L.4. Strengthening international cooperation to comprehensively address the links between illicit drug trafficking and illicit firearms trafficking

Chair: We give the floor to Mexico.

Mexico: We see there has been lots of work and agreement. We will provide a summary of where we began/where we are. We made this resolution aware of the problem affecting all countries, recognizing though the lack of depth we all need to address the problem. Hence we sought the language to find a common ground, however, when it comes with the substance/essence of this draft resolution, we contend this is something we can all agree upon–need to combat drugs trafficking and the harms it causes on our nations. An intro session was held on the wording with 2 fruitful rounds of negotiation, allowing us to find agreement and identify areas which need further attention. These 3 areas are as follows. First, agreement on striking an appropriate balance to address (various) forms of drug-related crime. … We believe that the proposals raised at the Monday meeting last week … We searching to find agreement on issues both addressed and still outstanding. My delegation has submitted in recent years a resolution at COP on (related?) issues, and also on combating crime and arms. Our delegation is acquainted with the sensitivities when addressing trafficking and firearms. Hence we decided to revert to previously agreed language and thank everyone for the constructive spirit of understanding. We aim to move forward and restrict ourselves to language which address firearms/drugs trafficking. Moving to our third. point, … there was much activity during the previous negotiations. During these proposals there was much agreement and not much dispute, and looking forward to further. The wording we can see in bold is important, and the text already reflects our agreement and we hope to readily keep collaborating further. We hope the point PP7 and phrase “drug traffickers” will be acceptable to all, and otherwise, we hope the rest can be agreed upon or maybe only need a few expeditious tweaks. Chair, would you like to reflect this agreement I was referring to? Maybe you want to first validate that agreement, or directly move on?

Chair: Thank you for the progress achieved. It is a topic that is also of the upmost importance for my country too. We all know that resolutions have form and substance. You informed us of substance, but the CND secretariat told me that the way you presented the resolution does not correlate entirely with the way resolutions are presented, especially text with inclusions of the other delegations. I would like to ask Mexico, whether we take this up in informals or use the remaining 30 mins?

Mexico: I will try to ask your questions by flagging a couple points. Our understanding is the same. I would like to highlight the text in bold; we actually are abiding by the requests put forward. This understanding is shared by all delegations participating systematically, in particular at informals last Wednesday, and we could already move ahead. This is reflected in the text you see in bold. This is the agreement that has been reached and we said we’re ready to proceed as you see fit.

Either we take up the proposals right now, or in the informals. We’re in your hands; we can take them up and go paragraph if that seems simpler to other delegations, unless you’d deem it better to proceed during the informals? I am sure that the interpreters, translators, delegates will have no problem considering the final versions as opposed to what we originally introduced.

Chair: Considering what’s been just said, I would like to make use of the 30 mins remaining. So, if there’s a version of the text with the changes for the secretariat to work on, we’d ask to continue to work on the basis. We’ll start with title and proceed. Is this available?

Mexico: Yes, that’s on the screen. We’ll have to work diligently together through the text then, this text based on earlier rounds of debate. I suggest we postpone title discussion until the end, as previously agreed. Alternatively, let’s go by paragraph, starting with PP7? I.e. the agreement on the phrase “drug traffickers”.

Apologies, just having a discussion. (On Side; waiting).

Mexico: I am very sorry to have interrupted your work. As we were delivering our statement we were interrupted. The secretariat is working with my delegation to proceed as you suggested: we reflect the proposals on the screen. With your permission, if the secretariat can tell me if we’re able to proceed, we can start looking at specific proposals.

Chair: I ask the secretariat if the technical difficulties can be overcome and the text can be presented, and if so we can start working on that text. If technical difficulties cannot be solved, we will set aside L4 and proceed to L5.

Secretariat: we have received the tracked changes from Mexico and they are in the screen so we can proceed.

Chair: Then we will begin with the negotiations. There is agreement to discuss the title in the end, so we will start with PP1.

PP1

Mexico: PP 1 is a facilitator’s proposal, it includes the phrase “all aspects” before “of the world drug problem” and to replace “world drug problem” with “world drug situation”. The rest is a technical problem: we just need to copy and paste the final version of the text. Basically this relates to a discussion that has come back in previous years on whether we should use “world drug problem” or “world drug situation”. Adding “all aspects of” would provide some compromise language.

Chair: Is there agreement in the room?

USA: My delegation must register our slight confusion as we had understood that we would work on a rev 2 of the resolution and this appears to be rev 1. So we would welcome additional clarification on which version of the resolution we are working, as we have further comments on PP1.

Chair: Thank you for your comments. We are working on rev 2 but in light of the comments from the secretariat at the start of the discussion it’s clear that rev 2 does not meet the formal requirements that a resolution is expected to meet. So we are trying to meet these requirements. We ask all co-sponsors of the resolutions to strictly follow the format of resolutions presented in the CoW.

USA: We don’t believe that all aspects have to be dealt with in a multilateral setting and we also want to retain “world drug problem”.

EU: My delegation is in favour of “world drug situation” but it is correct that last year when we were negotiating the COVID resolution, we came to a compromise to avoid drawn-out debates by including “all aspects of” the world drug problem. This is something we could have gone along with but the USA doesn’t seem able to accept that. So we would revert to “world drug situation” rather than “world drug problem”.

Switzerland: I apologise for requesting the floor once again. I will go along with my colleague from the EU. The proposal for “world drug situation” was ours. We don’t want to systematise this wording as it is problematic for many. It is true that the compromise wording was “all aspects of the world drug problem” but I see that the US has a problem with that. We would therefore be happy to go back to “world drug situation”.

Guatemala: I don’t understand why we always try to reinvent the wheel when we have a wheel that’s been used for some time. A situation can be positive or negative, and a problem is negative. Here I have before me Res 64/4 of last year, and many others that do not refer to “world drug situation” and I therefore ask all delegations to be consistent to what we have said here and other forums. We cannot go back to what’s been said months or years ago. This is a resolution that is of great interest for my country. We do have a world drug problem and a firearms problem. We are grateful to Mexico for presenting this resolution but let’s be consistent with what we are dealing with here. Perhaps we may refer to a specific situation somewhere in the text, but here when we’re talking about the world drug problem, we’re discussing it in its broadest context. So we could go ahead with “all aspects of the world drug problem” but not “situation”.

Spain: I am afraid I disagree with Guatemala about the latter phrasing of “world drug problem”. At this stage, might it be more useful to delete PP1 which establishes a basic principle on how we are to address the world situation or problem. But the Mexican resolution, as was clearly explained earlier by Mexico, focuses on 2 specific facts: illicit drug and illicit firearm trafficking. This goes beyond the scope of the resolution. We suggest deleting this para.

Egypt: I have to echo Guatemala: we shouldn’t reinvent the wheel, we are all facing the “world drug problem”. We want to retain “all aspects of the world drug problem” and will not add any terminology that is not agreed. We support PP1 as it is.

Venezuela: The “world drug problem” is a concept and we can’t accept “world drug situation”. Regarding Spain’s proposal, we can’t accept that either, this PP provides an introduction for the rest of the paragraph.

Iran: PP1 is an important para which we want to retain. The content is very important and should be there. We don’t accept deleting the paragraph.

Colombia: We echo the delegations who want to keep “World Drug Problem” and think PP1 should be retained.

Switzerland:  We’d like to clarify why we proposed “situation” instead of “problem” because not everything is a problem. We agree w/ Guatemala we don’t need to reinvent the wheel, hence last year’s phrasing “all aspects of the World Drug Problem”.

United States: We’re not opposed to the phrase “all aspects of the World Drug Problem” and are wedded to this wording over “situation”. However, would like to emphasize but there’s many ways to address the problem, not limited to multi-lateral settings.

Hence, we should not be limited ourselves to addressing the WDP only through a multi-lateral setting.

Chair: There’s clearly no agreement so I propose to send the text back to the informals. This brings us to an end of the resolutions and this meeting to a close. Thanks for your hard work. We’ll continue at 6pm. Adjourned!

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