countries, workshops were held in Trinidad and Tobago, and Pakistan. This gave opportunities to discuss and to see what best practices could be developed, and what further work could be done, which additional partners could be brought on board including UN agencies. Supporting documentation is also posted on the website. Lessons learned and good practices developed were requested to be presented in a user-friendly way, and we have sought to do that on the post-UNGASS website (, structured in accordance with the 7 chapters in the ‘Good Practices portal’. 

Bulgaria (on behalf of the European Union): We stress the progress that has been achieved in the field of drugs. By calling for a balanced and comprehensive approach, the UNGASS re-shaped global drug policy including by linking to the SDGs. Therefore we consider the UNGASS to be a milestone, and call on member states to strengthen its implementation. The 7 chapters fully correspond with the need for a balanced and integrated approach to drug policy. We consistently target evidence-based interventions, and at the same time refer to international standards and support UNODC in working to promote its use. We support the inclusion of human rights as an important achievement, and reiterate the need to comply with human rights standards and the rule of law. We must remain vigilant in striving to achieve a measurable reduction in the supply and availability of drugs. In order to be successful we must address ongoing challenges and threats, including money laundering and violence. The EU plan pays attention to information sharing, and the connection between financing and terrorism, migrant smuggling and trafficking of human beings. It is important to continue addressing the threats of psychoactive substances, the darknet. The EU has developed the capacity to address the risks of and identifying new psychoactive substances. In 2017, the EU adopted new legislation cutting by half the time needed to ban new substances. We fully recognise the importance of ensuring access to controlled medications while also acknowledging the potential of diversion and misuse of these medications. We call on the international community to ensure adequate availability of control medications. The new EU action plan on drugs contains a series of targeted measures including availability of access and diversion. The EU remains committed to implementing the UNGASS outcome document, therefore commend the Commission on facilitating discussion on its implementation and to continue doing so including through organisation of subsequent inter-sessionals this year. We also call on the UNODC to come up with innovative ways of sharing implementation of the outcome document.

Japan: controlled substances used for medical purposes are significantly effective when they are used for treatment especially as a painkiller however they can be extremely harmful when misused or abused. For patients that need it, it is important to educate medical professionals on their proper use. Education for patients, their families and the general public is also important. Some states have legalised the medical use of cannabis. Japan is deeply concern. We should give priority to encouraging the proper use of opioid painkillers.

South Africa: During the UNGASS session, we collectively reaffirmed the three international drug control conventions including shared concern for the health and welfare of mankind, and for use of psychoactive substances particularly among children, and for cultivation and production of illicit drugs. Member states have had opportunity to appraise each other on their implementation of the outcome document. As we continue to implement the operational recommendations, we should never lose sight that the 3 conventions and the 2009 political declaration remains our framework for guiding drug control measures. The international drug control system has reached a high point, particularly in view of the 2019 endpoint. More can still be done to fulfil the goals and aspirations of the current drug control framework led by the 3 drug control conventions. We note the Secretariat’s efforts to review the Annual Reports Questionnaire to align with the UNGASS outcome document. We re-assert that it must re-assert need for compliance with the 2009 Political Declaration and Workplan and 2014 Joint Ministerial Statement and UNGASS Outcome Document. We applaud the 2018 meetings which worked towards this.

Burkina Faso: My country welcomes the ongoing follow up to the UNGASS, and welcome the 3rd cycle of discussion on its implementation. Drug trafficking and abuse seriously imperils the future of generations to come, notwithstanding our efforts. We must continue pursuing our efforts to achieve the objectives we have set ourselves. Following recommendations of the UNGASS, my delegation wishes to highlight the challenges we continue to face with drug trafficking and abuse particularly with regard to cannabis and tramadol. We need to step up our efforts in Burkina Faso. We need to set up treatment facilities in order to provide access to medicines for the treatment of users and addicts. The security challenges we face are due to recurrent terrorist attacks, particularly in the Sahel region. There is a clear link between illicit trafficking and terrorism, due to financing of terrorism. My country has taken initiatives to reduce supply and demand, bolster law enforcement and CSOs too. We have some concrete outcomes, including in human rights, and will be mainstreaming a balanced approach between access to care and reducing supply and upholding human rights. We have adopted legislation to combat drugs, and revising it to organise the permanent secretariat into departments and put in place outreach targeting youth, religious leaders, truck drivers and vulnerable groups. We have set up risk reduction programmes on HIV and TB for intravenous drug users, known as CARICO. We re-state our commitment to ensure implementation of the UNGASS>

US: US remains committed to implementing operational recommendations of the UNGASS outcome document, which represents the latest consensus, taking into account the 2009 Political Declaration and Workplan and Joint Ministerial Statement. We are taking action to combat the opioid overdose crisis, including through the L6 resolution proposed here. We invite all member states to support this resolution. The US is proud to support UNODC’s global SMART programme and international online operations on NPS, which includes targeting diversion of precursor chemicals. These platforms are only as good as the data inputted into them, and can help with understanding global trends. As we work together to accelerate the rate in which synthetic drugs are targeted, we must focus on broadening control. We thank the UNODC, INCB, WHO and fellow member states for their efforts. We take efforts on other substances, and on new paradigms of supply eg. online markets. We continue to seek best practices to treat the use of drugs, and urge government to disseminate international standards on drug treatment and prevention. We also expanded access and use of naloxone to first responders and families. We established drug courts 6 years ago and implemented them in other countries. They offer a chance for appropriately screened offenders to be diverted from prison. Research shows they reduce crime more than other sentencing options.

China: we implement a people-oriented model, implement measures against drug traffickers, respect human rights of drug offenders, protect vulnerable groups of youth and women, proactively address NPS and use of internet for drug trafficking. We hope UNODC will provide support for member states including in the field of drug treatment, and the INCB and UNODC will also play a flexible role in monitoring NPS and knowledge sharing. We support rights of individuals in balance of public interest and society.

Thailand: there are over 100 operational recommendations contained in the 7 thematic areas, and the follow up process is complicated and time-consuming. We would like to share the highlights in the post-UNGASS period on implementation of the recommendations. After the UNGASS, drug policy reform in Thailand has been strengthened, which aims to target the drug problem more effectively through health, proportionate sentencing and human rights approaches. We are targeting minor offenders to encourage diversion to health approaches. Drugs are still illegal but punishment is more proportionate. For treatment and rehabilitation, drug users are patients that can seek treatment from professionals, at no cost and with no punishment if they complete it. They can also access job opportunities. For supply reduction, Thailand promotes information sharing on NPS and diversion of precursor chemicals. We have enhanced coordination of border management strategies, technical assistance and joint promotion of strategies, as well as maintenance support. Thailand sees relevant of alternative development approaches in urban and rural areas, to address issues of poverty, inequality, and access to public health which links to achievement of the SDGs. We take into account human rights, public health and proportionality of sentencing in carrying out implementation of the UNGASS document. We reaffirm our support for UNODC programmes in Southeast Asia as well as other platforms at sub-regional and international level. For implementation of the UNGASS document, we pledge our full support and call on other member states to do so as well.

Turkey: Combating transnational trafficking activities requires genuine cooperation. International cooperation is another important subject in the UNGASS document. We call on all member states to show determination in this regard, and call on UNODC for assistance.

Colombia: we have had the opportunity to share our progress in implementing the UNGASS document, including in implementing a regulatory framework for the medical use of cannabis in accordance with the 1961 Single Convention on Drugs in terms of preventing diversion, promoting alternatives to sentencing, to address underlying issues of poverty and lack of access to job opportunities. In 2018, we found some 24,000 individuals in penitentiary units for drug trafficking therefore we have developed alternatives to sentencing for minor offences, including for small-scale growers, as part of the agreement with FARC who are now incorporated into civilian life. We are working consistently to dismantle drug processing infrastructure for manufacturing of chemicals and substances; it is these people who should be the target of law enforcement. When it comes to health, we have set out standards to launch evidence-based actions in full respect of human rights, including risk and harm reduction programmes to target heroin and other injecting drug use, and hygienic injecting materials and to prevent overdose deaths. We have an early warning system in place, it has been recognised as a pioneer in Latin America and we are currently engaged in South-South cooperation.

El Salvador: We are working on the development of guidelines for looking after people with problematic use, to build capacity for early identification, rapid treatment and timely interventions. With support of UNODC, we have launched ‘Fighting Corruption in El Salvador.’ We have re-drafted the law on money and asset laundering. This work incorporates the opinions of the private sector. As regards the operational recommendations on cross-cutting issues on human rights, young people and women, the El Salvadorian Institute for children and adolescence, a public institution that is part of the comprehensive system for protecting children. For adolescents in custody and have drugs and alcohol problems, there are initiatives aimed at weaning them off those substances. We will now show a video on the work of CICAD, supported by civil society.

Bolivia: We believe that all actions and policies that we commit ourselves to should be based on the principeles of sovereignty, non intervention and respectful of domestic legislation. In our multi-lateral relations, we promote a comprehensive and balanced approach between supply and demand reduction, respect for human rights and international law and based on the principle on shared responsibility. In our new drugs strategy, we have four pillars: demand reduction, supply reduction, control of excess coca, shared responsibility. In this context, we highlight that Bolivia has joined AirCorp and is joining CrimJust and Container Control and hope to join them in full this year. We have implemented a mechanism to follow up the recommendations of UNGASS. Regarding our new legislation, we distinguish coca leaf cultivation control and drug trafficking. The law establish mechanisms to interdict drug trafficking and a regime to seize assets. WE take the following actions: decriminalisation of poverty, focus on public health, wiretapping, paying informers, effective cooperation and asset forfeiture. Law 906, establishes a coca production limit. This law upholds human rights and guarantees social peace. On the latter, we highlight the work of unodc in Bolivia to support our work. Through hese regulations on control, we reaffirm our resolve to face the world drug problem. We work closely with UNODC to implement. The implementation workshop we carried was good to better understand the recommendations. It fostered inter-institutional cooperation. We reiterate our readiness to support all efforts to curb an strenghten international cooperation. The workshop on UNGASS helps us putting that commitment in practice, supporting national implementation and international cooperation. Committed to improving cooperation between relevant authorities, the workshop brought together representatives from 16 agencies. Finally, we believe the commitments around UNGASS to implement UGASS is a serious undertaking.

Korea: Given current developments, ROK is making efforts to curb drugs through temporary scheduling system. Drugs are easily available on the internet, and more cheaply than ever before. Adolescents and females are increasingly exposed to its alluring danger. We have programmes to track online trafficking and building networks with foreign enforcement entities. We are determined to control NPS to protect vulnerable groups, and closely following developments.

Algeria: Examination of the UNGASS outcome document is an important logical and complementary follow up to the 2014 Joint Ministerial Statement. Our national strategy involves CSOs and targets different stakeholders. We work to prioritise actions including treatment and incarcerated addicts to make sure they have access to HIV prevention treatment and care. We have triangular cooperation, and combating drugs is a major priority for the African continent. We have legislation adopted in 2014 to interdict trafficking of drugs and psychotropic substances, and alternatives to imprisonment for addicts. Our efforts to combat drugs are part of our country’s efforts for economic and social development. 

Belgium: Our actions to implement the UNGASS outcome document include an action plan to reduce cocaine trafficking in the port of Antwerp, and to address secondary criminal phenomena. Following an integrated approach, police etc worked together in a newly established unit to fight organised crime including sharing information and research and policies to fight corruption. We emphasise the need for joint enforcement including a container control program. As the port of Antwerp is an important point of entry, and measures targeting trafficking there has required joint coordination with foreign agencies. Through data collection, analysis and sharing of information, we have been monitoring use of the internet for transactions relating to drug supply. Our project includes sharing of best practices and information of suspicious consignments, and explore partnerships with others including the Pompidou Group.

Indonesia: On implementation of the operational recommendations on demand reduction and access to controlled medicines, Indonesia has implemented post-rehabilitation and aftercare programmes to achieve a society free of drug abuse and improved health for families and communities. We have established anti-narcotics programmes to make sure that all agencies implement these measures. The President has also launched actions against drug abuse, with 3 key strategies: prevention, control and law enforcement. These are needed for supply and demand reduction. It involves agencies including Food and Drug Control Agency which has mandate for psychotropic substances and to prevent their diversion. With Presidential Decree 25/2010, BNN has developed a model for prevention of drug abuse emphasising prevention efforts in line with UNODC standards. This is a proactive effort to improve healthy lifestyles without drugs, to increase public awareness. Services are provided for people who need treatment, including for women and children, for which standards and guidelines have been developed. Indonesia has taken measures to ensure adequate access to control medicines, including through Regulation no. 10/2013 on the import and export of substances, requiring import/export approvals of certain substances prior to import/export online by INCB. Indonesia has also adopted Regulation 26/2014 on the annual needs for narcotics, psychotropics and precursors, and their reporting on annual basis to INCB. Regulation 3/2015 on storage and reporting of narcotic, psycotropic and pharmaceutical precursors, and regulation 29/2017 on importation of food and drugs, also contribute toward this.

Japan: the national police and other law enforcement agencies are committed to furthering efforts on NPS, reflecting the UNGASS resolution, including hosting of an annual conference for 20 years and courses such as seminar on drug offences by the police and coastguard. Addressing the world drug problem is a common and shared responsibility, and the 3 drug control conventions and other relevant international instruments constitute the cornerstone of the international drug control system. We are concerned with legalisation of cannabis in other countries, it is obvious that they violate they 1961 Convention amended by the 1972 protocol. Cannabis use has been increasing and evidence shows, they almost always precede the use of other drugs including methamphetamine. Japan re-affirms their commitment to implementing the operational recommendations. We highlight the role of the INCB and UNODC, and continue to support these bodies in implementing their important roles.

Leave a Reply

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