17/3/2023, Friday 15:00
Chair: Please be seated. Good afternoon. Let’s now turn to consider item 13. I’d like to thank the commissioner of Ghana for chairing the proceedings of the committee of the whole. I’ like to give the floor to Ambassador Johnson to present the resolutions
Ambassador: Thank you very much for entrusting me with a responsibility to chair the committee of the whole this week. I’m pleased to report on the CoW, as it relates to the four draft resolutions that were tabled for consideration. – first, “promoting alternative development as a development oriented drug control strategy that is sustainable and inclusive”, secondly “safe handling and disposal of synthetic drugs, their precursors and other chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of drugs”. Third, “Strengthening information sharing, to increase scientific evidence based support to international scheduling and the effective implementation of international scheduling decisions” and fourth, “expanding the use of crewed aircraft system in country and drug related crime”. The proposal did not enjoy consensus, however, delegations expressed interest in the subject-matter and readiness to consider the topic in the future. I’d like to end by thanking all delegations for their good cooperation and the flexibility throughout the week and the secretariat for the strong support. It was my pleasure to chair the Committee of the Whole of the 66th session of the Commission. I thank you, Chair.
Chair: I’d like to thank to Mr. Johnson, for presenting the resolutions adopted in the Committee of the Whole. I now ask delegations, if they have any comments on editorial or translation issues, to abstain from taking the floor and to provide those comments in writing directly to the secretariat. Might I now recall the process for co-sponsorship of the draft resolutions. I kindly ask delegations wishing to co-sponsor a resolution to be patient, and only raise their flags when asked to do so. I’d also like to recall that the representative of the financial resources’ management services of UNODC has explained in the precession consultations and also in the Committee of the Whole that they will only be statements of financial implications issued. I now call on the secretary to introduction the 4 resolutions:
Secretary: Resolution L4 and L5, and an edited/revised version of L3 were considered and approved by the committee of the whole that met from Monday the 13th of March until this morning, the 17th of March. The three draft proposals for adoption by the Commission are complemented by the draft “preparations for the midterm review to be held during the 67th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, in 2024”. I will now move to the resolution “safe handling and disposal of synthetic drugs, precursors and other chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of drugs” sponsored by Australia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, as well as with Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Paraguay. Thank you.
Chair: Australia go ahead you have the floor
Australia: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I just, I just want to thank all the member states for the very constructive cooperation in negotiating this resolution. And I also want to single out the Laboratory and Scientific Services for their excellent support in preparing and executing the informants. Thank you.
Chair: Any other delegation would like to co-sponsor? Egypt?
Egypt: I would just like to add that Egypt would like to co-sponsor L4
Chair: Any other countries, please raise your names up?
Secretary: Mexico, United Kingdom, United States. One, Bulgaria, Ghana, Brazil, Canada, Japan Switzerland, Thailand, Kenya, Bulgaria, Singapore, and New Zealand, Norway, Peru, EU (on behalf of the state members of the EU), Senegal, Angola.
Secretary: “Strengthening information sharing, to increase scientific evidence based support for international scheduling and the effective implementation of international scheduling decisions “and is sponsored by the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Peru, the United States and Paraguay, thank you.
Chair: The resolution L5REV1 stand adopted.. Might I ask delegations whether one would like to have the floor at the moment.
USA: Thankyou chair, the US is grateful to the commission for its adoption of this resolution, which we believe advances the international community’s response to the public health and security threat posed by synthetic drugs. The illicit manufacture of synthetic drugs and new psychoactive substances especially through the use of uncontrolled precursor chemicals, poses this decade’s greatest drug threat. This thread is multifaceted and our responses must be similarly balanced, comprehensive and multidisciplinary. For this reason we focus this tax on a holistic approach to information sharing that brings together health, law enforcement and justice sectors among others in support of the international scheduling process and implementation of CND scheduling decisions. The challenges we face are growing ever more complex and it is vital that we in the Commission are able to act quickly and effectively address them. The adoption of this resolution will enhance our ability to do so. As the Washington based focal point and drafter of this text I am very personally grateful to you all for your constructive participation. I would also like to thank the DCS drugs laboratory and scientific section, as well as the Secretariat for your essential support, and on behalf of the United States. Thank you to all who co sponsored Thank you chair.
Secretariat: EU on behalf of Ms, NZ, Singapore, Norway, UK, Kenya, Brazil, Egypt, Canada, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Ghana, Albania, Nigeria, Thailand, Switzerland, Angola.
Secretariat: This is our last resolution, unedited L3: Promoting alternative development as a development oriented drug control strategy that is sustainable and inclusive, adopted by Germany, Peru, Thailand, as well as Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Paraguay.
Chair: Are we able to adopt? I see no objections. L3 is adopted. I would like to ask the room now whether any delegations would like the floor?
Peru: Many thanks. This resolution is important as it is a result of years of efforts to bring together positive evidence of what happens to vulnerable families within the drug chain from cultivation to sale and consumption. This resolution has an important focus, native populations, vulnerable populations and other communities and has a gender-perspective. We reaffirm our strong stance regarding the three drug control conventions with unlimited respect to human rights. I thank our partners, mostly Germany and Thailand, but also to the co-sponsors of the resolution: El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and Paraguay.
Bolivia: We also value this resolution but the initial title took into account the rights of indigenous people, the environment and the issues of gender-equality while pointing out other inequalities and vulnerabilities. We are pleased that intensive negotiations have been conducted, but it is still not over, we will without a doubt continue to debate this into the mid-term review. So, we thank all co-sponsors.
Thailand: Thanks everyone for your participation, for the Chair for their poetic way of leading us and all the co-sponsors. Thank you.
Chair: Who would like to co-sponsor L3?
Secretariat: Brazil, Singapore, EU on behalf of MS, Norway, Angola, Nigeria, Mexico, Albania, Cote d#Ivory, Japan. Thank you and apologies, it is not so easy to see your nameplates in this big room.
Chair: Ecuador would also like to co-sponsor?
Secretariat: Okay, will be included.
Chair: Before we move on to the report, Kyrgyzstan would like the floor?
Kyrgyzstan: The world is moving fast in terms of technological development, and the illicit drug trafficking field is no exception. That is why it is increasingly more challenging to cope with drug-related criminal groups. We found it important to not lag behind them in terms of using technologically advanced means. This year we decided to implement a completely new draft resolution, but we strongly believe unmanned or remotely piloted aircraft systems are one of those effective technological advances. We have seen at home how effective it can be. We all know all countries in the world are using modern technologies against illicit drug trafficking. Our main objective is to unite our efforts and put it under the auspices of the UN system. The CND received a lot of feedback from the states and we can surely claim this topic is of interest and is important to the CND. We appreciate the active engagement of MS in the negotiation. Everything has its beginning point, so we believe we created the basis for future discussions and agreements. We made a decision to defer this to the next CND session in 2024. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Kazakhstan as our faithful partner and we hope all MS will be in support next year.
Chair: Okay, before I hand it over to the Rapporteur, I would like to remind you that the commission decided that it will reduce the length of its report.
Chair: Thanks to the rapporteur. We will now begin to adopt the report section by section. No comments on any of the documents. It stands adopted. We move to the next document “strategic manage and administrative questions’ ‘. No questions. It stands adopted. Let’s move on to consideration of “implementation of the international drug control treaties”>
Russian Federation: In this part of the report, we would like to add another paragraph to this section. We propose the following language “many speakers expressed concern regarding the legalisation of cannabis for non-medical purposes.” and (recognizing INCB).
Chair: I’d ask you please to convey them in writing.
USA: We would like to see the suggestion in writing, before we can adopt it.
Chair: Seems like we’re unable to show the proposal on screen, but we will ask the distinguished delegate of the Russian Federation, to please dictate her wish.
Russia: In paragraph 22, we would like to add the following sentence “a number of speakers supported, and expressed their great appreciation for, the work of the INCB, in monitoring states’ implementation of the 3 drug control conventions of the UN. After para 24, as a standalone para, we propose the addition of the following sentence “many speakers expressed their concern about the legalisation of cannabis for nonmedical purposes and underscored that this is a violation of the international drug control conventions, thank you.
EU: It’s a bit difficult to comment because we don’t see it on the screen, but I think after underscored, we would add that “in their view”
Canada: Thank you Mr Chair, and thanks for all the delegations in this room for the constructive spirit that has guided our discussion to date. In response to the Russian proposals for additions on the first one. We wouldn’t see any reason to object. We also applaud the work of the INCB with respect to the second proposal expressed by the Russian Federation, we would prefer avoiding entering into a debate about what one side says about the issue so we would recommend that we leave out that proposal for the moment. However, if it were in this Commission’s assumed decision to keep it in, then we would need to look at something along the lines of what was proposed. by the European Commission. Thank you Mr Chair.
Australia: (…) the characterization of “many speakers” is incorrect, we suggest “some” speakers.
USA: We would not like to politicise this report in any way or begin a negotiation at this point, so we would like to adopt the language and take out the last few words. We would say “highly appreciate the work of the INCB to support the work of…”
Russia: It appears that the report should be reflecting the positions expressed during the session. If a position is expressed, as we have seen in other sections of the report, then this should be captured. During this session, we expressed this very position, so why can’t it be reflected? If other delegations deem it not possible, we would like to revoke the Paragraph 24 as it is also irrelevant in our view.
Kenya: To avoid politicisation, the most objective way is to go back to the statements. Countries are very clear about their positions, so to determine if it is a majority or minority, we can just see the sheer numbers.
Chair: I would like to ask the Russian Federation whether it could be included as “in their opinion” to solve the problem?
Russia: We stand ready to agree to mentioning this. I would like to note that this is not an assessment of the INCB so we are ready to reword “ many speakers expressed concern about the legalisation of cannabis for nonmedical purposes and indicated that according to the INCB, this is a violation of the international drug control conventions”.
Chair: Is this new wording acceptable?
Australia: If they were to say “a number of speakers” we would be okay with that.
Canada: I’m afraid it is still problematic for my delegation. We hoped to avoid this discussion but if we were to include the Russian suggestion, we must insist, including other statements by other states “some delegations asserted that conclusions on cannabis legalisation should not be reached hastily and should consider all available quality evidence”
Russia: We can not agree to this, Chair.
USA: We are working to find the best solution. The latest suggestion by the Russian delegation is confusing to us, we do not recall the INCB stating cannabis regulation reform would be a violation of the conventions. Could the Secretariat provide clarity here?
Rapporteur: I take this opportunity to call delegates attention to the previous paragraph where the opinion of INCB is expressed on cannabis legalisation, that broadly reflects the discussion that we just had now.
UK: To delete paragraph 22 – as an observer in this debate, we would object as it actually reflects the debate that took place.
Chair: In the report, we try our best to reflect what actually happened here. In my understanding, and I was present in most debates, the balance presented is reflecting the debate. Some countries maintain that legalisation of cannabis infringes the treaties, while others claim it does not. Both are reflected. We are not presenting here the opinion of the commission, we are acknowledging different positions. Perhaps we don’t like what the other party said, but they said it.
Russia: We share your assessment that this report should reflect states’ positions, and that is why we expressed our concerns. In paragraph 22, concerns about the legalisation of cannabis are not reflected, only states referring to the annual report of the INCB. I don’t see a single mention of concerns about legalisation.
Egypt: Chair. I think the question at hand is related to the difference in opinion between states on this issue. If we attribute what is in paragraph 22 to those who talked about it in the room, and we attribute the new paragraph of the Russian Federation, to those delegations who join us. That would be fair, so I propose that we use the words “in their views” in both paragraphs the one presented by Russia and paragraph 22 in the text right now, “in their view” in both paragraphs as an equilibrium for the difference in opinions between the two sides. I thank you.
Chair: We’re now trying to have the exact text, that tries to achieve a balance between the two different positions on this issue.
USA: While we are discussing the second proposal of the Russian Federation, the USA would like to propose some alternative language to reflect the accurate discussion in the room – the current version says “some speakers expressed concern about the legalisation of cannabis for non-medical purposes, while others underscored, such approaches are in line with the aims of the conventions.”
Nigeria: I think that is what we want to turn by saying that some states actually oppose the legalisation has been compared to the conventions.
Chair: The wording would be “firstly”. I give the floor to the USA.
USA: Thank you chair, we do not agree that the INCB has a role to monitor the compliance of member states, and that that position is well known. And this is not the first time we’ve had this debate. It may be the first time we’ve had the debate here, chair, it is our strong view that the report should reflect what was accurately said in the room and there should be no assumption of that conclusion that certain actions violate the treaties. If some delegations actually said that, of course, that statement should be reflected in the report, but no assumption that the INCB, who was not present in the room, made a statement that’s not accurate, it shouldn’t be part of our report.
Rapporteur: We ask delegations to look at paragraph 25 on the present document. In the last line, there’s a formulation of language that reflects the debate that has just been expressed between one delegation’s view that the INCBs role is to support and supervise and monitor.
Chair: Might I ask the room if that explanation is sufficient? I’ll ask the delegations who have taken the floor on this item.
Russia: We thank the rapporteur for this proposal to look at para 25 on the role of the INCB, and we therefore stand ready to withdraw our first proposal on article 22 on cannabis legalisation. We are not ready to include the wording “in their view”. It goes without saying that certain delegations delivered a statement and expressed their views – and we are also willing to go along with some countries.
Chair: Might ask the room, in particularly those in favor of including the word ”their”.
USA: Can we please see now the proposals, including the new paragraph regarding the legalisation of cannabis.
Chair: So again, some speakers express concern regarding the legalisation of cannabis for non-medical purposes and indicated that this was a violation of the international drug control conventions or other speakers, assert that conclusions on cannabis legalisation should not be reached hastily
Russian Federation: Thank you chair, we stand ready to agree to this proposal if in the second sentence, we don’t use the word “other speakers”. Chair: Is the room able to accept this amendment?
USA: We are concerned with the word “indicated” in the first part, and we would like to propose “contended”.
Chair: What about if we use the same verbs in both parts of the paragraph. What if we use the word assert?
Russian Federation: For our delegation, we are happy to use “stated”.
Chair: Can we use in the first part – as stated on both sides –
USA: We are comfortable with “said” or “expressed” we just don’t want to use “indicated”
Chair: Can we reach an agreement for the word expressed on both parts of this?
Russian Federation: We do not want to keep everyone here for a long time. We would use one word in both cases.
Chair: We are going to use “stated”! L1-3 approved!
Chair: Are there any comments about this document? China you have the floor
China: We ask that China be added back to the list of countries of Burkina Faso.
Russian Federation: During the discussions under the agenda item, the joint statement was delivered on behalf on 28 states, we think that 28 states constitutes a large number of delegations and therefore in para 7 we would like to add “also refer here to the statement by the 28 states and add many speakers expressed concern, about the legalisation of cannabis for nonmedical purposes. And made an appeal to insure the full and effective implementation of the drug control conventions “. Our proposal is as follows: many delegations expressed concern about legalisation of cannabis for non medical purposes. And urged state properties to comply with the provisions, and ensure the full and effective implementation of the three international drug control conventions. Thank you.
Chair: No comments so it will be included in the report . Can we adopt L1-4 as has been amended by the Russian Federation and China.
USA: Can i please ask for a clarification for where the additional paragraph will be added to the report?
Chair: The second sentence after seven. And then would include the sentence suggested by the russian federation.
Switzerland: Just a question of clarification, if this is the case why don’t we consider the statement by the EU?
Canada: We are concerned with the balance of this text. We came prepared to accept the previous suggestion with respect to the diverse debate but we are not prepared to accept sprinkling this issue around the report. Perhaps we shall leave the texts as it is?
Chair: To answer your question, positions expressed by the EU have been included with reference to one speaker on behalf of x states. Here it is not a question of balancing things but reflecting faithfully what happened in the debate.
UK: We support the spirit of the Canadian proposal. Everyone had a long week and we thought the report was excellent, so we would be extremely grateful if we could go home and celebrate St.Patty’s day. (applause)
Russia: We do not want to draw out the discussion and if our position had been reflected in the report, we would have not even opened this discussion. A large group of states has expressed an opinion so it should be reflected. We are not talking about political issues but things that fall into the mandate of the commission. If other countries would like to reflect in the report what was stated by them, we would not object to that. Our issue is that the report states one speaker even though it is an expression of almost 30 states.
Chair: All states have the right to request additions to the report. My job is to keep it faithful to what happened.
Guatemala: We would like to be constructive and we thank the work of the Rapporteur and Secretary, their work is hard fine work. We believe the report should be succinct, I dont think we can have a report that includes every single statement, otherwise we would be here for weeks, just printing documents. Paragraph 5 has a footnote with who is included in the regional groups, so we can all check who said what and when. So to support the speed of this session, I would like to ask for everyone’s understanding: nobody is protesting what has been said, Paul has reflected it very well, so I appeal to MS to accept the documents as they stand. These documents belong to the same report so I do not see the need to repeat what has already been stated in other paragraphs/documents. I really appreciate your Chairmanship.
Chair: I will make another attempt to present the text, including the Russian proposal. L1 add 4 – Adopted. Moving on to inter-agency cooperation. I see no requests to the floor. Can we adopt this part of the report? L1 add 5 – Adopted. Moving on to L1 add 6 recommendations of the subsidiary bodies. I see no requests for comments. Adopted. L1 add 7, contributions to the Economic and Social Council. Any comments? I see none. Adopted.
UNODC, on behalf of the ED: Congratulations on the successful conclusion of the 66th CND
Chair: Thank you. In my own capacity, as chair of the commission, I would like to say the end of the week seemed like the main part. This year marks an important milestone, not just for my country, but also because the midterm review is taking place next year. During the general debate, it has become apparent, the global position on drugs has its successes and limitations, policies are difficult to make (?). I am confident that our events and meetings and discussions and exhibitions and side events organised by international organisations and civil society, taught us a lot. I thank the 35 young people who were taking part in the Youth Forum this year and put forward a robust declaration that should motivate us to take focused measures on prevention and individuals to achieve a healthy egalitarian society through the work of this commission. We kept up with new challenges, in particular regarding NPS, AD, precursors, information exchange, and many others. I am grateful to all MS for their contributions. I recognize a certain level of frustration, although the session is a multilateral success as we progress. The midterm process will begin with evaluating progress achieved and what is still ahead of us. I am convinced this will be an opportunity to find comprehensive solutions when combatting the world drug problem. Any delegations requesting the floor?
Iran: (gratitudes) The approved resolutions are a result of our hard work and negotiation that shows our solidarity and collaboration. IT is necessary to give special thanks to those delegations that actively participated in the deliberations. I regret that the only draft resolution regarding drug supply, has not reached the plenary. We believe in a balanced approached and think that should be reflected in the agenda of the CND.
Chair: (gratitudes) Meeting adjourned.