Committee of the Whole L7. Intensifying efforts to address the proliferation of uncontrolled and designer precursors used in the illicit manufacture of drugs

Secretariat: There will be an informal on L5 in a hybrid format on BR-A. L7 – Technical amendment. On OP12 & 13 – There is in square brackets ‘or trafficking’. There was an omission to delete this part. Just checking with the CoW. Ok, we can continue.

United States: We engaged in consultations, not in a room together – We made a lot of progress. What remains is the title, PP2bis, PP5 related to ‘impediments’, OP8bis related to ‘actions we can take…’, OP15 related to reference to WHO, OP4 on ‘capacity building’, and OP… related to ‘impediments’. Let’s start with the easiest possibility for agreement: Title. We can then go to OP8bis, OP15, OP4 on capacity building. I turn to my colleague now.  

Title alt 6 (based on Title alt5)

As Nolan just reported, we engaged in further consultations and I’m pleased to report that we are coming to you now with a solution for the title that will work for all: ‘Intensifying efforts to address the diversion of non-scheduled chemicals frequently used in the illicit manufacture of drugs and the proliferation of designer precursors’.

Chair: Thank you for that proposal. Comments?

Iran: I want to comment on the method of work. We are in your hands and you can decide about how we move forward. Our proposal is to go paragraph per paragraph. We cannot show flexibility in other parts. We believe all paragraphs should be discussed in order, not putting some aside and put pressure on this issue. 

Chair: Ok, I have a long list of requests for the floor.

Brazil: We supported the title before and we support it now. We’re making great efforts to have this paragraph agreed as well as the rest of the resolution. We should follow the suggestion of the proposer of the resolution in dealing with the content to get to consensus where it’s easier.

European Union: We support the new version. We worked very hard on this title, which is a compromise that addresses all concerns. As to procedure, we also think the process outlined by the US is the best to follow to reach consensus as quick as possible.

Colombia: We too support it.

Uruguay: We too support the title. There’s been a lot of debate in informals and here in the CoW. All delegations have shown flexibility. We believe it could be approved. Uruguay will cosponsor this resolution.

Dominican Republic: We too support. And would like to cosponsor. We’re grateful to the sponsor’s flexibility to take on board all our concerns and would like to express support for the way in which proposers suggested we continue.

Jamaica: We support too.

China: Last night, we consulted with our colleagues in the US whether we use chemicals or precursors. I tried my best today. I hope you can understand I need instructions from colleagues. But I want to be supportive and flexible. We have no objections to this version of the title but I’m trying to get authorisation from officials on OP1, 13, 15, 16… There may be some changes in these paragraphs. We need to get agreement based on the current version of the title. Thanks for consultation.

Japan: Appreciate efforts by the US. We agree with Title Alt6. With regard to proceedings, the way proposed by the US is agreeable. We join as cosponsors.

Honduras: Grateful to the US for their efforts to bring this proposal which we support. We also want to be cosponsors.

United Kingdom: This isn’t our preferred option but in the spirit of consensus, we’ll add our name.

El Salvador: We support this title. It’s a worthy compromise solution.

Switzerland: Agree and thank China for the flexibility.

Iran: This resolution is very technical. We are not part of the informals of this issue. I sent this to capital. I hope to receive a response during this meeting. Personally, I think it is a good title but I need confirmation from our experts. Our reservations remain in the meantime. Please bracket.

Mexico: We thank the US for this resolution. It was difficult to negotiate the title in informals and with certain delegations. We support this.

Thailand: We watched the negotiations over the title, which took a while, and the facilitator tried to engaged concerned delegations and we have come close to a consensus so we join the emerging consensus.

Austria: We support the compromise proposed by the sponsor.

Norway: (technical difficulties).

Chair: Let’s leave the title as it is for now. At the beginning of consultations, we followed the same procedure for all resolutions: going paragraph by paragraph in details. Then, we went on to a procedure according to which we focused on the agreement had been reached in informal consultations to see where progress had been made. We have kept this going until now. I don’t think we need to change that, so we will continue to work in this manner, based on the recommendations of the sponsor. US, please continue. Remember we have until noon with interpretation.

OP8bis

United States: The next one is OP8bis. We had a discussion removing OP8. It’s based on UNGASS language. Iran had a reservation but we don’t understand it because it’s a sensible paragraph. Can Iran explain the reservation?

Chair: Comments on this? 

Iran: This is agreed language so we can go along with that and also I hope the other side will show similar flexibility.

Russian Federation: We support this paragraph but would like to introduce a technical amendment. The original paragraph 8 has been deleted and the previous paragraph starts with ‘calls upon’. We suggest deleting the words ‘Also’ at the beginning of this paragraph.

Chair: Agreed in CoW.

OP15

United States: We removed WHO upon the request of Russia and Turkey. But there’s a reservation now from Iran so we’re waiting for their explanation.

Chair: Comments? None? 

Iran: I need more time. I cannot take out our reservation. I have not received instructions about the new language to be added in this paragraph.

Russia: We didn’t request the floor. We support the amendments.

Switzerland: Of course, Switzerland hosting the WHO meant that we were not happy with the deletion of a mention to this UN agency but in the interest of flexibility, we agree.

OP16

United States: We did consultations and I’d like to turn to my colleague in Washington to propose a proposal to combine OP4 & OP16 with consensus language on capacity building.

We had limited time to consider proposals, so we have not considered this in full. After reflecting further, I want to take each of the edits one by one: reference to WHO – which has caused concern among some delegations. In this instance, we’re amenable to dropping the reference here and can delete it. Down to suggestions made by Chinese delegate, small editorial tweaks: ‘within their national contexts’ to be moved to following the title of the INCB document, immediately after ‘options for global action’. Following in that line: ‘in order to facilitate’ – We’re talking about facilitating measures, so ‘in order to facilitate the implementation of appropriate measures’. We would delete ‘identification and’. And we’d like to update the text to reflect the new title; we can do that ex post. In our view, we already invited the INCB within its treaty mandate, so it’s duplication to mention it again.

Russian Federation: Unfortunate that we didn’t discuss the amendments during the informal consultations or CoW at any point and now we’re late. We still have to devote necessary attention to this. In the first round of informals, my delegation states a strong position to avoid mixing mandates of two different bodies. Very different in scope and nature. UNODC is part of the Secretariat of the UN entitled to provide technical assistance to member states, the INCB is of a different nature – it is not technical assistance but a treaty body to assist member states in implementing the conventions. We proposed language to properly reflect different nature and actions these bodies are intended to take following up the document mentioned. We cannot agree with the deletion of the last three lines of this paragraph. If it goes as it is, we can agree the deletion of the last 3 lines if we delete INCB at the beginning.

United States: While we would disagree with the views just expressed, we’re willing to work with what we see on the screen; although I’d like to recall that there’s been a number of instances in previous CND texts where we invite the INCB within their mandates, or authorisations, I cannot recall, to work together to provide carapachay building and assistance. So we’re not inventing anything new. If it’s important to retain a separate discrete reference to INCB at the end of this paragraph, we can work with that. I’ll suggest edits: First, where it says ‘to provide’, we’d like to amend with ‘to continue providing’, and propose deleting ‘recommendations and’ as INCB is treaty based mandate or authorisation is to assist member states in implementing the conventions. Then, we would suggest that after ‘Member States’ we add ‘in this regard’, and delete the last line.

Russia: We welcome the constructive spirit by the sponsors. We can go along with the proposed changes in the spirit of flexibility. Since we mentioned the INCB role separately at the end of this paragraph, we need to delete it at the beginning: ‘and invites the INCB…’. For language purposes, let’s change to ‘its’ and ‘mandates’ to ‘mandate’. We are willing to go along with this paragraph. This is our big flexibility.

Iran: I had a proposal like the Russian Federation raised. Thank you. INCB at the last part so redundant to have INCB at the beginning. We take measures, we don’t implement measures. So change ‘facilitate the implementation of…’ to ‘take…’. I will reserve this until I have instructions from capitals. OP15bis is agreed by our capital.

China: We have a slight suggestion: ‘within their national context’, on the 7th line, in order to make it clear, we want to use ‘in accordance to national legislation or regulations’.

Chair: Comments? Can we agree?

United States: Just to ask for a minute or two so that we can read it fully because it’s long.

Mexico: We will go along the emerging consensus but it’s important to note 2 issues on the previous interventions. When we talk about the INCB, we need to differentiate between the Board and Secretariat. The Secretariat is part of the UN. The INCB Secretariat can and does give assistance to member states. Whether we call it technical or not, we can leave technical out. But they’re of assistance and of use.

Iran: In principal we go along, but put our reservation on the whole paragraph until we have instructions from capital.

Russia: This paragraph is not mentioning the INCB Secretariat, but the Board itself, so the comment made by Mexico does not refer to the subject matter of this paragraph. We’re mentioning the Board, the treaty body. So we stick to the treaty mandated function of that body. If Mexico would like to discuss what the Secretariat should do, they should put those words  forward and we can discuss. My colleague from China proposed to add ‘in accordance to national legislation and regulations’. Is that something she wants to add? My delegation supports this amendment.

China: Yes.

Chair: Please, let’s add ‘national legislation or regulations’.

United States: With respect to the last intervention, our preference would be ‘domestic law’. And that should be broad enough to include states with regulations that are law. National wouldn’t work in this context for us. With regard to discussion of INCB as Board or Secretariat, I’m not aware in the past that we have distinguished between any of our UN entities and their supporting secretariats. The INCB secretariat isn’t independent of the Board although it has different functions because it supports the board. A reference to the INCB includes the Board. We agree with ‘mandate’, but we’re surprised because the terms wasn’t accepted in reference to the CND; but we can leave that conversation for another time.

Mexico: While I believe it’s worthy to entertain this discussion, it’s not the right time. We will resume this conversation at some other time. Article 16 of the Convention indicates the nature of the Board as members of a Board and a Secretariat. By referring to the treaty mandate, we include the Board and the Secretariat. We don’t want to create obstacles to the consensus.

 

OP16

United States: We will delete OP4 and OP16 bis, which have been consolidated in OP16, right? Hope all agree.

Iran: We don’t agree to delete OP16bis. OP16 is different. We keep it as it is.

Chair: Does Iran have instructions on pending paragraphs now?

 

OP15

Iran: On OP15, yes, we lift reservations on that issue.

Chair: Can we consider OP15 as agreed in Cow? Yes.

OP4

United States: Can we check whether OP4 can be deleted?

Iran: We cannot go along with deleting it.

Chair: Other comments? Maybe China because they suggested combining OP4 and OP16?

China: We want to combine them because it’s about technical support. And the guidance mentioned on OP4 is already in OP16. We respect other delegates’ suggestions.

Iran: If we work on OP16bis, which has similar elements, we can delete OP4, yes.

PP2bisalt

United States: Thanks to Iran for their flexibility. Now we must consider PP2bis, which is UNGASS language. Portugal suggested a different formulation, which the sponsors considered wasn’t direflecty relevant. So PP2bis alt now includes language on supply reduction which is verbatim UNGASS language. And then there’s the challenge of language on ‘impediments’, which opposes proposals from Iran and Colombia. Maybe let’s discuss now why Iran opposes UNGASS language on this paragraph.

Chair: Comments?

Portugal: For us, the language proposed by the US establishes a more direct language to the resolution. Our position, the rule of law and human rights applies to all aspects of our work. Not only UNGASS says this, but also the Ministerial Declaration of 2019. It’s weird that we’re litigating language already agreed by our political masters. I haven’t seen anyone discussing that the rule of law does not apply to these issues. For us, it makes perfect sense and many delegations agree.

Austria: We fully agree with the argument of Portugal. We want to be added to the list of countries supporting the retention of this paragraph.

Chair: Can Iran discuss instructions on this paragraph?

Iran: We disagree with those colleagues mentioning that it is relevant to this resolution. We are not here in the Human Rights Council. This reference should be deleted from the text.

Sweden: We concur with the Portuguese colleague and support that argumentation. Whether or not this is a technical resolution, we still have to abide by the human rights treaties.

Switzerland: Please, add our name after Austria in supporting retaining this paragraph. We cannot say that we’re not bound by our commitments because ‘we’re not the Human Rights Council’.

Egypt: We support PP2bis and would like to add ourselves to this paragraph. But I want to say that I think in order to compromise and to agree this in CoW, we have a proposal to delete this paragraph. This is language in most resolutions. But we need to move forward this resolution. So we can compromise to deleting it. We support this paragraph, but would like to move forward.

Finland: My colleagues from Portugal and Sweden said what I wanted to say. We support retaining this important language.

China: Actually, we have no concerns regarding the contents of the paragraph. But we also think that the comment from our colleague from Iran makes sense to some degree because it is true that CND is not a platform for human rights issues, it’s a professional platform for drug issues, so I want to help find a way forward. Another paragraph from UNGASS 2016 Document, number 5, could be used. 

Chair: I think this paragraph relates to a completely different issue but it’s not up to me to say that.

 

France: We echo other EU member states, and reaffirm our support to this para. I remind you that we are discussing a technical issue, but the substance of the para is relevant to the rule of law. As to China’s proposal, we’ll get back to you later.

Canada: Thanks China, but at this point, it’s not that helpful to add in new concepts. It’s not really an alternative, it’s a brand new para. In the interest of time, we request PP2bis alt2 be deleted. We hear again that this language “belongs in Geneva” – but it is 2016 UNGASS and 2019 MD language – so this is Vienna language.

Switzerland: Thanks China, but this proposal has nothing to do with PP2bis alt, so we have an issue with this new suggested para. We are interested in the Egyptian proposal.

UK: The 3rd para of the MD is what is written as PP2 bis alt – it is agreed language.

Russian Federation: The easiest way to move forward is to delete the para’s that we don’t agreed on – my delegation is always constructive – we always find a way to agree. My suggestion – the language proposed by China is agreed language, we need other delegations to take a look. Until we consider this text and consult with my boss, I suggest we move to other paras.

Iran: This is a technical resolution – we don’t accept the arguments to include this language. The Chinese language is good language. PP2bis alt2 should be kept.

USA: Yes, Russia is right about deleting paras – the next issue is about impediments language. PP5bis – the discussion was primarily between Iran and Colombia – Colombia stated that impediments does not usually appear in CND resolutions. As Russia just said – if there is no agreement, we support deleting this para.

Japan: Sorry, back to previous para (PP2 bis alt) – we agree to keep it. PP5bis – we agreed with US, please add our name.

Russia: PP5bis alt is important – it’s directly related to closed borders – some impediments are still in place. This para and it’s mirror in the operative part, should be included. This should not be deleted.

Iran: This language should stay – Iran needs to be able to prevent drug distribution around the world.

Canada: Russia was leading us to make intent of para clear – if every country wanted their own para, we’d have 193 paras in every resolution. If we’ve gotten to the 65th CND, we can find consensus here. “Taking into account the challenges and impediments arising from the COVID-19 pandemic faced in addressing”

Colombia: It’s too late to add new language. Russia added in language on COVID – the Canadian delegation’s suggestion was good. Our proposal is to have “technical impediments” or “barriers”

Venezuela: We don’t know why we would agree to a problem we don’t experience in our country. It’s not a reality in our country. We have impediments ie not being able to access technology, etc. We thank Canada but we can’t agree to this.

Guatemala: Many things I’ve heard are completely untrue, some are true. Are we being serious here? We keep hearing that this is not the fora to speak about human rights, yet we have had agreed language on human rights over 60 times. If we’re going to speak about double morals, we can’t do this, we can talk about single morals. Obstacles could be a word, as we all face obstacles. We keep discussing whether this is ageed/not agreed language for an hour now – what are we doing? We could delete, but we could still use “challenges and obstacles faced by some member states”. This is a call to be careful on what we say – we only have a few hours left. I won’t disregard resolution because of one para. Please put us after Japan to delete the para.

Portugal: Canada made a proposal that answers some of the concerns. We are okay with deleting it, but also okay with preserving it. So we support the Canadian proposal.

Iran:  It doesn’t just affect Iran. The drugs will be in your street. They want to give us technologies to identify those materials which are mentioned in this resolution. It doesn’t affect just Iran it will affect other regions everywhere. Because of your political and geographic locations, we are fighting with this. Canada proposal doesn’t solve problems. Under Guatemala proposal, maybe could go along with this. We are talking on the fight with drugs and to help addicted persons and recover them and give them health. We don’t have these materials. Iran has no flexibility to remove, but flexible about wording.

Colombia: Word proposed by Guatemala is another way to get the same. Want to ask for deletion of ‘obstacles’ and include proposal ‘new and evolving challenge’. Constitutes an important precedent from the UNGASS.

France: Support Colombia proposal

Russia: Proposal to keep ‘new and evolving challenges arising from inter alia the covid 19 pandemic as well as obstacles’. Russia is flexible on the wording.

Chair: Can we accept PP5 bis?

Colombia: Problem is that we have challenges previous to this situation. ‘New and evolving challenges’ is not applicable so we remove this proposal, and remove ‘as well as obstacles’.

Singapore: we have no issue, but given time, could you consider removing PP2bis and PP5bis.

China: Need to check about ‘diversion’. In PP2 bis, could we later check on the language.

USA: Concur with Singapore. If no agreement, should remove PP2bis and PP5 bis.

Venzuela: language as been there for 2-3 weeks and could have been addressed long ago. Every time  we got close, we skipped and decided to work on the easy ones. It is time to work on the not so easy ones.

Chair: we have been working on it for 45 mins.

Dominican republic: Would like these paras be included.Looks like good compromise now.

Switzerland: support the Singapore proposal.

UK: Support pp2 and see its importance. Add support to deletion of both paras, and add list of cosponsors.

Portugal: Agree with Singapore proposal.

Iran: If remove ‘impediments’ in PP5 bis and PP2 bis. PP5bis is valuable. Cannot go along with deleting PP5bis.

Sweden: Delete paras as per Singapore proposal.

Brazil: Support deletion of 2 paras.

Australia: Support deletion of 2 paras

Canada: Support deletion of 2 paras.

Venezuela: No problem with PP2bis. PP5bis add ‘and those’.

Mexico: reflect what Venezuela said but clean so can see it clearly.

Colombia: PP2bis is v important, and proposal by Singapore is big sacrifice. Move along with language proposed by Venezuela we will support.

Iran: Can accept if remove PP2bis. Give time to talk with capital about removing entire para. Agree to remove ‘impediment’.

USA: Could have Chinese addition, keep language with ‘challenges’. OP16 should be deleted.

Iran: Good to keep both paras, but need to consult with capital. On PP5bis will take out ‘impediments’

Portugal: remove ‘impediments’, keep PP2bis.

Canada: Proposals are accepting including retention of PP2bis and removing ‘impediments’

Dominican republic: Happy to support package deal.

Japan: PP5bis very flexible on that.

Chair: Can we make a 15 min break and then continue.

 

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