CND intersessional meeting, 28 September 2018: Preparations for the ministerial segment to be held during the 62nd session of the CND

Chair: Good morning. I have chaired for 9 months now. It is very important that we don’t fight and say one document is more important than the other. Bear in mind that what we are building today needs to be structured but we also need to decide what we propose in December. We need to bring response to these issues. We need to do this together; no country can do this alone. We need to work with the 2030 agenda in mind. What I want to convey to you from my part and my team is that I stand ready to build something with you which would benefit the whole international community.

Now it is my pleasure to welcome for this organisational segment during which we will discuss the preparations for the High-Level Ministerial Segment (HLMS) in 2019. As we know we still have a number of organisational issues to discuss but first let me express my gratitude to the members of the Extended Bureau and the Secretariat for the invaluable support on this.

First, there is the issue of the proposed provisional agenda for the high-level segment. Which would need to be decided upon by the CND at the time of the 61st session in December. You will recall that, when we discussed to the provisional agenda for the 62nd session in March of last of this year which has now been adopted by ECOSOC, we added a footnote explaining that the agenda of the HLMS, and ‘would be subject of to the outcome of negotiations on the organisational arrangements for the ministerial segment to be held during the 62nd session of the Commission to be held in 2019’. In order to be able to finalise our agenda for our meeting in March – and most importantly to warrant the success of that gathering that will bring together our minsters and other high ranking officials from our national governments as well as other key figures – it will be crucial to be determine at the earliest the themes for the 2 interactive multi-stakeholder roundtables that we, in CND resolution 61/10, decided to hold in parallel to the general debate. In this regard, the topics of the round table as we know are still pending, and this presidency strongly believes that there is no one better suited than ministers and high ranking officials to address the evolving challenges and realities that our countries are facing as well as to exchange practical information with others on tools and developments that might benefit others in order to fulfil our international commitment to face the world drug problem.

We are coming around to the 10th anniversary of the adaption of the Political Declaration on international cooperation towards an integrated and balanced strategy to counter the world drug problem. This offers a unique opportunity to trigger an exchange of information and views and a candid confrontation of visions to take stock of what has taken place since 2009, including the adoption of the Joint Ministerial Segment and the 2016 UNGASS Outcome Document. Together with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and of course a set of resolutions. We also need to start implementing the Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ reform process related to the restructuring of the UN Peace and Security Bureau. The operational activities for developing the UN system and shifting the management will influence for the better how the UN system works and how it interacts with member states and how we work with each other.

In the coming days, with the support of the Secretariat, I will continue to hold intense consultations with the delegations and groups regarding this issue. In the meantime, I would like to open the floor. My understanding of our resolution 61/10 is that we have already agreed that a summary of the Ministerial Segment, by the chair of the general debate, in addition to a summary of the same points of those round tables will be presented at the plenary of the 62nd session.

The presidency will approach delegations and groups in the next coming days, so we can advance on the pending arrangements for a successful ministerial segment.

USA: Having participated in the CND for several years, we see that there is more focus and interest from the president than we have seen in the past and so I think we need to look at this point carefully and to recognise that how the commission organises it itself really is for the commission to decide so I think we need to reflect very carefully on what the president has offered and to think about this and perhaps get back to the Secretary on this. Thank you.

Chair: Thank you for that. And coming back to what I want to share with you. As stated the presidency will be approaching delegation in the next coming days so we can advance on the plenary arrangements for a successful ministerial segment. In UN resolution 61/10, the Commission also resolves that the outline for the way to 2019 is to be presented by the Presidency to the commission at the 61st session for further consideration. Including at its intersessional meetings prior to the 62nd session, in light of the preparations for the HLMS. I am of the view that an outline for the way beyond 2019 should advert the following issues without being restricted. One would be promotion of partnerships and expertise. Another one would be advancing in the implementation of the commitments by developing targets and indicators bearing in mind the plan of action 2009. Another one, the impact of the world drug problem in the obtainment of 2030 agenda and sustainable development and role of the UNODC in this regard. Also, data collection – how to benefit from the expertise of various UN entities, such as the statistic division and UN committee of experts on global geospatial information management, among others. Another one: new time line and resource mobilisation bearing in mind the whole process undertaken by the Secretary General and the alignment of the work of the UN system to the agenda 2030.

But before opening the floor and bearing in mind opinions and concerns addressed by several delegations to this presidency, it is paramount to have a common understanding of the work expected from this Chair. Even resolution 61/10 is not explicit about this. It is clear that the proposal draft that I am to present to the session in December will not necessarily be the final version of the outline to be adopted by the 62nd CND. It will be subject to further consideration, including an intersessional meeting prior to the 62nd session in light of the preparations for the HLMS. While commitments for reaching the common goal are clear, visions and strategies differ. We know that realities on the ground differ from country to country and that they are always evolving. We know that while some patterns remain the same, there are new trends and channels. And we also know, even better than before that international cooperation is the only way to make any progress in this field. Lastly, we know that the outline has to have the simplicity to set the road for the years to come. I now invite delegates for a first round of comments about their views on the outline.

Uruguay: I totally agree with USA. This not an academy, this is the UN’s most eminent body on drugs. Our activity on the next 6 months will eventually decide if we are complying with our duty or not. We have to get a plan of action. We can’t just have a declaration. 2016 declaration was really a landmark. We all know that we can’t stray from UNGASS 2016 now. I think a new declaration is a waste of time but it is critical to mark the path forward. After UNGASS, CND has actually done nothing. We didn’t achieve anything on the 10 resolutions we agreed.
We can’t waste out time on things we don’t agree on – it just needs 1 delegation to say it doesn’t agree on something and then we are stuck. In that case we should stop and move to next point. Most religions ban drugs, that’s one thing … but another thing is killing people that use drugs referring to the Coran. The Coran also prohibits some foods, but we don’t kill people for that! I have to repeat what I said on Tuesday, but Uruguay has not given a written statement, and this is important to be on the record. Uruguay rejects the event of Monday (referring to Trump’s speech in New York). That declaration was made outside CND, outside an open discussion and Uruguay rejects that procedure. And we don’t agree with the contents because they are contrary to the spirit of UNGASS. We need certain elements for the 2030 plan and we need to make an assessment of the last 35 years. Without a diagnosis, there is no cure for a disease. We have to talk about the positive and negative. We have been defeated in the war on drugs. Since it was declared in the 1970s, there is a constant increase in death, consumption. The war on drugs has caused more deaths than the drugs themselves. Any declaration of war gives rise to radicalisation, it leads to stigmatisation and discrimination. Certainly, we will never see a world free of problematic drug use. If I would say, I imagine a world free or prostitution, rich and poor; I would become the butt of all your jokes … and it’s the same with a drug free world! We need to have achievable plans.
We should talk about the problems arising from addiction. Drugs are not the enemy. Some people may have more addiction than others but we all have addiction: alcohol, gambling, some forms of religion. The enemy is not drugs, but things that surround them. We have scientific proof that alcohol is more problematic than some illicit drugs.
I think we shouldn’t lie to ourselves. Certainly not here in CND. There is not a single reality. We no longer see only one point of view regarding drugs. We understand that there are different ways in tackling addiction and drugs and human right. We have to accept that there is no unanimity here. An example: one part of CND doesn’t want to have the death penalty for drug crimes.  We have divergent views, and some fraction say we should not discuss this in CND… We reaffirm that every country is sovereign. So, for the last 3 days, I would like to also talk about harm reduction. We accept that there are different approaches and we have regular reports on measures taken for. My next point is that we know that there are countries that don’t agree with us when we say we have to distinguish some substances from others. Yesterday, Russia said that they don’t agree on that while there is scientific evidence to make a difference between hard and soft drugs. The only argument, the subliminal message here, is that addiction is contagious. If I start with cannabis, it will lead to LSD, then heroin. With that argument, in my childhood, my parents told me not to drink coca cola because if you start with coca cola you will go on with cocaine. Seizing 100kg of cannabis is not the same as seizing 100kg of opioids in a port. Drugs are different just as alcohol is different. It’s not the same to smoke one joint than to smoke a whole package of joint.  On the last few days, I see there is no agreement on banning the death penalty so let’s not continue to discuss the death penalty. I think there is consensus about proportionality of penalties. Let’s not waste time on petty details.

Pakistan: For a moment, I had the feeling that we have to prepare for just another UNGASS… until I looked at 61/10 … we just have to prepare for the next meeting. Madame Chair, we fully support your approach and believe that you handle the difficult task of preparing an informed outline by December well. This is the way we should proceed that we should openly and inclusively listen to all delegations, receive feedback from them and then see how to proceed further.
As a country that has for decades faced a continuous challenge of supply illicit drugs. A country that because of the challenge of trafficking also has the challenge of increasing number of drug use on a domestic level. We are a country that also has many hard-earned successes and just to mention one that Pakistan is a poppy free state thanks to the sacrifice of our law enforcement agencies, thanks to the sacrifices of national stakeholders, thanks to the political will of the country. With this, the 2019 ministerial meeting is not just another meeting for us. We assign importance to it because we believe the meeting will help the international community and the CND to set a positive tone for another useful year ahead on how we can reinforce, redouble, enhance, and promote our efforts in fighting the common challenge of the world drug problem. So just to make the point that we have high hopes, I will address some of specific points. I would like to draw your attention to op.4 of 61/10. There are 2 important things: the mention of an outline and the way forward point. We believe that instead of going into the political debate of which document is more important and which is not, we should try to benefit from the elements that unite us. To be specific, one of the elements that unite us and that can help us towards such a debate is op 1 of 60/1 where we explicitly agreed that all the documents of the 2009 political declaration, the joined ministerial statement and the most recent document of UNGASS are mutually reinforcing and complementary to each other. We would like to focus more on implementing the existing commitments and not really try to define new commitments. We have many commitments we really have to close the gap in their implementation. We wish to see the outcome document re-emphasising the importance of CND and INCB. And similarly, we would like a clear reference to the UNODC in that document.
We have yet to determine and agree on the form of the outcome. While we fully agree with many validations that there is no new policy document required but we are not convinced that we don’t need any substantive outcome. Madame Chair, what we really hope is, that your outline would be prepared in close consultations with all of us and we really hope that the document won’t come as a surprise. We humbly request you to please continue to have close coordination and cooperation from all relevant nations.

Austria on behalf of the EU and its member states: For the EU and its member states, the ministerial segment during the 62nd session of the CND is an important moment for the international community to have a general debate about international drug policy and to reflect upon the future. We need to recognise as the world drug report 2018 has described, the drug situation is worsening in most parts of the world. Even if drug policy challenges differ from region to region both the range of drugs and drug markets are expanding and diversifying. We have a common and shared responsibility as well as an obligation to implement evidence-based measures with realistic aims and concrete public health-based policies that can make an significant improvement whilst long term disciplinary approach. In the EU, the overall approach to drugs is set out in the EU drugs strategy 2013-2020 and in accompanying action plans. The EU strategy is achieved through an integrated balance and evidence-based approach. The recently published European drug report 2018 by EMCDDA is based on sound and revisable data and shows some worrying market trends while also presenting exaltation of consumption. Findings show that the implementation of evidence-based programs and policies contributes to reducing negative health consequences and promote improvements in public health also reaching marginalised and vulnerable groups. On the supply side, the EU law enforcement agency EUROPOL, in cooperation with other stakeholders, has stepped up its activities on that matter notably to improve the operational response. The EU and its member states firmly believe that drug policies should be built on a sound public health approach. Based on scientific evidence and supported by a reliable and objective monitoring systems and evaluations in compliance with human rights recognised as such and international legal instruments. The EU and its member states want to recall the important progress that has been achieved in field of drugs and the successful outcome of the special session of the UN general assembly on the world drug problem held in 2016.  By calling for more integrate, evidence based and balanced drug policy, UNGASS has put a focus on the health side of drug problem. It also reaffirmed the unwavering commitment of supply reduction and related measures, including effective law enforcement, countering money laundering and promoting tradition cooperation. Therefore, we consider the UNGASS outcome document as a milestone and believe that the 2019 HLMS should reaffirm the UNGASS outcome document as the reference document in the field of drugs representing the latest global consensus. About the 2019 target date, the EU advocates a commitment for the next years in the upcoming review process and the ministerial segment on what we want to achieve by 2030 in line with the agenda 2030. The EU recognises the need for a consistent document resulting from the HLMS.
The EU and its member states would like to emphasise 5 elements which can ensure sustainable progression our collective endeavour on the way towards 2030:
– First, the EU fully supports the principle role of the CND and the UNODC as the policy making bodies and leading entities for addressing encountering the world drug problem. However, it is clear for the commission and UNODC to further engage and with relevant UN entities and within the respected mandate join to develop activities and strategies promoting implementation. In this regard we would also welcome closer UNODC cooperation with all relevant UN entities, such as WHO, UNDP, UNAIDS, OHCHR and with INTERPOL including the question of proper mean for effective implementation.
– Secondly, the UNGASS outcome recommendations in line with the relevant goals for 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The efforts to achieve the relevant drug related SDG’s and to effectively to address the world drug problem compliment and reinforce each other.
– Thirds, the EU and its member states strongly support an integrated evidence-based approach, which addresses both demand reduction and supply reduction. Together with equal efforts on both sides, and in full compliance with UN conventions on narcotic drugs. Drug use is a complex phenomenon that needs to be addressed with associated health and social risks, such as infectious diseases, dependency, mental health problems and social exclusion. In this context the EU would also like to recall the principal adequate, proportional, and effective response to drug related offenses has been highlighted in all UN drug conventions. On the supply side responding to new psychoactive substances is one of the existing and emerging challenges. As well as the fact that the criminals continuously seek out new methods to increase profit margins.
– Four, the ministerial segment for the 62nd CND should meaningfully involve civil society and the scientific community. It should reaffirm the crucial role of civil society in the formulation and implementation of drug policies, at the local, national and international level. Without their insightful input we would not have enough information on daily life of drug users. Civil society should be actively involved in the process leading towards the HLMS through the civil society task force and it should also be invited to meaningfully participate in its preparations.  And one other measure to actively involve civil society in this event, we support the civil society task force’s intention to organise a civil society consultation on the margin of the 62nd CND.
– Finally, collecting relevant and reliable data is instrumental for taking a better overview of the drug situation worldwide, reflected in the drug report. We welcome the ongoing work and the improvement of the quality and effectiveness of the annual report questionnaire. These concrete targets are needed to measure the success of our activities that should be reflecting the 7 thematic areas of the UNGASS document. The 7 thematic areas laid down in the UNGASS outcome document fully correspond to the need of integrated evidence based and outreaching approach to drug policy. The efforts of the international community up to and beyond 2019 should be focused on the practical implementations through the proper number of operations and recommendations therein. Therefore, the EU and its member states aspire for our collective efforts to be fully invested in the implementation of the UNGASS outcome.
Finally, on behalf of the EU and its member states allow me to repeat that these 5 before mentioned aspects constitute the EU’s position on a holistic international drug policy based on equal partnership for the whole international community to address the world drug problem.

Argentina: There are different views on the multilateral issues on drugs. We aren’t in favour of some kind of beauty contest at the meeting. What we need is to make progress. You reminded us that in line with resolution 61/1 we need to outline with some points. It is very important to highlight institutions. We are certain that the CND has a primary certain role in certain areas. Let’s not set artificial goal that will then be very difficult to achieve. We don’t want a competitive approach but a convergent one. We stand ready to work with you,

Malaysia: We look forward to continuing such positive ambitions in our efforts to build a common ground on our way forward beyond 2019. Malaysia is of the view that the outcome document whether in the form of resolution, declaration or joined statement should be a precise and forward-looking document, which reflects our visions and directions beyond 2019. Therefore, the objective of the outcome document should be to sustain the momentum in implementing all our commitments and to consolidate efforts which can contribute towards improving the implementation of our commitments in all 3 particular documents. Malaysia values the importance to continue all big commitments including the target outlined in op. 36 of the 2009 declaration and plan of action. While we also note that others may attach greater importance to the 2016 UNGASS outcome document. As a whole Malaysia believes that the elements of this outcome document should pursuit a clear direction within a realistic time line and target to implement all agreed commitments which has not been accomplished. To build on the experiences and expertise acquired in the perceiving ten years to tackle new treats or challenges on to harness appropriate approaches on tools we should facilitate of member states and the secretariat meeting. Malaysia reiterates that no policy document is required. In moving forward our focus should be to improve the implementation of our commitments that caused 3 political documents. Malaysia fully recognises that the 3 international drug control conventions remain as the cornerstone for world drug policy. Malaysia sees the role of CND as the main policy making organ of the UN for drug control matters and the role of the UNODC as the leading entity in the UN system for expressing and countering global drug problem. Malaysia views the one-track single reporting approach which is the is an important tool to a better implementation of UN agreements.

Russia: In accordance with resolution 61/10 you have a very responsible task to prepare an outline. We hope that progress will be placed on our collective efforts. The Russian delegation stands ready to support you in any way. In regard to the basic elements, we reaffirm the policy forming role of the CND as of the UNODC as the leading UN system, the competencies of the International Narcotics Control Board, the World Health Organisation. The door open to legalise drugs, we can’t agree with.

Japan: First of all, Japan wishes to reiterate our full support to the chair and CND in general. We are looking forward to a consensus with the preparation for the ministerial segment. As far as Japan is concerned, we do not see any necessity for us to produce another new policy document next year. Having said that, Japan wishes to share with member states some observations with regard to possible achievement. We think another new target year could be set, it would be 10 years with midterm review in 5 years’ time. CND as a central institution on drug issues should be paid direct once again. A linkage with 2030 agenda should also be mentioned. We reaffirm our commitment to the 3 conventions and think they should be respected and abided to. We think the 2009 and 2016 documents have commonalities and are embedded with each other – it should be pursued in one track.

USA: We have a number of very interesting and innovative things to reference from this morning. If there has been one recurring theme I think that recurred throughout these interesting intersessional meetings it is the responsibility of member states. Those obligations include everything starting from 1961 all the way up to UNGASS. I think we learned that member states are hungry for information that is technical and on expert level and that we not only need this information but that the member states will have to undertake the commitment to transpose that information into our action plans. We have to base our action plans on evidence-based strategies and we need to have effective ways to measure those strategies to look and see whatever in fact we have achieved what we want to achieve. We have heard a lot of discussions about targets vs. goals and on §36 or UNGASS. For us, the key issue is that as we look at §36 it doesn’t really address the challenges we face today. Yes, we have those problems if we were looking at earth from a 30 000-foot level, we would perhaps see those challenges but as we dig deeper, we find that the problems are much more complex and member states are to have guidance, we need to have more details. So perhaps rather than to decide what our goals are at this time, we need to dig deeper to find out what is our problem. So again, information is key. Perhaps we need to look at our internal structure to ensure that we are capturing all the information we need. Too often we think in terms of policies that should be driven down from the top, but the problem is at the ground level where the rubber meets the road, as we say. So, we need to find a way to be more effective in finding out what is happening in our towns, in our cities, how are mayors, how are county directors, how are chiefs of police, how are first responders – how we can help them. In terms of what we need to emphasise in whatever we are going to call the product of the meeting of 2019, we firmly believe in the effective work of the CND and we do not want to see that structure changed. We want member states to have a more effective role, and again we very much appreciate the advice and guidance, the wisdom of other UN entities and NGO’s. But ultimately the decision has to be made by UN member states and it is the task of our political will that action will be measured when we meet in March. We note the suggestion that 2030 is part of our framework, but we would suggest that perhaps it is a parallel framework. And we do need to be cognisant what is going on in that arena. It is definitely if we drew a thin diagram we would see that the world drug problem and the mandates of the commission definitely are connected with what happens with the SDG’s. But we are also independent, and we also have the singular focus on the world drug problem and we should not lose sight of that. As we think in terms of the future again information is key. If we don’t know how we are to achieve the goals if we don’t identify the targets from those goals, if we don’t know the indicators that will tell us how we achieved those targets and our goals, we won’t know where we go. I think it is unlikely that we have the question of ARQ settled by the time we meet in March, so perhaps we can focus on what member states do, what can member states do, what is our responsibility. How could we do that better, faster and more innovative? It was very interesting for example to listen to the presentation of the representative from Mexico, who highlighted an electronic system for prescription medicines, so that the state could than monitor the dispensations of the precious and vital medicines. That’s the kind of information that we need to keep sharing. Yes, the world drug problem is growing. But it’s not growing simply because of the framework we have. It’s the world we live in. We are living in an electronic world and those who are committing crimes are, they are on the internet, they are on the computers. We talk about money laundering for example. Money laundering was so key for us, in the beginning days of going after organised crime, because money laundering is actually the money footprint of the criminal, and so we can follow that footprint and find that criminal. In today’s world we don’t have the luxury of just having money laundering, now we have bitcoin; we have other ways that criminals are using, specifically to avoid leaving that footprint behind. We relied in the past on the DNA data for the plant-based substances, for cocaine and the opioids. We could detect from those plant-based products where they came from. When we turn to synthetics we don’t have that. So, these are challenges, and when we look at the goals we have to realize, we have to identify what are our challenges. As we prepare for 2030 all of our domestic agencies will be focusing on how we as individual governments achieve the SDGs.

Iran: The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches great importance to collective efforts in the 2009 political declaration, the joint ministerial statement and the UNGASS outcome document – these are based on the principle of complementarity and mutually reinforcing. Which is conclusive to make comprehensive political framework to bind the board of the international community in post 2019. In this connection the targets set in op. 36 of the 2019 political declaration are an unfinished job. Therefore, we are of the view that there is no need to negotiate new policy documents. On the same token and on one track approach, we believe that it is not only for a single report post 2019 but also for single implementation of the comprehensive political framework as contained in the 3 documents, hence we support the 2019 ministerial segment should be an opportunity for a comprehensive review as to progress and challenges regarding the implementation of 2009 political declaration. On the outline for beyond 2019, we believe that it could be a short document capturing the following elements: Report on the results of the implementation of the 2009 political declaration; Reaffirmation the commitments contained in the conventions; Reaffirm the role of the CND; Reaffirm the UNODC’s central role between the UN system; Single track follow up for implementation of the commitments as well as reporting of progress beyond 2019; Ten year time line to the midterm review in 2024; Recognising the importance of providing assistance and financial resources.

Singapore: It has been clear here to all of us during the last days of the intersessional meeting, that every country faces different challenges but what binds all of us together is our common commitments to the 3 international drug control conventions.  My delegation supports your efforts in crafting an outline to present in December 2018. I believe that the member states of the commission have yet to come to an agreement on what this outcome is supposed to be and advance to further discussion. Based on what all member states said, we do not see the need for a new policy document and we should be mindful in setting a realistic time line. About the UN reform: in Singapore there is a strong support of ne reforms, but we are also aware of that it is a very fluid and developing. Taking this into account in drafting the document, maybe something a little bit more general could be useful. Of course, we support the role of CND and UNODC as an essential role in addressing the world drug problem. With regard to the elements of the outcome, we mentioned that the work has really started from 60th CND and now we have a good basis for achieving a successful outcome for our ministerial segment in 2019.

Colombia: My delegation fully shares the vision of focusing on working on everything that unifies us and leaving out things that we disagree on. Our president said yesterday that if we want Colombia to live in peace, we have to stop the drug trafficking. While it is a global problem that affect all of us, it effects all of us differently. What maybe the problem today may not be the problem tomorrow… as example in the beginning, Colombia started with the production of marijuana a, then cocaine, then armed groups came, now we have a problem of internal consumption.

Egypt: My delegation is quite happy with this new format of meeting, which allows more interaction, for questions and answers and though better and deeper understanding of the matter at hand. My delegation also assures you of our full support in the coming discussions for the preparation of the ministerial conference which we hope will be successful in bridging the gaps which we do have among ourselves and we believe are not as distant as we may think. The 2019 HLMS presents an important opportunity for the implementation of commitments to addressing the world drug problem. Before we start discussing how do we view the outline needed for the preparations of the coming conference, my delegation believes there is a need to have further clarity on the aim of the outline and how it will be presented. It is in our view that such an outline that will be so important to drive us in the discussions to come, should not by any mean prejudge the work of the coming Chair. Egypt reaffirms the 3 drug conventions as the cornerstone of all our efforts toward the world drug problem, the political declaration of 2009, the ministerial statement of 2014 and UNGASS outcome document of 2016, as well as reaffirming the primary goal of the CND. My delegation among others shares the views that there is no need for a new policy document and that it is the time for implementations. The question of the relationship between the 3 documents, namely the political declaration, the ministerial statement and UNGASS outcome document remains the main question in hand. It is through further exploring the complementary and mutually reinforcing nature of these documents that we can be on the right track to reaching a one track approach in which we have the main political guidance from the commitments of member states to the political declaration and its targets. My delegation asserts that the importance of the targets listed in op. 36 of the political declaration to guide our way in implementing the UNGASS outcome document. The claim that op. 36 is outdated is rather something that we cannot agree with.  Any approach to the ARQ before reaching an agreement on the one track approach would be putting the cart before the horse and prejudging the whole discussions. In the end it will be as important to my delegation, that once we achieve a resolution that reaffirms all commitments that we have a follow mechanism with vivid time line for implementation. My delegation is open to any proposal to how the time line will look like provided it will allow for proper review of commitments. Thank you

Tanzania: I come from the part of the world where a few days ago we were dealing with a medical doctor and a few nurses stigmatising the mother of a child and refusing an addict methadone because she was late to go to a methadone clinic. An indication that a lot of people have not understood the severity of the problem we are dealing with. Sessions like this provide us with the opportunity of understanding the problem that we are facing in our countries. We reiterate and reconfirm our support of the CND and its role. We fully support the 3 international drug conventions and we look at the political declaration and plan of action document of 2009, the outcome document of 2016 as mutually reinforcing documents. Actually, we don’t see any confusion or any disparity between them. Initially our country, like any other country, began the tackling of the problem with the attack on the supply. But later on, we came to the realisation that we need to look at the problem in a more complex way… meaning that issue of supply, the issue of demand, the issue of harm reduction. We are doing great work and we are looking at the CND next as a point of reference.

Switzerland: All of us have learned a lot this session and we specifically appreciate the exchange with experts that actually deal with victims of the drug problem. We agree with previous speakers that we should focus on commonalities, find solutions and work together in finding solutions. We thank you very much for your work on the outline, Madame Chair. We support it very much and wish that priorities discussed in round table discussions and during general meeting to be included. It should also endorse the 2016 UNGASS outcome document, which includes the commitments made in previous documents such as 2009 political declarations. It should also highlight the interconnectivity of international drug policies to the SDGs. As part of the ongoing efforts to facilitate greater cooperation between government, institutions and other key stakeholders, the role of other UN agencies as well as civil society should be highlighted in the document. With regard to the round tables, we would like to align ourselves with the EU statement when they proposed 2 topics namely the review of implementations of commitments made as well as we focus on the implementations of UNGASS.

Peru: We consider that this debate that often brings us to compare the 2009 document with the UNGASS outcome. That is a stumbling stone. No delegation is against UNGASS 2016, the implementation of UNGASS 2016 will support in achieving those goals.

UK: We fully support the intervention made by Austria on behalf of the EU. We listened carefully to the intervention made this morning and agreed with his excellency the Ambassador of Uruguay that it is of utmost importance to discuss the important issues at the meeting in March and we hope that the intersessional process continues in the same way. I also agree with the representative of Pakistan that during the intersessional process it is important that we listen to each other to ensure we come to an agreement on the way ahead. The UK recognises the UNGASS outcome document as a reference document which build upon the progress made in 2009 political declaration and strengthens the global consensus on drug policy. The UK reaffirms our commitment to the 3 international drug control conventions and the UK remains fully committed to upholding its international obligations under these conventions. The outcome document of the HLMS should include key elements in human rights to ensure global drug policy is situated within the UN priorities protecting health and human rights, promoting development and advancing peace and security. It is also important that civil society and the scientific community continue to participate in the commission.
The UK doesn’t believe that a new policy document will be required in 2019. Rather international efforts should now be focused on implementing the UNGASS outcome document which provides comprehensive guidance for addressing the world drug problem. We do take note of the requests by member states that specific targets are required post 2019. Any targets must reflect UNGASS. As the ambassador of Argentina said, it is important that we work together to find the points of convergence going forward. We must assure that our work here is aligned with developing SDG’s. The UK remains committed to UNODC and the current mechanism. For the UK UN reform means ensuring that the UN has more impact and can deliver on its peace and security core purposes on the 2030 SDG’s.

Chair: Morning session adjourned.

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AFTERNOON SESSION

Czech Republic: With regard to the increasing incidents of drug use, production and trafficking, it is obvious that our interventions didn’t achieve any of its objectives. In light of this we the need to build a new framework for global drug policy on the basis of conclusions of the success of the previous documents. We would like to stress that since we all signed the document in 2016, it should mean in real politics to focus on help rather than punishment and on achieving realistic goals on harm minimisation rather than on zero tolerance. We also strongly encourage and believe in much stronger involvement of all relevant UN agencies such as WHO, UNAIDS, UNDP as well as civil society in all decision-making process. Close coordination is important for balance and comprehensive approach to world drug policy problem and gives perspective and insight based on scientific evidence, professional experience and practice. We believe that the people centred approach based on UNGASS outcome document is the core of the international drug control system. Issues of public health, harm reduction, human rights, proportional sentences or sustainable development must all be considered for the international policies to be affective in the future.

Morocco: The problem of drugs remains a common challenge, a challenge that knows no borders. And the actions of the international community in the years to come must be based on a true evidence-based diagnosis free of geostrategic or political considerations. The global struggle against drugs in an ongoing operation and there is a need for international cooperation in this regard. Is our cooperation functioning perfectly and did we do all that we can to enhance this cooperation bilaterally or multilaterally? At times countries are hesitant to answer that question. Even when we seek information from Interpol or other platforms, there are three possibilities either no reply at all, or vague information or miss information. In those cases, states are asked to reconsider their policies and implement effective and renewed modes for cooperation. A well-balanced approach would be of particular relevance for our country. The actions we undertake should be complementary, not contradictory in nature all the documents that have been furnished to date, provide us with a basis and perhaps they should be matched to new trends and patterns in the global drug situation. Here we recognise the role that the CND plays in assisting, guiding and furthering international consensus in this area within the UN system.

Nigeria: Nigeria believes that the outcome of the ministerial segment should extend the target dates of the 2009 political declaration and plan of action beyond 2019 and enforce deeply on information and expertise, on efforts, achievements thus identified and best practices to address and conquer the world drug problem. Nigeria also restates our commitment to the effective implementation of the 2009 political declaration and a plan of action on the world drug problem. It is essential to also indicate that my delegation has actively participated in all intersessional meeting of all UNGASS outcome documents. We believe the UNGASS documents, including this operational recommendation is a milestone in the efforts of the international community to effectively address and counter the world drug problem and promote a society free of drug abuse. Nigeria maintains a notion that international cooperation remains inevitable in global drug control. It forces information sharing and provides the platform on which the drug control issues are implemented along the principle of shared responsibility. We will continue to respond to mutual legal assistance requests from other countries on drug related issues to strengthen our commitments to those initiatives. We also encourage our partner countries to respond timely to our requests as information is time bound. The mode of consummate of illicit substances remains a complicated issue that needs close attention in the effort to addressing illicit drug trafficking. It remains a significant challenge in drug law enforcement as no single matter suffices and new techniques are continually emerging. The seizure of cannabis accounts annually for the highest drug seized in Nigeria. Unfortunately, as the cultivation of cannabis persists many hectares of farm lands are dissipated to illicit cultivation and thus deprive the population if the use of this lands for cash crops farming. Nigeria remains deeply concerned about the abuse of prescription drugs and the abuse of substances not on the international such as Tramadol. Effective drug prevention contributes significantly to positive engagement of children youth and adults within their families, schools, work place and community. Worrisome also is the emergence of new psychoactive substances and challenges they impose on the health of persons. Our primary responsibility as member state in the area of drug control is to ensure adequate affordability and availability of controlled substances for those who need them for the relief of pain and medical and scientific purposes while preventing diversion for illicit purposes. Nigeria notes with great concern a new trend in the use of adulterants in drugs of abuse. Our national drug law enforcement agent’s laboratory reveals that drugs are now increasing cut with multiple highly toxic adulterant. In some cases, as many as 10 different adulterants. The information is in addition to impurity from the drug manufacturing process. I would like to conclude by reiterating Nigeria’s appreciation for technical support received from the UNODC, the EU and all our development partners. We believe that in line with principles of common and shared responsibility the continuous tracking of cooperation through information sharing and capacity building of law enforcement officials by states will enhance measure for addressing the world drug problem.

China: The Chinese delegation would also like to cooperate with the chair in the following process of consultations and discussions. I hope consultation to come will be transparent and taking into account the opinions from all sides. Certainly, with support the positions of many delegations that means we should seek common ground while leaving our differences aside so that our discussions will be focused on points on which we can reach consensus. At the same time, with the regard to the post 2019 process we should emphasise the following points. First of all, we should reiterate our commitment to the three international drug control conventions. They form a corner stone of the present regime of drug control. Secondly, we support the role of CND as the policy making organ of the UN. We offer support the UNODC, UNDP and WHO to carry out their functions with the regard to drug control. We hope that jointly we will follow up three political documents that means that 2009 political declaration the 2014 ministerial declaration as well as the outcome document of UNGASS of 2016. With regard to the reform of the UN as mentioned by the chair in the morning, we will like to make the following comments: we support an even more important role of UNODC within the UN system. With the regard to the objectives mentioned in operative paragraph 36 of the 2009 document we believe that even though these objectives are ambitious they are still very useful and of benefit to us, because they will point out direction for our work in future. At the same time, we will be reminded time again of the fact that it is still a long way to go. As we know that to reduce poverty or remove poverty is very difficult, however we are still making every effort to persist in this direction. It is important that governments convey the correct message to society and to population as well as the correct political direction of message to make it clear to young people so that they can judge what is right and what is wrong. To take a very simple example: when we are educating young people, we should tell them that you can choose to kill a person or not to kill. But if we tell the young that after you kill a person then we will provide you with such options – this is ridiculous. Therefore, we should still orient ourselves to majority of society and integrate a balance approach to issue of drugs.

Netherlands: We fully ally ourselves with the statement made by Austria on behalf of the EU. I believe you still seek guidance on the form and the value of the outline and just to share our understanding of this outline: We trust that it will include the key elements and hopefully in quite detail. Also, basis or an index for the possible short outcome documents in 2019 that needs to be adopted by ministers, it could include those elements where there is common ground, but also those where you see that are still divergent fuses and differences and come with possible solutions. We agree with comments made by various colleagues in the room, that this outline should include the fruit of our work and discussion we will have in the coming weeks and months, but it should not prejudge the work that still needs to be done by the next chair and by ourselves starting from January. We have seen that there can be a big difference and big gaps between our perceptions and at the same time, we are far away from achieving our goals and objectives in addressing the world drug problem in an effective manner. Let us work in a direction that focuses on commonalities instead of the differences. In that perspective, let me make very clear that for the Netherlands resolution 60/1 and mainly op1 to 4 are a sound basis that there is a common ground in recognising that the different commitments to addressing the world drug problem are complementary and mutually reinforcing whilst also recognising that UNGASS outcome document is the most recent consensus and it also reaffirm their commitments to implementing  provisions of 2009 plan of action. We think there is no need to repeat this discussion we already had two years ago and there is no need for another new policy document. We should focus our efforts after 2019 on implementing what is already there and the commitments we have. We reaffirm the principle role of the CND as the policy making body of the UN, with prime responsibility for drug control. And the UNODC as the leading entity in the UN system for addressing and countering the world drug problem. We believe that in order to effectively address to world drug problem and implementing our commitments announce intense cooperation is necessary including with the WHO, UN Women and OHCHR. A partnership is also outlined in SDG17 are crucial to achieve our ambitions and we would also like to encourage for some more cooperation with ECOSOC. We think that is very valuable to our work. We recognize that we need different issues on targets. Targets are an important drive for our policies and that will define the way ahead. At the minimum possible targets should include all UNGASS outcome documents elements. And I can also say that defining targets indicate that it is not just a political process from our side, but it is also very technical process. We believe, that an outline should include a strong commitment for a one-track approach and strength in data collection instruments capacity. We have a firm base there already in 60/1. We believe that it is a crucial part of the way forward after 2019. Better data and statistics on various elements of the world drug problem is needed to get a realistic picture of the problem and understanding it and to bend our discussions and policy decisions as well as our interventions. And also, then to be able to take stock in 10 years’ time on where we stand. We also think that the work we do here in the commission is fully integrated with the relevant sustainable development goals 2030 development agenda and our efforts to minimize drug harms our mutually enforcing and link with the agenda 2030 should really reinforce and strengthen efforts on both sides. Finally, we believe that an outline should include a time line, to guide our efforts and a point on the horizon for the CND to take stock of the progress made, regarding the implementation of our commitments and operation recommendations. A 10 years’ time line seems to make sense and could possibly be accompanied with a midterm moment to take also stock.

Spain: We too fully support the statement made by Austria on the behalf of the EU and we’d like to make some additional comments on national capacity. We’ve seen very intense interesting debates and we’ve gone into a lot of debate, plus we had the participation of the civil society which is priceless, and we hope that this will be repeated in the future Intersessionals. We affirm the CND and UNODC are the UN bodies that work to combat the illicit use of drugs and we’re all involved in the process that will culminate in March 2019 with resolution 60/1 and 60/10 as the main input. We believe that differences among the debated policy documents are not that great. We have to ass’s paragraph 36, but also paragraph 40 of the 2009 declaration. It talks about the extraordinary session which really is in line with current methods of production and we need to work on that, because the 2016 document is the most valid for implementing policies and we’ve said rather than talked and draw new documents. We must implement recommendations and proposals and the UNGASS document is full of them and we should not waste that or squander it. We believe that we must be pragmatic in our approach to this outline document however we wish to call it and we do support it in principle and in you and your team. On issues such as the death penalty and harm reduction of which the consensus is that there is no consensus; they should still be included in the outline, because whenever these subjects are discussed they don’t appear in the documents and it is as though we hadn’t raised the issue and I feel that we’re almost hiding that from our populations. I want to defend the stance taken by my delegation that we’ve never had a document that featured the words harm reduction, and yet these are the words that are pounded around quite frequently, so it’s rather disappointing not to see them anywhere. The ambassador of Uruguay says there’s no problem with regards to different opinions. We cannot oblige countries to implement policies and strategies which have been positive for us. UNODC provides extraordinary documents with lethal information, if we had more document on we would be able to design policies and strategies that would be more effective. And finally, with regards to reform of agenda 2030, the process which will culminate in March 2019, is an inextricably linked to UN reform and we truly hope that reform will reveal the preeminence of UNODC and CND. Regarding the sustainable development goals of 2030, we agree they must be linked to put only those which are relevant, so it is not to dilute the impact of the major issues with regards to drugs.

South Africa: Let me also welcome your opening remarks this morning, where you cautioned delegations to desist from elevating one document at the expense of another.  On that note we want to underscore the complementarity between political declaration of 2009, the ministerial declaration as complemented by the UNGASS outcome document and the three drugs convention. To us, we consider that to be the most appropriate approach in reaching a comprehensive and all-inclusive strategy to address the world drug problem. We also want to register the relevance of op 36 of the political declaration in guiding this process beyond 2019. My delegation subscribes to the view that there is no need for any policy documents post 2019. In this regard we call for the focus on the implementation on the already existing commitments. We call upon the member states to identify the necessary technical assistance needs, the provision of capacity building and we encourage the international corporation to address the world drug problem.

Sri Lanka: Along with all the measures proposed during this session, I would like to reiterate the fact that the need to explore more too see that the current drug policy address the root cause of the drug problem. All the drug related issues which has become more complex in nature, emerging trends relate to drug addiction. If you look at the causes of drug addiction mindfully, deep inside you mind, it will make you realised the root cause of the problem. That these people are not addicted to drugs, even if appears to be so that they are addicted to drugs, they are absolutely addicted to the sensation they get in their mind. When they take drugs, they feel a particular sensation, which they see as pleasurable. In their mind they start liking it and they tend to take more and more drugs to increase the sensation. Therefore, with all the measures we have discussed during the sessions, I strongly suggest that we need to pay our attention to the root cause of the problem which exists in the mindset of the people. That this is where the primary problem exists. However, we have put all our emphasis on the secondary problems which come from the primary problem. That is where the mindfulness technique becomes a very powerful tool, which allows people to realize within themselves the reality. They will realize that they have been suffering due to a sensation that is just a refection when image occurred in their mind and not due to an outside object. Once they realize this point, they don’t tend to react on it that is to take the drug in. With the technique of mindfulness, they all practice to observe their sensations and they see the sensations come and go without reacting to it. The skills are great insights to how powerful is this technique to generate pleasurable feeling in their minds, which prevent themselves to react and go for drugs or so-called pleasurable feeling. Madam chair my humble request and wish is that CND, UNODC, other organisations and distinguish delegates realize the importance of mindfulness and consider the points which are mentioned in this statement for the inclusion with the international drug policy framework. In order to protect our youth and children our future world and the drug problem.

Brazil: I assure, you have our full cooperation and trust in conducting the work that will allow us to produce an outline for the way beyond 2019. One that can truly help us in our negotiations towards the ministerial segment, pointing to areas of our commonalities as well as indicating possible ways of tackling those areas where we still don’t have consensus. We have to be pragmatic and overcome this artificial divide between the ties of our previous commitments. We do concur fully, and we affirm in the central of the CND and UNODC. And this relevance depends as well on the increased cooperation with other relevant UN entities to keep CND an UNODC in the center of discussion. We share the view that we do not need new policy documents, we feel that our way forward will reaffirm all the commitments we made on the past decade and that need to accelerate the implementation of the operation or recommendations approved by the member states in 2016. We did not believe that singling out specific paragraphs of any of the documents will provide as a way forward, but if we manage to bring forward the documents that we’ve agreed on in this decade in their entirety we could have a clearer direction and a common path. Those documents have been negotiated on long nights to make sure that there is balance within them. And when we start picking paragraphs we abandon the balance within them. And when we start picking paragraphs we abandon the balance and then it becomes very difficult for us to achieve consensus. My delegation is of the view, that we will only be able to make progress in implementation, if we are also able to adequately asses the results of our action. We need in a short and clear period of time to be able to have access to this improved data to support evidence-based discussions. And the updating of the ARQ’s is essential part of this process. We understand that better data will enable us to better asses the results of our policies and then allow for a meaningful review of our commitments a few years down the line. I was also glad madam president, to hear your view on the outline includes the need to further discuss how to increase the interaction between the work of the CND and our commitment to address the world drug problem and the UN wide commitment to contribute to the sustainable development goals. I think that is a point where we still have a lot to debate.

Algeria: Our delegation wishes to assure you of its full support regarding your commitment and your leadership ensuring that a climate of dialog and exchange prevails in keeping with the objectives of resolution 61/10 and the general guideline regarding the path to follow post 2019. There are undoubtedly different viewpoints, but it is important that we agree on a common path to follow. In our national capacity we wish to highlight the following elements. The significance of the three international drug control conventions and the INCB which is responsible for their implementation. The central role played by the CND, which is the leading organ with regard to the global drugs policy. Negotiations on the new political document is therefore neither timely nor welcomed. The political declaration of 2009 and the joint 2014 ministerial declaration an UNGASS document of 2016 are mutually reinforcing and complementary in nature as it has been recognised in resolution 61/1 of the CND and therefore can serve as a solid basis for our negotiations.

Germany aligns fully to the statement pronounced by Austria on behalf of the EU and I want just to flag that to my government the holistic approach of UNGASS is the essence and we are very satisfied that the EU in the last 10 days has reaffirmed its adherence to this holistic point of view in a common position.  I would like to share a reflection of caution. The ministerial segment is a moment when the leaders meet, and it sends a message to the public – a message that should be credible. And my note of caution goes in the direction of targets. If we were the board of pharmaceutical company of course we can set a target that we double the output of pharmaceutical pills, but the CND is not a board of a pharmaceutical company. We do not manage and steer the world. The other half of the actors are criminals and we have to react to them. So, I would suggest that we should rather not fall into the trap and setting targets than then we have to review and every time we would review them we have to admit complete failure. We have not achieved the goal free of drugs. We are living in the world full of drugs. And we will not create or achieve credibility, if we set targets, which we know we will never be able to fulfil. However, we should flag ambition and really strong commitment to reinforce our efforts where it is necessary.

Canada: On the role of the CND and the promotion of partnerships, we fully support reinforcing the central role of the CND in addressing world drug problem. While we are generally not supportive of renewing specific targets, we do, having heard some of the views in the room, see that there may be some merits in a discussion on targets that would help up measure progress against the UNGASS recommendations and set for example health and human rights as related policy goals. With regards to data collection, the one-track approach, we are prepared to continue the discussion on this issue. We fully support the importance of basing policy and approaches on scientific data. This is in fact the key element of Canada national approach to drug problem, so we do see some value in that. On the time line – no strong views from our perspective. We heard 10 years as a time line, which makes some sense to us and we would be prepared to join consensus on that. Finally, on a broader point, and I do understand the various positions with regards to the various standing of the documents that we have developed. We consider the 2016 UNGASS document as the basis for our work, that there is a common theme about the need to move to implementation, and if I may paraphrase that believe. It was Dr. Gilberto Guerra earlier this week, jokingly I think, that CND could perhaps just pause its work and really start implementing the very vast body of policies that has developed over the years. And frankly from our perspective, this is a very key point here. We need to listen to those experts that tells us that it is time now to move to action.

Slovenia supports the common statement of the EU presented by Austria. We would like to be oriented to the future and not to the past. It is the reason why we support UNGASS document. The main objective of all of us is implementing this document all over the world. From that reason the first goal of the ministerial conference is to open the door by consensus of all of us to support UNGASS document and activities based on it and to help implement it all over the world.

OHCHR: Zaved Mahmood:  Madam Chair, Excellencies, Good Afternoon! I thank you for allowing the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to take the floor this afternoon. This year, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70. Also, in this year, we observed the 25th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration on declaration and program of action on human rights. These anniversaries provide a unique opportunity to reflect on and strengthen the relationship between drug control efforts and human rights. The recent report of the High Commissioner on the implementation of the joint commitment to effectively addressing and countering the world drug problem with regard to human rights discusses good practices, identify gaps and provide recommendations for addressing those human rights gaps. Our office encourages this Commission to consider those recommendations in your deliberation for the preparation of the high-level segment of 62nd Session on the Commission to be held in March 2019. We hope that these recommendations will strengthen this Commission’s efforts to advance human rights in drug policy debates. Madam Chair, in is a firm commitment of Member States “to respect, protect and promote all human rights, fundamental freedoms and the inherent dignity of all individuals and the rule of law in the development and implementation of drug policies”. Despite this clear commitment, the right to life has continued to be challenged in some States. A dramatic upsurge in extrajudicial executions, torture, arbitrary detention and arrest, enforced disappearance and other serious human rights violations has been reported in the context of the “war on drugs” campaign launched in those States. There have been some alarming tendencies towards a deeper militarisation of the responses, or heavy-handed law and order approach, to counter drug-related crimes. Such approaches have disproportionately affected vulnerable groups and has repeatedly resulted in serious human rights violations, including costing the lives of thousands of people. In June 2017, the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged States to examine the effectiveness of the war-on-drugs approach and its consequences for human rights. (https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2017/June/message-of-united-nations-secretary-general–antnio-guterres–on-the-international-day-against-drug-abuse-and-illicit-trafficking.html) Madam Chair, ensuring that governments are held responsible for protecting human rights through drug laws, policies and strategies requires tracking data and conducting regular assessments of the human rights situation as it relates to drug control. On several occasions, human rights treaty bodies have recommended that States provide data, statistics and information on issues related to human rights in drug control efforts.  There is a growing realisation that the traditional indicators regarding arrests, seizures and criminal justice responses are inadequate to show the real impact of drug policies on communities. The success of drug control strategies should be measured through an assessment of the impact of drug control efforts in the enjoyment of human rights and other critical aspects such as security, health and socioeconomic development. In her recent report A/HRC/39/39, the High Commissioner for Human Rights encouraged States to collect up-to-date, comprehensive, dis-aggregated and transparent data on drug control efforts. The data gathered should also be used by States to analyse the impact of drug control efforts on the enjoyment of human rights, and to enhance compliance with international human rights norms and standards in the administration of drug policies. The data should also help to produce information for the public and policymakers about the impact of drug policies, whether positive or negative, and to assess the need for relevant human rights training of law enforcement, prison and judicial officers and others involved in the implementation of drugs laws and policies. The UNGASS 2016 outcome document recommends that States consider including information, on a voluntary basis, concerning, inter alia, the promotion of human rights, when furnishing information to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs pursuant to the three international drug control conventions and the relevant Commission resolutions. OHCHR has developed a set of human rights indicators for the realization of human rights, and guidance on a human rights-based approach to data collection in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.  Both can provide guidance in strengthening and streamlining existing data-collection and analysis tools in drug control efforts. Aligning the current way of measuring and evaluating drug policies, with the 2030 sustainable development agenda and human rights would have two clear benefits;

  • First, such harmonisation would help to overcome many of the limitations of drug policies resulting from suboptimal metrics for measuring their impact, and
  • Second, help to ensure drug policies enhance, rather than hinder, efforts to achieve both the SDGs and State’s human rights obligations.

The human rights approach should not only be used for data collection through the ARQ process at the international level. Pursuant to paragraph 6 of CND Resolution 60/1, efforts to strengthen data collection and analysis tools at the national level should also be informed by human rights indicators. Madam Chair let me conclude by quoting the High Commissioner Michele Bachelete. In her maiden Statement to the Human Rights Council on 10 September, the High Commissioner stated, and I quote: “Drug issues everywhere are best tackled through a focus on health, education and opportunities – not the death penalty, or death squads.” (https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23518&LangID=E) Thank you, Madam Chair.

Chair: I have taken note of all of your comments and I will work on reflecting them in the work that will be developed in the coming days. Let me mention again that my intention is to be in constant communication with all of you, with all delegations and groups for advancing this proposal, so that we are on time to have everything ready. In the upcoming October and November organisational segments we will have the opportunity to further fine tune the outline for the outcome in order to have ready the product to be presented to the reconvene session in December. Now I would like to move to the other business items. As mentioned on Tuesday, I would like to briefly touch on several issues. The first one is the preparations for the 61. reconvened session in December. As you will recall it was agreed by the CND at the reconvene 60th session of December 2017, the date for the reconvene 61th session are the 6th and 7th of December. Some of the members of the bureau have announced as well that there will depart Vienna in the second part of the year and some of the regional groups will therefore have to nominate bureau members for the remaining period of the 61th session. We have already been notified of the nomination of his excellency ambassador Monsieur Ahmad Khan, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN Vienna for the position of the second vice chair for the remaining period of the 61th session. The election will happen at the opening of the reconvene 61th session in December. I invite the other regional groups concerned to come up with nominees to take vacant post as soon as possible.

Now I would like to move to a special segment on 5th of December. As it was decided at the 25th of June intersessional meeting of the commission, we will all have during the reconvene session of the 61th session an additional meeting to broader the preparations for the ministerial segment in March 2019. General assembly sitting arrangements will be used. The proposed program of the work of the special segment in December is: opening of the special segment, the adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters, the general debate on the preparations for the ministerial segment and other business. And of course, the closure of the special segment – no comments from the floor.

Now I will move to the item regarding joint meetings with the CCPCJ on 6th of December. In line with the ECOSOC decision 2011/259 on 7th December the CND will hold two meetings jointly with the CCPCJ for the purpose of considering the items included in the operational segment in the agendas of both commissions. With regard to the agenda item entitled Policy directives to the drug program of the office and strengthening the drug program and the role of the CND as its governing body including administrative budgetary strategic management questions, their commission will have before it a report of the executive director on the implementation of the consolidated budget for 2018/2019. The UN Office on drugs which will also be discussed at FINGOV prior to the session in December. Pursuing to CND resolution 59/9 the commission will have before it at the reconvene session in December the report of the executive director on gender balance and geographic representation we think the UNODC.

I would further like to report that the commission will most likely also have before it a conference room paper relating to the strategic frame work for 2020 for UNODC. It is my understanding that this matter will also be discussed during the meetings of FINGOV prior the reconvene session in December. I kindly invite all the members of the commission to engage thoroughly with the FINGOV bearing in mind not only the importance of the issues at stake, but also for particular contexts for addressing those issues deriving by the ongoing reform process.

Now I will move to another item which is the separate CND meeting in the morning of the 7th of December. I would like to inform you that the morning session from 10am to 1pm on the 7th of December, will be devoted to a separate meeting. On that commission will consider the remaining the items on its agenda including agenda item 5 which deals with the implementation of the international drug control treaties. It is expected that pursuing to CND resolution 58/10 and following past practice our representative of the WHO will report to the commission at the time of the reconvened session about the outcome of the 40th meeting of the WHO expert committee on drug dependence which was held in Geneva from the 4th to the 7th this year and that was dedicated to the critical review of the cannabis plant and resin extracts and tinctures of cannabis delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and isomers of THC. The WHO will further brief the commission about the outcome of the 41st meeting of the ECDD which is scheduled to take place in Geneva in November 2018. In that meeting the committee is expected to undertake critical reviews of cannabis plant and resin extracts and tinctures of cannabis delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and isomers of THC as well as a number of new psychoactive substances NPS including Fentanyl analogues and other psychoactive substances.

Egypt: Can the secretariat kindly specify the exact date of the meeting in November?

Secretary: The information is already available on the website of the ECDD.

Iran: The findings of the ECDD: will it be directly shared with us or it is supposed to be discussed within the WHO frame?

Secretary: You had been already sent information about the outcome of the ECDD meeting.

There was a resolution a couple years ago in which the commission asks the WHO to provide information on the outcome of the ECDD meeting at the reconvened session. But so far, any communication will be the same as it was just a couple of weeks ago: ECDD informs WHO, WHO informs the secretary channel and the secretariat here on behalf of the secretary channel informs member states.

Chair: I would like to now move to the composition of the bureau of the 62th session of the CND. In this regard I would like to remind delegations that following the closure of the 61th session, the 62nd session will be open for the purpose of electing the chair, three vice chairs and the rapporteur for that session. The officers to be elected by the commission for 62nd session will be from regional groups as follows: the chair will be taken by the African group, the first vice chair by Asia Pacific group, the second vice chair by Eastern European group, the third vice chair by Western European and other states and the rapporteur by the Latin American and Caribbean states.

Secretary: Back to the question raised by Egypt. The dates are 12th to the 16th of November. I would like to inform the chair about something that is not a pleasant announcement. Since the beginning of this biannual we have explained again that the budget is not enough to cover the travel of all commissions. But until now we are receiving the same number of requests. Next year the budget will be cut another 10%. The measure we will do that in the upcoming session we will only cover economy class tickets.

Chair: Next agenda point: contributions to the work of the ECOSOC. The 2018 high level political forum was held in July 9 to 18th of July in New York and the theme was transformation toward sustainable and resilient societies. As chair of the CND I was invited to report on the work of the CND at its 61st session at the coordination management meeting of the ECOSOC. Action was taken by ECOSOC to consider the report of the CND on its 61st session as well as to approve the provisional agenda for the 62nd session. At that occasion also, there was a panel discussion with other chairs of the functional commissions including CCPCJ, the commission on the status of women and the UN statistical commission. On the 23rd of July the general assembly adopted resolution 72/305 entitled review of the implementation of general assembly resolution 68/1 on the strengthening of the ECOSOC that also deals with its subsidiary bodies. I have already identified the UN reform process as one of the key elements for a possible outline. The CND will have to reflect on the implications deriving from this resolution for its own working methods.

Moving on. I would like to inform you that an intergovernmental expert group meeting on international challenges posed by non-medical use of synthetic opioids will be convened on the 3rd to the 4th of December at the VIC here immediately preceding the recombine 61st session of the CND. The UNOCD was requested that together with the INCB and the WHO organize such meetings on the on medical use of synthetic opioids with a view to learn more about the challenges and to produce core elements for an international response. Invitations will be sent very soon. I would also like to announce that the subsidiary meeting of the CND will hold their next meeting in period ahead as follows HONLEA Asia Pacific will take place in Thailand from the 2nd to the 5th of October. HONLEA Latin America will take place in Chile from the 22nd to 26th of October. I also would like to announce that in line with past practice I will be providing a briefing to delegations in New York on 3rd of October, which is next Tuesday. Which is exactly one day before the 3rd committee of the general assembly will start considering its agenda item on international drug control.

Secretary: As Mr. Brandolino has informed you during the session in March, there is a lot of inter-agency work that has been ongoing in response to the goal that was made in the UNGASS document that UNODC and CND would enhance their cooperation with other entities. And what we have seen this week is that other UN entities are actively participating in the work of the CND – information will also be posted on our website. We will also encourage UN entities to provide information for inclusion in our good practices data base which is also available in our website. More information will follow in future meetings.

Chair: Any other issues? No. I would encourage all delegation to remain seated for the 3 civil society videos that have been sent in for our earlier debate on issues that have to deal with drugs and human rights.

Videos are on vngoc.org

Chair: Closing. In the next few days we will get in touch with all of you and we will work on tackling the world drug problem from a practical and realistic and human angle.

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