Plenary: Item 4. Strategic management, budgetary and administrative questions

Item 4. Strategic management, budgetary and administrative questions

Chair: […]

UNODC: 4D – […] gender parity across the UNODC offices. We are further strengthening female representation at all levels. Geographically diverse staff remains a key priority. Our action plan has been enhanced as requested in CND and CCPCJ resolutions. Upholding the zero tolerance policy when I comes to harassment and enabling a safe working environment. We stand ready to respond to your questions and comments.

Chair: Our sub-items today are a) Work of the standing open-ended intergovernmental working group on improving the governance and financial situation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (b) Directives on policy and budgetary issues for the drug programme of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (c) Working methods of the Commission (d) Staff composition of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and other related matters. Some of these are closely linked making it difficult to address them idividually. If delegations wish to address specific sub-items, I invite them to idicate so.

Columbia, Brazil and Spain joint statement: […] our working group was convened several this year and held informal briefings to discuss the report on the implementation of the consolidated budget for the biennium 2020 2021 for UNODC. The draft proposed program plan for 2021, and the program requirements for 2020 were also discussed at the informal briefing held 5 November 2020. Furthermore, in the period under consideration the working group also held informal consultations on 18th and 19th November 2020 on the draft resolutions contained in the Report of the Executive Director, on the implementation of the consolidated budget for the biennium 2020 2021. Two additional meetings were held on 11 February, and 6 April. During the meeting, the provisional programme of work of the working group for the period from January to December 2021 was adopted. The financial and governance impact of the COVID 19 crisis on the UNODC’s work, the response of the Office of the crisis, as well as suggestions from possible solutions to the budget shortfalls were discussed. The working group received an update on the rollout of the UNODC strategy, covering 2021 to 2025, and other stages of the offices regional strategic visions. The mandate of the group was extended (until the end of 2021?). We have held 3 rounds of consultations immediately after the suspension of the informal meetings. These meetings were attended by a large number of delegations.

United States: U.S. is proud to be a supporter of the work and major donor of UNODC. We welcome increased collaboration with other Un entities and meaningful engagement with civil society which has had a vital importance. We welcome increased access to CND this year. UNODC persevered remarkably in program delivery. Regular and extrabudgetary consequences to resolutions carry and we look forward to how this info can be conveyed to MS. Committed to improving communication between secretary and MS on budget affairs. Welcome  enhancing gender and geographical representation. Basis should be merit and conference as enshrined

Japan: 16.4 million USD contribution made already this year, including to respond to pandemic. Transparency and accountability are crucial. Wishes to request continued information sharing. Appreciates strategic vision and regional strategies starting with Africa. Member States expect to be updated on this strategy.

China: takes note that new ED led the UNODC and achieved remarkable results. Strategic vision for Africa highly appreciated. In light of the increasingly tense situation in […] triangle, hoping for policy support to South-East Asia, improve geographical representation in recruting international staff. Will continue to support UNODC.

Jamaica: The work of UNODC vital. We have to work against those who seek to exploit the pandemic for their own financial gains. Donors increased to 105 in 2020, with the majority of pledges going towards crime-related mandates. The financial situation remains precarious. Reiterate calls for more unearmarked donations. […] Technical assistance on cooperation in the Caribbean, Aircop program, Container control program appreciated.

Harm Reduction International: Harm Reduction International welcome the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Strategy 2021 – 2025. We note with concern that the development of the strategy did not include civil society or affected communities, including people who use drugs in its conceptualisation, planning or drafting processes. This exclusion is particularly hard to understand in light of the series of UN commitments on civil society participation that are of direct application to the UNODC, including the 2016 UNGASS Outcome Document. We further note the strategy does not reference the 2018 UN system Common Position on drugs and does not reflect shared commitments to put people, health and human rights at the centre. As a cosponsor of UNAIDS, UNODC is the convening organization for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support among people who use drugs and people in prisons and other closed settings. Throughout the UNODC strategy, harm reduction is only referred to once and there is no reference made to the need for increased investment in harm reduction, despite it being called for in the Global AIDS Strategy 2021- 2025 and the UN Common Position.  Additionally, there is no strategy planned to reduce stigma, eliminate discrimination and end criminalisation of people who use drugs, or call for inclusion of evidence-based interventions for people who use drugs in universal health coverage. Despite the repeated statements condemning the use of the death penalty for drug offences and urging member states to refrain from the said application, the strategy does not address the use of the death penalty for drug offences by 35 states and territories around the world. Since 2008, more than 4,000 people have been executed for drug offences worldwide, and thousands of people remain on death row today. This measure has failed to deter drug use or drug offences and has enabled grave violations of fundamental rights. Harm Reduction International’s latest report shows a 16% increase in death sentence being handed out between 2019 and 2020. This is despite COVID-19’s disruption to judicial processes, which resulted in further violations of the right to a fair trial, such as the lack of access to legal representation, inadequate time to prepare a defence, and the practice of sentencing people to death through virtual hearings. The global response to drugs would benefit from a stronger rights-based, evidence-based UNODC strategy. Thank you again, Chairperson, for the opportunity to speak.

Mexico: What is the status of the evaluation of the COVID19 response both in the HQ and on the field on behalf of UNODC management?

Secretariat: We will get back to you in writing.

Chair: Agenda item 4 closed. We will move on to Item 5. Implementation of the international drug control treaties (a) Changes in the scope of control of substances (b) Challenges and future work of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the World Health Organization and the International Narcotics Control Board in the review of substances for possible scheduling recommendations (c) International Narcotics Control Board (d) International cooperation to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes while preventing their diversion (e) Other matters arising from the international drug control treaties.

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