CND Intersessional Meeting, 25 October 2018: Preparations for the ministerial segment to be held during the 62nd session of the CND

Chair – Today is time for the Organizational Segment. This is our 4th day of the 4th intersessional meeting. We listened to interesting presentations and it was an interactive, dynamic session. I thank you for your cooperation. Proposed agenda for HLMS has to be decided in December. I hope today will prevail as an opportunity to discuss the way ahead.
We have a clear framework to address the world drug problem, but the execution differ on the ground. Our challenge is to better organize the ministerial segment to ensure most participation possible. Now, regarding the themes, we got a preliminary proposal, based on which, I would like to submit my suggestions. I remember getting to a point of almost consensus last March but I did listen to you and it seems there are ideas floating in this room. For the round-tables: 2019 target date for taking stock, road ahead for fostering our efforts to counter the world drug problem. I would take this proposals forward but I would like to hear from you first. I will be available to receive additional input, but any further inputs should be shared by Friday the 2nd of November to allow time for the Secretariat to adequately prepare. For the outline of the way beyond 2019, I express my deepest appreciation for all delegations to engage in constructive dialogues, the views and suggestions were of great benefit to this presidency, we came out with a clearer understanding. I shared with the extended bureau a proposed outline for beyond 2019 that was immediately circulated. This gave us a basis for discussion and we started with the consultations, so it served a good purpose

I understand there is a lot of common ground and I have the mandate to present the outline that is a guide, not a binding document. As a reflection of this stance and benefiting from flexibility, I consulted with the regional groups to get feedback on the outline. Before opening the floor for your feedback, the exchanges of the intersessionals confirmed that we have a clear framework to conduct our business, in order to envision beyond 2019 we need to know where we are and want to go next. We will bear in mind the realities on the ground, the new operational realities to which the commission and the office have to adequately step in. Emerging from the common understandings to the content of the outline I propose are: preamble, stock taking, work beyond 2019.
After dialogues with regional groups, once we received additional feedback from delegations, we will work on the specific content of the outline. The ideas we generally got was these sections. I will be building this outline with all of you in a process that everybody feels comfortable with, this is something we all take seriously. I want to make sure the next chair from the African group has good advance on the work we do. The mandate I have allows me for the outline to be a suggestion, it is not a binding document, it will be up to the next chair to propose a final draft. I will avoid unnecessary controversies and I encourage you to be on the same track, I saw a lot of common ground in the past meetings and we should build on that to be productive. Everybody knows where we stand what our priorities are. What I would like to add are that 3 conventions and 2009, 2013 and 2016 documents serve as a basis when we look into the future. So let’s aim to be sensitive, sensible – in implementation we need to do a lot and accommodate taking the next steps. A meeting at the expert level will take place next Monday in room C3 to exchange views and address pending items. We will be keeping informal consultations in November and we will be ready on the 30th. I will be putting all my hours into this important task and I am counting on your support and flexibility to have a productive fifth intersessional to be able to comply with my mandate. Now, I open the floor for comments.

Pakistan – We agree it is important to take stock and talk about the implementation of joint political commitments for HLMS. We hope stock taking will help set us clear goals for beyond and mobilize fresh political momentum and renew the spirit of consensus to address all aspects of the world program. It’s a collective responsibility to make HLMS a great success and we have 3 specific matters: I will mention: (1) process of preparations should be conducted in a transparent and inclusive manner, closely aligned with the mandate we agreed on 60/10. We should aim for the optimum use of precious time allocated for intersessional meetings. Given the significance of supply reduction, we were expecting more form UNODC in terms of import. During the intersessionals, we saw tendencies to externalize blame and responsibility, this is counterproductive our discussion should remain focused on our agenda and mandate. I reiterate our firm commitment to contribute to the preparation process. (2) round-tables: we know there are good proposals, but we should avoid duplication of discussions. How would stocktaking there differ from the HLMS plenary? We would really insist on consultations, one round table should specifically address the one common point widely agreed, the follow-up: how do we enhance international cooperation, principle of shared responsibility and most importantly, how to mobilize necessary means of implementation that is rarely addressed. (3) Outline for beyond 2019: I really thank you for the informal meetings, we share agreement on simple structure so we can achieve consensus. These should underscore the significance of the 3 conventions as cornerstones, underline the treaty mandated role of institutes, post 2019 should be guided by the three documents, reiterate the goals of 2009, plus a clear process including timeline. We should culminate the talking about 2009 and 2016 in an integrated track to avoid parallel work. As for data collection, feed into the process of UNODC and review ARQ and streamline plus improve data collections tools. We would like to see a strong call for enhancing international cooperation.

Peru – Thank you for your leadership, it is not an easy process. We won’t repeat what we already spoken about in relation to what we believe the beyond 2019 form it should take, I would just like the underscore the issue of round-tables, we are flexible regarding the numbers but regarding the two sections you’ve mentioned, we believe we can work on those and nuance them further. In general, we are in favor of it. We also believe in making progress towards a one track approach, the document emanating from the process in 2016 contributes to the 2009 declaration, this is at the heart of the single track approach.

Austria on behalf of the EU – Reaching an agreement on the outline will facilitate our work for the next 10 years, we are interested to listen to different opinions and deliberation of the commission. We are in favor of submitting the outline at the reconvened session. We are strongly committed to the CND. We welcome your commitment to consult with the regional groups and the interactive discussions. The forthcoming HLMS is an important moment to have a debate and reflect on the future – we reiterate these elements shall be foundations of the document: 1, we fully support the principal role of UNODC and CND. It is key that we engage with other UN bodies as well. 2, implement UNGASS in line with SDGs, they complement and enforce each other. 3, comprehensive and evidence based policy making, full compliance with the conventions on supply and demand reduction. We support prevention, harm reduction measures and adequate access of controlled substances for science and medical purposes; We think proportionate response for drug related offences is also an important part of the conversation. We oppose the death penalty in all circumstances. 4, for an integrated, balanced, evidence based approach, reliable data is an important basis. Improving the ARQ it is the backbone of reporting: HLMS should prioritize this. 5, civil society and scientific community to be actively engaged and the CSTF to be meaningfully included.
We remain committed to address the threats we face, we will engage with the international community to respond. For us the 7 thematic areas laid out in the UNGASS outcome document are a comprehensive guidance in addressing the world drug problem. We’d like to see measurable progress and think that strengthening the links with SDGs are key.

USA – We appreciate your work. We support the outline for the 2019 deliverables that were based on the consultations. Beyond the structure, we think these should be included: 1, reaffirm support for the conventions, the 2009 declaration, the 2014 and 2016 documents. 2, underscore treaty mandate roles of INCB and WHO. 3, we should exclaim now is the time to double our efforts for national implementation of agreements, no need for a new document. 4, deliverables should establish a new target date for us to take stock, this could feed into SDG preparations or benefit from SDG efforts – the 2030 agenda includes a broad range of efforts, but ours need specific expertise. While the drug problem relates to the SDGs, we think it shouldn’t distract us from our main job. 5, measurements. We all agree the need to assess ourselves, we just need to agree how. 6, UN reform it is up to ECOSOC and they will inform he CND, so let’s not focus too much on this. We believe areas where we agree are much stronger than where we divert. For round-tables, we endorse your proposal, but request more specificity.

Iran – You encouraged us to provide specific comments on the outline beyond 2019. We have the following to say: outline could be a forward looking short document capturing these: 1, a stock taking exercise in light with the target date; 2, commitment to the conventions; 3, targets OP36 of 2009; 4, recognition that the political documents are mutually reinforcing and there is no need for a new document; 4 recognition of the political documents’ complementary nature; 5 no need for a new normative policy framework; 6 focus on implementation of current commitments; 7 confirmation of CND’s policy making role; 8 reaffirm the UNODC’s central role; 9 single track follow-up system; 10, high quality data; 11, 10 year review; 12, CND contribution to SDGs; 13, recognize the importance of means to contribute to technical assistance. As for the round-tables, we suggest these topics: identifying trends, achievements and gaps; means to enhance cooperation; CND to continue its inclusive and transparent conduct. In conclusion, we reiterate our commitment to reach a consensus based agreement of the way forward.

Chile – We view your proposal for the document’s structure very positively. It is important to take stock in areas where we made progress since 2009 and areas where there is still work to be done. This will help us to continue on the right path. For us it’s important to have more information: document HLMS should be brief and concise, should not contain elements which could be interpreted that reduce the importance of the 3 treaties we view as the binding legal program to address the world drug problem. We reemphasize that we see 2009 and 2016 as equally important. We believe 2009 contains areas where can continue to make progress and we believe in the single track progress. We assign utmost importance to the round-tables having a balanced content and reinforce the role of CND. We support your proposal for the content.

Japan – In response to your questions. As for the round-tables, we support very much your proposal. We are looking forward to see the details. For beyond 2019, we welcome your suggestion of avoiding unnecessary political dispute and focus on common ground. As for the preamble, it would be important to conform the guiding principles, including central role of CND and the significance of the conventions and policy documents, their mutually reinforcing natures, so we ask you to reiterate those to provide us a common ground going forward. We also think it’s important to identify a new target year and how we proceed with taking stock then. Your proposal seems like a sound basis for our discussions, we are ready to engage in a constructive dialogue.

Germany – We align ourselves to the EU statement. Here are some reflections: there is an emerging consensus that we don’t need a new political paper. When it comes to ministers, it is not an environment for technical discussions… HLMS must address concerns to recognize reality… for example, NPS and must honestly addressed, so must the gaps. The ministerial declaration must be ambitious and convey a message of resolve. A message of credibility, standing on common ground – improving our database. Outside parties can question our work if they see we work based on a fluffy database, especially in the face of growing drug consumption. Ministers should orient the future work of CND. A final comment on the UN reform and SDG issue: I think your proposal is wise and perhaps the preamble is a good place to state that dug policy work and SDGs reinforce each other.

Chair – Besides what you have said, the next chair will love your remarks, and so do I. Thank you.

Malaysia – We welcome the consultation in various regional groupings, it’s important the draft presents a clear picture. Building on your proposal, we suggest the outline to be built on a common ground based on shared responsibility: object of the HLMS should be clearly stated which is taking stock since 2009 and reaffirm commitment to the three conventions, the role of the CND, UNODC. We think it has to be emphasized that the MS respect the sovereignty of other MS when implementing global drug policy and CND should prevent unnecessary dispute. We underscore the mutually reinforcing nature of the political documents. Building on expertise, commitments and implementation mechanism: one track approach. Regarding the review and follow-up actions, we think clear timelines and identification of areas. With regard to the UN reform, it will bear a considerably impact on the whole system, but given the ongoing development, we think this issue should be omitted from this paper.

Singapore – Our delegation has contributed to the regional meeting, but on the proposed topics, we think we should work on further to achieve wider consensus. We think this is a good basis, but we think as a non-binding document, the more common ground it achieves, the more it can achieve and it can signal the significance of CND, which is vital for my delegation. We would like to reaffirm the central role of CND, the commitment to the 3 conventions and the 2009 and 2016 policy documents. We follow practical guides from 2016 especially regarding international collaboration. The impact of the UN reforms is unclear and we don’t think it should be an element of the HLMS. We should continue our conversations on the one track approach. We welcome the contused consultations and count on your leadership.

Switzerland – We support Austria’s declaration on behalf of EU. Our position on the death penalty is that we should establish a moratorium of these harsh sanctions. With regard to the outline, better data is indeed key to understanding how we can work better.

Cuba – There is still a number of outstanding issues, so we hope we can achieve consensus under your leadership. The expectations are high for 2019, it is an opportunity to review all we’ve done. Paragraph 36 is challenging as are the SDG links, but let’s not stop trying to achieve them because of that. There is no need to negotiate a new document re commitments, we should focus on assessing and implementing the existing ones. The 2009, 2014 and 2016 documents are complementary and strengthen each other. We support a document that states a same consideration should be given to all of them Beyond 2019 greater commitment and political will. We’d like to reaffirm the CND’s role, same as INCB and WHO.

Norway –

Madame chair, thank you for giving us the floor in order to contribute to the discussion on this 4th intersessional meeting and to come up with some of our views. Since this is the first time my delegation takes the floor, I would also like to thank yesterdays, the day before and todays panel for setting the stage in an excellent way, thank you all for your contributions.  (The presentations from the panel-participants have facilitated an active and interactive discussion, also with a view to the 62nd session of the CND.) Our statement will cover supply reduction, discussed on day one, and also some of the topics we already have and are going to discuss today.

In view of the latest World drug report 2018 I would like to quote some sentences stated in booklet 2 of this report: “Opium production is at its highest level since UNODC monitoring began and cocaine manufacture is at its highest ever level”. “Cultivation of both, opium poppy and coca bush show a marked increase”. “Marked increases in quantities of amphetamine-type stimulants, cocaine, plant-based new psychoactive substances and sedatives seized”.

The report contains even more sentences and figures that makes everyone reading the report concerned, and we should ask ourselves whether the way we attack the problem “supply reduction” is the best way to go.

For example is eradication of areas used for cultivation, as a figure, maybe not a proper way to show results, having in mind that the efficiency of how much can be grown on each hectares is rising, nearly simultaneously with the destruction. And if, I say if, the eradication will lead to a significant decrease of cultivation areas in certain countries and the price for opium poppy and coca bushes will double or triple, there still will be so much to gain in the value creation chain, that a dealer in Norway, and the whole criminal network behind, is still earning a lot of money.

Saying that, Norway will off course still contribute to development in several countries, both with knowledge and financially contribution, something we’ve always done in a larger scope. But the time is maybe ready to think new and in a different manner, to solve the challenges, especially farmers and small municipalities and communities are facing in many of the drug cultivation areas.

As a representative of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security to talk only about supply reduction will truly not solve the challenges. It is actually the combination of both, demand reduction and supply reduction that brings success. And therefor I would like to talk about what is going on in my home country these days.

Norway is in a process of formally changing the authorities’ response regarding the use of drugs and the possession for personal use,  from punishment to health, treatment and follow-up. We will transfer the responsibility for such drug related issues from judicial authorities to the health- and social sector. Norway will not legalize the use and possession of drugs for personal use, but decriminalization does not prevent to have more focus on harm reduction efforts.

Punishment for drug use or drug possession does not have a significant preventive effect on drug users, in order to prevent new crime, and is therefore counterproductive.

The reasoning behind the drug reform is a recognition that substance use is essentially a health challenge. Criminal prosecution of use and possession of illicit drugs for personal use has contributed to stigmatization, marginalization and social exclusion and may have prevented individual users from having appropriate and customized health services and follow-up.

The Attorney General of Norway has in priority circular in recent years stated that the focus should be on serious drug offences, and that investigative efforts should be directed against criminal networks to identify drug traffickers on higher level and confiscate profit. Efforts against the user environment, as a main activity, should be to prevent new recruitment and to get information about serious drug violations, and not be used to achieve greater numbers regarding statistics in the field of less serious narcotic offenses.

I should maybe mentioning that in our country the Attorney General is an independent body within the judicial system and therefore cannot be used for political purposes. His statements are based on current  legislation, court decisions, knowledge and field experience.

The Attorney General priorities have been followed up by the police. Criminal cases related to drug use and drug possession for own use, pursuant to the Medicines Act, stating the criminal liability for such offenses, have decreased by more than 30 % since 2014.  In recent years, it is therefore more common for prosecutors to use “waiver of prosecution with conditions” as a possible reaction regarding use and possession of drugs for personal use, especially with regard to young people between the ages of 15 and 18, but also up to 25 years.

In this context and where possible, police resources, in this way set free, will better be used to raise efforts against those who are selling drugs to prevent and investigate street sale in a larger scope.

I would like to say a few more words about prevention. The main strategy for the Norwegian police is and will be to prevent crime, especially among young people or in cases regarding the misuse of younger people. Prevention of substance abuse and related crime must be seen in conjunction. The police will therefore always cooperate closely with other actors, such as health authorities and municipalities, to help drug users and thereby prevent crime. It is a priority task for the police to prevent recruitment of young people into environments, using or selling drugs.

By doing so, demand reduction and supply reduction will go hand in hand and complement each other. And we think this strategies will lead to lower demand and hereby influence the supply side and figures.

Let me at the end, and having in mind day one, also say that. From our perspective, it is important that we continue discussing the death penalty in the CND and the CND-environment. Norway participated with the Ambassador at the important side event on Drug-related offences, justice responses and the use of the death penalty yesterday. We will continue to argue for the abolishment of the death penalty for all crimes, including drug related crime. Having also in mind, and by pointing to newest information from the High Commissioner for Human Rights we deeply regret that people are being executed because of none violent drug related crime also in this week, and while we are discussing this issue here in Vienna.

Thank you for your attention and good luck for the rest of our meeting.

Australia – CND next year provides a good opportunity to look back on the past 10 years of international cooperation and achievements. PDPA and UNGASS are important documents. We appreciate your proposal for roundtables and we see it as a useful starting point. 2019 will be an important momentum to continue our work on human rights and strengthen our links to civil society and academia. We support the proposed outline. We look forward to develop partnerships and we found the last few intersessionals very useful and interested in continuing such exchange.

Russia – Various reviews are undertaken in the UN system with the same structure: conclusion, outstanding issues, future tasks – I don’t see why our structure should not comply with this. We believe it’s important for the documents to contain the clearest language. There are concerning terminology in the round-tables like “sunset clause”. This means 2009 should be put in the archives? In another column, our commission is called the main deliberative body, but we are rather the main decision-making body. We ask you to pay particular attention to the ambiguous language. As for the outline, the guiding principle of the commission ought to be that documents from 2009, 2014 and 2016 are mutually enforcing. We have a consensus on this so I am surprised that some colleagues only spoke about the 2016 UNGASS outcome document. We also don’t see a need for a new political document. We think the outline should contain a call to comply with the conventions. Recently, there have been challenges to the conventions, it is a real challenge to drug controls work and raises the issue of compliance. We should not overlook this but reaffirm our commitment to reduce the supply and demand of illicit drugs; the central role of CND; UNODC as a leading organ in the UN system to address the world drug problem; INCB – we would like to see an interaction among UN agencies. We should also establish a timeline, we might need an interim review. We think it will be hard to see a breakthrough in such short term as some colleagues proposed 2024… we think 10 years is sufficient.

Spain – We support Austria’s statement. It contains all our immediate concerns, suggestions and we support your proposal. We need to receive input from civil society and academia. We think the document should be aspirational and should not be restricted to the only paragraph that contains obligations. The world drug problem is changing and it must be addressed from a position that takes those in account. We have biannual reports, these should be kept in mind. We should also think about issues which we have no agreement on, we can recognize that we don’t agree and the matters are being reviewed. The readers of the documents don’t know the motives and rationale are behind crafting the document, so it’s important that we have agreement around which topic we disagree on. We don’t think the document should not set forward obligations, but outlines.

Netherlands – Fully aligned to Austria’s statement on behalf of the EU. IT’s very important to make sure everyone feels ownership over the outline. We support your proposal and the consultations. I would like to reiterate our view is to focus on areas where we can find common ground we believe there are more issues that unite us and we should explore them. We support your proposal for the round-tables’ themes. We think it’s important to express how our work is linked to relevant SDGs, human rights and reiterate CND’s central role but also WHO and INCB. It’s important to build on the biannual reports, take stocks, and take input from civil society, academia and other UN entities. We would like to see strong focus on the UNGASS recommendations and a timeline is also important. We know targets are important drivers of policy making, defining targets and indicators are not a purely political process, we need experts and technical details that might not be appropriate for ministers. 2019 has to streamline a one-track data collection process to better understand the world drug problem for us to make better informed decisions.

Namibia – Resolution 61/10 – input of relevant stakeholders. MS agreed on commitments and practical measures to counter the world drug problem. Our crucial task is the effective implementation hence no need to negotiate a new document. We expect a concise and short document, underscoring the three conventions reaffirming the role of CND and UNODC.

China – 1, We reiterate central role of the CND and 2, the 3 conventions as cornerstones. 3, The conventions mandated role of WHO and INCB that we also reiterate. 4, We think post 2019 efforts should be guided by collective political commitment in the documents of 2009, 2014 and 2016. 5, Op 36. 6, We need a clear timeline for beyond 2019. 7, We should accelerate existing commitments and out shared responsibility. As for the round-tables, we are flexible and our colleague from Iran had a good idea and we are ready to discuss this further.

Morocco – We reaffirm our commitment to 2009, 2014 and 2016. This represents our last consensus. In relation to all provisions of 2009, for the success of one of the provision to be achieved, all other have to be implemented as well. UNGASS contains operational recommendations, we have a multidimensional approach – civil society is a vital element in this process. Your proposal is an important basis for dialogue. It’s vital these issues to be treated under shared responsibility

Czech Republic – We are fully aligned by the Austrian statement. We consider the 7 UNGASS chapters as cornerstones for a balanced drug policy. Improving the ARQ is a key element for providing an effective response to the world drug problem. Proportionality sanctions, protecting vulnerable members of society and human rights should be an integral part of the way beyond 2019. HMLS should have two topics: taking stock, policy making based in scientific knowledge.

UK – Thank you Madam Chair. We fully support the intervention made by Austria on behalf of the EU and the UK would now like to address the specific questions posed by the Chair on the Round Tables and the Outline Doc.

First: Round Tables. The UK supports the Chair’s proposal to hold two Ministerial roundtables; one on taking stock and one on the way ahead. This will allow Ministers to have a comprehensive and meaningful conversation which takes into account where we are and where we want to go beyond 2019.

Second: Outline Document. The UK would like to thank the Chair for taking into account the comments made during the regional group meetings and welcomes the Chair’s suggestion that further consultation will take place. Continued consultation will ensure that the development of the outline doc is done in a clear and transparent way and will bring us closer to consensus – we thank the Chair for her leadership to date to ensure that this is the case. We support the suggestion by the distinguished delegate of the Netherlands that it would be helpful if these consultations are structured around specific discussion points. With regards to the content of the Outline Document, there appears to be consensus on a number of points, namely: 1. That a new policy document is not required in 2019, rather international efforts should now be focused on the implementation of the existing commitments.

2. The continues central role of the CND and the mandated roles of INCB and WHO – a successful Ministerial meeting in 2019 will be a testament to the CND’s primary role

3. The commitment to implementation of the three drug control conventions and other relevant international instruments – as was reaffirmed in the UNGASS Outcome Document. These points of convergence should form the foundations of the Outline Document and can be built upon for the final document adopted by Ministers in 2019.

In addition to this, the UK would welcome the following five points to be covered in the Outline
Document: 1. It is important that the outline document reaffirms the continued role of civil society, the scientific community, academia and other relevant UN entities – these parties should also be invited to meaningfully participate
in the Ministerial segment and we would like to thank the Civil Society Task-force for their contributions to date

2. We must also ensure that our work here at the Commission, is aligned with the relevant Sustainable Development Goals and therefore believe that establishing a timeline for implementation for any outcome agreed at the Ministerial Segment in 2019 would be helpful in this regard.

3. In order to maintain the work of the UNODC on evidence based policy making, the UK supports the work to strengthen data-collection by enhancing national statistical capability and drawing upon the expertise of other UN entities – this will help to ensure that we can move towards a “one track approach”.

4. As set out in the UNGASS Outcome Document, any commitments to address the world drug problem should be done in full conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

5. Finally, it is the view of the UK that the UNGASS Outcome Document provides sufficient guidance to inform our work to address the world drug problem beyond 2019 – as the distinguished delegate of Norway set out – the UGASS Outline Document includes and builds upon all aspects covered in the 2009 Political Declaration. We take note however, of the requests from some MS that the targets in OP 36 of the 2009 Political Declaration should be reaffirmed. We do not share this view, but it is important that we use the planned consultations to work together to find points of convergence on this important issue.

Madam Chair, we trust that throughout the coming months, we can collectively come to agreement on the way forward, to ensure that we can consolidate and build upon the progress already made to deliver the drug control treaties’ objective of ensuring the ‘health and welfare of humankind’. The UK stand ready to support the Chair and the Commission throughout this process. Thank you.

Korea – We reiterate our commitment to the 3 documents. The HLMS is a critical junction and support your preparatory efforts. 2009 and 2016 are mutually enforcing and a post 2019 procedure should be based on the communities. We agree there is no need for another policy document. Measured approach to take into account evolving trends and challenges. CND’s prime responsibility for drug control measures should be reiterated. CND’s contribution to the 2030 agenda should be outlined.

Italy – We align ourselves to Austria. We would like to focus on issues where consensus was possible. Additional points from us: active involvement of civil society in the preparation and during the segment. CSOs play a huge role in combating the drug problem. The relevance of UN reform. The nature of the document might be a linguistic issue, but seems like we agree we don’t need a new policy document, but we do need a political document – there will be ministers coming to Vienna after all. Your proposal seems balanced for the round-tables and could provide a basis for a fruitful discussion. We would appreciate more indications in respect to your plans for next Monday.

Brazil – Given the tight time-frame, the timeline should be a widely accepted outline – we trust your leadership on that. We would really appreciate a provisional timetable of the consultations for our delegation to schedule our activities. We also suggest you propose a very clear timeline for MS to have a substantive debate before we have to reach a decision. My delegation thinks the discussion should include: conventions, complimentary nature of 2009 and 2016 documents, the role of CND and UNODC, need for increased coordination with other relevant UN entities, UNGASS, improved data collection and technical assistance. We favor a 10 year timeline and a 5 year midterm review.

Egypt – We wish to see in the outline: reiterating that the 3 conventions remain the cornerstones for conducting drug policy aiming at achieving a world free of drugs, CND is the main policy making body, the 2009 and 2016 documents represent the commitments of the international community and we recognize those are mutually reinforcing documents – we should streamline the relationship between them and what would a single track approach be, all efforts to strengthen data collection should reflect that single track approach, HLMS should be based on commitment and compliance with the aim to identify the gaps and actions needed to be taken in the implementation. In regards to OP36, we should extend the target date. The outcome of the HLMS should include a clear timeline, we remain flexible but share the concerns of some delegations towards linking that to the SDGs. We think we are in a late stage to include new items, so we are not enthusiastic to include the UN reform, although we acknowledge the importance of the topic. In order to achieve our task, we would like to share a concern: the secretariat presented an amended proposed agenda for 2019 in one of our regional meeting. As for the round-tables, we remain open but believe we should focus on identifying the gaps and the actions to foster implementation. We welcome the informals to reach a compromise, but we think it should not be submitted until we reach consensus.

Thailand – We support your proposal. We attach great importance to these elements: central role of UNODC, underline the significance of the three conventions, OP36, complementary nature of 2009, 2014 and 2016, set a clear a timeline beyond 2019.

Nigeria – I join my colleagues in reiterating the need to underline the role of CND. It would be useful to maintain a simple and clear style. 2009 identify the gaps and the actions to be undertaken to close those gaps. Any outcome of HLMS should give ample explanation of the extension of the target dates outlined in 2009.

Canada – There is much more that unites us than divides is which going to lead us to a successful HLMS. I would like to commend Austria, Norway and Germany’s statement. We should keep Germany’s remarks in mind as we talk about the post 2019 direction. We support your proposed outline. The ministers will be here to take stock and an equally important bit is the way forward – here we focus on a one track approach. It is clear we prefer the 2016 documents, in our view it is the most balanced, most recent, but we are not opposed to the one track approach the reinforces both documents. We should come to a common understanding of what that one track approach really means and how that relates to CND and the UNODC. For us a key feature is improving data collection, updating it essentially, building national capacity. The exception of overlaps on the documents are the target dates, simply renewing them would not reflect all our work, but forgetting them is also not our wish. We could use it as a basis and essentially, updating and extending those targets is what we think would be good – that guides inspires us.

Chair – We have more delegations wanting to take the floor, but I would like you all to have a proper lunch for the first time this week so I adjourn the morning session.

*AFTERNOON SESSION*

Algeria – My delegation thanks you for your leadership. The outcome of the HLMS will depend on the consensus based presentation in December so we welcome the continuous dialogue with the regional groups. Our position commits to the 3 conventions as cornerstones, the leading role of CND and UNODC, the complementary 2009, 2014 and 2016 political documents. We don’t think it is necessary or appropriate to produce a new document.

Portugal – We fully align with the EU’s statement. We think after the morning, we can see a consensus on several issues and we agree with the round-table proposal and the structure of the outline. We all seem to agree on the central role of CND, INCB and WHO, same for not needing a new policy paper, improving data collection and mutually reinforcing nature of the political documents of that last decade. The op 36 is the only point of conflict. We think we can have a reference in the preamble and when we state CND holds a central role that is perhaps enough input to the UN system reform. We promote inter-agency cooperation and the inclusion of civil society. It would be useful to have the timetables as soon for delegations with small staff.

Slovenia – We support the EU’s statement. HLMS is an important event, for us it is also important to have a common approach to the global drug problem. I hope we will find consensus at the conference. We think we should be oriented towards the future, while we respect all political documents produced In the last decade, for us UNGASS 2016 is the most important it reflects the latest consensus and is oriented towards the future.

Uruguay – We understand that the outline should be subject to consensus and we will make sure the new approach to 2030 will take into account UNGASS. We also think it is a need to record the disagreements, we agree with Spain on the importance of noting this fact. The 3 conventions are cornerstones for the efforts to control drugs, CND is the central role but not the only one, so there is a need for enhanced cooperation with other elements within the UN. In terms of the outline, we believe we shouldn’t duplicate our work and reject adopting a paragraph from 2009 that doesn’t take into account the achievements since. We think it’s important to find a balance between failures and success and address both, otherwise we can’t have a comprehensive way forward.

Poland – We align ourselves with the EU’s statement. We think our future work should be based on the 3 conventions, we confirm CND’s role and think civil society and scientific community should have an important role. ARQ improvement and data collection betterment is crucial in our view. Our Canadian delegate noted that 2009 targets don’t reflect the complexity of the world drug problem nor the achievements of the Commission, so we favor the UNGASS outcome document.

Argentina – We believe the round-tables are good opportunities to address important themes relevant for the discussions. The outline document’s structure, we agree on your suggestion.

Colombia – I thank you for your work with regional group. We presented our stance in those consultations. I have some additional brief comments. We don’t need to always reiterate elements, we have CND – it is what it is. The conventions are there – they are legally binding documents, we signed them. I don’t see what we gain by reiterating our commitments. It could be that I am new to Vienna and don’t understand. We will not oppose such action to be taken, but it seems unnecessary. 2019 serves an important function, to take stock since 2009. It is not like any other CND meeting, but what I think we will see is higher participation by high level positions, so maybe a document that reflects that would be useful. Ministers will be hear in great numbers and with great enthusiasm and if we issue a negligible paper, that would not be appropriate. I agree with many points made today, so I agree with not creating new obligations but achieving better implementation. In terms of political commitment this is what we need. In the 2009 declaration, the targets are too broad and we lack indicators on how to progress. We talk about a follow-up term… in 5 years or no years, the same can happen if we don’t have meaningful indicators. The concept of common and shared responsibility, in the end of the day we are all affected, so we think it is key. We also think we have to have a comprehensive approach that envisages the thematic areas from 2016. We had consensus on that and the outlined areas are relevant. International cooperation is vital and is one of the main drivers on how we progress – in its broadest sense, including sharing information. In addition, the human rights issue should be included we believe. How can we make better progress? If we haven’t taken proper stock of 2009, we can’t set new goals. We are not in favor of just extending the 2009 timeline. We agree one of the round-tables should be about stocktaking, but I don’t see the ministers coming to a conclusion on this. Expert level discussion perhaps would bring more results.

Interpol – I would like to underscore an element that is essential in the ministerial declaration. The role of law enforcement agencies, especially dismantling criminal organizations. Interpol would be grateful if the outcome HLMS would mention partners outside of the UN system and recognize the contributions we made and the support we are able to offer.

Chair – We will resume the discussion on supply reduction.

(panel) UNODC – I will speak about the nexus of fire arms and drugs trafficking. Firearms play a particular role in drug trafficking – we’ve heard this before this week. It is an instrument that enhances the potential of harm. Recent cases based on press show us the question is not whether but to what extent this nexus exists: Italy – Albania crime group exposed, drugs and firearms are their main business. Arms are durable goods, so the amounts differ when compared to what is seizable in drugs. The arms trade is clearly linked to drug cartels in the Americas. The vast majority, as opposed to drugs, firearms are produced legally and then get diverted. Some weapons are seized in a drug bust and then if we look at the history of the arms, we find out a lot. Sometimes the drugs cases absolve the arms case. It is an important gap in the criminal justice response to look at crimes more widely. There is a growing recognition but are no instruments to address these linkage. We need more investigations on the firearms when they are seized in an operation. Sometimes they are just confiscated and are not used in the investigation.

(panel) UNODC – Regional judicial cooperation has two main tasks: create and promote network. To connect all existing networks and agencies, we play the role of a global facilitator. All kinds of crimes can be connected to drug trafficking – I would like to remind you to the presentation of the colleague from Afghanistan. Our operations have two elements. We have a network of facilitators – officers, prosecutors or judges, experts on national judicial operation. Their mission is to facilitate a dialogue and information sharing. It means that if one prosecutor is dealing with a drug trafficking case, he and needs to send a request, he can contact the partner facilitator, who serves as a contact point for the destination country. This way we can monitor information sharing as well. The second point is the regular meeting of contact points. We need contact points with impressive experience and this way they can link personally. The exchange of good practice is a key aspect in international cooperation. The colleague from Spain asked from results. I prepared a slide about central qualities. 90% of our inter-regional cases are resolved. My next topic is networking the networks. As was said, drug trafficking is an organizational, very complex business with various roles. A lot of crimes we deal with are not directly linked to drugs, so we need a lot of specialists, officials with specific competencies. Drug trafficking also mostly is transnational, so we need a good connection of networks. Sometimes criminal groups operate as companies, what they are after is money. That is what we aim to address too. No criminal keeps money in his house – we are speaking of millions and those are put into accounts and can go through a number of countries. Spain asked for something more concrete, so UNODC is trying to become an international facilitator of international judicial cooperation. We are trying to combat organized crime, but we need funding and your collaboration. We have CRIMJUST for strengthening criminal investigation and criminal justice cooperation along the cocaine route in Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa. It is a joint initiative funded by the European Union, implemented by the UNODC in partnership with INTERPOL and Transparency International. The overall objective CRIMJUST is to contribute to effectively fighting organized crime in general, and drug trafficking in particular, along the Cocaine route in Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa in line with international legal instruments and human rights.

Chair – There are only a few video messages left then we will return to the organizational matters before we adjourn the meeting.

https://www.cstfondrugs.org/resources/civil-society-presentations/october-intersessional/

Chair – I thank you for your comments, we will reflect on them. Now let me address the themes of the round-tables. IT is clear that before we take a final decision, some fine-tuning will be needed as some new views emerged today. Let me reiterate that November 2 is the deadline to submit your suggestions, I hope this is sufficient time. About the possible duplication if the stock-taking. My take is that a well-organized event would not necessarily result in a duplication, because the debate will focus on national perspectives. On the 9th of November, we can come back to this topic and reflect again. Regarding the outline, the 29th of October will hopefully see a draft. I would like to invest time in building a common understanding on this however. November 5-30 will be the time of the informals but will circulate the timeline before we begin the process. As for the consultations, we have to be flexible and understanding of each other and m amazing team is working on scheduling. We will try to avoid short-notices. I would like to host a reception before the last intersessional with guacamole. Our last point on the agenda is other business. I hope everything I said is clear enough and I open the floor for comments.

Spain – We are looking at an intense period – could we circulate the latest version of the text for those who are not able to attend?

Secretary – Usually we send out a special message after the meeting. Are you referring to that?

Spain – Yes.

Chair Absolutely. As mentioned on Monday, I’d like to touch on the reconvened session. I recall that invitations were sent out and annotated provisional agenda was made available on our website. The 5th of December will see an additional meeting devoted to preparation to HLMS, conducted in an open setting. The agenda for the day: opening, adoption of agenda, general debate on the preparation on the HLMS, other business, closing. On the 6th of December, there will be a joint meeting with CCPCJ. On the 7th of December, the morning session will be devoted to the implementation of international drug control treaties. Our representative of WHO will orally report on the outcome of the 40th meeting of the WHO ECDD & 41st meeting of the ECDD. I don’t see comments from the floor, so my last point is the composition of the bureau at the 61st CND. The officers to be elected for the 62nd session: Chair from the African group; vice chairs Asia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe groups; Rapporteur: Latin America and Caribbean states.  The financial implications of the budgetary cuts will be discussed by the Secretary.

Secretary – I explained last time that our regular budget was cut. We already had challenges of covering the tickets of the commission, so we are now in a difficult situation. For the reconvened sessions of CND and CCPCJ we are not in a position to pay for business class tickets, only economy.

Chair Intergovernmental expert group meeting on international challenges posed by the non-medical used on synthetic opioids 3-4 December at the VIC. That IGM will discuss resolution 61/8 with a view to learn more about the challenges and possible responses. The main meeting of the subsidiary bodies of CND will be held in Azerbaijan in November. Please encourage your capitals of your regional groups to actively participate in this meeting.

In line with best practice, I reported to New York on the workings of CND on the 3rd of October. I believe the briefing was well received and I found it useful. I see no comment from the floor so I thank you for your participation and am closing our session.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.