Thursday March 16th 15:00
Chair: After 2 years of being held special extraordinary sessions online, the meetings of the subsidiary bodies were again held in person. At these meeting participants discussed the current situation with regard to regional and subregional cooperation on the WDP discussing the commitments of 2019 and preparations for 2024. As well as topics: trends in drug trafficking and concealment methods, intelligence led international cooperation; synthetic drug production and trafficking —including safe handling and disposal of synthetics; alternatives to conviction or punishment to drug offences; actionable intelligence and role of regional cooperation platforms in facilitating these exchanges. CND is invited to consider the recommendations at the 14 HONLEA meeting Europe held in Valletta in September of last year. The 13th meeting of HONLEA Latin America and the Caribbean, in Guatemala (October last year). 44th meeting of HONLEA Asia and the Pacific (Bangkok, October 2022). 30th HONLEA Africa meeting (Nairobi, November 2022). 55th subcommission on illicit drug trafficking and related matters in the Middle East (Ashgabat, November 2022). Pursuant to relevant resolutions, a report on action taken by subsidiary bodies have been prepared and it’s in the official documentation. I call on the Secretariat to present this.
Secretariat: Meetings of HONEUR, HONLAC, HONLAF, HONLAP, and the Subcommission. Each subsidiary body reviewed implementation of previous recommendations, including re: 2019 commitments. Topics stated above by the Chair. (Restates all meetings as per above). 2023: HONLEA Europe in June (Tirana, Albania). The Secretariat is coordinating the other ones.
Turkmenistan: Subcommission Middle East met in Ashgabat in November 2022. Participation of countries in the region. And also Russian and French representatives. Trends in trafficking and concealment were discussed and the following recommendations were issued: Cooperation to build trust and cooperate on exchanging information on criminal groups. Implement cutting edge technologies on (…). Controlled deliveries to detect the work of criminal groups. Increasing participation in cooperation and capacity building initiative internationally. Synthetic drugs: including safe handling of drugs and precursors: Options for safe disposal taking into account local contexts including by coordinating between government agencies including private sector and educational institutions. Mitigate risk to first responders of handling synthetic drugs by using guidelines for safe handling of synth opioids. Consider strengthening cooperation on cyber-security and cryptocurrency in private public partnerships. Build the capacity of law enforcement agencies in tracking virtual currencies incl. Through the programme on cybercrime. Strengthening capacity to safely disposal of seized drugs, chemicals and precursors used in illicit manufacturing. Equipment and technical support. Recommendations to be further considered by UNODC.
Guatemala: Delegates from the Americas and observers. Ex. Germany, Italy and Portugal. Much effort was made to host them. Emotional event through award of commemorative pin… Speakers emphasised the importance of multilateral solutions regionally and internationally. Satisfaction re: holding the meeting in person after pandemic impeding it before. Discussions followed on the topics mentioned above: trends in drug trafficking and concealment methods, intelligence led international cooperation; synthetic drug production and trafficking —including safe handling and disposal of synthetics; alternatives to conviction or punishment to drug offences; actionable intelligence and role of regional cooperation platforms in facilitating these exchanges. Follow up was provided on compliance with all commitments in 2019 ministerial statement. Topics of interest including the role of cryptocurrencies and money laundering. Looking forward to supporting the host of the next HONLEA LAC.
Malta: HONLEA Europe in Malta. Expert delegates from 21 states. Opportunity to exchange best practices and views in person, following a gap due to pandemic. Participation of Foreign Affairs Minister of Malta, Minister of Security reforms and equality. Jo Dedayne Aman from the Secretariat. ED Waly also addressed the meeting as well as the CND65 Chair. Focus on intensifying cooperation between states to address the regional problem. Participants emphasised importance of exchange communication to facilitate and simplify exchange of information. Concern was also expressed regarding rising trend of use of ICT and cyberspace for trafficking and related crimes. Besides participating in plenaries, also working groups on a number of topics leading to recommendations as outlined in the official documentation.
Albania: Thank you to UNODC for the helpful recommendations and thank you to Malta for hosting the HONLEA meeting. Albania is honoured to support and host the meeting for 2023. We welcome the delegates to our sunny capital.
Kenya: Kenya supports the action of the subsidiary bodies for the CND. The meeting was held from 8th -11th of November and opening statements were provided by Kenya, by the UNODC regional representative and the keynote address was delivered by Kenya. During insightful meeting we delivered 5 recommendations. Trends in drug trafficking and consumption: government collaboration needed to share resources by making use of existing by means of intelligence operations to target criminal groups. I wish to provide that precursors were a new topic and the collaboration between government sectors is crucial. Governments to assess the safe handling of synthetic opioids by first responders including police, law enforcement and emergency services. Following that, alternatives to conviction and punishment were discussed including the use of the minimal rules / Tokyo Rules and considered alternatives to conviction and punishment as appropriate. Health and social services should be provided for those in contact with criminal justice services as it will free up the criminal justice system. Establish actionable intelligence on drug trafficking with partners. We also share our latest developments in drug labs and our new treatment centres. My appreciation to fellow African countries as we work together to address the world drug problem.
Pakistan: 44th meeting was held in Bangkok. There was a record number of participants. 135 persons attended in-person with a number more online. The ED of UNODC and the regional representative from UNODC provided opening remarks. We had 4 recommendations and we will share a selection of them now. Regarding trends in drug trafficking and concealment, governments should increase collaboration of law enforcement by capacity building and information sharing and exchange. Synthetic drug handling: governments should consider national and regional early warning systems and adopt timely measures to disrupt the criminal networks. Alternatives to punishment and conviction: all relevant government agencies involved should collaborate in order to provide alternatives for those crimes not considered serious. Finally digital intelligence is recommended to combat drug trafficking and financial examination into organisations involved in international trafficking.
United States of America: Greatly value work of subsidiary bodies and HONLEAs. Value subcommission on illicit drug trafficking in near and middle east. Appreciate first in person meetings since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. They offered practical, region specific recommendations in follow up to the 2019 Ministerial Declaration. Act on global policy commitments on all levels. Bodies focused on a variety of important topics – alternatives to incarceration, trafficking, safe handling and disüpsingof synthetic drugs as stand alone. Pose great threat to public health and need foremost minds to combat this threat. Number of key recommendations – need further cooperation between all stakeholders for safe disposal. Utility of early warning systems for detection of new psychoactive substances for opioids. Build capacity and training for those handling synthetic drugs and precursors. Vital for innovative and practical solutions from experts. This is an increasing threat so we need continued prioritisation of law enforcement and healthcare. From the UNGASS Outcome Document we can focus holistically on both Law Enforcement and public health. Cooperation between the two is vital. The US sponsored a side event to discuss best practices in responses through prevention, treatment and recovery. We look forward to contributing to other HONLEAs in the future to continue constructive solutions.
China: As a regional platform HONLEA has made good contributions to regional drug law enforcement in the region. We thank Thailand for sponsoring the meeting. China had participated and exchanged views extensively. We support the platform’s work on cooperation and hope to play a greater role in cooperation between law enforcement agencies
Thailand: COVID is drawing to a close and gradually returning to normalcy. Law enforcement are facing great challenges as traffickers are using every channel to smuggle drugs. Strong effort in combating trafficking. Law enforcement in 2022 has carried out effective strategies – using licence plate recognition systems for vehicle identification. Importance of info sharing has brought us greater success in arresting and disrupting trafficking. In 2022 we have seized 11 million Thai baht. We have put more emphasis on prevention projects with the aim to lower demand for drugs in the long term. We have seen a decreasing number of people who use drugs as a result. Treatment and rehab is executed with the involvement of drug users, public health, administrative bureaucrats, private sector, and law enforcement. It begins with identifying drug users and conducting screening to determine the level of dependence. Promote strong wellbeing in terms of health, education, economy. In the period 2021-2022 was implemented with community participation. Project assessment shows a drastic decrease in number of users. Will be expanded to other areas. Affirm commitment to cooperation to effectively maximize regional effort.
Republic of Korea: October 22 we attended Asia pacific HOLEA to discuss cooperation and drug problems. Intelligence-led cooperation is important to us. COVID contributed to an increase in illicit drug users and the number of dark web and crypto users. Specialized online courses to share information with coast guards and other countries LE. Focus on trafficking and equipping law enforcement with necessary skills to tackle the problem. Analyze confiscation of money before prosecution. Arrested the largest number of drug offenders ever. Committed to sharing info and cooperating with other countries and faithfully implementing the conventions. By working together we can make progress in regards to trafficking.
South Africa:HOLEA hosted by Kenya and considerable progress made at national and regional levels aimed at fighting world drug problem and connected crimes like illicit financial flows and financing other illegal activities. Importance of cooperation in police, legal assistance, extradition, based on the common and shared responsibility. Concern regarding increasing use of the continent for illicit drugs, precursors and psychotropic substances. Fighting scourge of drugs, requires focusing on the route through Africa. We hope to do more, attended some side events on the topic and remain optimistic and pledge support for cooperation and information exchange. Successful cooperation with UNODC and national agencies for cooperation in Southern African states. Appreciate support by continent encountering drug consumption and disposal of drugs and precursors. Consumption is now at unprecedented levels. We remain convinced this requires an integrated response which needs to enhance cooperation at all levels and between public and private sectors. South African police made use of 35 private disposal companies to dispose of these substances. The risk of handling harmful substances are mitigated through awareness, training, and personal protective equipment. We need a health and human rights centered approach to fight the world drug problem through alternatives to imprisonment for minor offences and taking into account 2016 UNGASS Outcome Document. This is in line with prevention and treatment in substance abuse act and childrens act which obliges us to provide intervention and treatment measures.
Namibia: On the law enforcement front, our government maintains strict laws and regulations on trafficking and supply. Through our law enforcement we work with other law enforcement agencies in the region to combat trafficking, we seize drugs before they reach the market. On interagency collaboration, Namibia established collaboration between law enforcement and customs to share intelligence and work together to prevent drug trafficking and smuggling. International cooperation remains a priority for us. Namibia is an active member of the international community, like UNODC, Southern Africa Development Community, providing support and assistance. In 2020, the police force conducted a joint operation with INTERPOL that resulted in seizing items including contraband, falsified and substandard medicines and drugs. In seizures of drugs and assets, we have done so of individuals involved in drug trafficking, which is a deterrent of trafficking in the country. We welcome the outcome and recommendations of the 30th meeting of the HONLEA Africa in Nairobi last year. And seek to increase collaboration to build trust, cooperation and concealment through existing cooperation mechanisms through exchanging drug related intelligence. In other key recommendations, we welcome the government to consider the possibility of strengthening cooperation through private and public partnerships in cybersecurity, crypto currency, to disrupt illegal trade and transhipment of drugs and payment methods related. Overall, Namibia works hard to reduce drug supply in the country through a range of strategies including law enforcement, interagency collaboration, international cooperation and asset seizures.
India: Enhancing our expertise through cooperation is key to counter drug trafficking. We emphasise capacity building of enforcement agencies, during last year we trained officers in Bangladesh, Seychelles, Mauritius, Sri Lanka. Post COVID-19, surge in postal sending of drugs. Controlled delivery operation to tackle this. 42 operations of this sort. We also engage with other countries and organisations like BRICS. Traffickers are using the internet to list drugs online and deliver right to the consumers doorstep. The Narcotics Control bureau of India puts important steps to counter this. The Government launched Drug Free India which targeted 95 million people to learn the dangers of drug abuse. We reaffirm our commitment to fighting drugs everywhere.
Nigeria: We agree with all recommendations from HONLEA. We want to underscore the importance of capacity building in the area of implementing some of these recommendations. And see how they could be translated into action. We call on UNODC to explore how capacity could be provided to Member States on this. We look forward to hosting the HONLEA Africa in Abuja this year.