Plenary Item 5a
Chair: Excellencies, distinguished representatives. Ladies and gentlemen, good morning, I would like to start Agenda Item five, implementation of international drug control treaties.
Secretariat: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and good morning to all. The commission has before it the Agenda Item 5a: changes in the scope of control of substances. A note by the Secretariat on the scope of control of substances proposed scheduling recommendations by the WHO
Chair: We will now first proceed with a scheduling recommendation on substances on the single convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961. As amended by the 1972 protocol, followed by the scheduling recommendations on substances under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971. We will now proceed with the scheduling recommendation on substances. Under the 1961 and 1971 conventions that were communicated by the World Health Organization. After the 45th meeting of the expert committee on drug dependence. We are going to start with the, with the consideration of each of the recommendations. The first of the substances is 2-methyl-AP237
WHO: 2-methyl-AP237 is a synthetic opioid with a mechanism of action and effect similar to those of other opioids that are currently controlled, and this is proposed for schedule one of the 1961 Convention as with other opioids. The substance produces analgesic respiratory depression and other typical effects, its potency is greater than that of morphine and similar to that of fentanyl. It is highly likely to be abused and has the potential to produce dependence. Similar to other opioids, such as morphine and fentanyl, 2-methyl-AP237 has been detected in seizures in countries across several regions. It has no therapeutic use, as it has potential for similar abuse and dependence and produces similar ill-effects as many other opioids placed in schedule one of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the committee recommends that 2-methyl-AP237 is also placed in schedule one of the single convention on Narcotic Drugs.
Chair: I would like to recommend a vote, based on the recommendation made by the WHO, to add 2-methyl-AP237 to Schedule 1 of the 1961 Convention. Let me remind the commission that under the 1961 convention, in accordance with Rule 58 of the Rules of Procedure for the Functional Commissions of ECOSOC is a simple majority of the commission members present and voting. Those in favour of the recommendation: all member states of the Commission. No abstentions. No votes against. A total of 47 votes,
Therefore, I declare the commission has decided to include 2-methyl-AP237 in a schedule number one of the 1961
Chair: I would now like to advise the commission to take action on Etazene to a schedule number one of the 1961 Convention, as amended. I would like to invite the WHO expert committee.
WHO: Etazene is a synthetic opioid is an opioid receptor agonist that produces analgesia with respiratory depression and other typical opioid effects. Its potency is greater than that of morphine and lower than that of fentanyl. Its known effect and use is highly likely to be abused, and has the potential to produce dependence similar to other opioids such as morphine and fentanyl. Its use has been verified in reported fatalities, in combination with other opioids. It has been detected in seizures from several countries, and has no therapeutic use. It has the potential for similar abuse and dependence, and produces similar effects as many other opioids placed in Schedule One of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The WHO expert committee recommends that this also be placed in Schedule One of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
Chair: I invite the Commission to take a vote on the recommendation made by the World Health Organization to add Etazene to the Schedule One to the 1961 convention. There is a total of 47 votes. 47 votes in favour. No votes against. No abstentions.
Therefore, I declare the Commission has decided to include Etazene to Schedule One of the 1961 Convention.
Chair: I would now like to advise the commission to take action on Etonitazepyne to a schedule number one of the 1961 Convention, as amended. I would like to invite the WHO expert committee.
WHO: Etonitazepyne is a potent synthetic opioid. It is an opioid receptor agonist that produces typical acute effects including analgesic sedation and respiratory depression. Its potency is greater than that of morphine and fentanyl, based on its mechanism of action, its known effects and self reports of its use, it is likely to be abused and has the potential to produce dependence similar to other opioids such as morphine, and fentanyl. As a potent opioid it has the potential to produce serious adverse effects such as death through respiratory depression and its use has been reported in fatalities.
Chair: I invite the commission to take a vote on the recommendations made by the World Health Organization to add Etonitazepyne as a Schedule One substance under the the 1961 Convention. There are a total of 47 votes. 47 votes in favour. No votes against. No abstentions.
Therefore, I declare the Commission has decided to include Etonitazepyne to Schedule One of the 1961 Convention.
Chair: Let’s move to the inclusion of Protonitazene to Schedule One of the 1961 Convention as amended.
WHO: Protonitazene is a synthetic opioid that is closely related to other opioids that are currently controlled under Schedule One of the 1961 Convention. In common with other opioids it is an opioid receptor agonist that produces analgesia and other typical effects, including sedation and respiratory depression. It is highly likely to be abused and has the potential to produce dependence similar to other opioids such as morphine and fentanyl. As a potent opioid it has the potential to produce serious adverse effects as well as that through respiratory depression and has been reported in fatalities, usually with other substances. It has no therapeutic use. As it has potential for similar abuse and dependence, and produces similar effect as many other opioids placed in Schedule One of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The WHO expert committee on dependence recommends that Protonitazene also be placed in Schedule One of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961.
Chair: I invite the Commission to take a vote on the recommendation made by the World Health Organization to add Protonitazene to the Schedule One of the 1961 convention. There are a total of 47 votes. 47 votes in favour. No votes against. No abstentions.
Therefore, I declare the Commission has decided to include Protonitazene in Schedule One of the 1961 Convention. It is so decided.
Chair: Let’s move to the inclusion of ADB-BUTINACA to Schedule Two of the 1971 Convention as amended.
WHO: ADB-BUTINACA is a synthetic cannabinoid with a mechanism of action and effects similar to those of other cannabinoids that are currently controlled on the Schedule Two of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971. ADB-BUTINACA has been reported to produce effects such as increased appetite, stimulation, sedation, and paranoia that are similar to the effect of other synthetic cannabinoid agonists. It is likely to be abused, and it has the potential to reduce dependence in a manner similar to other synthetic cannabinoids, as a cannabinoid receptor agonist. It has been detected in seized material in countries across several regions. It has no therapeutic use as it has potential for similar abuse and produces similar effects as as other synthetic cannabinoids placed in Schedule Two of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971
Chair: I invite the Commission to take a vote on the recommendation made by the World Health Organization to add ADB-BUTINACA to the Schedule Two to the 1971 convention. There are a total of 47 votes. 47 votes in favour. No votes against. No abstentions.
Therefore, I declare the Commission has decided to include ADB-BUTINACA to Schedule two of the 1971 Convention.
Chair: Let’s move to the inclusion of alpha-PiHP to Schedule Two of the 1971 Convention.
WHO: alpha-PiHP is a synthetic cathinone, related to alpha-PHP, and alpha-PVP that are currently controlled under the Schedule Two of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971. Alpha-PiHP has been reported to produce effects such as euphoria, tachycardia, vasoconstriction, and its potential for abuse is similar to that of methamphetamine and cocaine. As a psychostimulant similar to methamphetamine, it has a potential to produce serious adverse effects including psychosis and serious cardiac events. I has been verified in reported fatalities, usually detected with other substances, including opioids and benzodiazepines. It has been seized in countries across several regions, and it has no therapeutic use. As it has potential for similar abuse and produces similar effects as other cathinones placed on the Schedule Two of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971. The committee recommended that alpha-PiHP also be placed in Schedule Two of the Convention on psychotropic substances of 1971.
Chair: I invite the Commission to take a vote on the recommendation made by the World Health Organization to add alpha-PiHP to Schedule Two of the 1971 Convention. There are a total of 47 votes. 47 votes in favour. No votes against. No abstentions.
Therefore, I declare the Commission has decided to include alpha-PiHP to Schedule two of the 1971 Convention. It is so decided.
Chair: Let’s move to the inclusion of 3-Methylmethcathinone to Schedule Two of the 1971 convention
WHO: 3-Methylmethcathinone is a synthetic cathinone that is closely related to other cathinones, such as methedrone. It has a similar mechanism of action to other psychostimulants and produces effects such as euphoria, tachycardia, anxiety and psychosis. It is likely to be abused and it has the potential to produce dependence in a manner similar to methamphetamine and other cathinones placed in Schedule Two of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971.
Chair:I invite the Commission to take a vote on the recommendation made by the World Health Organization to add 3-Methylmethcathinone to Schedule Two of the 1971 Convention. There are a total of 47 votes. 47 votes in favour. No votes against. No abstentions.
Therefore, I declare the Commission has decided to include 3-Methylmethcathinone to Schedule two of the 1971 Convention. It is so decided.
Chair: I will now open the floor for comment on Agenda Item 5a.
China: China has already added ADB-BUTINACA and 3-Methylmethcathinone to its banned substance list. The Chinese government will take legal proceedings to put five substances that have not yet been placed under control, to put them under domestic control.
Indonesia: Indonesia reaffirm its commitment to emphatically addressing and confronting the world drug problem, and assure adherence to the international drug control treaties. We take note of the committee’s decision regarding the expansion of the scope of control of substances and recommendation by the WHO Expert committee on drug dependence. Indonesia accepts the addition of four substances to schedule one of the 1961 conventions as amended, despite the fact that none of these substances have ever been detected in Indonesia.
OHCHR: The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the human rights body that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, joins the whole UN system in celebrating the 75th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose provisions are mirrored and given legal effect by the covenant since 1966. In the discharge of the committee’s mandate visa vie, the 171 state parties to the covenant, it has found repeat repetitive and long standing human rights violations from drug related policies in the state parties of all sizes and at all levels of development. In broad terms, the committee has identified four areas where progress to advance human dignity and human development can be made. Firstly, punitive drug policies or criminalization of people who use drugs run counter to the protection and promotion of a variety of human rights, not least, the economic, social and cultural rights. The committee has systematically called on State parties to adopt human rights based approach, starting with decriminalization. Secondly, human rights of people who use drugs to have the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health warrant implementation of harm reduction programs that provide for treatment and medication for people with drug dependence and addiction issues, while not treating them as criminals. Such programs must be provided equitably, in all territories and in an accessible, affordable, gender-sensitive, and voluntary nature. Thirdly, for all humans, persons with disabilities, all the persons and people in palliative care, LGBTQI+ people, as well as growers and planters of traditional crops, gender-sensitive and group specific measures, including reasonable accommodation, must be provided. Fourthly, stigmatisation of people who use drugs, especially those who have records of drug use, and drug rehabilitation, continues to deprive the human opportunities to exercise and enjoy a number of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to food, housing, employment, and social security. The human rights principle of non discrimination calls for the abolition of such signals, while the whole world is recovering from and dealing with the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and simultaneously realizes that we are challenged by the regression of the 2030 Global Agenda on Sustainable Development. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights embarked on the development of a new general comment on the impact of drug policies on economic, social and cultural Rights, and I welcome the opportunity to collaborating with bodies like the CND and related stakeholders in this very good location and we look forward to developing comprehensive human rights based policies. Thank you very much, Chairperson.
International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care: Thank you Chair. The IAHPC congratulates you on Colombia’s Chairmanship of the Commission. We have many colleagues in Colombia working on improving access to palliative care and availability of controlled medicines. Colombia’s Fondo Nacional de Estupefacientes is a good example for member states aspiring to develop models of public procurement of controlled essential medicines for the treatment of pain, opioid use disorder and palliative care. As everyone in this room knows by now, there are two distinct opioid crises. One is a global pandemic –of lack of medical availability in more than 80% of the world, mostly the global south. The other is an epidemic, which describes the more localized crisis of excess availability for non-medical use, mostly in the global north. The IAHPC and our partner organizations, as well as UNODC, the INCB and WHO now have the audacity to propose that we can solve both crises through good governance and workforce education. We are grateful for the higher profile CND is giving to the availability obligation of the Single Convention. Despite the Conventions good intentions, modern sciences of governance, supply chain management, addiction medicine, and palliative medicine were non-existent in the mid-20th century. In the 21st century, the science, best practice guidelines, and a few governments and sub-national jurisdictions that are meeting their peoples’ needs, can show us the way. Governments that still have unduly restrictive regulations to prevent diversion and non-medical use can avail themselves of medical education, academic research, and supply chain management tools to estimate their population needs and train their health workforces. Tools include the INCB Learning Program and UNODC guidelines. The normative framework and agreed language include the UNGASS Outcome Document and 2019 Ministerial Declaration, as well as several World Health Assembly resolutions. Policymakers no longer have to choose between strict control and ensuring availability of essential medicines that contain controlled substances. They can do both once they have educated their workforces and made their supply chains shorter and more resilient by promoting local manufacturing and investing in generics rather than costly bespoke medicines that are more attractive to pharmaceutical companies and traffickers. The science allows them to be merciful and shift gears to balanced drug policies that protect public health and prevent harmful non-medical use of opioids. The Report of the Stanford Lancet Commission on the NorthAmerican Opioid crisis has some excellent recommendations to avoid the manipulations of the global pharmaceutical industry, to ensure availability and to prevent an overdose crisis. When governments commit to putting the health and welfare of their people first, as the Single Convention mandates, by creating multistakeholder task forces to improve availability, the graphs in the INCB supplements, such as the one just published, will look dramatically different. Latin American availability has improved because of the multistakeholder meetings my organization has sponsored in many countries of the region. Those around the table included the INCB, national competent authorities, health ministers, medical professionals, accredited civil society organizations, the private sector and faith communities. You can do this. We can help. Now is the acceptable time. I thank you.
Plenary Item 5b
UNODC: Over the last 10 years, the number of new psychoactive substances reported to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has grown significantly. From 254 substances in 2013. We have 1182 substances as of today. In response, considerable progress has been made by Member States to change the control status of some of these substances, both through the Commission as well as through national actions. 71 of the most prevalent and harmful new psychoactive substances have been controlled by the Commission since 2014 in the 1961 and 1971 Conventions. Similarly, cases of methamphetamine, ecstasy and fentanyl have been added to the tables of potential member states and have been both proactive and innovative in their responses to this challenge, which has included a variety of national legislative responses such as generic and analog controls. As a result we have seen a reduction in the number of harmful substances and the emergence of new substances on illicit drug markets has stabilized. We’ve seen growth in the number of fentanyl analogues reported as well as of other analogues with opioid effects. A total of 126 synthetic opioids have been reported to the UNODC advisory committee. Substances with sedative hypnotic effects have emerged, for example, novel benzodiazepines, and they continue to persist in several countries. Strengthening national forces and capacity to generate and share the scientific evidence, which is necessary to identify new harmful substances and emerging threats, is key to effective national and international responses. This morning, the Commission considered changes in the scope of control of an additional seven harmful substances that were recommended for scheduling by the World Health Organization. Supporting members with resources and technical assistance to implement international scheduling decisions is essential. Early warning systems, science informed health responses, and strengthened counter narcotics capacity. Support is also provided through the UN toolkit on synthetic drugs, which brings together over 330 practical resources and tools from across the UN family to member states in their responses to this problem.
WHO: Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen. The 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances mandate the World Health Organization to advise the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on appropriate levels of international control and harm caused by psychoactive substances, or access agencies with proven medical attributes to fulfil this mandate. The WHO adheres to robust evidence-based processes in its assessment cycle, with assessment of potential for abuse and dependence, and that cause harm to health, while also balancing the need for these substances for legitimate medical and scientific use where relevant. While continuing to undertake its mandated role in conducting reviews of substances potential for abuse, dependence and how to help, there are several areas of particular focus for the WHO. Number one the WHO has noted in particular the harms caused by the non medical use of synthetic opioids. Opioid use is associated with a high risk of dependence and death due to overdose. The risk of that is compounded when opioids have a known potency are being trafficked and used since 2014 has increased.
In order to consider the possibility of control of the new substance, the ECDD needs first to obtain sufficient information on that substance, so as to be able to address the criteria for international control within the conventions. The WHO is also cognizant of the criterion for recommending a substance for international control under the conventions, namely, that there is sufficient evidence there is likely to be abuse, so as to constitute the physical and social problem warranting the placing of the substance and the international control. In accordance with this criteria and substances with sufficient evidence of risk to public health are prioritised for review by the WHO. In this respect, the WHO has established a system for determining the priority substances for review. The system allows for input from member states and from international agencies through the WHO network on drug policy, input is obtained each year regarding substances of concern in each of the countries. Input is also obtained from agencies including UNODC, INCB, regional agencies such as NCGA and others. The convention mandates the need to ensure the availability of psychotic substances that are important for medical and scientific use, as well as substances not associated with non-medical use cases. The WHO recognizes the limited availability of controlled medicines severely impacts health and wellness. Continuing efforts to facilitate balanced access to a safe use of medicines under international control is needed to reduce the impact on human health and welfare. The WHO also recognizes global diversity in the use of different medicines. Of particular concern to the WHO, are the substances that are approved for medical use in one or more countries, but are also manufactured and trafficked and used in countries where they are not approved for medical use. This can mean that a drug that is considered a significant threat to human health in some countries as an element in others, the global diversity in the use of various drugs for medicines and exploitation for non-medical purposes can represent difficulties for international control. Finally, the third issue that is of attention for the WHO is the information sharing and awareness raising which are key to better equity and ability of national authorities to respond to the health threats posed by psychoactive substances that are used both medically and non-medically given the paucity of robust evidence relating to NPS the recent ECDD meeting reports. Critical reviews and other technical documents covering NPS and other psychoactive substances medicines are often the only comprehensive results for countries as they include collated information from all known published and unpublished data sources and analysis for all substances reviewed. The ECDD formally publishes all scientific assessments as part of the technical report series, and we are currently establishing the centralised electronic repository for all ECDD assessments to be launched in the next few months. These will be important resources for countries to submit evidence based measures less harmful to help associated psychoactive substances while ensuring that those with legitimate scientific and medical use are available. when needed. Thank you Mr Chairman.
INCB: Manufacturing, trafficking, and misuse of drugs and non-scheduled substances remain among the most pressing threats to international drug control efforts and ultimately to the health and well being of society. Just call that one year, the commission designed to visit fentanyl related substances, as recommended by INCB, that decision came into effect on November 2019 changed substances included in tables one and two of the 1988 convention of those 33 substances, 10 were added in the last eight years This is an indication of the level of innovation, sophistication and pace of traffickers in replacing control precursors with alternative chemicals not under international control. The fact that a total of 67 countries worldwide have reported seizures of substances, including designer precursors, shows that no drug of class has been spared from this phenomenon aptly illustrates the scope of the problem, as well as challenges related to international scheduling until the 1988 Convention. The challenges that non-scheduled chemicals, including designer precursors, pose to the international drug control efforts have been widely recognized, as has been the need for global action. Many of the member states have joined with the board over the past two and a half years to identify concrete practical solutions. These efforts culminated in March last year in resolution 65/3 of the commission, which calls upon members to intensify efforts to address the diversion of non-scheduled chemicals frequently used in the production of illicit drugs and the proliferation of designer precursors. With regard to placing a chemical under domestic control, t encourages member states to extend such domestic controls to entire groups of related precursors, rather than individual chemicals. INCB is pleased to note that such approaches have been implemented in several member states and regions. Some of the concrete approaches, experiences and tools, as well as the innovative ways of scheduling were presented during a side event which was held on Tuesday 14th. However, a recent surge in incidents communicated to the INCB is because the addition of derivatives of P2P and Lysergic Acid serve as a reminder of the need for global action. The case in point is here that these derivatives have been controlled in the European Union, The major destination region since 2020. Yet these regional controls did not prevent the trafficking of the substances, as evidenced by the recent surge in seizures. Therefore, while some progress in addressing the evolution of illicit drug manufacturing, solutions to these challenges are yet to be found. One option at the disposal of the Commission might lie in article 12 Paragraph 13 of the 1988 Convention, which requires the Commission to periodically review the adequacy and propriety of table one and table two accordingly, there may be potential for the Commission to conduct such a review, in order to explore options and to address new challenges posed by non-scheduled and designer chemicals that are not currently being satisfactorily addressed internationally, such as groups of chemicals related to the substances in the tables of the 1988 convention. INCB will be pleased to support the Commission, should it pursue such an option on new psychoactive substances in its latest report, the INCB has warned of the increasing trafficking, misuse, and deaths due to emerging non-fentanyl opioids such as Nitrous Xen substancesThe evolving and growing threat of dangerous synthetic opioids with no known legitimate uses has been identified to the INCB global opioids project monitoring of online platforms and through the INCB project on real time secure communications and targeting tools, and grids intelligence. The board’s intelligence led operational projects supported timely and effective action by international partners, governments and the private sector partners for rapid and voluntary actions that prevent the marketing, sales, and trafficking of emerging dangerous substances at the source. At the same time, the intelligence notices and alerts generated from these projects inform global policy decision discussions, such as to the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. In closing, let me thank all member states who have contributed to the consensus building process on non-scheduled chemicals and designer precursors over the years. I reiterate the board’s readiness to continue working with the state parties and partners to address challenges of substances for possible scheduling. Thank you for your attention.
European Union: It is an honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its member states. The following countries align themselves with the statement UK, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Iceland, Norway and Armenia. Substances, especially new psychoactive substances, is an important element of the sustained efforts made by the international community in recent years and has had some success with the global NPS market now having stabilised according to the World Drug Report 2022. However, new opioids, which are potentially the most harmful group of new psychoactive substances have, in contrast to the general decline globally, continue to grow. Despite sharp regulatory responses to the tragic occurrence of new types of positive opioids that are not covered by existing legislation, we are also witnessing new types of synthetic cannabinoids emerging in some parts of the world, synthetic cathinones are also problematic. This demonstrates the NPS market is highly dynamic and rapidly adapts to attempt to disrupt it. Strong international cooperation is needed to analyse, detect, monitor and quickly share information. One of the most important measures within the EU to tackle the new cycle of substances is the EU Early Warning System which marked its 25th anniversary last year. The system ensures that the EU and its member states have state of the art information on NPS and the threats they pose. Our experiences that an early warning system, complemented by regulation that supports it, can cut down the number of substances. As a result, the annual number of NPS identified for the first time has significantly decreased in Europe since 2015. Over the last 25 years the new drugs market has added more potent and toxic substances putting consumers at greater risk. In the EU Action Plan on Drugs 2021, we identify the need to roll out targeted rapid alert risk communications and intelligence notifications when dangerous substances including NPS are the emerging threats appearing on the market. The EU will continue to work to increase our preparedness to react to such new threats. The European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, whose mandate we are currently revising, will support us in this endeavour. Production, trafficking, and distribution of synthetic drugs is a highly dynamic crime area, subject to rapid change and innovation in terms of substances, production methods and suspects involved. We will make further efforts to reduce the availability of NPS, by targeting highly organised groups involved in these activities. I would now like to turn our attention to drug precursors. Precursors and close chemical relatives have been scheduled because they are purpose made to circumvent controls and they do not have any known legitimate use. Illegal synthetic drug producers in the European Union overwhelmingly use such designer precursors, the recent evaluation of legislations happened, with the conclusions of the AdHoc Group that effectively tackle designer precursors and pave the way for the start of new legislations are on track. However, as already stated in previous years, precursor diversity, in particular the design of precursors, is a global phenomenon and thus also requires global action. The European Union would therefore like to thank the board for all the activities and initiatives it has undertaken in recent years, for furthering international cooperation in this regard.
Japan: On behalf of the Japanese government. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Commission for including these substances. NPS and precursor chemicals are emerging in an endless stream and controlling them has become a major challenge for implementing international drug policy. This challenge is not only for individual countries, but should also be tackled in a concerted fashion in regions and beyond. Member states are required to respond more efficiently to the emergence of new psychoactive substances and precursor chemicals. We have to implement countermeasures to control those NPS and precursor chemicals, assuring effective detection and assessment and implementing legislative measures, preventive education and enhancement of border control to break the cycle of illicit drug production and trafficking. To this end, we will continue to enhance national capacity to implement countermeasures for the control of NPS and precursor chemicals in each country. Japan is in the midst of adding these substances to its national legislation and it will continue to enhance relevant scientific evidence based information sharing, as well as our expertise among Member States. We acknowledge we have to work more strategically with UNODC, INCB, WHO, and other UN agencies as well as with the private sector and industries to work on the challenges I have mentioned regarding the issues caused by NPS and precursor chemicals. Thank you.
China: China noticed that synthetic opioids accounted for over 50% of the substances proposed for rescheduling, with the rest being synthetic cannabinoids. The abuse of synthetic opioids and other drugs is a major problem facing international drug control efforts. In addition to legislative control, China works hard on trade regulation, law enforcement, international cooperation, technical testing, and other aspects to addressing the challenges of NPS. However, the demand for synthetic opioids remains strong in some parts of the world, especially in the North American market. Trafficking is lucrative, and coupled with the convenience provided by the Internet, electronic payments and courier services, the challenges posed by such substances are exacerbated by the difficulty of supervision, detection, identification and practice. China calls on major consumer countries to strengthen drug prevention education and reduce the misuse and the proliferation of NPS use.
South Africa: South Africa welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the discussions under this agenda item. As delegates may recall the African Group, in cooperation with the INCB, convened a side event entitled No Patient Left Behind: Availability, Affordability and Access to Controlled Substances. The event highlighted concerns regarding the persistent disparities between regions in the consumption of opioid analgesics for the treatment of pain and consumption of several substances for the treatment of mental, neurological, and substance use disorders. The group has continued to call upon member states and the pharmaceutical industry to take concrete measures to ensure adequate availability, affordability, and accessibility of controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes. The Group addressed the need for increasing technical assistance, capacity building, technology transfers and international cooperation to facilitate the transfer of know-how and intellectual property in manufacturing generic pharmaceutical preparations that are bio equivalent and cost effective. This call is premised on the basis that there is no availability and no access without affordability. Equally, my delegation commend the board for its annual report, especially the supplement entitled No Patient Left Behind: Progress in Ensuring Adequate Access to Internationally Controlled Substances for Medical and Scientific Purposes and the precursors report of chairperson. South Africa adheres to the principles of scientific and evidence based scheduling of uncontrolled narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, and other forms of substances and medicines under our domestic legislation. In keeping with the three international drugs regimes. Encountering the world drug problem, South Africa remains committed to the principle of common and shared responsibility, especially the mutually reinforcing role of the UNODC, INCB,. WHO,. UNAIDS and the UN Commission on Human Rights. South Africa commends the UN system of scientific and evidence based information for the formulation of policies and programs to address the world drug problem. In this regard, my delegation welcomes the support, capacity building and technical assistance provided to developing countries to enable them to comply with the international obligations. accordingly. Drug addiction must be considered as a public health challenge that has socioeconomic root causes and consequences. Additionally, drug education should be prioritised, people who use drugs must benefit from treatment, health services, and adequate resources should be allocated to this. We hereby call for greater support to ensure provision of complete access to essential and controlled medicines for palliative care and, as enshrined in the international drug conventions, to remove the barriers that prevent the input, distribution, and use of these essential medicines in line with the position on control of substances and access to pain management drugs. In conclusion, my government reaffirms its commitment to upholding the international drugs conventions as the foundation of its policy on drugs and related substances, and assures the commission of intention to continue compliance.
Indonesia: Indonesia encourages the combination of the guest documents on the upcoming international agenda, especially on NPS and related substances. This was deemed necessary because the items contained in the 2016 UNGASS outcome document, such as identifying and monitoring trends in NPS abuse, commitment to policies that regulate and supervise NPS, active participation in international network to exchange data and information on NPS abuse, increase narcotics laboratory capacity, detecting substances, as well as supporting the global SMART program in collecting data and analysing the handling of NPS and methamphetamine. Indonesia also encourages the updating of assessment instruments that can accommodate the need to use substances on clients or patients. To date, Indonesia has identified a total of 91 NPS of which 85 have been regulated through the regulation of the Ministry of Health number 36 of 2022, and six NPS have not yet been regulated. The recommendation of the ministry is in line with the decision taken in the CND session. We came across several challenges in the identification of NPS, among others, the need for correct identification methods, lack of capacity in forensic and toxicology, and lack of available data as well as other information related to the NPS. To this end, we call for continuous studies and capacity building in the identification of NPS as needed and appropriate.
USA: The nature of the illicit drug market has fundamentally shifted over the past decade. The introduction and spread of synthetic drugs, which are consistently adapted to evade legal and regulatory measures, frustrates our collective efforts to keep pace with criminals working in this illicit trade. The international scheduling regime is a valuable tool to help us reduce the presence of these harmful substances in the supply chain to maximize our effectiveness. Though we must complement international scheduling with targeted actions at the national, regional and global levels. International scheduling under the drugs control conventions remains a vital component of our response to this evolving threat as a critical backstop to protect against diversion of known chemicals and drugs into the illicit market. We thank the members of this commission for the votes taken this morning to schedule seven psychoactive and dangerous substances that have already caused great harm, even if not yet in their own territories. As mentioned by the distinguished delegate from China. To address this challenge, the commission must carry out its treaty mandated function to consider and make recommendations for the implementation of the aims and provisions of the drug control conventions. This must include the development of innovative tools to support early detection of new and emerging substances that are likely to become targets for diversion. This early detection can lead to domestic regulations that keep these substances out of the supply chains. These domestic regulations can keep people safe. While the CND undertakes the treaty mandated international skilled process, forensic laboratories are at the forefront of this effort, as the entity is responsible for the chemical analysis of seized drugs, as well as the analysis for tactile technological toxicological biological samples. In this role, these labs are well positioned to detect the emergence of new psychoactive substances or to track the entry of controlled substances into new geographic markets. It is essential that these labs can generate and share reliable data, which can form the international community’s responses to public health and security threats posed by synthetic drugs. The United States sponsored a resolution on this multi-level information sharing, which can help us drive impactful efforts to better inform and implement scheduling decisions undertaken by the CND. We call upon all parties to strengthen mechanisms for collecting data on new psychoactive substances and synthetic drugs, and to share this data with the World Health Organization to facilitate the treaty mandated review process that is necessary for international control in the area of precursor chemicals, We appreciate the efforts of the INCB to call for national actions to address the proliferation of non-scheduled designer precursors. We would also like to encourage the INCB to take a proactive approach to the detection and the evaluation of substances frequently used in the manufacturing of drugs, and urge member states to share data with the board in order to accelerate the process of placing precursor chemicals under international control.
India: As the global community faces the burden of drug use disorders caused by traditional plant based narcotics or psychotropics, the rapid spread of synthetically manufactured new psychoactive substances brings new challenges. The control sector struggles to limit or disrupt the availability of these substances, while those who provide demand reduction services like prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation. They have limited capabilities due to inadequate knowledge about unique signs, symptoms and health effects of NPS use. The solution lies in building capacities at all levels. It is essential to reach out to people who use NPS and gain first hand knowledge about their lived experiences. Civil society involvement will be critical to this effort. Furthermore, we must enhance our laboratory capacities to analyze and detect the presence of NPS in both the body tissues and fluids of people using NPS, along with assessing any health effects.
Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing: I have been working on the opioid crisis in the United States for the past 20 years. In the US, more than 100,000 people have died from a drug overdose in the past year. The vast majority of these deaths involve opioids. And the vast majority of these deaths occurred in individuals suffering from opioid use disorder, a preventable and treatable condition. The US opioid crisis is most accurately framed as an epidemic of opioid use disorder, by which I mean the reason the US is experiencing record high levels of opioid overdose deaths and a soaring increase in infants being born opioid dependent, an increase in injection related infectious diseases, and an impact on our workforce. The driver behind all of these health and social problems has been a 900% increase in the number of Americans suffering from opioid use disorder. Synthetic opioids are flooding into the United States to meet demand from millions of Americans with opioid use disorder. The cause of the US opioid crisis has been clear for many years. Our problem began when opioid manufacturers launched a campaign to remove what they falsely claimed were barriers to compassionate treatment of pain. The medical community and regulators were told by industry funded front groups that millions are suffering needlessly because of overblown fear of addiction, and that opioids are effective for long term use. These messages were false, with daily use opioid dependence setting in rapidly and making it very hard for patients to start without experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. The playbook used by opioid makers in the US is being used in many countries. Other countries are now following in our footsteps. Published reports from France, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, and elsewhere have shown a rise in opioid prescriptions with parallel increases in opioid related harm. Despite the devastating reality, not many nations maintain the claim that proper controls on Tramadol will worsen the problem of untreated pain. Those claims are false. Non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs which are on the WHO’s list of essential medicines are much more effective than Tramadol. and do not carry the risk of dependence. I’m here today to urge other nations to learn from the terrible mistakes that led to a public health catastrophe In the US.
Corporación ATS Acción Técnica Social: People who use drugs have existed since the beginning of humanity. People have been using drugs as medicines, they were used by soldiers in wars; they were also used to alleviate pain and have been used for creativity. They’ve been used for leisure purposes. Drugs have been with us for a long time and will continue to be so resisting coexisting with is going against natural human evolution. We have to accept that we had the Industrial Revolution, the Cultural Revolution, the technological revolution, and now we have the drug revolution and trying to ban them is worthless. We have to try and understand that. That the opioid crisis in the US was due to the corruption of pharmaceutical companies and the government drugs won the war on drugs and any society that continues to prosecute its citizens because they use drugs will fail or lag behind from a consumption point of view in Colombia since 1986. We have been allowed to grow drugs for self for our own consumption. There is harm made as part of a public policy. And since 2013, we have been analysing drug use in parties where we have medicinal marijuana since 2020. We have a group of citizens who are participating in public policies. They are not considered sick or criminals. We have pilot projects for the first injection room in Bogota. and I think we will have recreational marijuana for adults. Since we are providing advice on harm mitigation in laws. Conventions should be incorporating all of these actions to become more modern. They have to take into account what people actually do not just listen to politicians, as our politicians have said, we are sick of counting the dead. We would like respect for our sovereignty, Colombia wants total peace, but without the regulation of cocaine, they will not be complete peace, neither in Colombia and the whole region. We have to decriminalise the use of the coca leaf, but really we should regulate and legalise cocaine. Let us go step by step. We hope to get your support so that we can coexist in peace with drugs. Thank you.
DeJusticia: Distinguished delegates, I am addressing you on behalf of Elementa, Dejusticia, Acción Técnica Social, Fundación Tierra de Paz, and Viso Mutop. We are a group of civil society organisations working in Mexico and Colombia on research and advocacy for a drug policy based on evidence, human rights, social justice and that contributes to peace building. On the current agenda item, we will focus on two issues of relevance to the treaties: The request for a critical review of the coca leaf. We welcome the announcements by Bolivia and Colombia to request this critical review process from the WHO. The current classification of the coca leaf in the international drug control regime is a historic mistake, and goes against international standards regarding the rights of indigenous peoples, so the review process would address this mistake, align the international drug treaties with other human rights instruments, and encourage research into alternative uses of the coca leaf. We hope that this process will be as participatory as possible, and that its development will involve indigenous peoples and all those with traditional and therapeutic uses of the plant. We also hope that this process will contribute to dismantling the stigma attached to the plant, and especially to the people who derive their livelihoods from it. Regulation. The implementation of the treaties should not prevent the regulatory models being experimented around the world with cannabis from being evaluated with the best available evidence. A real concern for public health and the welfare of people who use drugs would be reflected in a serious interest in documenting regulatory processes. In this sense, we hope that there will be an impulse and support for innovative measures to develop and study pilot production, processing and commercialisation of products derived from coca leaf and other controlled plants, including cannabis. This experimentation and study would improve the evidence on the functioning of regulation and best practices to protect people’s health and autonomy. I thank you for your time and wish you a fruitful day of deliberation.
Plenary Item 5c
INCB: The Annual Report analyses the trend to legalise the non medical use of cannabis in a limited number of states. INCB notes this trend with great concern in light of the treaties which limit the use of drugs to medical and scientific purposes. Legalisation is leading to increased consumption. Expanding cannabis industry is marketing edibles and vaping products to appeal to young people contributing to trivialisation of cannabis use. Perceptions of harm are declining. Despite related health concerns. The 1961 Convention classifies cannabis as highly addictive and liable to use under Schedule I. States parties need to remain within the consensus established by the majority of the members of this end. The convention based system offers significant flexibility to protect young people, improve public health and avoid unnecessary illicit markets and related criminals. Improved education, prevention and treatment and addressing organized crime to social prevention and law enforcement. Alternative measures can be applied for drug related crime of a minor nature. The surge in illicit cocaine production and trafficking poses a growing threat to health and well being secondary processing of cocaine is shifted Europe, resulting in decreased availability and higher purity. INCB urges governments to take coordinated action address to address underlying causes and each stage of the supply chain, including precursor control and private sector partnerships. In 2022, INCB issued seven global alerts and special notices related to emerging non fentanyl opioids, which are increasingly misused. The who is EDD reviewed these opioids three of which was scheduled under Schedule One of the 1961 convention this morning. INCB highlights the importance of mental health and the need to ensure the availability of internationally controlled substances at the same time, highlighting concerns about over prescription and self medication. The report provides guidance on promoting equality and non discrimination towards people who use drugs and in access to prevention, treatment and rehabilitation programs. Respect for human rights is essential in the design and delivery of drug policies founded upon human dignity and freedom from stigma actually also provides guidance on electronic import and export authorizations. Our regional analysis shows how the drug overdose epidemic in Canada and the United States has worsened and that trafficking in fentanyl and other dangerous opioids is expanding to Oceania. Many countries to learn mechanisms, gathering information on reviews and treatment demand enduring efforts to develop targeted evidence based prevention and treatment programs. The ongoing large scale opium poppy cultivation and opium production in Afghanistan remains a significant concern. And so because for the international community to continue supporting that control efforts in the country to promote public health, including for women. With regard to the humanitarian situations in Syria and Turkey and Ukraine, this highlights that simplified procedures can be used to expedite the movement of international control substances to the affected areas. already touched upon many of the issues addressed in INCB recommendations in chapter four. I would like to recall that the fundamental goal of the conventions is to safeguard health and wellbeing. This includes full respect for human rights during due process of law. All drug control policies should conform to the national human rights obligations to one parties to the 1988 convention have already notified INCB of the national scheduling of the three central precursors included in table one of the convention by CND. Because this report showed that the world because the situation has never been more complex, seizures of scheduled substances used in the manufacturing by a number of countries. INCB has been working with the international community on options to address this and supporting governments in partnerships with sectors of industry to infiltrate by traffickers with a view to protecting illicit international trade. Successful approaches of national policy can be expanded upon to include equipment and materials used in illicit manufacture of synthetic drugs through enhanced implementation of Article 13 of the 1988 convention. In 2022, INCB published guidance for governments to address diversion of non-scheduled chemicals and in implementing the CND resolution 65/3. We are committed to supporting member states in full implementation of the conventions as agreed upon by the state parties. The conventions remain the cornerstone of the international drug control framework and the management of the international community commitment to concerted action to address the challenges posed by the INCB, these global rapid identification of dangerous substances program is supporting action to prevent marketing sale and movement of emerging synthetic opioids with no known legitimate uses, and dismantling NPS trafficking organizations. Secure communication and analysis platforms are available to law and regulatory enforcement focal points supported through capacity building by regional technical offices located in Egypt. India, Mexico, Nigeria, and Thailand. Project ION global opioids project to contribute to expanding the information based on evolving challenges, and is enhancing the ability to comply with the conventions to estimate the requirements for medical and scientific purposes and strengthen their control. The INCB is overhauling its international drug control system database used to process store and analyze data recorded to answer. Under the treaties, the new system will offer functionalities to assist states in the management of the dissident movement and availability of international countries.
European Union: I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union and its member states and the following countries align themselves with the state of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Ukraine, the public Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Iceland, Norway, Armenia and Andorra. In summary, the European Union and its member states would like to express their support to the INCB and to emphasise its important role in supporting governments in relation to the three international drug control conventions. The EU and its member states are committed to the effective implementation of these conventions. Mr. Chair, as recognized in the INCB annual report, there is an integral relationship between drug control and human rights as is clear from the single convention, which is based on the concern for health and welfare of mankind. Therefore, we strongly support the INCB’s increased focus on a health and human rights based approach, as well as its unequivocal opposition to the death penalty. In this regard, the EU and its member states welcome the statement by the INCB president on the occasion of Human Rights Day on 10 December, highlighting the concurrent application of applications concerning drug control, as well as human rights and recalling the importance to the right to health in the context of drug policies. Mr. Chair, the EU and its member states also welcome the comments made by the INCB president on universal health coverage day on 12 December, the iterating lead for governments to ensure the availability of internationally controlled medicines and evidence based prevention, risk reduction and treatment services including during emergency situations. And we would like to positively note these activities reminding member states as he has done today and precedent that in acute emergencies, it is possible to utilize simplified control procedures for the export transportation and provision which is applied to accrete examples include the humanitarian needs in Ukraine and the devastating floods in Pakistan and the facilitation of the timely supply controlled substances during the evening. We also value the work to enhance the abilities of governments to ensure access to unavailability of psychotropic substances, medical and scientific purposes. Therefore, we’d like to invite Member States to continue supporting INCB learning for the maintenance of this program. The update of the information patch, the control and the launch of PEN-online will help to better tackle the challenges posed by non-scheduled because we look forward to pursuing the INCB initiative to formulate comments and monitoring of cannabis and cannabis related substances for current and scientific purposes. Mr. Chair, to conclude, we would like to shine insignia for continued support by the state of our commitment to further fruitful and effective cooperation. Thank you very much.
Japan: Mr. President, thank you Chair for giving me the floor on behalf of the Japanese government. I would like to express my deep appreciation to the INCB for developing the 2022 INCB annual report. It compiles the issues which are attracting growing global concern and enlightens us when it comes to addressing the importance of this issue. One analysis done in their reports and an analysis of a trend illegal as a non medical use of cannabis. Compliance with international treaties on the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances in relation to cannabis is an obligation that member countries must fulfill in order to resolve issues such as protecting public health. Japan to the INCB insane that we also appreciate the efforts of the INCB when it comes to cannabis because the INCB continues with discussions on operational guidelines to implement the provisions of the international drug control conventions. On cannabis, including statistical reporting requirements for our thoughts, Japan recognizes that we have other issues to be discussed in the future, such as the difference between member states when it comes to the interpretation or implementation of the conventions to certain substances, this includes synthetic cannabinoids. Japan is continuously working on domestic measures to regulate controlled substances, including cannabis and cannabis based products. We believe, in particular, that terrifying interpretations under the international drug control conventions regarding CBD for industrial use will further contribute to and will promote abuse. Japan will continue to collaborate with and support the INCB plays a key role in resolving these problems. Thank you very much for your attention.
Netherlands: Human rights should take center stage in the implementation of the UN drug discussion. My country especially welcomed the board’s confirmation in its annual report and reiterated in this session of the position that all drug control policies and actions should be adopted in line with the international human rights obligations including promoting equality and non discrimination towards people who use drugs. And any actions that violate human rights in the name of drug policy, Drug Control Policy are inconsistent with the international drug control conventions. We fully support this position. I would underline the necessity of evidence based policymaking. We value this very strongly. gathering data for monitoring and evaluation are the cornerstone of policy improvement. We have to be open minded and curious and what works and what doesn’t work. And we should not jump to conclusions when we do not have a sufficiently complete picture. The Netherlands wants to thank the board for the specific chapter in the annual report on the use of cannabis for non medical, non scientific purposes, which provides an interesting and useful overview of the situation and the current trends. The report states that it is hard at this point to draw overall conclusions on the effects of legalization of recreational cannabis. That depends on the context of the country concerned. The report also mentioned the limited evidence and data and the difficulty of establishing causal links between legislation and facts observed on the ground. As I just stressed, faced with limited data, we should be careful not to jump to conclusions. We therefore ask whether it is useful to already conclude that legalization has not achieved the objectives pursued by its proponents. Proper evidence base is needed to draw conclusions on the effects of initiatives in specific country contexts. With precisely that objective in mind, an experimental study with a limited scope is currently in preparation on the effects of both supply chain for recreational cannabis and the specific contents in the Netherlands. As we refer to in the annual report. Any further decisions on the regulation of recreational cannabis will be taken only the faces of the results of the experiment or government will share the progress and outcomes of the experiment in the context of the CBD. Thank you Chairman.
China: China commends the INCB for their work, and their efforts and support for China’s drug control work. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the frameworks provided by the INCB and participates in various activities initiatives by the board. The Chinese government has always centered the work of the INCB and the national drug control mechanism anchored in the three drug conventions. The INCB will continue to successfully perform its functions as an advisory board and the theme of the mandate of the Commission maintains its neutral position to carry out is a work of review scheduling of substances, energy, objective and assertive manner while preserving the authority of National Drug Control conventions.
Russian Federation: The Russian Federation in every way supports the work of the INCB to monitor the three drugs control conventions to the UN. We welcome this report for 2022. The main conclusion of this report namely that the trend towards legalizing the non medical consumption of cannabis by a small group of Western countries is a series via the basic actions of the single convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961. We believe in accordance with Article 26 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of international treaties. Every treaty in force is mandatory for parties to it and it should be implemented by them in good faith without any kind of reservations of references to protecting human rights or other contrived justifications. The way in which the governments of some countries interpret their international drug control obligations calls into question achieving the aims of the convention.The Russian Federation is strongly committed to implementing the three drugs control conventions. Our country makes a significant contribution to implementing initiatives carried out to the INCB, Russia is one of the key donors to the INCB training project to improve the quality of reporting of states to the board and the implementation of drugs control conventions in the UN. So with Russian financial support, there was a successful course which was run and then as part of this project for representatives of the national competent authorities of Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia. Taking into account this positive experience, we plan to organize to training courses in 2023 for states and Central Asia and the Caucasus region and also for Latin America. Moreover, thanks to the donor contribution of our country, a Russian language module was developed in 2022 on accessibility, access to narcotic drugs for medical and scientific purposes through ITV training. The Russian Federation continues intends to continue to expand its constructive dialogue with the board with strict compliance with its international legal obligations. In the area of drugs control, we continue to be in favor of strengthen the mandate of this unique independent body. One thing which we view is completely unacceptable is attempt by a number of delegations to move the functions of the INCB to unspecialized formats including the fifth Committee of the UN General Assembly, outside of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, thank you very much.
Indonesia: Excellency, distinguished delegates, thank you for giving me the floor. Indonesia highlight the important work of CND in monitoring government’s compliance with the international drug control and ensuring adequate supplies for narcotic and psychotropic drugs for scientists who identify these concerns. Indonesia also welcomes me that this is a comprehensive overview of the drug control situation in various parts of the world, in the city to express his gratitude to INCB for organizing a training in Indonesia in 2021 and again in 2023. We hope that this capacity building of diversity can improve the capacity of our investigators and border officers. Identify the NPS leaving Indonesia. The control systems have helped countries to obtain that ability to monitor incoming trafficking so that the risk arising from the substances used in the manufacturing of NSPs can be minimized. We encourage the strengthening of cooperation between member states, as well as the INCB to continue in this capacity to effectively address and contain the world drug problem.
Canada: Monsieur le Président, excellences, délégués, au nom de la délégation canadienne, je tiens à exprimer notre soutien aux travaux de l’Organe International de Contrôle des Stupéfiants (OICS) au cours de l’année écoulée et à remercier l’OICS et son personnel pour le temps et le dévouement dont ils ont fait preuve dans l’exercice des responsabilités qui leur incombent en vertu des traités. Nous saluons le travail de l’Organe concernant la discrimination et la stigmatisation des personnes qui consomment des drogues. Et, nous avons été heureux de constater que ces préoccupations ont été reprises dans le rapport annuel de l’Organe de cette année. Collectivement, nous devons reconnaître que la consommation de substances est un problème de santé publique qui dépend de facteurs complexes et interdépendants, dont beaucoup échappent au contrôle de l’individu, tels que les traumatismes subis, les revenus, l’accès à un logement stable. et l’identité raciale et sexuelle de la personne.
In the 60 years since the first of the modern UN conventions was adopted, the world drug issue has evolved and changed in a myriad of ways. Issues such as globalization, transnational organized crime and ever-more dangerous opioids, such as fentanyl, challenge us to continue reflection on how best to proceed. What has not changed is our commitment to the aims of the three drug conventions: protecting the health and welfare of society, ensuring availability of controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes and preventing or mitigating the harms related to illicit drug use. We need to continue to advance the aims of the conventions by considering drug control measures while also respecting human rights. Canada appreciates the attention paid by the Board to the ongoing overdose crisis, which continues to have heartbreaking effects for families and communities across Canada and internationally. To this end, Canada is proud to have provided 3 million dollars (CAD) to a project supporting the Board’s work to coordinate the INCB’s global operational response to non-medical synthetic opioids and fentanyl-related substance trafficking. We take note of the Board’s reporting on various member states’ experience with regulatory approaches to cannabis, including Canada, through its recent Annual Report. Unfortunately, the Report contained numerous errors in relation to Canada’s experiences, contradicting evidence collected through Canada’s rigorous, scientific annual Cannabis Survey. Canada continues to be committed to work with the INCB and the international community to share the facts and ensure access to Canada’s evidence-based and most up-to-date information. We share the conclusions of our Dutch colleagues that conclusions on cannabis legalization should not be reached hastily and consider all quality available evidence. We look forward to our ongoing collaboration with the Board and, to this end, thank President Pavadia for her service and look forward to welcoming the new incoming President shortly.
Brazil: New scientific labs present a resource to public health, forensic science, law enforcement drug policies and regulations. Brazil recounts that we are fostering collaboration to mitigate harms associated with NPS. In this, Brazil has established its first early warning system and has already collected original data on new substances that boasts a great challenge for public health in the country and the entire Latin America. Through universities and emergency toxicologist centers from different regions of the country, the Brazilian early warning system has already published three bulletins that help it inform about the emergence of NPS in the country. And prepare public safety officers and health agents for the potential risks that this substance may represent to the public. Particularly high risk users and vulnerable groups including homeless people, rising prisoners and those with mental disease disorders. Brazil has been actively promoting the adoption of measures to improve the exchange of information among Brazilian forensic laboratories responsible to detect new psychoactive substances since 2015. Brazil is delighted to announce that we will host a May 2023 INCB training on NPS, synthetic opioids and other dangerous substances. ION is raising safe handling and interdiction and information exchange through INCB global communication systems for Brazilian authorities. It is expected the attendees of the 66th Commission, with excellence ranging from forensic science and public health to law enforcement, will assist in training, strengthening, and development of capabilities among Brazilian officials and inspectors responsible for monitoring inspection and intelligence in the detection interdiction, and seizure of suspicious shipments and packages in custom areas such as airports. Thank you Mr Chair.
USA: The United States welcomes the contributions of the International Narcotics Control Board to support state parties. In our efforts to achieve the aims of the conventions. The INCB develops and deploys tools that facilitate real time information sharing to counter diversion, and trafficking of individual substances and precursors. These tools are critical for member state efforts to advance international cooperation that further implements the UN drug conventions. We applaud the INCB work in 2020-22 to curb the illicit manufacture and trafficking of synthetic drugs and precursor chemicals, especially to the global ravage interdiction of dangerous substances program or grids, as well as an online program to enhance member state capacity to protect against a version of non scheduled chemicals, which may also be used in the illicit manufacture of drugs. We also welcome the INCBbpublication last year of a guidance document containing practical measures to address the proliferation. We encourage this document that are opportunities to utilize our schools and their national context. The United States is, however, seriously concerned about several aspects of the somatic chapter in regards to the 2022 annual report. We will communicate our concerns directly to the board. We invite member states to consult with us if they have questions about our federal system or our efforts to achieve the aims. We appreciate and value our constructive dialogue on matters of international control within its competence. We look forward to continuing to identify and implement innovative solutions to address public health threats.
Pakistan: In addressing the world drug problem, we would like to recognise the tireless efforts of INCB for the collection of subsequent analysis of a comprehensive report deserves our commendations. We firmly believe this report would provide a range of member states appropriate recommendations to align their national priorities. I would also appreciate the supplement to the annual report of the board regarding the availability of the internationally controlled substances and assure the commission that our drug control legislation is fully complied with the international drug control treaties. We make all endeavors to ensure that there is no problem regarding the availability and access to the controlled substances for the medical and other licit uses. Pakistan has evolved a well defined and conclusive framework to regulate the availability of controlled substances for medical use, which is in line with the international protocols and the INCBs guidelines and we remain fully committed to the principles of common and shared responsibility and request our entire nation approach to the country the control contract that mandates of the Narcotics Control. Thank you.
Namibia: We welcome the No Patient Left Behind INCB report. We call upon the global community, in particular exporting countries, to take the title to heart – there are patients in small markets that need these products, for example people with mental health challenges need access to treatment and medication. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the need for expanded mental health services. The need to improve and expand these services through employing more counsellors and integrating mental health services into the healthcare national system. The Government of Namibia, through the office of PM has established wellness policies in all govt offices. We must continue to work to ensure access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes while preventing illicit use. Need civil society and industry cooperation throughout. We firmly believe the three conventions are the cornerstone of international drug policy and we need cooperation to promote and monitor compliance with the treaties.
Transform: My name is Steve Rolles, I am the senior policy analyst for Transform drug policy Foundation. Thank you for this opportunity to address the CND today. We would like to welcome the contribution to the debate on cannabis regulation for non medical use made in the chapter of the 2022 INCB report, and we would like to make a brief response. As the INCB notes, such reforms to cannabis policy and law are now being implemented in jurisdictions on every continent. We are now approaching half a billion people living in jurisdictions with legally regulated cannabis markets for non-medical adult use. We’re pleased to see that much of the analysis in the INCB report was balanced and reasonable, even if we have concerns about how certain policy impact areas that are not addressed. most obviously associated with positive outcomes, such as the reduction in criminalisation of people who use cannabis. However, it was welcome and important that the chapter acknowledged the challenges with data methodology in assessing the impact of legislative reforms, and the wide variety in policy and practice in such reforms around the world, and how this made broad generalisations difficult. For example the INCB chapter notes “In conclusion, the evidence available to assess the impact of legalization on society and individuals is limited. This impact varies considerably according to the different legalization models.” and that “Given this multifaceted and complex picture, it is hardly possible to make general statements and conclusions on the impact of legalization.” However, whilst welcome, we are concerned that this more nuanced analysis risks being lost in some of the headline conclusions, and some public statements made by the INCB. The INCB’s headline conclusions do indeed make broad generalised statements, and also only highlight negative outcomes of such reforms. This is perhaps most notably the headline of – quote – ‘Government objectives for legalizing cannabis not achieved’. Not only are such generalised statements often contradicted by contributions from member states at the CND, in both plenary statements and side events, but they are often additionally contradicted by the analysis in the chapter itself. Moreover, they are precisely the sort of generalised statement that, as noted in the chapter, the variety of policy and practice, and ambiguities in the available data is unable to support. We note, for example, that the INCB chapter reports how the illegal cannabis market in Canada has contracted by 60% in the 5 years since legalisation, and yet, INCB also state- in the same paragraph – that ‘The main objective for legalizing cannabis for Governments is to reduce criminal activities but this has not been achieved’. This seems impossible to reconcile. A 60% reduction in the scale of illegal activity in 5 years, would, in other contexts, be celebrated as a major success; It far eclipses anything that has been achieved in 60 years of expanding illegal markets under the enforcement paradigm status quo the INCB seems so determined to defend. Pragmatically dealing with reality requires that we move beyond narrowly framed critiques of reform. The reality of this accelerating pace of cannabis reform around the world highlights the urgent need for the relevant UN agencies, including the WHO, UNDP, UNODC and UN human rights bodies, to provide reforming member states with normative guidance on best practice in cannabis regulation. Currently reforms are taking place in a vacuum – this is something that must change if we are sincerely seeking to achieve the shared goals of the UN charter, and the SDGs.
European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies: We note that the INCB releases reports just a few days before CND so it is difficult to read these thoroughly before CND starts. The content in the INCB report is a masterpiece of information, with 6 pages expressing general statements and conclusions on the impact of legalization. This report is stunning. Paragraph 18 announces a multifaceted and complex feature; it is hardly possible to make a general statement on legalization. This seems a reasonable statement, however it is then followed by exactly a general statement on legalization. Totally absurd. We are glad to hear that several delegates stressed similar issues. Intergovernmental organization must be evidence based and it is time to draw one simple conclusion: we should defund INCB.
Plenary Item 5d
Thailand: At the outset Thailand is dedicated to the int drug control commitments. Thailand maintains state control throughout the supply chain to prevent and deter any possible uses which impact the accessibility of narcotics and psychotropic drugs. Striking a balance between accessibility is challenging. We have attempted to make access to controlled substances more reliable. (…) use the info technology to facilitate service, along with supporting the procurement of private healthcare service across the nation; coordination among relevant stakeholders such as medical professionals, is the key to assessing opioid medicines in healthcare. We will also ensure access to essential medication to ensure those in need of these controlled medications, while striving to balance the reduction of abuse of narcotics medications
Belgium: aligns itself with the statement of EU during its 65th session the chair undertook initiatives to scale up the int drug policy commitments in improving availability of controlled substances for medical purposes. Like several also speakers, raising awareness of events held at UN offices culminating in 1 day special forum 2022. These kinds of initiatives are and remain necessary. Although INCB’s recent report shows some progress, significant imbalance globally remains. We know that millions of people are in need of controlled medicines. This need is even more critical in emergency situations. One clear example is the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria which underscored the need for quick access to substances such as morphine. In 2023, Belgium will support UNODC in access to controlled drugs. We continue to support various countries in africa. In Congo the 3rd phase of work in hospitals has started and continues progress made since 2016. In the framework of incb’s call for better data, we started a project in 2021 aimed at improving awareness of opioids. Its findings suggest need for complex set of actions to be undertaken by national and international stakeholders to improve the supply chain, regulating prices etc. finally, as part of tema europe we also continue to invest in equitable access as well as in loca manufacturing of medicines such as morphine. Data from congo and uganda show that quality assured local production can make enormous difference in lives of many patients in pain.
Kazakhstan: In Kazakhstan for 15 years we’ve implemented a program for OAT for those injecting opioid drugs 5% of people with drug dependence who were being actively monitored by doctor – the majority were men – patients were provided with a large number of medical services, self help groups, access to psychologist, methadone hydrochloride from a generic provider (which is on the national medicines list). We also included in the road map to develop 10-15% of those affected. The use of methadone is covered under law, to ensure those on OAT are provided with medicines is part of the state budget as part of the republic’s strategy for reducing drug dependence.
China: To cope with the pandemic and other legitimate needs we have adopted the following measures. First, to oversee the sector in developing different varieties and doses of scheduled medications. Second, to allow for an array of adjusted product volumes and dosages Third, to maintain stringent control over the distribution of scheduled substances. Fourth, the upscaling and reviewing rescheduled substances – according to reviewed risk of abuse. Fifth, the list of scheduled drugs to be updated in a timely manner, and finally sixth, updating the public in a timely manner regarding changes in scheduling. Thank you.
Indonesia: Thank you for giving me the floor. We support the Institute of Science in conducting research with regard to schedule one narcotic is set out in the 1961 single convention on Narcotic Drugs. Indonesia would like to take this opportunity to communicate to the pharmaceutical sector to further research narcotic and psychotropic substances and their precursors for palliative care and advancement of research and technology, and to prevent the emergence of eligible channels for those in need. The Indonesian food and drug agency also reports in this part of its programs prevent the use of narcotics and psychotropic substances. In addition, Indonesia has developed applications for import and export licensing, manufacturing, distribution and use of substances in pharmaceutical facilities. Furthermore, our government has contributed to the work of the INCB by submitting reports on import export data consumption and demand estimates and has contributed to INCB application. These measures have been taken to facilitate the monitoring and control of narcotics, psychotropic substances and pharmaceutical practices to assure the availability of narcotics, for the benefit of health services.
Belarus: there is a serious problem in applying the convention – needs must be met for narcotic drugs for these purposes. For medical purposes this should not be restricted. This is a basic human right. A number of countries responsible for export licences are refusing to grant Belarus such licences, so we cannot provide the country with essential medicines. It also affects patients who are suffering from psychiatric disorders. In September 2022 a supplier of a medicine to Belarus used for substitution therapy was denied a licence to Belarus. This included psychotropic substances inc. diazepam. The Belarus factory which produces medicines containing narcotic drugs faced problems too. It was denied shipments of vital substances including fentanyl and codeine and diazepam. Belarus has not been permitted to procure standard samples to perform quality control which contradict ethics and morals and international legal instruments given the increasing load on healthcare systems. We must prioritise access for those who need it. We robustly condemn illegal collateral restrictive measures which hinder international cooperation. Belarus calls on countries to return to the right path and refrain from using restrictive measures.
UNODC: Controlled medicines should be available and accessible to those who need them for medical purposes. This is a basic principle, this is a right. This is our responsibility under the implementation of international drug control treaties. Last year the chair of the CND through the secretariat launched a dynamic global stakeholder campaign titled access and availability. This included campaign awareness and called on all member states to increase their efforts to ensure availability and access to controlled medicines for scientific and medical purposes while preventing their diversion and misuse. UNODC has supported member states to ensure availability and eliminate the barriers that limit access to controlled medicines through pilot projects which have been implemented in 4 countries. These projects assess legislation and national policies, map gaps in supply chains in order to ensure access to controlled medicines for management of pain. More than 80% of ppl around the world, despite these efforts, still cannot access controlled medicines. The covid 19 pandemic as well as recent humanitarian crisis have further disrupted access to these medicines. WHO list of essential medicines includes medicines which contain controlled substances precisely because they provide vital pain relief for people suffering from a wide range of serious illnesses and medical conditions. These medicines also have important uses in life saving medical procedures and are essential for mental health illnesses, drug use disorders and neurological conditions. Promoting them protects health and welfare at the control of the international drug control system. This should not result in scarcity and inaccessibility for those in urgent or desperate need of medicines. We cannot afford to let last year’s efforts go to waste. We need to take action now for the benefit of those who suffer, who are neglected and for those who are often left behind. UNODC is preparing to relaunch its strategy to address the problems that lead to barriers to controlled medicines learning from past experience and achievements so far. To do this, the support of member states is essential to achieving our goals. People who are suffering and in need of controlled medicines are waiting for our commitment. We cannot afford to fail them. Thank you.
WHO: As part of our commitment to achieving universal health coverage. The WHO works to ensure that medicines with psychotropic are available to alleviate pain and suffering from a range of conditions including cancer care, mental health conditions etc. However global access to three medicines remains low while non-medical use persists in all countries causing morbidity and mortality. Recent estimates suggest opioid medicines are accessible to less than 8% of individuals in the world in need of palliative care. Poor access to benzodiazepines precedes treatment of epilepsy in many settings. Anaesthetic medicines are not available in low and middle income countries. When there is low availability and accessibility for recognized therapeutic purposes their demand does not diminish. They are sought in the illicit unregulated market. Global consumption for synthetic opioids and overdoses have been steadily increasing in many countries due to poorly regulated licit and illicit supplies. Further non medical use of benzos and stimulants also remain important public health problems globally. Despite this rise in prevalence in substance use disorders, many countries still have low availability of essential medicines such as for OAT. numerous reasons for this imbalance: issues arise relating to the formulation and implementation of national policies and controlled medicines to comply with int. Drug control treaties. Prices and financing issues e.g. services for mental health and palliative care continues to be inconsistent across countries. Countries require guidance about WHO to identify and select independent and scientifically robust info on the advocacy and safety of controlled medicines to which should be on official medicines list. Procurement and supply issues are critical to ensure countries can quantify… to properly treat their populations and have mechanisms in place to procure and store those medicines. Regulation and control are essential to ensuring… effective prescribing, dispensing and administration must be in place to ensure clinicians in the safe and effective control of medicines. Education knowledge and attitudes are critical to removing barriers amongst the health workforce. WHO is very concerned about persistent global lack of medicines and continues to strive for policies and programs that prevent access to medicines for legitimate and therapeutic purposes while preventing their use. As a specialised public health agency of the UN, WHO holds a strong scientific mandate to coordinate and lead international efforts in removing barriers and accessing medicines. It will continue to foster relationships with partners to ensure that safe, affordable and quality controlled medicines can reach those who need them, while omitting their non-medical use. Thank you.
INCB: the international drug control system was created with the aim of protecting the health and wellbeing of all people and must be implemented in a comprehensive and proportionate manner. However most of the population still has limited or no access to controlled medicines.INCB is proud to be an equal partner in this direction. There is an inadequate global distribution in opiates which is not a lack of supply of materials, which are sufficient to meet requirements as reported by governments. However many national authorities do not have the capacity to access the actual needs of their populations or healthcare systems. Significant disparities due to inaccurate estimate of medical needs. While the situation relating to psychotropic substances is less clear. Data shows that availability of some substances for treatment of mental health and neurological conditions remains limited to high income countries, despite a greater number of people living with these conditions in low and middle income countries. To further support member states, INCB has published a supplement titled No Patient Left Behind. The supplement describes how factors uch as fear of diversion, fear of addiction and cultural attitudes continue to be significant impediments. However the board observed an increase in problems in sourcing and financial resources possibly related to covid 19 pandemic and emergency situations in many parts of the world which points to structural problems that need to be assessed. Working with agencies to support countries in their efforts to provide adequate medications to patients. The board is providing training and workshops relating to availability which identify specific barriers to availability. In August 2022, a new INCB learning e-module on ensuring adequate availability of controlled substances was launched. This is a tool for competent national authorities to strengthen their knowledge on the issue and increase their capacity to take action. I would like to encourage all authorities to take advantage of this tool. The supplement of INCB’s 2022 annual report also sets out a number of recommendations to improve availability which include continued pursuit of SDG’s, prioritisation of training of health professionals, prescribing and safe administration of controlled substances, etc. the recommendations also cover legislative and regulatory systems, health systems, education etc. In light of the many ongoing humanitarian emergencies and related increased needs for controlled medicines, INCB invites countries to review and implement data from the factsheet.
EU: the EU and its member states continue to underline the importance of ensuring access to controlled substances for med and scientific purposes while preventing diversion. In line with SDG’s it is essential that access to safe, quality and affordable medicines is ensured for patients around the world. The EU & MS would like to reiterate our grave concern over the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine from Russia’s unprovoked military aggression against Ukraine. The growing humanitarian needs require urgent action to require unimpeded access to medicine including controlled substances. Russia’s ongoing missile strikes against civilians to inflict more suffering is a crime and it must stop. It is a positive development in scaling up the int. Drug policy of commitments of ensuring availability to controlled substances. Remaining challenges are to raise awareness of this important issue. We also welcome the special report on availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances by INCB. We support such efforts that align with EU strategy 2021-2025 which focuses on capacity building and awareness raising. We are ready to continue working together in this important area.
Burkina Faso: since 2015 when BF suffered 1st terrorist attacks our country has been dealing with a security crisis which has had unprecedented repercussions. This crisis has caused great damage both within our armed forces and civilian population. Therefore to tackle the pain and suffering of injured parties we have seen an increase in needs for narcotics. Indeed to illustrate this point the consumption of morphine has gone up from 319g in 2018 to 955g in 2021. This situation might pose a risk when it comes to availability for medical purposes thereby compromising efforts carried out to adequately treat these injured parties in emergency situations. Therefore we hope that our requests for a supplement to the quota are treated carefully by the INCB. in addition we are dealing with discrepancy alerts relating to statistics relating to international trade. The info given by BF seems not to correspond with the info given by our commercial partners. In 2020 and 2022 our country received these alerts and after verification no fault was detected. We would like greater communication between BF and INCB on this issue in order to find appropriate solutions. Chair, BF prides itself on the quality of statistics it regularly provides to INCB. in addition, with a view to preventing diversion to illegal markets as is not allowed under the treaties, we have strict pharmaceutical regulation around commercialisation and consumption of narcotics used for scientific and purposes. Only the health ministry has the capacity to import clinical services. Only private and public clinical services that are able to do so can have a pharmacist to get the substances. BF would like to underscore its commitment to applying the conventions and supports INCB in carrying out its mandate, particularly in technical assistance provided to member states.
Russian Federation: The Russian Federation has been working to increase the accessibility of controlled substances for preventing illicit trade in the areas of health. The National roadmap was adopted and seeks to increase accessibility to palliative medical care medications. A comprehensive approach to resolving this issue allowed us to have a real breakthrough in overcoming the problem of insufficient accessibility of pain relief using opioid analgesics. This work took place in various areas. Legal and systematic barriers were removed or minimised. Legislation was changed, beginning with federal legislation and reaching the department. A whole range of government documents were adopted aimed at expanding accessibility to pain relief. A government’s hotline has been operating for eight years. It takes calls from citizens about non compliance in prescribing analgesic medicines. Significant increase in the range of medical products provided an anon invasive form is similar to morphine in the form of a solution for internal use.urther federal financing to provide patients with analgesic medications in every region of the country and administrative system has all of these measures to make real progress and expand access to medicines containing narcotic drugs for medical purposes in strict compliance with these specialised conventions. Thank you very much
USA: US continues to be troubled by reports that int drug control efforts may introduce barriers to access in some countries. We echo the EU statement of Russia’s unlawful and unproved war against Ukraine. As a result of Russia’s invasion the people of Ukraine continue to lack access to medicine which is in direct contravention. The convention acknowledges that access is indispensable and is a fundamental obligation to the convention. Many controlled substances are vital medicines e.g. morphine for palliative care and others treat mental disorders and drug dependence. Accessibility is crucial and should not be seen as conflicting with international drug conventions. We must work together to find joint solutions to these issues and ensure people who need these vital medications are not left behind. As we work to increase the rate in which substances are controlled, we must increase the capacity to implement these at the national level in a way that ensures access for medical purposes. We appreciate the work done by the commission.
Kenya: I thank you chair for granting me the floor. Kenya appreciates the work of the international narcotics control board in ensuring adequate availability of drugs and other Psychotropic Substances under international control for medical and scientific purposes while preventing their diversion into illicit channels. This is in line with the various commitments made by the member states and in the cognizance of the needs to ensure a balanced supply of controlled substances to alleviate pain among those deserving patients. As a country we are committed to ensuring there’s adequate availability and access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes. We have put in place a robust legal framework and established critical offices to facilitate the continued supply and access to the controlled substance. Some of the actions taken include the inclusion of medicine that contains controlled substances in Kenya the nations essential medical list; accreditation of professionals to prescribe, dispense and administer controlled many medicines; and strict streamlining of the input and lead processes while remaining vigilant to curtail illicit diversion, We remain concerned over the high cost of controlled substances that has continued to inhibit that people’s access to controlled medicine. This is a major setback to the national and international efforts in ensuring access and availability of controlled substances, particularly for pain management, and palliative care. On this we call the international community for continued engagement in addressing these persistent hurdles. We remain committed to the full implementation and corroboration with like minded organisations in advancing the access to controlled substances. Thank you.
Namibia: We already delivered the statement in item 5c, thank you.
Mexico: Mexico is a signatory to drug control treaties and firmly supports measures to guarantee the availability of substances for medical purposes, particularly legislation to prevent the diversion of these substances from international trade. We promote the use of controlled substances for palliative care and pain control. Mexico wants to highlight the importance of cooperation on an international level to prevent trafficking of opioids but must not prevent access. Based on the declaration and in line with national situations, it is crucial to strike a balance between supply health monitoring and competitiveness. In the framework of drug policy which promotes public health, we want to highlight actions taken. In august 2022 we created the health risk intelligence centre for protection against health risks which analyses controlled substances in order to detect diversion of substances which require scheduling. Wwe have increased health monitoring actions linked to criminal organisations. We have developed a platform called comprehensive substance system which has a goal to monitor in real time the supply chain guaranteeing its licit use. We also supported strengthening communication and preventing the exchange of strategic information which feeds back into this strategy. We reformed the law on precursors so all natural cursors have to register and also criminal sanctions where previously there were only administrative sanctions. Nowadays these people are fined and their businesses closed down and there are 5-10 years of prison.
Ghana: We have integrated human rights as a center for our policy and interventions in prevention and harm reduction. We are currently upscaling our capacities and establishing drop-in centers with the objective of helping drug abusers to lead drug-free and productive lives. We align with the decision of the CND on cannabis but will continue to pursue strick prohibition nationally. We are grateful to the commission for their support, specifically their contribution of laboratory equipment. We take pride in the appointment of Justice Tetty within UNDC. We will continue to deepen our commitment.
Plenary item 5e
UNODC: Since 2014 the commission has placed 71 of the most harmful new substances in the schedule of the conventions and 10 pre-cursors. These increases have placed extra responsibilities and a resolution on the topic is being considered this week. UNODC continues to assist member states by preparing and revising UNODC manuals on recommended lab methods for identification of substances and updating multilingual dictionaries. Training courses for law enforcement have been developed and delivered for UN labs in Vienna and in the field. Over 300 drug testing labs have been supported in 2022 in the international collaborative program and many substances have also been provided to labs. UNODC forensic early warning advisory systems are key to generating and sharing the scientific evidence necessary to identify emerging harmful substances and identify appropriate responses and I invite member states to continue to contribute to these harmful substances.
Russia: We continue to consider the CND as a special forum to talk about drug policy and create effective mechanisms for international drug control. We fully align with our commitments and the treaties. […] opium, coca bush, cannabis plant are illicit cops, it is clearly stated in the UNGASS outcome document. The problem remains unresolved. The cultivation rates are increasing and continue to be mainly coming from Afghanistan, but the situation in Latin America is not getting better either, the current political system is clearly not helping the situation. Anti-drug conventions […] the growth of the cannabis market and the development of the cannabis business have negative impacts on states. The drug situation in Ukraine Is tangible in Russia too. And we continue to cooperate with foreign partners. We are discussing more than 8k people involved in drug crimes, so our measures allow us to contradict the emergence of NPS as we are honing our skills and scheduling them at a rapid rate as well as paying attention to the darknet. We liquidated a huge system in the post-soviet space. We increased the effectiveness of our cooperation with international colleagues. In 2022, in operation with China and middle-eastern countries, we have carried out actions to counter illegal money laundering and are innovating the legislation of mining and dealing with cryptocurrencies. We continue to be ready to provide further technical assistance of drugs control units around the world. We capitalise on the important contributions of the INCB and other agencies. We stand ready to carry out mutually beneficial work.
Algeria: The world drug problem is magnified, we need an integrated and balanced approach with respect to human rights. The three conventions, action plans, political documents and the ministerial declaration constitute a cornerstone. We fully support the CND and stand ready to implement all decisions and agreements in our national capacity. In order to counter the proliferation of drug trafficking, we have upscaled our actions in full accordance with international agreements, we also implement procedural measures and international cooperation as possible. We are working on improving treatment and recovery programs by motivating drug users to enter these programs instead of incarceration. We are deeply engaged in the betterment of our population and look forward to achieving the 2030 SDGs.
DRCNet Foundation: Thank you chair and excellencies. I address interrelated matters that are sources of tensions in the international treaty system. Global prohibition inevitably leads to human rights violations, the supremacy of human rights and the UN Charter may justify departing from prohibition in some cases. In my country, for example, cannabis legalisation is partly the result of public opinion about getting favoured by some abusive police practices that seem intractable. For example, under the administration, police routinely ordered people they suspected of possessing it to empty their pockets. That in turn would bring cannabis into the public view providing a basis so that officers can argue for making an arrest. 90% of these arrests were of people of colour, despite similar use rates of cannabis in New York.. The individuals affected in many cases suffered continued harms such as economic and social marginalisation as a result of their contact with the criminal justice system. And so our view and that of nearly 300 organisations is that when human rights obligations are irreconcilable in conflict. It’s a human rights obligation that should be prioritised. The idea would be for the UN as a whole to modify the treaty framework in order to accommodate new realities. Treaties referred to in advance should work to stop some human rights abuses in the drug ward for example, the abrupt termination of methadone accessing via phone may be appropriate for target sanctions laws, and scrutiny by the International Criminal Court. Thank you.
Harm Reduction International: Thank you Chair for the opportunity to make this intervention on behalf of Harm Reduction International, with support from Anti Death Penalty Asia Network, Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Masyarakat, Indonesia, and Transformative Justice Collective, Singapore. We are heartened by the statements at the general debate reiterating Member States’ commitments to respecting, protecting and promoting all human rights, fundamental freedoms and the inherent dignity of all individuals in the development and implementation of drug policies, and welcome the statement delivered by Mr Seree Nonthasoot this morning with emphasis on the areas where progress to advance human dignity and human development can be made, especially in the context of economic, social and cultural rights. Human rights and drug control are not inherently incompatible systems. On the contrary, they can mutually reinforce each other, towards healthier, safer, and more inclusive societies. The implementation of punitive and ineffective drug policies, however, hampers the realisation of this goal. In the past ten years, at least 4,000 people were executed for drug offences around the world, in contravention to both human rights and drug control standards. In 2022 alone, Harm Reduction International recorded at least 285 executions – this is an over 100% increase from 2021, and a staggering 850% increase from 2020. To these, hundreds must be added that we don’t know about due to the systemic lack of transparency in many retentionist states. It is particularly concerning that those convicted of drug offences often comes from ethnic minorities, immigrants, persons with disabilities, and/or with poor socioeconomic backgrounds. These facts and figures must be a wake-up call for Member States, and to intergovernmental agencies – that death penalty abolition must become a priority, including in the context of the implementation of the drug control conventions. Another key objective of the conventions is the protection and promotion of the right to health, including of persons who use drugs. Essential to fulfilling this right is the provision of quality harm reduction services, in the community as well as in detention settings. We welcome the slight uptake in harm reduction services recorded by our latest Global State of Harm Reduction. Nevertheless, the coverage and scale of harm reduction services is still limited, and great inequalities remain within and between regions and countries in terms of access. In countries where harm reduction programmes are implemented, availability, accessibility and quality remain significant issues. Services are unevenly distributed, and certain populations experience these barriers particularly acutely; most notably, women, LGBTQI+ people, people who are migrants or refugees, young people, and Black, Brown, and Indigenous people, all of whom face a lack of services tailored to their needs. Country’s punitive laws mandates healthcare professionals to report persons who test positive for drugs to the authorities – discouraging them from accessing lifesaving care. Harm reduction interventions are evidence-based, cost-effective, protect against HIV and hepatitis C, and save lives. We therefore urge member states to upscale their efforts in ensuring harm reduction interventions are available, accessible, and of good quality. That also requires redirecting funds away from ineffective interventions – including punitive drug law enforcement and compulsory drug treatment – towards evidence-based, rights-based policies which place communities at the centre.