CND Intersessional Meeting, 7 March 2019

Chair: Welcome. Adopting agenda. As for preparations for HLMS, I would like to remind delegations that the session is from 9:30 on the 14th  of March in the plenary hall of the M building. We will start with the formal election of the permanent representative of Croatia who has been nominated for the position of second Vice chair by the Eastern European groups. Opening of the HLMS: there will be a ceremonial followed by a formal opening, short statements will be delivered by a representative of the scientific community, youth, civil society. Governments were invited to inform the Secretary of their ministerial delegation, I was informed we had 35 nominations for ministerial speakers at cabinet rank. We have in total 102 speakers. Mr Evo Morales Ayma president of Bolivia & Pravind Jugnauth, prime minster of Mauritius are also to be expected at the session. Today we are drawing lots for the other speakers – the names participating have been prior communicated – E/CN/2019/10. The afternoon sessions will continue into the evening after a short break, due to the long list of speakers. Chief of protocol at UNOV is present to assist us moving on to the drawing of lots. (MS taking slots). Speakers not present will be moved to the next slot on an ongoing basis. Change of slots is possible according to the UN protocol. Representatives other organizations, including civil society, will be assigned in accordance with the rules of procedure – pending time on a first come first serve basis. Regarding the general debate, the statements are requested to be kept to 5 minutes long to enable everyone time. More extensive texts can be made available online and all statements will be made public on the CND website. A summary by the chair on the plenary of the HLMS will be presented at the end of a session. I will make these remarks that are not subject to negotiation. Regarding the roundtable discussion that will be held parallel to the plenary, the themes were already agreed upon as such: (1) taking stock of all commitments, (2) safeguarding the future. Each roundtable shall consist of 5 panelists nominated by the regional groups and one by the CSTF. In addition, speakers will be nominated by UN agencies who are selected on a first come first serve basis. Assigning of co-chairs has been done by the drawing of lots: (1) a representative from the Ministry of Health, Norway of Western European Group and a representative from the Eastern European Group, (2) Mexico of Latin America and Caribbean and Asia Pacific Group. We are still missing a few names so MS are hereby encouraged to share the names There will be no list of speakers after the panel and the floor will be opened by the co-chairs. Speakers will be raising their flags in indication of request to speak, no prior application necessary. All interested delegations will be able to follow and participate in board room A. A summary of the event will be prepared by the co-chairs. About Ministerial Declaration: We have been engaged in a very intensive negotiation process over the past few weeks. Thank you Ambassador Okeke for facilitating these negotiations.

Nigeria: We are still finishing the declaration. We made good progress yesterday, we worked very late and so I would like to thank the work of Ambassadors who were invested in finding a middle ground though the work was at times tedious. The appeals to keep the Vienna spirit of consensus have been fruitful and later today I am hopeful that we will be able to finish up. I would like to appeal to those delegations that are holding on to their strong positions that they should help us conclude these lengthy negotiations. We still have 3 paragraphs to close and when you invited me to address the floor, I was actually right outside talking to delegations. Please ambassadors, reach out to colleagues so we can resume our work today and conclude the debates on the paragraphs. We can’t have 100% satisfaction regarding our countries’ satisfaction, it is a matter of compromise. The world drug problem is very important to each and every one of us so I would like to remind you of the saying about the water and the baby. Thank you for giving me the floor.

Chair: With these words, I move on from this item and suspend the debate on the preparation for the HLMS until tomorrow morning at 10 am. The informals will be held today, you will be notified later on. Can we agree to this? It is so decided. Preparations for the 62nd CND. As you recall, we agreed that on behalf of the commission, I submit a draft decision: CND decides to postpone the decision regarding the critical review on Cannabis and related substances to allow more time to consider the decisions to be made. There are states who have preferences for the voting to take place at the reconvened session while some other have a preference for this to take place during the 63rd session. I propose that CND doesn’t vote at the upcoming session and will decide later on about the date of the decision. The text of the decision is made available online and will need to be formally acted upon during consideration 9a. This will be considered on the morning of the 19of March while the COW is suspended so all delegations can focus on this issue. The voting procedure was presented at our last meeting and it is made available online. I am pleased to have Justice Tettey from the laboratory section of UNODC with us here today.

Justice Tettey, UNODC: Proposed scope of control of substances. Colleagues outlined this matter last time so today I am giving a short primer on the substances we are to consider.  Overview of the situation leading to the decision by the WHO: there is a trend in NPS. Since 2009, we have gone up to hundreds of monitored NPS, with the peak in 2015. We are currently in a plateau state but if we believe the trends we’ve seen, we are reaping the benefits of controlling efforts coming from CND and member states. The entire story also needs to mention synthetic opioids – there is an exponential grow and this is tied to opioid fatalities. Earlier this week, UNODC released the current NPS Threats in line with UNGASS decision to identify the most prevalent and harmful NPS. What we captured in this study is that we are experiencing a lot of issues with synthetic cannabinoids that are involved in most NPS deaths. Looking at the scheduling decisions since 2015, you see the increasing of the work of CND. This year, WHO decided to look into four synthetic cannabinoids and opioids as well as one cathinol. In the 1961 convention, Schedule 1 contains the most harmful drugs like heroin, you are now requested to add four fentanyls. If you decide so, these substances will be restricted to medical use and manufacture and moving will be very restricted. Measures will be implemented to restrict countries’ activities. In the 1971 convention, for schedule 2, you are considering four synthetic cannabinoids and one synthetic cathinone. If you decide to accept the recommendations, you are looking at limitations to medical and scientific use, controls on manufacture, trade and distribution and will keep strict records and reports.  Regarding certain precursors, we are looking at the tables in the 1988 conventions. In table 1, pre-precursors for the manufacture of ecstasy and amphetamines are recommended to be placed. Similar compounds are to be considered for table 2. From the scientific point of view, there is nothing unusual. The parties shall take measures to prevent diversions to illicit handling of these substances and cooperate one-another to that end as well as reporting to INCB. In terms of the timeline of implementation, under ’61, the decision will kick in after a month of the decision. For ’71 and ’88 it takes about 180 days.

Mexico: Can we be guided to the beginning of the presentation about the scourge of NPS? For what could be the reasons for the plateau you mentioned lack of innovating from producers. There is a possibility that the innovation is actually, in the contrary, so high that there are so many that we don’t detect them because of the fragmentation of NPS. I am looking here to enhance our understanding of the issue.

Justice Tettey, UNODC: There are multiple reasons, you are right. Some components are that most MS used to respond with individual scheduling of substances. Some don’t stay on the market because of user preferences, but perhaps something critical was in the measures taken on the national level – analogue scheduling. Chemists can’t play around blanket bans. This is not a procedure we can take on an international level because the conventions are calling to consider substances one by one and we have to look at access to medical and scientific use in each case. To balance this approach, the decision from UNGASS was to look at the most prevalent and harmful substances so we are looking at hospitalisations, fatalities, etc. For countries it is important to work with analogue legislation.

Chair: Preparation for the work of the Committee of the Whole – draft resolutions and decisions. I thank the first vice chair for being able to chair the COW. The COW will start on the 18th of March at 3pm in line with past practice. By 14th February, we received 8 draft resolutions tabled by MS – they have all been posted on the CND’s website in various languages. I invite sponsors to start informal consultations as soon as possible, the 14th of March provides a great opportunity, for example, to present their drafts. Provisional agenda for the 63rd session of the CND needs to be agreed upon under agenda item 15 during the 62nd session. It was shared with the extended bureau and chairs of the regional groups were asked to discuss this within their groups and submit comments latest by tomorrow noon. In terms of other business, as far as side events during the 62nd session are concerned, during the application period, the secretary has received over 100 valid applications. The program is made available on the website of the CND. Contribution to the EcoSoc. To contribute to the HLPF, we were invited and greed to follow the practice of previous years. The CND contribution, implemented all comments received by the deadline, is already submitted. If there are no further comments, we will meet tomorrow morning to adopt the declaration. Thank you.

Secretary: Under Ambassador Okeke’s leadership, informals will be conducted today at 4pm and we will resume the intersessional tomorrow at 10am.

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