Recording in English:
Recording in Spanish:
Juan Fernandez, IDPC: Dear colleagues, panellists and participants, My name is Juan Fernandez Ochoa, I work with the International Drug Policy Consortium and it is a pleasure to welcome you to ‘Decriminalisation in the Americas: Towards a more humane drug policy’, a side event on the margins of the 65th Session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs. I would like to remind you that this event will take place in English and Spanish, and so if you need interpretation, this is the moment to select your channel at the bottom of your screen. Before we start, I wanted to briefly express my solidarity with colleagues in Ukraine, and everyone harmed by the ongoing invasion of the country. I am particularly distraught by the impact that this situation is having on people who use drugs and on the harm reduction response. No one should face the horrors of war and so I share my wishes for peace, health and accountability. This event addresses a different kind of violence, that of criminalisation. The criminalisation of activities related to drug use Exposes people to the violence of policing and imprisonment. Creates barriers in access to services. Fuels stigma and discrimination. And perpetuates cycles of exclusion that disproportionately affect people already surviving multiple forms of oppression. Fortunately, a growing number of jurisdictions are realising that criminalisation is costly and harmful, and creating alternatives instead. In the same way, normative guidance from UN authorities has become progressively unequivocal on the role of decriminalisation to create an enabling environment to foster health and uphold human rights. The American continent has a long history of engagement with this legal framework. In fact, we find some of the oldest models of decriminalisation in the region. This event today shares knowledge from these experiences, gesturing towards a future where responses to drug use reject punishment and, instead, focus on reducing harm, ending marginalisation, and mitigating the epidemic of incarceration experienced in our regions. Following introductory remarks by Isaac Morales Tenorio, representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, who kindly co-sponsor this event, we will have a discussion structured around key questions to our panellists. Feel free to use the chat for comments. While we do not have time for a Q&A, we will try to weave your questions into our discussion.
Isaac Morales, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico: The complexity of the international situation has shown, we do need more than ever, the strengthening the dialogue and cooperation as the track for peace in peaceful societies and to address also all our global challenges, and particularly to further advance the idea of placing the people at the centre of all our policies. Including drug policies. It has not to be only an idea, but we do have to materialise this goal. Almost six years have passed since the adoption of the UNGASS 2016 Outcome document. It is clear the need to further advance our commitment to capture the new realities and challenges. In this regard, decriminalisation efforts, the core topic of this very timely side event, and the concrete experiences that actually we have right now from different regions in the world, around decriminalisation are key and they’re not to be denied, not to say they are not happening, but to collect information on the results, on the obstacles also, and to share this information with the whole community. In this regard, I just finally want to invite civil society, academia, experts and researchers to further contribute to collect and to share information in analysis in all these efforts on the criminal sanctions, and particularly what have been happening and we have been developing from the Americas in order also to be able for the whole world. The government of Mexico is committed to better address the root and structural causes of drug issues, but in particular, to violence also related to these challenges.
Juan Fernandez, IDPC: We think your introductory remarks underscore the importance to maintain debate and also lift up experiences and evaluation and assessment of these decriminalisation models that we have around the world what works, what doesn’t work, and continue advancing towards a health and human rights approach to drugs and so I’m very happy to start this conversation with my co panelists. So perhaps we could start just with posing a framing question to all panellists. Why do you think that the decriminalisation of drug use and related activities is important? And perhaps you could provide some ideas on which jurisdictions have advanced towards that legal framework in your own experience?
Nazlee Maghsoudi, CDPE: So with respect to the first part of your question, about why decriminalisation of drug use and related activities, which in Canada is particularly the possession of drugs for personal use, which is still criminalised. Why is that important? I would begin by stressing the harms that come from interactions with the criminal justice system and with criminal records that arise from drug offences. They of course give rise to stigma, discrimination, but they have impacts that follow people who use drugs for the rest of their lives. It impedes access to housing, to child custody, to employment opportunities, restricts travel, so these ramifications don’t just go away once you’ve served your sentence. Now, moreover, criminalization results in the disproportionate surveillance, policing, arrest, prosecution of marginalised people who use drugs in the Canadian context and elsewhere, namely those who are indigenous peoples, black people, other racialized, marginalised, low income communities, thinking about people who are unhoused, for example, they’re profiled and disproportionately arrested and incarcerated for drug offences representing human rights violations of course. I also think that criminalising drug possession impedes for sure people’s access to health and social services and emergency care. And that increases the risk of harms. Like in Canada the overdose crisis, the epidemic really continues to worsen. And when folks do not feel comfortable calling 911, you only increase the risk of harms from overdose as a result of criminalization and other types of health repercussions like HIV and hepatitis C infections are also there’s a lot of evidence that shows that those are fueled by policies that have criminalization which impede access to health and social services. And I think for these reasons, among many other reasons, the common position on drug policy that was released in 2019, all agencies of the UN system came together to support policies that put people, health and Human Rights at the centre and namely, alternatives to conviction and punishment, including decriminalization. I’m very supportive of decriminalisation. I recognise that it only addresses the demand side, it does not address issues that are inherent to the supply side like in Canada, the contamination of our unregulated drug supply. So I make that point because I think sometimes there’s confusion between decriminalisation and legalisation as a path to regulation. And that I think is a useful distinction about thinking one addressing the demand side and the other, going further to address the supply side. So, and maybe to briefly answer the second part of your question here about what the context is in Canada currently, in terms of moving towards policies of decriminalisation. So, there has been growing support in Canada for decriminalisation in recent years and most notably our expert taskforce on substances called for decriminalisation. They actually went further to call for regulation. But cities and provinces around Canada have been pursuing decriminalisation in a piecemeal fashion. We currently have three exemption requests that have been submitted to our federal government for an exemption from our Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to decriminalise personal possession of illegal substances in their active jurisdictions. And those are all awaiting response from Health Canada. I’ll just note that two of them are municipal actions, one in Vancouver and one in Toronto, where I’m based, and there’s also one provincial action in British Columbia and maybe just the last thing I’ll say here is that over 100 civil society organisations came together to endorse the civil society platform on drug decriminalisation recently, and this was really the idea of identifying what civil society and people who use drugs considered to be an optimal model for decriminalization, rather than only reacting to models proposed by other stakeholders, so certainly supportive of decriminalisation but recognise that decriminalisation needs to be done right in order to accomplish its objectives.
Juan Fernandez, IDPC: I’m sure we will have time to continue discussing about the intricacies of how to design decriminalization models that actually work for communities but perhaps I will now share the floor with Adriana. Why do you think the criminalization is so important?
Adriana Muro, Elementa: I believe that the decriminalisation strategies from a human rights perspective represent the guarantee of non-repetition. It has been a legal policy that has affected the lives of many people who are drug users and also people in vulnerable positions across the globe. So I think that the effort to push for the decriminalisation come from different sectors especially from the Colombian experience, and I will discuss today. This has been done through the courts, which is an international example of how to integrate the Human Rights perspective into the drug policies and just to respond to the question on the experiences of decriminalisation in Latin America. I would focus on the decisions of the International and the Constitutional Court in Colombia and the Supreme Court of Justice decisions that have pushed for the decriminalisation of the use of drugs in this country. And I do think it is important to highlight that is the first time that international court in Colombia is pronouncing about the decriminalisation, and that was in 1994. Actually, around that time, that was when the big drug cartels were strangling Colombia. While Colombia was acquiring these very bad and well known for drug dealers and also there was a lawyer called Carlos Lehder that declared the criminalization of personal use that is in the bylaws drugs would go against the Constitution was against human rights, this criminalization and specifically against personal development. This decision led to the personal use of drugs. It open windows in the 90s to the public debate on the consumption of drugs, and it became a benchmark for all these movements in Latin America who doesn’t want to reform drug policies with a human rights perspective. And it’s been a real benchmark reference and it’s still current now after 30 years. So that is the most famous experience of a Constitutional Court that forces us to see the relevance of the court in order to transcend into a public policy that has a human rights perspective and stop using criminal law, just to fight drug dealing through the users. And a second decision that is not that well known that famous but it is also essentially the decision from the criminal room of the Supreme Court of Justice, that the level of protection expanded beyond the personal use and he went beyond the amount of using drugs and on a personal matter, and also there were cases in which people were legally or criminally prosecuted because they had above the permitted personal use dosage, and the court they considered that the burden of proof to demonstrate that those thresholds are not to be that are not to actually prosecute the common citizens. So it is important to highlight that there are still challenges regarding the judicial decisions. And these decisions are only thinking on certain substances. So in the next section, I will talk about challenges and obstacles because judicial decisions are to protect the citizens. They must be seen together with public policies of the government and together with the legislations that have been enacted in the previous years.
Frida Abarra, MUCD: I believe that all the state is falling into a certain behaviour that is related to the free like the development of personality but he has caused adverse effects in terms of safety and security rights, etc. In the Latin American region, it is very common that the criminal law system falls into the bad actors of the drug dealing markets. And this actually ends up affecting the people that have it on a personal use and drug dealers, but it doesn’t have great impact on criminal instructors on the trafficking of drugs. So this means that there is a waste of resources that are used for the prosecution of a small amount users, but it could also be used for ultimately for those that cause murders and this is always seen as a security matter here in Mexico on the way on how to use resources and also in terms of health, the healthcare system. We will be benefited from decriminalisation because the user resources we use to maintain this state as sanctions. These resources could be used for health care programmes, for human rights programmes that are more in line with international standards on the drug theme. People are afraid to call the healthcare services and this leads to riskier conditions to those that use drugs or it can become a very complex topic. And in human rights, this is a paternalist measure from the state that should be about personal freedom of every person. That should be allowed to use this very patronising, actually, and this is probably the most extreme measure to deal with any of these responses. So it’s irrational to use these patronising measures whenever, when we have better measures like and we could also refer more administrative law instead of criminal law, but also the response should be proportional.
Juan Fernandez, IDPC: We already alluded to how decriminalisation can precisely favour the distribution of state resources in a way that’s more conducive to health and rights. And perhaps that’s a good starting point to discuss to which extent the criminalization is effective at protecting health and human rights. And for that, I would give the floor back to Nazlee. What do you think?
Nazlee Maghsoudi, CDPE: I think this is perhaps the most contentious issue in the models that have been developing in the Canadian jurisdictions I outlined and that’s the issue of thresholds so the quantities below which are at which drugs are decriminalised. This is really a make it or break it issue when it comes to the success of decriminalisation in determining its objective of reducing the interactions of people who use drugs with the criminal justice system. It’s been a key area of disagreement in all three jurisdictions. And I’ll highlight that the first with Vancouver to share that, unfortunately, in the process there what was observed was that police had what many considered undue influence in determining the thresholds that were ultimately submitted in the federal exemption, despite people who use drugs really strongly asserting that the thresholds were being set too low, and thus would not accomplish their objectives. And in fact, would continue to criminalise people who use drugs under that model. In DC it was the same thing and that people who use drugs did not agree with the thresholds that were put forward. But in that circumstance, that credential exemption, there was the use of what’s called cumulative thresholds. So this idea that all the drugs on you must be below a threshold rather than thresholds per drug. And when it comes to decriminalisation, and drug policy at large, I’m always thinking about who is harmed, who is excluded from the policies and community thresholds when you think about who’s excluded by that, it’s indigenous people and people in rural and remote communities whose access to supply is limited and thus they’re buying large amounts at a time. Of course, poly substance users, people who use poly substances, people who purchase for others or rely on people to purchase for them, which is disproportionately women and people with disabilities. I also think about unhoused people who have to carry all of their belongings on them, or people who might be using a large quantity of substances. Maybe they have high tolerances. So those types of stakeholder groups are really not served by a cumulative threshold approach. Now in Toronto, I’ll say that the process for determining thresholds is still being determined. We’re a little bit less far along than the other jurisdictions having initiated our process later than them, but there is a panel of quantities group that is currently determining what those will be. So we’ll see where they land. But I’ll say generally, I think thresholds are thought of as a double-edged sword, right? They’re defining an amount. There’s the risk that you’re excluding those that are above the amount and also the risk ultimately that it’s too low to accomplish the objectives of decriminalization, but not defining an amount gives discretion to police and there’s the risk that it can be exercised unfaithfully. In the Canadian context, we actually do not have defined thresholds to distinguish between simple possession and possession for the purpose of profit gain. So police in our country are already distinguishing between those two activities, and given the risk of thresholds being too low and continuing to criminalise people, which I should say as well, there’s other harms from too low thresholds, right. It can be incentivizing more interactions with the unregulated market as people are trying to avoid purchasing those larger amounts. So they’re more frequently purchasing smaller amounts, or even the risk of increasing concentration, potency of drugs to keep the quantities below the threshold and that can increase overdose risks. So, in light of these risks of thresholds being too low, and in a context where as I described, thresholds have been established without centering the expertise of people who use drugs, the civil society platform that I mentioned up top, it urges against requiring or establishing threshold quantities in the exemption request. But these thresholds have to be adopted. I think it’s so imperative that we prioritise and centre the expertise of people who use drugs and a diverse people who use drugs from different subpopulations, because they will have different needs. They should really be the central decision maker when it comes to what thresholds there are because they know what is needed for criminalization to work for them better than anyone else. And certainly police should not be given undue influence, as has fortunately been the case. So I’ll just say one other comment on this, which is that our civil society platform, it actually recommends that thresholds not only be high enough to account for personal use, but also for personal purchasing patterns, for consuming patterns to account for things like sharing or selling drugs for subsistence or for survival, to support personal drug use costs or to provide a safer supply what some call necessity tracking. So I think decriminalising those other activities is imperative to actually decriminalising the activities that are integral to the lives of many people who use drugs. These aren’t profit driven activities, but they are how folks care for one another in communities of people who use drugs and if we want to accomplish our objective of decriminalising and moving towards a health based model and not a criminal based model, those other activities need to be packaged in with the thresholds that which are that they are set in Canada to really accomplish the goals.
Juan Fernandez, IDPC: Thank you. You make important points around the definition of thresholds, the pros and cons of defining thresholds, but I will, in particular highlight that also resonates with what Isaac was saying earlier about placing people at the centre of policymaking, and to some extent abandoning this punitive reflex that we have when we’re addressing challenges related to drugs. It is not about sort of reducing for a very specific and minor group of people the likelihood that they will enter in contact the criminal legal system, but on the contrary, understanding that the criminal legal system should be if at all, a last resort. And I think in that Frida, you might be able to have a few things to say because I think the advocacy that MUCD has been doing around legislative changes when it comes to removing criminal penalties goes quite far in terms of not only demanding you know, for a reduction in the policing of communities who use drugs, but also the full abolition of certain criminal offences like simple possession which are so harmful, so maybe you can talk briefly about how that contributes to the effectiveness of these reforms.
Frida Abarra, MUCD: We have been working on what the legislative power has on the regulation of cannabis. We have been very attentive and also we have been doing strategic litigation in the courts. And what I can tell you about the legislative power the legislative branch, is that there have been several bills for the regulation of cannabis in Mexico. However, none of them have foreseen the elimination of the simple possession of cannabis. They have only increased the amount of the thresholds. It really depends on the amounts and the minimum amounts if they are optimal for the users and how are authorities dealing with these amounts and with the enforcement of these act. So they have increased the amount to from five grammes to 20 grammes. And from there you get very high administrative fines and as I told you, the minimum requirements should be proportionate, proportionate sanctions but the fines are too high. So this is a very complex issue because most of the population that wants to be within the legal market of cannabis. They cannot even pay the fines. And then there are still imprisonment and sanction that goes up to three years of imprisonment. So, the issue has been very complex. We have provided all the available evidence trying to remove criminal law, at least from the cannabis perspective and in the judicial branch, the decisions of the Supreme Court of Justice have been very important regarding the consumption of cannabis and the acknowledgement that is protected by the free development of person and also the conditions related and that includes possession. The court has acknowledged these and all necessary behaviours are being protected by the right of free personal development. And also what we’re missing here in Mexico is basically these decisions right now correspond to the administrative law and not the criminal law. And if we see the decision of the Supreme Court regarding drugs, they are still very conservative, the courts of the country, actually in 2018, our organisation actually appealed the constitutionality of possession of cannabis project because the project was about acknowledging that the crime and the offence of personal use was necessary but there was no real analysis of the causes of these offence. They were only trying to place a sanction. Ultimately, these projects at the end of the day, and has not even been discussed. It has been postponed. There are still hopes that they will change their perspective because we did make a lot of prep which rather than pressure on them, and we were able to stop the process of making it an offence, but it was really missing because in terms of threshold, it is affecting the most vulnerable and also if we see the statistics – the only people that are detained are people possession of cannabis and they have basic litigation. So that is why we have a need to decriminalise the use of drugs.
Juan Fernandez, IDPC: What are the lessons that we’re learning from the process of development and implementation of these models? We’ve talked about the challenges of determining thresholds, the challenges also of the exclusion of key stakeholders like people who use drugs and the involvement or primary involvement of stakeholders who are in a position where usually they shouldn’t have much to say about the health and welfare of people who use drugs, like when it comes to police officers. What are some of the lessons like I’m thinking for example, Adriana you have since 1994 there’s been this legal framework what are some of the lessons that we were left with in the Colombian case and perhaps beyond?
Adriana Muro, Elementa: I believe that the judicial decisions have been extremely relevant, because we compare them to the Mexican case in Colombia, the decriminalisation of civil possession has been fundamental to guarantee the use of drugs in our country, but I believe one of the lessons learned is lacking the comprehensive analysis in all government branches related to the decisions of the Constitutional Court, even though this decision came into force 30 years ago, there have been many efforts by the government to criminalise again the personnel use. Actually the administration of President Olivera lasted ages there were four attempts to criminalise again the personal use of drugs, even though they didn’t accomplish it, but they did raise it to a constitutional level the prohibition on drugs so the judicial decision is telling us we will not criminalise we will not put people in jail because they have personal amounts because of their personal use but there is established those for cocaine for cannabis but other substances remain in limbo that do not have a specific personal use. So they are decriminalizing these doses. However, these amounts, the most important rule in the country says that there is a prohibition on the use and consumption of drugs in Colombia. So this is very serious this has been very well because specifically, the government right now has increased the administrative criminalization that based on fines and by using personal uses, they are detaining persons in a public space, not even using drugs, just by possessing them they are receiving these administrative sanctions. And now the President even he’s allowing to for authorities and for police officers to actually seize these amounts. And even though the judiciary branch says this is those against the rise of the personal use of drugs. This just leads to an ongoing interaction of police officers with drug users as my colleagues were saying not any users normally people that are in vulnerable positions. There is a lot of gender discrimination, race discrimination, we’re seeing these very advanced decisions from the court that favour human rights policy. However, the studies that have been conducted, especially the previous years related to the tension and the major decriminalisation says that most of the people detained that are being removed from their personal use are young and these doses are one to 20 grammes. And these are very small amounts. They are using all human and economic resources in a country in which violence has been clearly key for and drug trafficking has caused 1000s of deaths. However, we see police officers focusing on detaining drug users only. So I believe that the Columbian experience and that we should have a comprehensive policies. And we should also change the narrative of society of associating consumption with crime, because this is something that we see still from the executive branch, and also to leave behind the incentive that police officers have to detain drug users. This comes from the security policies and they are being measured by how many people they are retaining. So I think there is this is a more like a constitutional conversation to really reinforce the security policies and to talk about the strongest links of the of this chain and not anyone that we’re not sending people to jail. We are criminalising them and we are leaving them in a vulnerable position.
Juan Fernandez, IDPC: Could you tell us some lessons from Canada, what would you highlight?
Nazlee Maghsoudi, CDPE: We have this piecemeal approach that we have in Canada at the moment where municipalities and provinces are applying for exemptions. What that does is leave people who use drugs outside of those areas still criminalised. And even in those jurisdictions, the very rules between Toronto, Vancouver, it leaves a very tricky to navigate when you’re say travelling between those areas. So certainly a national approach I agree that that would be much more equitable, and it would make things a lot more simple when it comes to having that same rule across the board. Maybe just a couple other lessons. I think I’ve already discussed the issue of the risks of thresholds and how they’re established. Another issue I would flag here is that I think very understandably, the push towards decriminalisation recently in Canada has been framed as a response to the overdose crisis. And certainly that’s the case of Toronto where I have been most involved but there are significant risks with this. Given our position on unregulated drug supply and overdose may very well not be reduced by decriminalisation because, as I mentioned, decriminalisation does not address issues of the drug supply and their lack of regulation. So, there may very well be positive impacts on increasing access to services and thereby have some positives in terms of reducing overdose. But overall, if our drug market continues the way that it has increasingly toxic, increasingly poison, then it may not lead to those outcomes. And I think there’s this risk then if we position decriminalisation as an overdose prevention response of decriminalisation being perceived as a failure if that isn’t accomplished. Now, for me as I articulated, decriminalisation is about reducing and eliminating really interactions between this criminal justice system and people who use drugs because of all the harms and the human rights violations that we’ve talked about. That rationale should be enough and in and of itself is sufficient for pursuing that policy. So I caution against framing it in other ways that can be asking more than we really should be from decriminalisation and expecting decriminalisation or not understanding the root reasons for why you decriminalisation should be pursued. I think also just in Canada to what we’ve been looking out for, based on experiences in other jurisdictions internationally, is how decriminalisation actually ends up getting implemented kind of this concept of law on the books versus law in the streets, you know, who continues to be criminalised. I talked about being cognizant of who gets excluded and we recognise that policies of criminalization are rooted in and they reinforce systemic oppressions, racism, colonialism, sexism, so if we don’t take proactive efforts to address and rectify those oppressions, they will manifest in our decriminalisation policies. Decriminalisation will continue to privilege those at the top of social hierarchies and harm those basic structural vulnerabilities. So we really need strong protections, for example, against what’s called net widening or up charging this scenario where police lay charges for other offences, drug trafficking possession for the purpose of trafficking because they can no longer do so for just simple possession charges. And we also need really clear and strict limits related to when police can actually stop, search, investigate a person for drug possession because we know that’s often racially motivated or on how an individual appears such as unhoused folks. And absolutely, police really shouldn’t be receiving, for example, mandatory training on these reforms on the forms and to prevent very much this net widening and the inappropriate use of police discretion. And maybe just the last thing I’ll say, is I just want to pick up on a comment in the chat there was a question about whether the expanded view that I provided up what should be decriminalised per civil society platform is tittering the line into legalisation. And I would say this is exactly what I was trying to articulate at the front, that legalisation is about regulating the supply. It’s what we’ve done in Canada with cannabis we control or cannabis supply, production is controlled, sales are controlled, this is all regulated. What I have described in my view is being cognizant of the activities that people who use drugs are engaged in. If an individual who uses drugs is with a friend of theirs who is also using drugs and they are in excruciating opioid withdrawal without access to any substance. And considering what they’re going to do in those circumstances. Maybe go back to a seller that they don’t really trust and don’t want to go to. And that first person provides them some of their supply. That’s an act of compassion. And that’s how people who use drugs take care of each other. That’s not trafficking but by definition, me passing you with substance is trafficking in our laws. It totally undermines the point of decriminalization if these activities that are not profit driven are not also decriminalised. So I hope that acts as a point of clarification to that question. Thanks.
Juan Fernandez, IDPC: In thinking about the key stakeholders in the move towards the communication, what are some of the steps that you consider are essential to achieve effective decriminalization?
Adriana Muro, Elementa: We have identified at least four steps for an effective decriminalization of drugs especially in Latin American countries, which is decriminalisation policy should transcend to the government, it shouldn’t just be abolished the political will of the government. And also they have to come with a public health policy that guarantees a right of information for users. There should be a change of narrative from the government and the media, and also judicial decisions. Bills of law in terms of regulation are not sufficient if there are no campaigns to stop stigmatizing the population specifically talking about user population and vulnerable groups, and also the security policies should refocus the use of resources and stop detaining people with small amounts and there should be incentives to actually detain drug dealers and wishes eradicate discrimination from police officers. So I believe those are the four pillars we can continue to talk about the decriminalisation especially in Latin America.
Frida Abarra, MUCD: An important part of this would be the involvement of drug users in all models, in all the discrimination and models we are thinking of and these are the affected people we need to listen to. We need to know how this is affecting them. We need to make this effective both on the ground like in practical terms, and also in the judicial branch. And also the prison mechanisms should be affected. We have a criminal Enforcement Act that maybe like six years ago, we have seen 400 people being released from jail and this law is not being enforced as it should. There is an amnesty law also and it doesn’t talk about simple use of drugs is mostly a federal law. But very few people have been released from jail because of these mechanisms. So something that I would add that at the end of the day is we must create awareness among the authorities in charge of enforcing the law because they are on the ground. They’re out there and the legislative branch and the judiciary branch may say something but the police officers are the one that are outside on the streets. They need to know how to treat people to replicate these tensions that we’re trying to eradicate.
Juan Fernandez, IDPC: [Closing comments]