Committee of the Whole (Friday morning). L3: Supporting the International Narcotics Control Board in fulfilling its treaty-mandated role

Chair: Now we consider draft 1 of this resolution.

Russia: We tried to bring  our text closer to consensus and organised more informal debates, so I suggest to move quicker through our resolution we start with operative paragraph two, all the other which have been agreed in the Informal’s, the  to the final paragraph and close then.

Chair: No we consider operative paragraph two, can we approve this paragraph I see no objection it is approved.

Russia: This paragraph was proposed by a number of delegations which is now OP2, and we agreed on the language in the informal’, so that is the explanation.

Russia: As my colleague stated, this text was proposed by other delegations and not Russia, and I believe this can be made better. At the end of the first line there sis a suggestion to improve coordination, it looks the current level of coordination is not satisfactory, which I do not think corresponds to reality. My proposal would be to change improve for facilitate coordination, it is more polite and much better. The paragraph will read… This may exercise some difficulty with language and therefore can accept this paragraph.

Netherlands: Thank you to the Russian ambassador for his suggestion, reading the suggestion we understand what Russia are saying and we would perhaps replace facilitate by further strengthen to be polite to the INCB.

Chair: Can we approve this paragraph, I see no objection it is approved.


USA: Just a small edit comment, I believe in our conventions we have parties not states parties, so instead ‘urge parties’ to consider further.

Russia:  I would like to ask a qualification from the UN colleagues I do not understand what is wrong with state parties, and parties should start with  a capital letter. All delegates are state parties.

USA: In these conventions the text refers to the parties, the parties shell I do not believe we do not have any non-states that are parties. So in this one it’s only parties and that is to remain faithful to the text in our three documents

Colombia: We still don’t understand what is the reference to non-state parties.

USA: The single conventions in unique in that the INCB is mandated to work with states that are not parties to the convention and in fact they do that. That is why its relevant to mention this uniqueness.

Russia: Just to find a solution, may we use parties as well as non-parties?

Chair: OP4 approved. Moving on to 4 biz.

Russia: I have just on amendment. I don’t understand why we say ‘upon request’. Either delete this or keep it but add ‘or upon its own initiative’ to respond to current practice.

Austria: For us, the caveat that this should happen upon request is very important so we prefer to keep that language.

Chair: Do you want to delete the new addition?


USA: What initiatives the INCB, regarding licit cultivation of crops for medical purposes, can take within its mandate?

Russia: When, in the view of the board, there are wrong-doings or lack of proper understanding they may instantiate dialogue to ensure proper understanding between a party and the board. It is a routine situation, what’s wrong with that? The board may apply to a certain state to hold a consultation, if you have a better language for this that would not put a straight jacket on the board, we would consider that happily.

USA: The concerns expressed by colleagues is about the licit cultivation that is distinct to cultivation described in the conventions. We wanted to emphasize this because we made appeals to the INCB for assistance and it has taken a while.

Uruguay: We understand the explanation of Russia and support the initiative.

Canada: We are fine with current language, the addition of initiative is a strange addition, it implies the board assists states whether they want it or not… that is a strange mental image. May we change assist to ‘offer assistance’. So, then we can delete both ‘upon request’ and ‘upon own initiative’.

Colombia: We’re trying to understand the scenarios where we can Exchange best practices in line with the conventions. We make references to 1961, but then the others. Including issues like harvesting, which is not part of the 1961. We would delete the last part. Leave it to “best practices.”.

Chair: Agreed? Approved.


Chair: We will close our meeting at 13:15. We don’t have interpreters. I ask delegations to speak only in English.

Chair: Comments?

Russia: Minor amendments. After “its annual report”, add “and activities”. During the normative segment the INCB doesn’t not only present the report but also information on what it does.

Chair: Approved.


Chair: Comments?

Russia: Apologise for taking the floor again. Minor amendment. Not only WHO but also INCB who provides information to the Commission on precursors chemicals. So efforts of INCB and WHO.

Chair: Approved.


Austria: Correcting the language: “in particular between”. UNODC before INCB.

Colombia: Not “between” but “among”.

Peru: We’d put the Board first, because it’s in support of the Board this resolution.

France: Actually, this is agreed language. Let’s not mingle with the order of the institutions and stick to the initial proposal.

Chair: Approved.


Japan: After UNODC, we’re missing “and WHO”.

Chair: Approved? Yes, approved.


Russia: Apologies. Before we move to OP9, I’d like to propose an additional OP8 bis for consideration of the Commission: “Calls upon the Board in implementing its treaty-mandated functions to make full use of all relevant prevision of the UN Conventions as required”.

United States: Could we ask for further explanation about the purpose of this? We have considerable hesitancy about adding a new paragraph given the lengthy discussions about the independence of the INCB and how inappropriate it is for the CND to call upon them to do anything. They’re an independent body. It seems odd to suggest the Board to do something they’re mandated to do.

Colombia: Same concern. A lof of discussions during informals on the treaty-mandated functions of the Board.

Canada: Same concerns. This para appears to tell the Board to do its job. We’d all agree it performs its functions. The CND and the INCB are independent, as the US delegate said. It’d be inappropriate for the CND to make this kind of call upon the Board. We don’t see any value on this addition.

Chair: We have ten pending ones. Could we delete this new proposal?

Russia: I apologised for being late with the suggestion. If some delegations feel uncomfortable with the text, I will not insist. We can delete it.

Chair: Meeting adjourned. Resume at 1:45.

– Lunch –



Chair: Any comments? I see no objections – it’s approved.


Russia: Minor editorial – add ‘control’ before conventions

USA: This might be for Secretariat – think we say ‘three international drug control conventions’

Colombia: We’re still concerned about ‘discharging fully the functions’ would prefer to delete this

USA: I’m afraid if we take this out – why is this a concern – want to make sure the full breadth is understood to fulfill responsibility – perhaps just not right words – add in ‘its projected activities pursuant to its responsibilities’

Russia: Thanks for the solution – replace ‘responsibilities with treaty-mandated functions’ to be consistent with title. Then you can drop the specific reference to conventions

Colombia: ‘expenses of the board’ instead of its projected activities … functions’

Russia: we need to hear reference to treaty-mandated functions

Colombia: In that case, we prefer the US’s suggestion

Chair: Any comments? I see no objections – it’s approved.


Pending PP

Russia: Thanks, had informals this morning. Austria suggested alt para, hopefully we can consider it here.

USA: I think we’re close, add ‘recognising that adherence by all States is key to the functioning of the international control system and that the three international drug control conventions’ and strike out ‘to the functioning’ – keep the idea of bringing the non-parties along with the parties.

Canada: No problem with this, but we already have cornerstone language in PP1. Maybe we could just end this para after ‘system’ and drop cornerstone language

Japan: US proposal is fine but have amendment to third line – change ‘key’ to ‘essential’ – we need this stronger message

Russia: Minor amendment – change ‘apply’ to ‘implement’ – we’ve been using this word for 60 years, I understand these words to be synonym

Chair: The legal difference is that you can’t make countries implement conventions, only apply

Japan: We support US

Colombia: We

Russia: Why don’t you add in ‘State Parties to implement and non-parties to apply’

Chair: It will complicate it

Chair: Any comments? I see no objections – it’s approved.

Next pending PP

Chair: We have to paragraphs to choose from

Russia: Several countries wanted to delete this, we haven’t yet agreed.

PP6 (2 alternatives)

USA: Neither of these are ok for us, we think these things have already been discussed in resolution – we want to delete

Colombia: Also want to delete

Malaysia: We prefer 2nd alt para, but can compromise on language

Nigeria: This is an important para, think we can find a compromise

UK: We would prefer to be deleted – indication of what commissions concerns are – this is only a selected few, better to delete

Afghanistan: Also like to delete

Austria: This res should focus on INCB, not anything else. Please do not delete

Iran: We support second para

Norway: Not comfortable singling out – best way forward is to delete

Japan: 2nd para is necessary. Need to make strong message about recreational use of drugs.

Czech: Please delete

Germany: To join the long list – please list

France: Support work of INCB – but really want this deleted. If we have to work on one, only the first one.

NZ: We’ll also add to the long list – please delete.

?: Also want to delete. We’ve already got good paragraphs in res about ‘deep concerns’ – this para is irrelevant

Algeria: Maintain second para

Pakistan: Like several other speakers, our pref is 2nd para

Egypt: Like the majority of speakers, the 2nd para

Italy: Like the majority of speakers, we want to delete – seems we have two majorities! Could go for 1st

Indonesia: 2nd para

Jordan: 2nd para

Guatemala: Seems we won’t find consensus – could we express idea in different way which is not a shopping list of ideas – ‘expressing deep concern that diverse and [findings/obstacles/issues] have been observed and that they pose a challenge to the universal implementation of the three international drug control conventions and therefore require serious attention of the Board.’

Chair: I have 10 more speakers in the list – but it’s clear that there’s two sides. Let’s move to next paras and come back to this at end. Thank you

Next pending PP


USA: This para is hard to read! Please add in ref to conventions

Nigeria: Support for US suggestion

Peru: We have spent many, many, many hours on this. We support this

Jordan: Also support

Chair: I’ll ask the room – see no objections – approved.

Para on role of WHO

Chair: Last PP. Any comments?

Egypt: 2nd line ‘including public health aspects of drug policy’ – isn’t this the role of the WHA, not us?

Canada: change ‘drug policy’ to ‘world drug problem’

Pakistan: What’s the value in this descriptive text, please delete the whole sentence about public health.

USA: Our pref is to keep that language Art 22 of 88 convention underscores importance of other agencies to work with the INCB. Perhaps we could say ‘UN system’ over authority – this solves confusion around WHO or WHA

Pakistan: In my understanding, what is important here is ‘treaty mandated role’ – this is sufficient here, what value does descriptive text have here?

USA: We are changing agreed language here, could we say ‘recalling’ instead.

Mexico: This is an important para, spent many hours on it in informals. We preferred less descriptive para but understand references are important to other states. Could Pakistan show flexibility?

Egypt: We think the lines don’t add value. What does description of WHO add to this? We support proposal from Pakistan

Nigeria: In line with Egypt

Japan: This paragraph should be deleted

Malaysia: Treaty mandated role of INCB, we don’t see why para needs to specify this

Afghanistan: We can go along with amendment – but think we should have whole para.

?: Don’t know why we reference WHO in this resolution but know it’s important to other countries. Think the para should be as precise as possible, support Pakistan

Chair: Two categories of view – don’t see value of language, or don’t see harm in having this language – is the purpose of the para is to emphasize role of WHO – the message is there – can we delete

USA: Value is that the role of the WHO is supportive of the INCB, not just the role of the WHO itself. Want the para to be clear to people who read it without background knowledge. Could delete this part if that point is clear

Belgium: This para is similar to other debated para – think we should delete both paras on importance of WHO and concern for legalization

Russia: Please give us flexibility. The res already talks about WHO. We want the res to focus on reinforcing mandate of INCB. If we delete this language maybe we can be more flexible on other para. Delete double ref to ‘treaty mandates’

USA: add ‘to provide’ delete ‘which’.

Canada: No difficulty with adopting the paragraph, use ‘their’ instead of ‘its’

Chair: Para approved


Russia: Can we use consistent language from other PP on treaty-mandated role. Add ‘encourages the INCB, as an independent treaty-mandated body to continue it’s efforts to monitor the control of substances pursuant to the three international drug control conventions…’

France: Appreciate they’re trying to find compromise. This was nearly agreed in informals. Add in ‘taking into account other relevant instruments

Germany: Echo France.

Egypt: Spoke about this many times in informals. Text implies that we are suggesting new mandates for INCB. The current mandate does not have any relevant instruments. Let’s remove this – we will not accept this.

USA: Listening to concerns, let’s keep Russia’s proposal and add a new OP that’s building on activities of INCB. We see INCB as tremendous partner in implementing conventions and using them effectively to help us with the opioid crisis.

Chair: Now we have two proposed paras. If we can’t make a link…

Belgium: the fact is that MS are bound by all other relevant instruments, that’s the only way it makes sense.

China: You do need to implement all conventions applicable, but here we’re speaking about INCB. Observations of USA is acceptable.

Afghanistan: First proposal not acceptable, we can go along with second proposal by USA.

Canada: Also prefer second proposal. Can we take into the account the text we suggested in the informals above – this is language verbatim from convention.

Iran: Thank you Russia for this resolution. We don’t agree with text on other relevant instruments – we support Russia’s para

Kenya: Remind you that we’ve already had this discussion. We know some delegations have problem with ‘other relevant instruments’ – drop it

Japan: We can support US proposal, add amendment ‘taking into account other relevant internationals instruments:

?: We also support USA and Japan

Indonesia: We support views of Russia and China, we’re discussing INCB

Colombia: The best proposal is the US one – but change ‘changes’ to ‘challenges’

Egypt: We want to talk about everything that INCB does, why don’t we merge paras and remove refs to conventions and instruments. First want to talk about encouraging them in treaty-mandated efforts.

Belgium: Sorry, don’t think that helps at all. It’s the way INCB should help INCB, always in the context of what states have to do. I think US proposal was good. Leave it open what obligations it is. If you really read it properly, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Chair: Let’s put them in brackets and move on. Now have 3 pending paras.


Colombia: Not sure of point of value of this para. Is there concern for a lack of action? Ask for deletion.

Russia: We have same message in PP. This is the whole point of the resolution. This para doesn’t bring anything new, already in convention.

Pakistan: Agree with Russia

Guatemala: Wasn’t going to raise flag – but in some cases the less we write the more we say.

USA: Delete ‘respecting the independence of the Board’ at end and add ‘while ackwoleding independence of Board’

Pakistan: There’s something missing here – ‘treaty-mandated functions’

Afghanistan: Why do we need to have treaty mandated functions here

Egypt: Here we are taking text from convention itself, should just be functions, not treaty mandated functions

Pakistan: In previous para we just said ‘mandates’

Chair: I propose we just say ‘functions’ – treaty mandated or mandated, there are no other functions.

Egypt: Beg to differ – INCB has expanded its roles, need to add ‘according to the conventions’

Austria: add ‘according to achieving the aims of the conventions’

Chair: Russia, can we just go back to previous text (‘functions’)? I see no objections, para approved.


Russia: We’ve already agreed with 10alt over 10, so can delete

Chair: Thank you, this is the best news. Let’s try finish this all by 4pm.

PP6 (3 alternatives)

Russia: We’ve done work on second para. Would like to propose to work on this one

Canada: Thanks – we’ve had lengthy debates about this. There’s really no common view here. We want it deleted. The reason we haven’t had success – they’re all departures from language agreed last week. We should begin with agreed language from 2019 Min Declaration. Suggest new alt: ‘Noting with concern persistent and emerging challenges related to the world drug problem, including responses not in conformity with the three drug conventions and not in conformity with international human rights obligations, which pose a challenge to the implementation of joint commitments based on the principle of common and shared responsibility’.

There is a ref to INCB in this para which could be useful. Don’t want to re-open human rights obligations can of worms. If this was good enough for us last week, it should work for us now.

Japan: We prefer Russia’s second para. Some countries have legalized recreational use of drugs. This is against spirit of conventions and is harmful for countries trying to implement conventions. This para sends wrong message that legalization is endorsed in CND. Russia’s proposal is a good, strong message.

USA: Support Canadian proposal. Our deep concerns are opioid crisis – less concern about treaty adherence language and more concerned with world drug problem. We’re so close – let’s use text from last week

Germany: Support Canada and US. We’re tired. Would like to accept

Netherlands: Fully support Canada here

Belgium: Also support – thanks Canada. This is wise.

Russia: I invite US to imagine situation where country X says we’ll legalize opioids for rec use – you’d say no no no – opioids are heavy drugs. If cannabis can be legalized, why not opioids? If you don’t respect conventions, you can’t expect other conventions to be respected. We cannot turn blind eye. Can’t claim it doesn’t concern CND. This is our fight against narcotics. If you violate international law, its hard to recognize other laws. The Canadian proposal, you know, we don’t like it. This res is about INCB, and has nothing to do with human rights instruments. Human rights references water this down, it’s not good. Maybe not all of us care about conventions, but the majority of us do care that others are breaking them. Need to pay attention to grave challenge.

Guatemala: At this point, I’m a bit scared to participate. There are some many alternate paras now. Not about who’s going to heaven or hell. It’s about the problems we all share. There’s a new Min Declaration – will be a shame to not reference 2019 declaration here. Canada’s proposal achieves this consensus. This language got full consensus last week – more than 110 delegations last week. We think Canada’s para brings exact message that we decided last week. Why would we approve last week and disapprove now. Agree with Russia, maybe not best for this res, but it’s our decision from last week. This is my position. We need to find consensus – not who’s guilty/not-guilty. Canada proposed recognized text.

Pakistan: We have no difficulty – fully support Russia’s text. I have a suggestion to Canadian proposal: ‘recalling … MS inter alia … then exact text from Min Declaration.

Chair: Canada already gave us exact text. Can we agree with Pakistans addition

Egypt: We need to go back to capital.

Iran: Middle ground we found – prefer Russia’s text

Chair: Move to OP5 then come back. We have 4 alternative paras here – Russia – which one will we discuss.

Russia: Prefer to focus on first one.

Chair: Actually, we’ve already discussed the first one, with shared views on it, that’s why we have all the other paras.

Netherlands: Egypt suggested to merge the paras before, we like this proposal, but need ref to other instruments

Nigeria: In spirit of consensus, if we go by Egypt’s proposal, we are happy. This is about functions of INCB.

Colombia: We are talking about a different thing than the PPs – the relevant instruments must be taken into account

Egypt: Didn’t have ref to other instruments, please take this out. Its out of scope of INCB. We’re not against human rights obligations, but it’s not relevant here. Agree with Nigeria’s compromise. And remove ‘other relevant instruments’. Otherwise we don’t agree with any of the paragraphs.

USA: let’s give this one more try (adding text to 4th alt para) add ‘all their obligations’, drop ‘all their other relevant instruments’

Belgium: Agree with US suggestion

Chair: As food for thought – ‘all their obligations’ is very broad – how about ‘relevant obligations’

Canada: Support US proposal

USA: Please take out comma

Kenya: We support Egyptians, without relevant instruments

Japan: Thanks US, add small amendment ‘international obligations’

?: We agree with US

Germany: US proposal quite bridging – this could finally be the solution

Egypt: Thanks US, but we still have doubts. We’re not sure on Japan’s proposal. Remove ‘international’, add in ‘accordance with national legislation’

USA: Small edits

?: Suggest to change ‘obligations’ to ‘provisions’

Norway: Obligations are already in line with national legislations – please delete text

Spain: If we are speaking about relevant obligations, this includes national and international – don’t need specific reference

Russia: Usually my delegation support refs to national legislation, but not here. Look at the Canadian Canadian case – this national legislation is exactly what we don’t want. We need to find another reference

Austria: Prefer to keep text shorter

Egypt: My delegation cannot go along with this or the other PP open. We are ok to delete them both.

Chair: my interpretation of national legislation – when we say obligations this is in accord with national legislation. Can we accept

Pakistan: We can’t accept ‘national legislation’

Chair: Can we delete this para? No objections – delete it – and all the alternates – approved.

Other open PP (Alt PP6)

Chair: Pakistan said to delete. Can we delete.

Russia: Would appreciate if not so hasty. Would prefer to go to plenary. OP1 is main message of res. Without it we have lost message of whole res.

Chair: I asked two times if we could delete, no one put their flag up, including you Russia. We can’t find consensus.

Russia: Give us a chance for one more try.

Chair: You’ve got 5 mins.

Russia: we almost completed the process; the only outstanding thing is to appreciate the activities of the board. We propose as OP1 ‘CND welcomes and supports the contribution of the INCB, within its treaty related functions, to international efforts, to address and counter the world drug problem’. The main aim is achieved, we appreciate the efforts and everybody can find paragraphs in following provisions that is dear to his or her heart.

Chair: this will come after we proposed

Russia: Actually, the text I proposed should consist in OP1.

Chair: Is the room ready to consider this? We will delete previous challenging paragraphs actually.

Russia: Just one correction ‘treated mandated function’ as in the title.

Venezuela: We support the sentence.

Chair: Further comments? No. Can we approve the paragraph? Approved. Now moving to the pending preamble. Canada, can you help us find the para you proposed?

Germany: ‘inter alia’ in the second line

Russia: We need ‘inter alia’ after ‘with concern’… now it looks like its expressing other feelings.

Chair: Objections? Approved. We have finalized the consideration of this resolution.

Financial Services of UNODC: OP4bis it is estimated that extra 580k will be attributed to facilitate. OP9 carried out with 600K within the scope of the board’s existing scope. The resolution doesn’t need any additional appropriation.

Chair: Ready to submit to Plenary? Thank you.

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