Plenary – Item 5. Implementation of the international drug control treaties (continued)

Chair: Good afternoon. We have suspended Item 5 after (a) and (b). keep suspension. We will start considering agenda item 6. Before that, pleasure to give floor to Youth Forum Delegates

Youth Delegates: We call to implement evidence-based substance prevention especially for children and youth that include safe spaces and continued support. Prevention startegies should be multifaceted and inclusive. Everyone deserves a chance to benefit from science based prevention programs. Follow a humanitarian approach. Interventions should be community-based, micro and macro level, especially considering the effect of COVID-19, and lack of access to healthcare. Supporting programs should retain young people in schools and support mental health. It should be voluntary, fun and interactive. Must include effective communication. We need to pay attention to health literacy. Impact of social media in promoting risky behaviours or might be used effectively for information. Invest more diligently in prevention to save money. Youth empowerment is key. Call on Member States to have at least two youth representatives. Must include youth as part of processes and active contribution to processes. We will create a drug free environment for children and generations to come, COVID will not stop this. Our voices are strong and we must be heard.

Chair: video on youth forum plays]

International AIDS Society (IAS): COVID-19 has added to an already difficult situation – violence, stigma, discrimination, high rates of overdose, HIV infection. Ppwud are particularly at risk of COVID due to these social patterns as well. Resulted in closure or reduction of harm reduction services as they were not considered essential. Exacerbated existing inequities, particulary faceb by wwud in relation to violence and poverty. Reps of ppwud were not included in design of covid-19 strategies for the most part. Community-led organizations proved creative and resilient. Proved how vital these services are – they provide essential human and social connections. Were wuick to innovate – take home, access to naloxone, mobile integrated covid and harm reduction services. How can we build back better? HR are essential public health interventions, must be scaled up. Expansion of take-home therapy and community-based treatment for hiv and hep c increased accessibility and uptake of services, should remain in place. Adequate resources must be allocated to support care-led interventions. Trusted resources for vaccination and should be equipped to provide vaccination to clients. Protecting hr of ppwud and reducing stigma discrimination inequalities are important during the pandemic and beyond to improve health for all. Thank you!

Informal Scientific Network: People who use drugs, if infected with COVID, are more likely to have more severe consequences. Psychosocial factors including poverty and stigma. Should be prioritized for covid screening and vaccination. Governments need to build capacities to collect timely data on substance use drug mental health, including mental health and physical comorbidiet. Digital health solutions and remote services should be accessible to all. Overlapping vulnerabilities, women children refugees and migrants, homeless, elderly, socially isolated, in contant with justice system carry special risk and need to be given special attention.

Chair: Suspend Ageda Item 6. Return to Agenda Item 5. Exhausted (a) and (b). Resume with (c). Floor to International Narcotics Control Board to introduce annual report.

International Narcotics Control Board (INCB): Briefly highlight report. Hidden epidemic of substance use among older people. Early on-set and later-on set users. 3 areas need to be understood: research and data collection, reduce stigma, provide age-appropriate care for older people. Grave concern of human rights violations in the name of drug control – inconsistent with treaty obligations. Precursors report marks 20th anniversary of 1988 – remains fairly stable. Diversion has decreased due to INCB online system and Precursor Identification system. We hope this session will see further progress on this issue. Increased focus on domestic control will contribute. Recommendations for full utilization of Article 12 of 1988 and international special surveillance list. Guidelines to prevent trade in and diversion of materials and equipment to reduce possibility of illicit manufacturing. Board released anniversary report, presented at opening segment of this CND. Technical report is launched, available on website. Board committed to continue supporting implementation in line with commitment to Sustainable Development Goals.

European Union (EU)?: the following countries align: […]. Welcome the INCB report. Thank INCB for special report. Welcome broad consensus of these conventions. Recall UNGASS recognition of link with human rights. The primary objective of conventions is to safeguard health. Strongly support objection to extrajudicial punishment and death penalty. Death penalty makes miscarriage of justice irreversible. Must be aligned with right to fair trial and rule of law. Alternative measures of appropriate nature are provided for in the Conventions. Overdose is increasingly concerned with older long-term users, recognizing as special group with care needs. Access to medicines and availability of illicit drug markets during pandemic. Alternative measures for – stop spread of COVID-19 among people deprived of their liberty. Cannabis for medical and scientific purposes. Ensure INCB of continued collaboration.

Japan: We are in a world of increased confusion and lack of clarity on implementation of treaties. Must address the current circumstances. Hope INCB initative will provide guidance on cannabis and cannabis-related substances. Cultivation, diversion and abuse. Reaffirm UNGASS 2016 and Ministerial Declaration of 2019.

China: Great importance of friendly collaboration with INCB. Top academic expert from China has been recommended to membership of INCB.

Venezuela: Transit route, our government taking action to be free of drug crops and against traffickers to North America and Europe. Politically motivated use of topic distorting the reality and threatening the sovereignty of the country. We encourage Member States to respect international law to deal with events that might happen. Lowest prevalence of consumption, more than 22 tonnes of cocaine destroyed. Anti-drug supervisory committee created, national assembly discussing strenghtening national control mechanism. In full respect of human rights, sovereignty, and non-intervention in domestic affairs.

India: Report highlights trafficking of fentanyl into USA. India has regulated all sources of fentanyl back in 2017. Also included fentanyl precursors in control system which report also recognized. Recent ketamine manufacturing indicate Indian organizations playing a role in East and South east. India reminds it regulated ketamine in 2006 whereas regulation still wanted in many countries. India shares regular updates on trafficking. Methamphetamine trafficking increased, India will install sensors on border with Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan.

Indonesia: Government ratified international conventions and has strong legal framework. On cannabis, we still need further study on medical benefits. Believe It brough more harm then benefit. Be careful in moving forward. Accepting the resolution should not legitimize use of cannabis for recreational purposes. Committed to justice delivered based on law, depending on nature of crime. Call for international organisations including INCB to cooperate with states while respecting their sovereignty.

Pakistan: technical issues

Chair: Reached end of list of speakers for Item 5(c). Start considering 5(d) on International cooperation to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes while preventing their diversion.

UNODC Drug Dependency Treatment Section: Recognize the urgent need to provide relief to patients suffering from COVID, including controlled medicines. Continue focus on 3 areas: legislation, building capacity of health care providers, work to strengthen supply chain of essential medicines. Belgium and Australia’s leadership in funding and proposing successful regulations. UNODC calls on additional Member States for financial and technical support. Democratic Republic of Congo and East Asia and Pacific. Opportunity to expand to other countries that report way below their actual needs.[…]

World Health ORganization (WHO): The World Health Organization seeks to ensure the highest attainable level of public health for all people. By promoting health, keeping the world safe and serving the vulnerable. As part of our commitment to achieving universal health coverage, WHO works to ensure that controlled medicines are available to alleviate the pain and suffering or range of medical conditions, including for cancer care. Palliative care, surgical care, and the management and treatment of drug use disorders, neurological disorders and mental health conditions. The World Health Organization is very concerned about the global lack of these medicines, which has been worsened by the COVID 19 pandemic. The COVID 19 pandemic has caused severe disruptions of supply chains and shortages of essential controlled medicines, putting the lives of millions of people at risk. Controlled medicines are needed for patients really affected by COVID-19, especially those been treated in intensive care units, undergoing anesthesia, and for the management of pay for disruptions and supply chain and syrup shortages have been caused by export restrictions and stockpiling of medicines by producing countries, the suspension of air prick of road transport, and the confinement of health workers. Countries with vulnerable supply chains, and with limited or local production or no local production are experiencing more severe shortages in line with the international drug control conventions, the World Health Organization’s approach is to strive for policies and programs that balance the need for access to essential controlled medicines, whilst preventing preventing the misuse and diversion. The 2016 unguessed document outcome recognized the disparities and access to controlled medicines in the world, and called for increased international cooperation to address this critical issue. Several international resolutions and commitments, also provide who, with a strong mandate for supporting member state efforts and addressing barriers to accessing medicines INCB, WHO and UNODC have issued a joint statement to other countries, risks of disruptions and supply of controlled medicines during COVID-19, because we’re taking appropriate measures to mitigate these risks, and protect people’s lives, who is committed to supporting countries in improving access to control medicines, towards the achievement of universal health coverage of the 2030 SDGs. Addressing the world drug problem demands international cooperation to tackle current challenges by positioning Public Health and Human Rights at the center of the international drug policy dialogue, Who will continue to foster collaboration with member states and with UNODC, INCB and other partners, including civil society, to ensure that safe efficacious and quality short controlled medicines are available and affordable for people who need them

INCB President: Let me start out by thanking the delegations for their supportive comments and suggestions, with regard to our annual report. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, availability of narcotic drugs, and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes is a prime aim of the conventions. From the start of the COVID 19 pandemic, the global supply chain of medicines has been affected by the disruption and manufacturing of starting materials and active pharmaceutical ingredients, as well as restrictions in transport by land, maritime and air, due to the logistical challenges arising from border closures. In addition, the demand for controlled medicines necessary for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 sharply increased. For example fentanyl and midazolam are needed to provide pain relief and sedation for patients in intensive care units, various actions were taken by the board and the international community, in order to maintain the availability of controlled medicines. In April, 2018, the board joined the Lancet, one of the leading medical journals in the world, to extend palliative care during and after the COVID 19 pandemic. In August of last year, the Board issued a statement together with UNODC and WHO on access to internationally controlled medicines during the pandemic. Most recently, last month, the board organized an online expert group meeting to facilitate the sharing of experiences and expertise on how to deal with these supply problems. participants from manufacturing and recipient countries, international humanitarian organizations and related UN agencies.

The meeting proposed a set of recommendations to facilitate the application of simplified control measures during emergency situation, and to improve country’s emergency preparedness and response. Apart from medicines for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. There’s also the need to ensure access to medicines for the treatment of people with cancer with pain, the mental health conditions and people with drug use disorders were also severely affected by the policies to stop the pandemic. Many countries have seen a steep rise in the number of people with mental health problems due to the social distancing measures already before the pandemic the board had expressed its concern over this treatment gap, and low levels of medical use of psychotropic medicines in many parts of the world. To ensure uninterrupted manufacture and supply the board in its annual report put forward a set of recommendations, including the review of the forecasted demand and the streamlining of import and export authorizations and other administrative and legal requirements. The INCB data on manufacturing supply and consumption over the last many years, illustrate the persistent problem of an enormous global inequity in the availability of global of controlled medicines for medical use, both among regions and in countries, but also within countries. An analysis of the main trends in the manufacturer export, import and consumption of the main opioid analgesic shows that the highest consumption of these drugs is in the high income countries especially Europe and North America to global consumption of fentanyl, and drug use for pain relief and anesthesia, but also widely present in the illicit market peaked in 2018, decreased in 2019 especially in North America. However, there were significant increases in several other countries in other regions option code on consumption has also been increasing and it replaced morphine, as the second most consumer opioid INCB has repeatedly called for strict policies on the prescription, and use of these medications, in view of the dramatic opioid epidemic, and overdose death in North America. It is critical to prevent this from happening in other countries. Assessing availability of psychotropic substances on an annual basis, remains the challenge, the ’71 Convention does not oblige state parties to submit national data, and the board relies on countries that submit this data on a voluntary basis, pursuant to the resolutions of the commission. We are very pleased that an increasing number of countries is supplying those data. And we call on all other countries to follow, so we can construct a more comprehensive more comprehensive picture on the use and the needs of psychotropics. That said, on the basis of the data received Barbuto and methylphenidate were among the most consumed Psychotropic Substances under international control with alprazolam and diazepam being the most consumed benzodiazepines recently developed compilation of methodologies on collecting and consumption data will assist competent national authorities to supply this information in the future. There is still a long road ahead towards achieving the goal of equitable access to controlled medical medicines for medical purposes for all the board reiterates its commitment to provide assistance through the Secretariat, as requested to member states. In response to the United Nations General Assembly and CND resolutions, INCB has been strengthening the capacity of governments in the regulatory control and monitoring of illicit trade in narcotic drugs psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals, adequate availability of controlled substances for medical use, is at the heart of the international drug control conventions, and should also be at the heart of the national drug control policies. The board is committed to work with countries to achieve that goal. Thank you very much, Madam Chair.

European Union (EU) : I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union and its member states. The following countries align themselves with the statement: Macedonia, Montenegro Serbia, Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Iceland. The EU and its member states reiterate the importance of the access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes, while also acknowledging the potential for misuse of substances. The convention on Narcotic Drugs as the amendment by the 1972 protocol, and the Convention on psychotropic substances recognized the many use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and their indispensable role in pain relief. It is of utmost importance that countries ensure the availability of these substances into adequate supply for medical and scientific purposes, the UN General Assembly special session also documented our reaffirm the importance of making internationally proposed substances available and accessible for many purposes by preventing matcha. In 2019, the ministerial declaration reiterated our resolve to ensure access to and availability of controlled substances for scientific purposes, including for the relief of pain and suffering. Furthermore, ensuring the availability and accessibility of controlled substances, once again has been recently called for by WHO, then it is also present in the ECOSOC resolutions, reports and universal technical guidance. Let me emphasize that the EU drug strategy was approved by the EU in December 2020 stresses the importance of increasing access to and the availability of proposed substitutes for medical and scientific purposes. The European Union and its member states are willing to make a contribution. In this regard, the resolution proposed by the European Union, promoting quality, affordable, scientific evidence based and comprehensive drug prevention treatment services, pursues the member states to ensure access to controlled substances for medical and scientific practices, including full treatment Despite the efforts made, including through the back of the UN system coordination task team, the progress made to this area is not sufficient – over the last 10 years, a summary of knowledge acquired by the UN system of practice, found that one barriers with accessibility of controlled medicines have the limited capacity of health care professionals, due to lack of university curricula, on the use of pain medication and evidence, necessarily, with adequate resources made available for the implementation. The case of opioid or logistics, in particular, the use of internationally controlled substances, such as methadone and buprenorphine is still limited and even prohibited in some countries, which creates huge barriers in accessing opioid agonist therapy for people dependent on opioids. Furthermore, there’s considerable disparity between countries, with the availability of access. On the other hand, diversion of two substances should be prevented. To this end, and in the spirit of international drug control conventions, regulatory frameworks and guidelines based on rational prescription practices can increase accessibility to controlled substances, including some assorted options by reducing the risk of diversion in line with our evidence based tax policy. The EU considers that the removal of cannabis from schedule four of the 1961 single convention are […] At the same time, this measure does not allow any non medical use, which represents a health risk. Lastly, Madam Chair, the EU and its member states believe that efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals and to effectively address the world drug situation are complimentary and mutually reinforcing. We would like to urge members to develop national drug control policies which ensure such. Thank you.

Nigeria: technical issues

India: Member states noted with concern that the availability of international controlled substances for medical and scientific use has remained sometimes non existent in many parts of the world […] the access to an ability to control substances for medical and scientific purposes – India has been acting very responsible in this regard and has been very prompt in its services in order to tackle this effectively to ensure availability for medical and scientific purposes, and preventing its diversion at the same time. Parliament of India has passed legislation defining certain […] relaxing the non proposition, transportation and dispensing of […] Indian government introduced a Medical Institute and registered medical practitioners who shall be allowed to store and administer narcotic drugs for medical and scientific purposes under strict surveillance and monitoring of state. As you know, India is one of the largest exporter of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. Therefore, export from India, pass through very stringent checks and verifications of various key points and follows protocols developed and updated by INCB and UNODC like pain, etc. This protocol shall certainly resulted in achieving an objective of increasing the availability of drugs, and preventing the illicit diversion at the same time. During COVID pandemic lockdown last year, we have introduced measures for innovative simplification of procedures. And we saw to it that any procedural requirements do not hinder the patients. Thank you.

Indonesia: Madam Chair and distinguished delegates. Indonesia has in place a rigorous control of substances to avoid the diversion as mandated by the three international drug control conventions. New psychoactive substances that have the potential to endanger public health that are not included in the narcotic category are regulated for use by the state. The Indonesian food and drug authority participates in ensuring the availability of narcotic and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes, as well as its reporting and supports the prevention of narcotics and psychotropic abuse programs by launching the national action to eradicate illegal drugs and drug abuse, regarding the use of controlled substances by the chemical or pharmaceutical industry, the government requires these industries to prepare a four year requirement, plan and report on the use. Indonesia has also developed application for import and export licensing, production, distribution, and use in pharmaceutical facilities. Indonesia is active in submitting reports on import, export data consumption and demand estimates, and has contributed to the INCB application, namely in the national Import Export System and pre-export notification online offer all these steps are taken to facilitate the monitoring and management of narcotic psychotropic substances and pharmaceutical companies have sought to ensure the availability of narcotic psychotropic substances and pharmaceuticals precursor for the benefit of health surfaces, and development of science and technology, and to prevent diversion to illegal channels. Thank you.

Russia: Russian Federation is in full compliance with the requirements of the three international conventions for the control of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and pursuant to the recommendations of the outcome document of the UN General Assembly, special session of 2016 on the world drug problem and Russia is taking systematic measures to ensure the availability of controlled medicine for medical and scientific purposes, while preventing that diversion of use, and the illicit trade. The Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation is ensuring the development of state policy, and is bringing in legal regulation related to these areas. The Russian Federation in practice uses the full range of narcotic drugs and Psychotropic Substances contained in the WHO model list of essential medicines, while ensuring that these medicines are provided free of charge to patients. Over the past five years, the national legal framework for ensuring the availability of controlled medicines has undergone significant changes. The list of doctors entitled to prescribe such medicine has been extended. In order to ensure access for rural populations to such medicine, mid level, medical personnel have also been authorized to give prescriptions and requirements for storing such medicine and medical organizations in rural areas has been simplified, we have simplified the procedures for dispensing controlled medicine. Furthermore, in early 2020 new rules were established for the import of specific batches of non registered medicine of vital importance to potential patients and groups of patients in late 2020, the necessary dosage forms of diazepam and midazolam for children were registered for medical use. And in 2021, the industrial production of these drugs was set up, annually supplies of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for patients in need are monitored. Thanks to these changes to legislation from 2016 to 2020. There was a four fold increase in the actual non invasive administration of narcotic analgesics. This makes it more comfortable for patients. The proportion of patients in need provided with analgesics reach 90% in 2020 in terms of estimated requirements during the epidemic – we can say that the national system for ensuring the availability of controlled medicine in 2020 proved to be successful and robust to provide patients with the medicine they need during the pandemic. The following measures were taken as a two fold increase in the amount of medicine prescribed on one prescription, a sufficient supply of controlled medicine has been created to cater for patient’s needs. Furthermore, we have scaled up the continuous monitoring of patients health using telemedicine technology. If it is found that the nation’s health has worse and they are hospitalized. The best motion, medical assistance for cancer and palliative patients has been provided info, during the pandemic, including for patients who have contracted Coronavirus. They are then hospitalized in specialized oncological and palliative clinics. We have scaled up our monitoring of patients inquiries made through the hotline for the Federal Services surveillance in healthcare. As a result of the measures taken in 2020, in comparison with 2019, there were 16% decrease in such inquiries, further steps to broaden access to control the medicine for medical and scientific purposes will be taken in compliance with the roadmap, approved by the government of the Russian Federation, and also bearing in mind the relevant operational recommendations of the outcome document of the UN General Assembly special session, and the recommendations of the International Narcotics Control Board. Thank you for your attention.

Australia: Australia is taking an active role in promoting the availability of an access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purpose. It remains concerning that over three quarters of the world’s population live in countries with inadequate access to treatment to pain. This is unacceptable in a time when we have the knowledge and skills to implement systems that can enable controlled safe and effective access to pain relief for citizens when they most need it. We believe access to controlled substances can be expanded while maintaining the integrity of the conventions conventions clearly stated the medical use of narcotic drugs is critical for the relief of pain and suffering an adequate provision must be made to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs for such purposes, we’re pleased with the adoption of a jointly sponsored resolution by Australia and the European Union at the 63rd session, which focused on addressing crucial barriers to the access to an availability of controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes. This focus is even more important in the face of the COVID 19 pandemic. We encourage stronger efforts to overcome barriers to access essential health services and controlled substances for pain relief. Australia has pledged an additional financial contribution to continue the work, to assist countries to develop robust systems that ensure access for medical and scientific purposes while reducing the risk of diversion for illegal use. Australia’s investment in the global joint Global Programs, pilot programs in Timor Leste state and Ghana have shown it’s possible to overcome complex barriers to accessing control drugs. This project is an example of the effectiveness of collaborative approaches, and the application in community and local settings. Additionally, accurately estimating populations need for controlled medicines is a vital first step in this regard we welcome the INCB winning project, which is doing important work to improve the functioning of national control estimates and assessment systems consistent with the international drug control conventions. Australia has been pleased to support the INCB Work Australia encourages all member states to consider how we can work together to do more to reduce the global disparity in access to controlled substances for medical purposes and to reduce unnecessary pain and suffering, while reducing the risk of diversion to illicit use Thank you chair.

Peru: The emergence of new psychoactive substances is a broad group of substance substances with very different chemical compositions and have very different impacts, and have a consequential different social impact group. These substances not found on any medicine, however there’s coordinated cooperation between our door enforcement officials and local health public officials are important in order to prevent a public health problem as a result of use of these substances actions to control based on a regulatory basis, and administrative and criminal sanctions are applicable for people who handle distribute important export these, this has an impact on reducing social problems derived for consumption. At the same time it’s important to underscore that Peru reaffirms its possession with regards to the three international drugs control conventions, since in accordance, since they are the cornerstone of international drug control system. It’s also important to underscore that Peru is working for access and availability to these narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical use to improve the well being of our patients during the pandemic. Digital prescriptions, the use of such drug controlled substances, given this situation there’s a need to have guidelines for the handling of products derived from cannabis, quality control, and so on. To s domain needs as well, which would favor a Regulation A great deal. So we as Peru have a law and regulation for the medicinal use of cannabis. Thank you very much.

Chair: 5d

UNODC:  Thank you Madam Chair, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen. In the past few years there has been a considerable increase in the number of narcotic drugs psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals included in the schedule of the 1961 and 1971 conventions, under tables of the 1988 convention. Between 2014 and 2020 60 substances are included in the 1961 and 1971 conventions and seven precursor chemicals included in table one of the 19 UVA convention. Do you think responsibilities within member states to successfully implemented international drug conventions. Among those most affected are law enforcement and forensic service providers who are required to analyze and identified and YUI scheduled substances, each year since 2015. Un ODC has adopted undeveloped scientific and forensic services in order to assist the work of member states. This has included the preparation and revision of UN ODC manuals and guidelines on recommended depository methods for the identification of substances guidelines for the safe handling of synthetic opioids for law enforcement and customs officers under disposal of drugs and the precursor chemicals used in their manufacture have also been produced reference standards of substances under international control, have been provided to national drug testing and toxicology Marjorie’s substances that have been recently scheduled and selected new psychoactive substances have been [technical issues]

Turkish Green Crescent: At Green Crescent Society, our priority area is to struggle against tobacco, alcohol and drug addictions that demonstrate the physical and mental health of the youth and the public in general. We do this by conducting preventive, as well as notating public health work and advocacy, based on scientific evidence, with a global vision. We believe that in order to achieve the sustainable development goals set forth in the UN declarations, public health will be an indispensable priority for all. In this regard, We are well aware that drug misuse abuse and addiction, in general, are the main causes of suffering with individual community, as well as transnational levels of impacts, and that there’s especially a sharp rise in illicit drug use whereby this constitutes a global drug problem, which is exacerbated with the onset of COVID-19 pandemic and the different needs that have emerged following the COVID 19 pandemic. Furthermore, we know through the UNODC right before 2020, the record for drugs and drugs and associated issues among young people and older people findings that cannabis use constitutes a major part of the drug problem, especially among youth. According to percent reports, cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines and ecstasy, are the drugs that youth between the ages of 15 to 24 in European countries, Norway, and Turkey, use the most widely. In addition, among these substances, the substance that is the most widely used is cannabis, with approximately 180 million people using it worldwide. The decision to reschedule cannabis, which was decided on in the December 2020 was of great importance for the Prevention Agenda of our society. We know that the results of wanting to reschedule cannabis, and its related substances. In other words, to remove it from schedule has been elevated on different grounds for public authorities, we are deeply concerned of the false information and misperception that could be created with the adoption of the relevant recommendation, especially on children and young people […] sometimes observed to go as far as saying, The UN has removed cannabis from it’s dangerous substances – we are deeply concerned, as we are well aware that the decision taken by the members were not related in any way with the recreational use of cannabis. And yet, that’s that’s this information that is being disseminated on a systematic way, is likely to cause a wave of legalization around the world. Evidently, this creeping irreversible public health damages that needs to be addressed urgently. We would like to therefore call CND members to take into consideration the possible effects of short term longer long run implications of social implications, through a public health lens, and to take their decisions regarding cannabis, and other controlled substances accordingly. Thank you very much.

Acción Téchnica Social: We want to begin by greeting with encouragement and strength, all the people in societies who have been directly and indirectly impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic, a situation that has been an immense challenge the world, and requires a need for solidarity that we will continue to analyze in the future. Today we come from Acción Téchnica Social in Colombia and Instituto RIA in Mexico, to remind us all that the world is changing, and countries are putting human rights and social justice at the center of their drug policies. This means we need to reflect on the adequacy of the international drug control regime. According to the UNODC, close to 88% of the people who use drugs do not have problems derived from this consumption, and for this reason should not be treated as sick or criminals, but as productive citizens without stigma or criminalization who demand the right to meaningful participation in the design and implementation of public policies that affect them. We have the right to risk and harm reduction as a complimentary health strategy, particularly for those who cannot or do not wish to stop using substances, many of them who do not have serious problems and wish to maintain a functional use, such as those who use alcohol or caffeine. People who use drugs have the right to protection against Torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, they have the right to not be subjected to arbitrary detention or imprisonment, the right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and the right to enjoy cultural life and the freedom of work expression and information. As organizations and countries where the cultivation and production of psychoactive plants is common. We also advocate on behalf of cultivating communities to be incorporated into legal regulation frameworks, using social justice principles, and we encourage member states to create incentives to transition from an illegal to illegal market. There are numerous policy innovations available to consider from harm reduction to market regulation. Only when rights are recognized protected and guaranteed, we begin to overcome structural inequities. In conclusion, we come to tell you that now more than ever, the drug policy reform movement is driven by people who cultivate and people who use drugs or productive professionals with cool lives, and you have shown that a drug free world is not possible. We are learning to live in peace with psychoactive substances, while we embrace legal regulation in the world as a means of guaranteeing human rights, promoting social justice and strengthening, rule of law, no drug policy will be effective today, it’s a consultative decision making participation of people who use drugs and communities that cultivate are not included in the design and implementation of the International slogan says nothing about us without us. Thank you so much.

Pakistan sincerely acknowledges the effective role, and huge contribution of this commission INCB and UN ODC in the fight against illicit drugs. We believe that the reports of INCB and UNODC provide us substantial assistance to set the priorities and steer the Counter Narcotics effort, while appreciating the endeavors of INCB and the report. We also feel the need to draw attention on some points of concern in this report specifically on page, 93 para 672 and para 673: it is stated that Pakistan was reported as a source country of cannabis resin by some countries – it is imperative that we clearly segregate victim and transit countries from the source countries. We understand that Pakistan has been erroneously mentioned as a source of cannabis resin. There are no statistics and substantiating evidence for the production of cannabis resin in Pakistan. All the cannabis resin produced elsewhere is transmitted to Pakistan. Similarly, we take this opportunity to reiterate that Pakistan is fully cognizant of its responsibilities as a member of the international community to contribute positively towards curbing the menace of illicit drug trafficking. Pakistan is a victim of two way flow of illicit narcotics slash synthetic drugs trafficking. They are target of opiates and cannabis, as well as synthetic drugs and precursor chemicals elsewhere. It is also pertinent to draw attention to the fact that our delegation to the previous session, the 63rd session had also raised similar observations, we once again request INCB to consider our sincere views while compiling the report. I thank you very much.

Chair: I thank you and I will once again, for the last time trying to connect with the representative of Washington Office on Latin America.

… this is not possible. So I would like to invite those who have not succeeded in in taking the floor to submit their interventions to the Secretary so we can post them on the website. And now I would like to close our deliberations on this agenda item. And I would like also to adjourn the session for today we will meet tomorrow at 12 for the plenary session, and we will start the consideration of the agenda item six, we have already had presentation from the EU forum, and we will then continue. So I thank you very much. I wish we have very nice evening. Good night.


(Statement delivered during Item 6 due to technical difficulties, but corresponding to Item 5)

Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA): Thank you, madam chair, for this opportunity to speak. My name is John Walsh and I direct the drug policy program at the Washington Office on Latin America. I’m pleased to address this 64th session of the CND regarding agenda item 5, ‘implementation of the international drug control treaties.’ I’ll focus here on cannabis—a topic that’s been at center stage in Vienna in recent years, consuming considerable time and energy. The intense attention on cannabis culminated in last December’s CND vote in favor of the World Health Organization’s recommendation to remove cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention. It’s probably a safe bet that many delegations now wish that cannabis issues would simply go away—or at least take a back seat to what they consider to be more pressing concerns. But the bruising battle over the belated recognition of the medical value of cannabis is not likely to be the last of it. The sharp debates leading up to last December’s vote reflected increasingly divergent—and strongly held—views in Vienna about cannabis and its place in the treaty system. Now—with the ‘Vienna consensus’ regarding cannabis fracturing before our eyes—the plant remains very much on the agenda, portending perhaps even fiercer polarization to come. Nearly immediately after the vote that removed cannabis from Schedule IV, the International Narcotics Control Board set out to create guidelines for cannabis for medical and scientific purposes. To be sure, the burgeoning growth of the medical cannabis field calls for a fresh look at the treaty system’s reporting requirements and estimates. But the INCB’s draft guidelines to date suggest an unhealthy—and unfounded—obsession with restricting cannabis medicine to a narrow pharmaceutical model—at the cost of risking adequate access to medicine for patients. Both the process and the content of the INCB guidelines beg some serious questions:• Why did the INCB launch a process regarding medical uses of cannabis without the direct involvement of the WHO? • Why does the INCB insist in its baseless position that only the use of cannabinoids in pharmaceutical preparations constitutes legitimate medical use—as opposed to use of natural cannabis products? • Does the mandate of INCB even extend to issuing guidelines for control of medical cannabis? Even as debate continues over medical cannabis, an even larger challenge looms to the treaty system—the adoption by several countries of legally regulated markets for adult-use or ‘recreational’ cannabis. The UN drug treaties do provide a certain degree of latitude, but as the INCB itself has noted on numerous occasions, the legal regulation of adult-use cannabis does not currently fit within the bounds of the conventions. To quote from the supplement to the INCB’s most recent Annual Report: “…legalization and regulation of controlled substances for non-medical purposes is a clear violation of the international drug control legal framework…” Nevertheless, some countries have already enacted national laws to regulate cannabis for adult use, and other countries appear poised to take similar steps in the foreseeable future—mostly but not entirely in the Americas and in Europe. Crucially, the countries embarking on this shift consider that legally regulated access to cannabis is likely to deliver better results for the health and safety of their citizens than would be possible by simply persisting with prohibitionist policies. An impasse therefore seems to be looming: a growing number and variety of countries determined to adopt models of regulated access to cannabis for non-medical uses, colliding with a treaty system that provides zero space for such a policy. The intense debates leading up to last December’s vote to remove cannabis from schedule IV could have been merely the preview for an even more polarized situation regarding adult-use cannabis. But polarization and paralysis are not inevitable. Even if consensus positions regarding cannabis are beyond reach in Vienna, the conventions themselves, and international treaty law more broadly, do provide avenues for accommodating change without splintering the system entirely. In this spirit, I will conclude by urging Member States, UN agencies and civil society to heed the INCB President’s recent call for, and I quote, “reflection on possible alternative and additional agreements, instruments and forms of cooperation to respond to the changing nature and magnitude of the drug problem.” On behalf of the Washington Office on Latin America, thank you for the honor to address you toda

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