16/3/2023, Thursday 15:00
Chair: (opening the afternoon session)
USA: We made significant progress in informals and we agreed to approx. 2 PPs and around 8 OPs, but we are happy to go through the numbers. We believe we have 6 or so outstanding paras and the title we did not have any substantial discussions yet.
Germany: I want to announce that we are cosponsoring this resolution.
Chair: Any comments on PP 15? Then agreed. Now on to PP17.
Chair: Any comments? Any objection? Are we agreeable? Agreed
Chair: Any comments? Agreed.
OP2 alt bis.
China: Could you give us a few minutes to consider it?
Chair: Okay, we will move on to OP alt ter in the meantime.
OP2 alt ter
Chair: Any comments? Agreed.
Chair: Any comments? Are wee keeping this as is? Agreed.
Chair: Any comments? Are we in agreement? Agreed.
Chair: Do we keep the text as is on the screen? Agreed.
China: We also need some time on this one, thank you for your patience.
Chair: Thank you. So, we move on, but we will come back to you in 10 minutes.
Iran: We withdraw our reservation.
EU: In the spirit of good cooperation, we remove our comment. We are okay with it as it is now on the screen.
Chair: Thank you. Agreed.
China: We still need some time on this but we can give you our agreement on the previous ones – could we go back to that?
China: Thank you, to support your work, we can go along with this one.
Chair. Great. Agreed.
China: We can go along with this too.
Chair: OP7 agreed.
China: We consulted with capital and to show our flexibility, we can go along with “in the context of scheduling decisions”.
Chair: I thank China and I want you to be as consistent as you were now. Are we in agreement?
Iran: we are still deciding.
Chair: Okay, are we in agreement now? Agreed.
China: substances not yet under international control but are frequently seized or confiscated, thank you.
Chair: any comments? i give the floor to canada.
Canada: I would question under what authority these substances are being seized if they are not yet scheduled.
Chair: I ask China for clarification.
China: Because there are many many substances not under international control so in order to focus our efforts on most important ones, so we think add frequently seized or confiscated.
Iran: I need some clarification about amendment of the schedule
U.S: To react, ‘frequently seized’ we don’t see as an accurate characterization given that they are not yet under international control so we cannot comment at that stage how frequently or not they are being found, that is the whole point of the WHO and INCB. I invite others to look at the convention.
Chair: I would like to go back to China to ask if you insist on that phrase and if it is not an issue that you insist on, whether we can deal with it in another way?
China: we do want to focus our efforts on the most urgent issues to show our flexibility we suggest we can change ‘frequently used or confiscated’ to ‘frequently encountered’
Russia: my delegation understands the concern of china. our task is not to overload the secretary general with info that would not have to do with dangerous substances under int. control. During discussions on the resolution, there was another option on how we could reflect concerns from China, that this would only have to do with the most dangerous substances for public health. The first one is Harm, Frequency and how Long they are illicitly trafficked. So, ‘after relating to’ in the second line, we would put ‘a definition of the substance that is prevalent, persistent and harmful’. if that might help China agree on the para, then that would be wonderful.
U.S.: I have pulled up the language from the conventions and I reflect that there are no qualifiers or descriptors that member states are invited to share. The conventions state that when a party or WHO has information that may require an amendment to the schedules. This is from the single convention and there is identical language in the 71 convention as well. I would ask whether the room is trying to alter the meaning of our frameworks because I am confused by the addition of this language that was not proposed earlier and it was our understanding that the addition of ‘which may require an amendment’ was very acceptable to the room when we last discussed this.
Chair: Any comments? I give the floor to the EU.
EU: Just from a technical perspective, if we use the qualifier now inserted, since we are talking about precursors, the word harmful does not really match with precursor. if we use harmful, we lose the purpose.
Chair: China, is there any way you can help us out?
China: The reason why we want to add something here is because the substance is not yet under international control. It is really a very broad idea so we want to narrow it down so we can do our work better.
Chair: frequently encountered is your proposed language?
UK: what the treaty does here is allow member states discretion in relation to info they are providing. when you have a crisis or a health crisis with substances not yet under control but are problematic within your country, you might want to react at pace. So, prevalent and persistent would be problematic. Does it mean there needs to be a threshold of deaths? or does it mean it just has to be in your pocket. It might just be in a community, not your entire country. These qualifiers would be a step back from the treaty. It allows member state discretion for a very good reason so we suggest sticking to the treaty.
UK: Apologies for not dealing with this point. I suggest MS have the discretion within their own system to set a bar for when they would escalate an issue. Others might want to act – we are talking about lives here.
Chair: You made a suggestion that MS should decide on the threshold on their won. Is this something that should be included? What language should you suggest?
UK: I suggest we don’t keep the language.
Mexico: My proposal is to follow, as faithful as possible, both the essence of the conventions and the the wording in them… “Substances not covered by conventions” and “schedules” instead of “tables”. We are comfortable with the agreement that came about in informals, but as it is not working, this is our suggestion.
USA: I have in front of me the exact laguage from all three conventions and in our view, the information provided might require an “amendment to” so MS dont provide information willy-nilly. We think it is important o keep a reference to the tables as the ‘88 convention uses this word, We offer a further tweak, but again, note that this is directly from the convention so we continue to be perplexed by the concerns… so “which Member States think may warrant…” and “schedules and tables”.
Mexico: My apologies to the USA, I overlooked the reference so “tables” is fine.
Chair: Are we all in agreement, then?
China: We need to consult our colleagues on this para.
China: We would like to merge this with OP5. I will consult my colleagues on this matter.
Chair: We have agreed on OP5 already and we all abide with the rule of only going forward. So we give you time but move on in the meantime.
Chair: Any comments? Agreed.
USA: This was a compromised proposal, we would like to explain our thinking as we have not yet had a chance. We heard from the room that our original paragraph was getting confusing and was mixing concepts, so we proposed splitting the proposals. The first paragraph is looking at the roles played by the INCB, UNODC and WHO about collecting data and communicating trends. Then we recognize the role of UNODC and CND and as they engage with MS.
Chair: Thank you. So we agree? Agreed.
Chair: Do we delete PP14?
Russia: My comment is on PP14 bis. If we are not discussing that, I will wait.
Chair: So my understanding is that PP14 is deleted. Now on to PP14 bis.
Russia: We don’t see the need for this. The role of UNODC in reporting on decisions of CND is a technical task that the office does on behalf of the Secretary General. As far as we know, there were never any issues arising from this, so we wouldn’t like this para.
USA: I would like to offer an explanation. We agree that we had not had any problems so far, however we think this paragraph is important in the sequencing of our resolution. As discussed in informals in length, this is looking at the cycle of information as is goes from MS to CND and then CND makes decisions that then goes back to MS to implementation. So we look at PP13 taking about states providing information, then we look at the role of the UN, INCB and WHO in that data collection. Then CND makes the decision. That is then communicated back to MS. So that is what we have PP15 talking about the implementation of this decision. I hope this explains why we would like to include this.
Canada: An other point of clarification – in the original wording, it was about scheduling decisions to the commission and now we are talking about decisions being communicated from the commission.
Mexico: Is it imperative to has that? If we keep it, we would have to recognize something that is not embedded in the conventions, we would have to adjust the language and lose clarity.