Informal pre-session consultations, 28 February 2020

Vice Chair (chair of CoW): Draft agenda adopted. On the improved and streamlined ARQ will be circulated so that adoption can take place by COB. Beijing 2025 – the high-level event aims to raise awareness on gender equality. The official program of CND has been posted on the website. All pre-session documents will be issued only electronically. Regarding the WHO’s recommendations on Cannabis and related substances, the commission decided to postpone voting last year. We have been working to follow-up in the intersessionals, the Chair will hold a consultation this afternoon. This time, the Commission is expected to decide on the deliberations. WHO recommended to added two fentanyl analogues, benzodiazepines, synthetic stimulants and synthetic cannabis, to various schedules of the conventions. INCB recommendations on MAPA to be added to table 1 of 1988. The CoW will start its work next week and will suspend it’s work while the voting procedure is taking place. The chairs of the regional groups were asked to discuss the draft agenda items for the 64th session and submit their comments as soon as possible.

Iran: The consideration of draft resolutions might be worth suspending throughout Wednesday in the case the voting procedure takes longer.

Vice Chair: As I understand, we will react to the developments as they unfold. I am open to suspend the work of the CoW if necessary but I think we will have to see. Now, agenda item 2 – introduction of draft resolutions: we are scheduled to have 7 sessions in accordance with the proposed organization work. 5 resolutions have been tables as of now.

Secretariat: The following resolutions have been tabled – they are available on the website (FAQ) Intensifying efforts to combat the world drug problem through effective partnerships with the private sector; Promoting and improving the collection and analysis of reliable and comparable data to strengthen balanced, integrated, comprehensive, multidisciplinary and scientific evidence-based responses to the world drug problem; Promoting awareness-raising, education and training as part of a comprehensive approach to ensuring access to and the availability of controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes and improving their rational use; Promoting the involvement of youth in drug prevention efforts; Promoting alternative development as an inclusive and sustainable development-oriented drug control strategy. Any revisions to the texts must be marked and be submitted to the Secretariat for further processing. A number of informal consultations have been scheduled for Monday, the schedule is posted on the Intranet.

Vice Chair: Sponsors of the resolutions are invited to present their drafts.

USA: At previous meetings and dialogues, the USA underscored the dangers of opioid overuse – national governments are not alone in this fight, in fact, the private sector has played an important role in combatting the world drug problem by facilitating, maintaining and funding government efforts. We believe CND should be leading voice in the conversation that highlights the role of the private sector and strong partnerships. We have planned to sponsor a side event on the exact topics, but due to flight restrictions, a number of our speakers are not able to attend CND, so we decided to cancel our side event. We have scheduled informals for Monday to further discuss our resolution.

Vice Chair: I see no comments. L3 up next.

Netherlands: Tabled by Croatia with support of the entire European Union, we are proud to present this resolution. UNGASS and HLMS underlined the importance of quality and comparable data to create evidence-based policies. We would like to improve monitoring, evaluation to gain more knowledge, share good practices and lessons learned to improve our policies. We are confident that we will be able to find common language for the sake of better, evidence-based policies. Our informal consultation on the resolution will be held on Monday afternoon.

Vice Chair: Now we turn to L4 sponsored by Australia and Croatia on behalf of the EU.

Belgium: We are proud to lead the discussion on this resolution. Access and availability of controlled substances is a high problem world-wide, 80% of the global population still has no sufficient access. There are a number of studies outlining the reasons, but the INCB stated that the greatest barrier is lack of training and awareness of health care workers. We are focusing on the fact that if we have a greater availability for medical reason, tacking misuse in easier. We reaffirm the need for a strategic and comprehensive approach, leveraging legal training programmes and guidelines. We encourage states to improve collaboration, information exchange.

Australia: We have a long-standing commitment of ensuring availability of controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes. The informal discussion will take place on Monday afternoon and in partnership with UNODC and Belgium, we will host a side even on this very topic on Thursday.

Vice Chair: L5 sponsored by the Russian Federation.

Russia:  Our resolution pays particular attention to the UNODC-launched project, the Youth Initiative, that enjoyed the funding of the Russian Federation. The current generation of youth is the largest in history and so there is clearly a need to include them in all related areas. Teenagers are the most vulnerable population to the drug threat, particularly given the changing attitude in society towards the threats of drugs. Our aim is to strengthen our effectiveness to prevent drug use particularly among youth. We are hoping for constructive work to boost the efforts of the international community to protect youth. We welcome youth participation in prevention efforts and we will hold a side event on the very topic on Friday afternoon.

Vice Chair: L6 – Thailand and Peru

Thailand: We put an emphasis on improving inclusivity of AD efforts. We are reflecting on the latest discussions among expert groups meetings and the inputs from previous years. We held an informal consultation this week and the next one will take place on Monday.

Vice Chair: Thank you. There were no comments so I am positive about constructive negotiations next week. Any further questions? I see none, any AOB? I see none. Thank you for today, I wish a successful session to all of you. Meeting concluded.

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