Home » Resolution L3. Promoting alternative development as a development-oriented drug control strategy, taking into account measures to protect the environment and recognizing the rights of Indigenous Peoples (Friday 17 March, morning)

Resolution L3. Promoting alternative development as a development-oriented drug control strategy, taking into account measures to protect the environment and recognizing the rights of Indigenous Peoples (Friday 17 March, morning)

Chair. Dear colleagues, we are still trying to tie loose ends so that we can adopt this resolution. There are a few things I want to say this morning and I hope you will support me so that we can effectively complete the work of the CoW. I want to see everyone demonstrate good faith and flexibility and I want to count on your words. If this doesn’t happen, we would not achieve the collective success that all of us aim for. I have been informed that a package proposal has been agreed. I ask the secretariat to put the package proposal on the screen and ask the room if the paras at this time are agreeable without any modification and reservations.

Iran. I thank all delegations, especially those showing flexibility, including my delegation. On this package, the title is part of that and I ask also to put the title on that. After that, we can go along with the proposal.

Brazil. For clarification, are these all the pending paras or are there still others that are not shown? If there are still others, we would have problems adopting these.  

Chair. These are not the only pending paragraphs but these are the most problematic and agreeing them would enable us to move forward.

Iran. The title was part of the deal. We asked to remove ‘Taking into account the environment and the rights of indigenous people’. As we said, we cannot go along with this in the title. 

Switzerland. Just a precision to answer Brazil, the package is about the paras that were the most difficult.But the other ones we agreed this morning in informals will not be re-opened. I hope that this answers the questions from Brazil. 

Brazil. Thank you. It would be important for us to have a mention to Indigenous peoples in the title, it is a major new addition to the resolution and we are addressing the issues in the resolution. So it is important for us to have this there, be it in the original form or with the reference to the INDRIP.

Chair. I would always want you to be precise. We don’t want commentaries, we need to be surgical. Go to the point.

Peru. We had a conversation with Iran on the title of the resolution. However we understand his position about not having a mention of Indigenous people on the title. Being honest, we didn’t have a chance to exercise a trial of the title yet. Some delegations have concerns over not having a mention in the title and we can show flexibility but we don’t have wording for the title. I have a proposal of wording for the title which we could try here. 

Chair. Could Iran show flexibility by adopting the paras without including the title in the package? We will still need to agree on the title later. This is to make gradual progress.

Iran. The title is not our only big concern. From the first day we talked about a package and the title is part of that. I would like to show maximum flexibility on this issue but without consensus on the title we cannot accept other parts of the package. Our colleagues know this title is a red line for us. 

Chair. There are two issues here: Indigenous peoples and the environment, which you raised Iran. I want to be clear about what you are objecting to.

Iran. Both should be taken out. 

Chile. Thanks for the explanation on the package. But in reality, as Brazil pointed out, we need context on what this deal does and doesn’t contain. We need further explanation.

Bolivia. Regarding the title, which is important, as it is what we are discussing, we support Brazil. We are talking about the title of a resolution about AD. And AD is not something abstract. It’s related to people, the environment, women, and children. We must have a title that covers those elements contained in the resolution. So if possible, the title written at the moment might not be coherent because it takes into account measures to protect the environment as included in the UNDRIP. Perhaps we can look at the title in a separate group and look at the controversial paras. We were close to that and we would perhaps need to approve those.

Chair. Subsequent statements should focus on the title as this is what is holding us back.

France. Thank you for your appeal to work in trust. We can do so to see how the discussion evolves. We have put forward a package that did not include the title. We are prepared to lift our reservations and are attentive to the way the discussion evolves this morning. So this is good news. On the title, which wasn’t in the original package, we have a proposal to make which might satisfy some of our members: we would add the term ‘durable’ or ‘sustainable’ before ‘development-oriented’. And then we could delete the rest of the para after ‘taking into account’. But this is a proposal trying to attain consensus so we reserve the right to come back as the discussion evolves in a different direction. 

Chair. First I would ask Iran: with the evolution of the title as it stands now, does that satisfy you? 

Iran. I would like to thank France for her proposal. Yes, we can go ahead with that proposal. 

Germany. Thank you for your difficult work with this resolution. As cosponsors we are also happy with the proposal from France but would like to add ‘and inclusive’ after ‘sustainable’ so that it includes the environment and indigenous rights aspects we wanted to originally include. We also lift our reservation on PP and OP3bis although we reserve the right to go back to that depending on how the situation progresses this morning.

Egypt. We cannot go along with this proposal. I will tell you why. Now we are seeing that AD is part of sustainable development. We are mixing the two, and we cannot put these two together. My proposal is: ‘Promoting the participation of Indigenous people and local communities in alternative development as a development-oriented drug control strategy taking into account measures to protect the environment’. 

Chair. For the first time you created problems for me! We have heard other delegations talking about environmental concerns and Indigenous peoples. But I know we will get somewhere. We are not talking about anything else than the title. 

Mexico. The discussion shouldn’t be whether the title is part of the package or not. We can address the solution for that title after we have dealt with other issues as part of the package and as part of the trust we have built on. 

Chair. Iran said, pure and simple, no.

Mexico. I am talking about the order in which we are discussing elements of the package. 

Peru. I thank Germany. The title works fine. It is ample enough to accommodate all positions of the delegations. I also kindly ask Egypt to reconsider the possibility of going along with the title. It is a good proposal we can work on.

United States: We’d defer to the sponsors as to the title that was recently proposed but in case that presents challenges, we have an alternative building off the first proposed title proposed today, and I’d like to propose: ‘Promoting alternative development as a development-oriented drug control strategy taking into account measures to protect the environment and impacted communities including as set out in UNDRIP’.

Indonesia: Thanks for the proposal of France and Germany. We prefer to work on the first option.

Sweden: We support the proposal from France and Germany on this title and could be flexible to consider other languages. We also withdrew our reservation on OP3.

Brazil: Agree with colleagues that the first alternative is the one that has more chance to fly —the amendments made by France and Germany. Do we need ‘development-oriented’? Would that allay the concerns of Egypt? Hard to imagine an alternative to ‘protecting the environment and protecting the rights of Indigenous people’.

Russia: We prefer to work on the first title proposed. We recognise the concerns of the Egyptian delegate and would propose the following and will read it out in English: ‘Promoting alternative development as an inclusive development-oriented sustainable drug control strategy’. We hope our proposal will enable us to swiftly reach consensus on this matter.

Bolivia: With regard to this title, I agree that ‘inclusive drug control strategy’ doesn’t make sense and would propose ‘integral’ instead, which could be more acceptable for all. Delete ‘sustainable’.

Chair: Do you have a problem with the word ‘sustainable’? I don’t want radical revolutionary constructions that would get us moving back. If you do not have much problems with ‘sustainable’, let’s leave it there and play with it.

Bolivia: Ok, I’ll leave it there.

Egypt: Let’s work on this proposal, then. To show flexibility we may say: ‘Promoting alternative development as 

Chair: Grateful for the withdrawal of Egypt.

Thailand: I was going to propose something but there’s enough chefs in the kitchen so I won’t.

Chair: Grateful you don’t wish to spoil the broth.

Germany: We thank our colleague from Egypt to have the term ‘sustainable’ back in. We can live with this title.

Peru: I don’t want to break the consensus but as a last try, maybe put ‘sustainable and inclusive after promoting’. Sustainable and inclusive alternative development as a development-oriented drug control strategy…’. We’re ready to withdraw the proposal too. 

Iran: We don’t have problems with this and could go along with that.

Chair: Are we agreeable?

Colombia: I know my colleague from Peru is very flexible on this but we would rather have Egypt’s proposal, with ‘sustainable and inclusive’ at the end.

Russia: We prefer the latest proposal by Egypt.

Iran: Our favourite proposal is the Egyptian one.

Chair: Do we agree to the package deal? Agreed in CoW.


Chair. I understand there was some agreement in informals. Any comments? Agreed. 


Chair. Agreed.


Chair: for deletion. Any comments? No objections.


Russia. We can confirm that this para that we agreed to in informals. 


Chair. Agreed in informals and now here.

OP4 alt:

Chair. No objections, agreed.

OP5 alt:

Russia. We agreed to this para in informals. However, we would like to make a proposal to ensure that the contents are aligned with the resolution. We spoke with the cosponsors and hope that this will receive support. I propose: ‘Encourages member states, within their efforts to achieve SDGs and within their alternative development policies and programmes, …’ The rest of the text would remain unchanged.

Chair. There are no objections, this is agreed.

OP10 alt:

Chair. Agreed.


Brazil. Just add ‘that’ before ‘empower women and girls’ as an editorial change. 

Iran. This had not been agreed because of our objection. With this wording, we can go along with this. 

Russia. Chair, we would like to remove ‘s’ to the word ‘empowers’. 

Chair. This is now agreed.

PP17 alt:

Chair. This is now agreed. We can also delete PP17.


Iran. I thank you all for your flexibility. Here, Iran was not invited to that meeting and it is under our principles not to mention Conference Room Papers or others that were not negotiated in the framework of the UN, especially when we’re not part of it. So we kindly ask you to delete this para. This practice is not good. 

UK. We had a lot of discussions in this meeting and are grateful to the hosts and participants at this meeting, and the fact that people come together to discuss these difficult issues. But we are happy to be flexible on this, although I’m saddened about the fact that people took the time to attend the meeting.

Peru. I echo the UK. This particular para is a very good para. It is not harmful for any delegation, it contains a document that has no binding implications. We can be flexible with the wording, not mentioning the countries that were behind the submission. But we have shown a lot of flexibility, more than within our possibilities with Iran. And at this moment, we request kindly and respectfully for Iran to show flexibility as we did with you. The Conference Room Paper is very important and want to show the good spirit we had on the informals and the open heart that was the motto of this negotiation. We kindly ask you to reconsider your position on this PP which is not harmful to your position.

Iran. I told you I don’t want to remove the beautiful smile from the face of our colleagues. But as many times explained, this is the principled position of Iran and I cannot change this. I talked to colleagues in capital and I am saying that there is no way to accept this para. 

Chile. We want to give our full support to the cosponsors of the resolution. This para and resolution have broad support. At one point, we need to say this is enough. There is nothing here harming any country. We are simply taking note here. We are talking about 3 countries and I don’t see any harm. We should close this resolution. 

Spain. We are concerned at the harm caused by the deletion of this para. The UN doesn’t operate in isolation. There are many other meetings happening outside of the meeting. So we would like to echo Chile and Peru.

Germany. I am also surprised, we have added references to Conference Room Papers in previous years. So the practice of not mentioning those is new to me. This whole resolution is based on this Conference Room Paper and its findings. So I understand the position of Peru and want to retain this para as discussed in informals. 

Chair. As usual, propose language which might be acceptable to all of us.

Guatemala. We fully share the idea of Chile. The whole room, or at least 99% of the room has shown time and time and time again flexibility. Too much flexibility. The UN doesn’t work in isolation. It is called the ‘united’ Nations. It should reflect what other states do. The info comes from us, it’s analysed and put on the table. It’s information which comes from questionnaires which we fill in. So we are surprised here. Resolution 65/1 included a similar para on the same issue. I am being told that this is not a practice? Welcoming the holding of a meeting? In the resolution, we take note of a Conference Room Paper here. We’re not even taking note of a meeting. We are flexible on this theme, we didn’t actually host the meeting. But I think all of us would like to acknowledge that we are making efforts. We show complete flexibility here, but this is enough. Our patience is eternal but we are running out of different procedures and opportunities. At the same time we are weakening our own positions. 

Thailand. I want to explain that I’m speaking on behalf of Thailand only. The outcome of the CRP was very hard work, we brought together experts to have a common understanding in a larger part of the world. It might not have been very inclusive but we developed a common understanding in countries affected by AD. GIven that we have spent many long hours discussing this, we have done this every single time we presented the resolution, we are ok to drop this para. I urge our co-sponsors to consider the same so that we can move on.

Iran. I am sorry that I mis-read the fruitful discussion you had last week. Thanks to all of you for the messages you sent to me. I understand we don’t want to under-estimate the work you have done. But we have a principled position where we cannot include a document which would have legal implications for us. In the room we have rarely seen CRPs to be noted. We don’t want to have a conceptual debate on this, this is a principled position for us. This is part of our business to take this very seriously. We kindly request not to try to have an orchestrated effort to pressure us, this doesn’t work. On this point, we are not able to support it. It is not aimed at underestimating the work of other colleagues. 

UK. Let me join your well wishes to the Ambassador of Iran. We don’t want to put pressure on a colleague, we are here to build consensus. Perhaps we could take out the CRP but acknowledge efforts made at the meeting. Could we take note of the meeting itself as a solution? We are happy to propose some wording to that effect.

Mexico. We are mindful of the concern for concrete proposals. The concern is that something cannot be imposed on others if there are legal implications. We can therefore use ‘taking note’ rather than ‘implement’, bearing in mind it’s a non-binding document. The wording is in the para so the concern is covered. As Mexico we will respect what the cosponsors decide whether they want to see the CRP or conference reflected. We felt that there is a conceptual mistake from Iran’s side. This para is just to reflect an issue, rather than impose a legal obligation. Concerns were addressed already. We will proceed in reflecting our CRPs. And if delegations want to express their opposition, they can do so, but they cannot block our efforts. This is not consensus. 

United States. We are surprised at this conversation because we agreed many years ago to the formula on the screen to address concerns. But since this is not acceptable anymore, could we, as suggested, reflect on the efforts of the three countries to hold the meeting? So we could say something like ‘Express its appreciation to Thailand, Peru and Germany for holding the expert group meeting and their follow on efforts’, something of that sort, with no reference to the CRP? We are sincerely indebted to those countries for continuing to highlight the issue of AD year after year, and this is an important responsibility.

Cuba: We share 100% the impression that the position of Iran that these meetings and documents where we have not been invited, it’s difficult to adopt them as our own because we were not part of the process. The latter part of the paragraph was negotiated a long time ago. The fact is these are not binding documents. We’re very surprised about the lack of flexibility of a number of delegations. It would take much more effort to continue drafting if we insist on keeping this paragraph.

Peru: I’m not here to complicate your work or that of the delegates, who have been constructed in these difficult negotiations. I feel sad because of the positions adopted by my dear colleagues from Iran. We feel you’re not recognising the work done by the sponsors regarding alternative development. We know you’re part of the AD family, Iran. It’s disappointing not to have your support in an issue relevant to your country. I can support the statement from Thailand. We can live without this paragraph. The feeling I have is that not accepting this is revealing of not a good spirit and not a good heart. I understand instructions from capital. But you’re not taking into consideration the efforts of the sponsors on this matter. We shared this conference room paper for everyone. We can delete the paragraph but I’m disappointed.

Chair: Other speakers? Thanks to Peru. I want to consult with Iran. Question: We have on the screen ‘Expressing appreciation for…’. Is that OK for you?

Iran: I wish to show flexibility. But there’s no space for me to show it.

Chair: Well understood.

Mexico: We respect the sponsors and follow their lead. Iran asked us to work on a package. This is part of the package. What are the certainties in the future that in Plenary this can be respected? We’re losing it because the initial proposal to work on a package came from THAT delegation and they are not respecting the package.

Chair: In our profession we need to be composed. We have done a lot and achieved a lot that couldn’t have been achieved. Let us console ourselves with what can be achieved. I share your pain and frustration.

Egypt: I show my support for the cosponsors of the resolution and suggest another alt. Maybe you can say: “Taking note of the expert group meeting on AD that was organised from 28 November to 1 December 2022 in Chiang Rai province, Thailand”. We don’t refer to any paper or the discussions themselves. We take note that there was a meeting, simply.

Angola: I’d like to recall the need for achieving consensus. The Chair is in a complicated position to find common ground. We appreciate the flexibility of the cosponsors to withdraw the paragraph. But we invite the delegation of Iran rather than don’t agree with this paragraph to present some alternative. One that works for Iran. We do know we have instruction from Capital but Capital does not have the feeling and understanding of the situation in this room. We recognise the efforts of the cosponsors. We cannot say we don’t agree without presenting a proposal, just blocking the work from the past days. We ask Iran to present a workable proposal. Otherwise, we appreciate the flexibility of the cosponsors to withdraw the paragraph.

Chair: I’ll put myself in trouble. Let’s focus on PP18. Iran?

Iran: I cannot accept this. Without instructions I cannot accept one word of this. I have shown flexibility. Stop lecturing Iran BLAH BLAH BLAH. We explained our positions.

Chair: I want you to consider whether this is acceptable to you: ‘Taking note of the conference room paper, bearing in mind its non-negotiated non-binding nature…’.

Iran: No

Chair: Thank you.

Guatemala: The drafters have had very hard work. We have already accommodated one party, without mentioning a name. We’ve had this practice in various organs. My question is, I have a proposal. It’s a simple proposal. If I hear a ‘No’, well, I can withdraw it. I think as we as the CND have always appealed to states to do all within our power to implement what we mandate. When we do so, some don’t want to recognise what was done because they weren’t invited. Maybe Guatemala wasn’t invited either. If I were to cause problems because of the birthday parties I wasn’t invited to, I would be angry my whole life. ‘We welcome the efforts undertaken by Member States to implement sustainable alternative programmes, including the EGM on AD from 28 November to 1 December 2022 in Chiang Rai Province, hosted by Thailand’. We’re welcoming efforts, including this one. If we don’t recognise the work of member States…then where do we stand? It’s a long proposal but I keep hearing NO NO NO NO… It’s enough. Sorry but it’s enough. If it does not fly, we’ll caught off this para’s wings and take it off the screen’.

Indonesia: I listened to the discussions and understand the situation here. I also share the concerns here. I understand Iran and that of the co-sponsors. I hope to propose: ‘Taking note of non-negotiated and non-binding conference paper entitled ‘Towards inclusive alternative development’’ with a footnote. Then we can say in the footnote: the CRP summarises the meetings on AD organised by Germany, Peru and Thailand in December in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Thank you.

Chair. I plead with other delegates now who want to take the floor.

Peru. In my previous intervention, I was speaking in my personal capacity. I am now speaking as a cosponsor. We are ready to withdraw the para so that we can move on. We feel very sad by the position of Iran, but we are not ready to compromise the resolution. So I ask you if we can move on with the adoption of the resolution. 

Chair. I thank all of you for all the work you have done. It has not been easy. Moments have been very challenging, but this is what we got. At this time, we have agreed on all the paras. This is it! The decision of the CoW that we send all resolutions to the Plenary: do we all agree to send the resolution as it is to the Plenary? I see no objections, this is agreed.

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