Home » Committee of the Whole (Thursday Afternoon Session)

Committee of the Whole (Thursday Afternoon Session)

Resolution L.4. 

Chair: We had a successful morning and hopefully we will be able to continue in this way. I would like to open this afternoon with our resolution L4 of Belgium. The title is being negotiated in informals but I will give the floor to Belgium to inform us of developments

Belgium: Thank you and happy to hear that progress has been made with Chile. Last night we uploaded a clean version that took into account all of the paragraphs that were agreed in the CoW and informals. Today we have discussed informals and made tremendous progress thanks to the willingness to compromise of several delegations. If you would like, we would like to discuss the paragraphs we have agreed in informals.

Chair: I agree. If you look at the text on the screen the first PP agreed in informals is PP3. Can I see PP3 please? I am asking if we can also agree to this in the CoW. I don’t see any comments so I am asking if we can agree to this. So, we will agree to PP3 in the CoW It is so decided The next that has been discussed in informals is PP5. You can see it on the screen. I propose that we agree on PP5 in CoW. It is so decided. The next you can see is PP6 which you can see on my screen. I don’t see any comments on PP6 so I propose that we agree on PP6 also in the CoW. And it is so decided. The next agreed in informals is PP13. I don’t see any comments on PP13. I propose that we agree on PP13 in the CoW. It is so decided. The next on my list is PP17. Do I have any comments on PP17? I don’t see any comments so I propose that we agree on PP17 in the CoW. It is so decided. The next on my list is OP1. OP1 was pending China but I think now it is good to be agreed upon. I don’t see any comments so I propose that we agree on OP1 also in the CoW. And it is so decided. The next on my list is OP2. Please look at the text of OP2. It has been agreed in informals. I have Pakistan. 

Pakistan: thank you and good afternoon. We would like to add “calls upon member states, within their means,” thank you. 

Chair: We have an amendment in OP2 that has been agreed in informals. Can we agree on OP2 as it stands now? In the CoW? I propose that we agree to OP2 including the amendment in the CoW. It is so decided. I am now moving to OP4. OP4 has been agreed in informals. I don’t see any comments I propose that we agree on OP4 in the CoW. And it is so decided. The next on my list already agreed in informals is OP8. Carefully crafted if I don’t have any comments I propose that we agree to OP8 also in the CoW. And it is so decided. We’re just cleaning it and the next OP that I have on the list that has already been agreed in informals is OP9. Just a second…we see now OP9. Paragraph OP9 has been agreed in the informals. Since I don’t see any comments I propose that we agree to it also in the CoW. And it is so decided. I have one more para left that was agreed in the informals. It’s OP10. I don’t have any comments so I will propose to agree on OP10 in the CoW. And it is so decided. Belgium, how do you propose that we continue now. Shall we start with the title. 

Belgium: Yes and just some background. The title was taken from the previous resolution and we have slightly modified it to better fit this one. We have chosen to include “improving the rational use” because addresses concerns raised by China about preventing China but I understand that they needed to check so maybe we can hear from them

Chair: I understand. Can we now see if we can agree on the title? China. 

China: We hope that we can make some slight amendments. We had
“education” and then at the end of the title we had “while preventing diversion into illicit channels and for non-medical use”

Belgium: Thank you for this proposal. I think we can agree with “education” because we also addressed this in informals so that’s a good suggestion to improve the text. With respect to the last part of the title we had a discussion on several occasions. We are well aware that we need to prevent diversion while making sure there’s enough controlled medications but that’s why we added “improving their rational use” I understand that adding the last part is not enough so maybe if I can propose another option and change “improving” to “ensuring” because in our understanding rational use of medication is making sure that it is used in the correct way so not too little but not too much so I think we might be able to accommodate for China’s concerns if we replace “improving” by “ensuring” and delete the last part of the phrase. 

Chair: Thank you. I have the UK then China.

United Kingdom: thank you madam chair. We thank the delegation of China for proposing these additions. For us it’s an extremely long title so maybe in the interim we can help to come up with a more concise title. I know there’s been long discussions but maybe we can help to make it a bit shorter. Especially with the addition at the end it just makes it very long. We want to convey what’s in the paragraphs without recreating them. We want to help create a title which doesn’t itself become a paragraph.

Chair: I will call China. 

China: Thank you colleagues from Belgium and the US. We really think that the phrase “rational use” is great, however we have to emphasise preventing diversion so we still hope we can keep what we suggested at the end of the paragraph thank you.

Chair: I propose we return to the title at a later stage

Belgium: One of the other PPs that was open, PP12, this is a very sensitive PP that we have worked on very hard with several delegations, especially South Africa, we hope China can go along with this PP without any changes. 

China: We have been firm in supporting the three drug control conventions. We have emphasized strengthening anti drug work that our country has carried out. We have also emphasized balance, we want here to add the phrase “prevention of diversion into illicit channels and misuse”. After consultation we want to display flexibility. We hope other countries will show the same flexibility and will take our concerns into consideration.

Chair: We can also agree here on PP12? I have no comments? It is so decided.

Belgium: Thank you China for the flexibility and South Africa. We know affordability is an important point. We know that what is on the screen is a compromise and they have taken a big step forward to meet us. We can continue with PP8.

Chair: It has been agreed in informals pending Iran. 

Iran: Could we go through the text before coming back to this paragraph so I can ask the capital for their final decision. 

Chair: We will continue now with OP6.

Belgium: We have had extensive discussion on this paragraph, the only point keeping this still open is how we reflect gender and age in this paragraph. Gender and age was also mentioned in OP4. We had proposed we take it away from OP4 but leave it in OP6 as a compromise package.

Chair: We have a lot of flexibility from the sponsor. Can we look at the language of OP6? Do I have any comments?

Russian Federation: We had lengthy discussions regarding whether gender aspects play a role in the prescription and use of controlled substances for medical and scientific substances when dealing with children. We are of the view that scientific data is insufficient and this is not a main factor. There are other important matters related to social and cultural context and related to different determinants of health that we would like to include in this paragraph. We propose deleting the part of the paragraph starting with “taking into consideration” up until “age perspective”. We are speaking how special attention should be given to the needs and circumstances of children and that would cover all factors of relevance.

Canada: I won’t ask our colleagues to repeat their arguments about this wording. We left discussion with the caveat “where appropriate” which was representative of our discussion in informals.

Chair: We have a shortened proposal, including “where appropriate”.

Austria: We would like to echo what has just been said and we thank Canada for making this proposal bringing us close to compromise.

Australia: In the interest of further resisting, a bit of context first. When we look at the title it talks about including the treatment of children, but it is broader than that. Listening to Russia and their reservations regarding children, irrespective of what we provided, I propose we remove “their” when we say where appropriate so we are not applying this to children, but more broadly to training etc. This makes the specific comment on gender and age not solely about children.

El Salvador: We would like to keep the words gender and age in the paragraph and want to take the opportunity to state we are a cosponsor of this resolution.

Portugal: I would like to join the voices of those asking for this to remain. 

Belgium: We have heard a lot of voices to support retaining, as it is now on the screen we think this can satisfy the needs in this room. We want to refer again that gender and age that were previously in OP4 to keep it in OP6. We want to go back to the room and see more compromise.

Malta: We want to express our support for retaining age and gender. 

Spain: For us the arguments have all been said but we want to support keeping this. 

Poland: We would like to support this reference in this paragraph.

Finland: We would like to support this reference in both paragraphs but we support the compromise from Belgium.

Russian Federation: We are grateful to the delegations who have paid attention to our position to find a way out. We stand ready to consider retaining reference in this paragraph on the basis of the proposal from Australia. We would like to change its placement, so the word “that focus specific attention on the needs and circumstances of children”, we would have that after the mention made on all the factors. Our delegation has another proposal to make in the second part of this paragraph to reword as follows: 

Mexico: Considering this is a circular discussion we were ready to support but at this point would have to ask the Russian Federation, why to take out reference to pain and stigmatizing attitudes which also have a bearing on conditions we have established.

EU: The situation has changed so if you want to give the Russian Federation the floor first that is fine. 

UK: I am a bit surprised, I thought we were talking about the basics of medicine. Now we are bringing in massively new contexts, if we were going to train our medical professionals about cultural contexts we would have to train our medical professionals as sociologists. This is very basic on age and gender, but it has become linked in some way to another issue which we don’t really understand and try to ask the room if we can live with such factors as gender and age. To us, it seems like a middle ground without contexts from the UK and the basics of medical training. This would be better for us and I believe easier in the end. To say “where appropriate” I don’t know where it wouldn’t be appropriate to ask a person their age when prescribing medicine. We would like to reduce this back to basics to avoid these circular discussions.

Chair: I thank you very much. I will give the floor to Russia.

Russian Federation: Thank you chair. We stand ready to meet the sponsors of the resolution halfway considering their hard work to find a middle point. We agree to remove the other factors even though we believe they should also be taken into consideration but we would like to include “where appropriate” because we think age should always be taken into account when it comes to treating people with substances for medical purposes. In the second part of the paragraph we would also like to keep “misconceptions related to pain, prescription” when it comes to non-stigmatizing attitudes. We think this is covered in OP7 if I am not mistaken and therefore we think that it suffices and we can cover it in just one paragraph.

Chair: Thank you Russian Federation for your flexibility. I will now take the next three speakers.

United States: Thank you Chair and we’ll try to be quick. We have some concerns about adding the word “where appropriate” if you consider what we’re talking about here as training and educational programs. “As appropriate” would apply to a situation where a doctor is with a patient but in terms of training it just doesn’t make sense and I have to say, every single time I go to the doctor I am asked how old I am and my gender. In fact in the CND a number of years ago we promoted a standardised approach that many medical facilities now use so that you don’t have to individually talk to your doctor about that you just fill out a form and I have never seen some of the things that were previously proposed. As far as deleting the language on on-stigmatising attitudes that is actually something that we really do need to include in our training because luddites like myself are sometimes not aware of thes sensitivity and may use language that is offensive and makes them look out of touch as a Gen X person so we really need to include that kind of sensitivity in our training so we would ask the forbearance of the delegations that are hesitant to reconsider here. 

Chair: Thank you. I have Australia. 

Australia: Thank you Madam Chair. I think the United States covered my point because as it read before it read as if it was misconceptions about prescriptions and use of controlled substances which didn’t make sense and lost the point but it’s okay now. 

Chair: I have Sudan. 

Sudan: thank you Madam chair. This is not about a doctor treating a child, it is about training so if he is not going to do so in practice, why do you want to train him about something that he is not going to do? I would like to have more clarification about that. Thank you Madam Chair. 

Chair: Thank you very much Sudan. 

Canada: Thank you Chair. I don’t think the United States said that gender doesn’t matter in this sense. With regards to the arguments that we addressed non-stigmatizing attitudes in OP8, that is a different circumstance and it’s essential that we include this in training programs so we want to retain it here. 

Chair: I have Australia

Australia: Thank you Chair. Just to clarify what we asked for earlier is that age in this paragraph is not just intended to be for children but when we do training for healthcare professionals then across the board consideration should be given to age. 

Chair: and this is what you also pointed out it is also in the title that children are included. I have Belgium.

Belgium: I want to add my support to keeping age and gender in this para. Colleagues already explained that there are certain diseases and medical conditions that are seen with young girls that were not believed as it was young girls and these were not seen or believed because medical as historically been seen through the man. These things still play in medicine. Doctors need to be made aware of that so we fully support this age and gender perspective when you will train your health professionals.

Chair: We said we would come back to the title and PP8 to see if we can solve these. Can we return to the title? I would ask Belgium to propose again the title and if we can agree on it. 

Belgium: Our preference would be to stop after “rational use”, the same or similar title was acceptable three years ago. Then we did not refer to diversion and we hope that by strengthening the language China can go along with this proposal in the spirit of compromise. 

China: Thank you for replacing improving with ensuring. On the one hand we need rational use but we also hope we can emphasize the prevention and diversion so we still think we should keep the last part. In our discussion on PP12 we showed flexibility so we hope colleagues can show flexibility here with regards our aspirations. 

Belgium: Since China wanted to add it in PP12 we have a compromise. We should leave it out of the title but add a specific PP as PP12bis and we hope that having one PP specifically related to this concern we can move on. PP12bis is as follows:

Chair: Please look into this PP12bis to address the concerns from China. We will give China a bit more time to consult. I will now go back to PP8 which was pending by Iran.

Iran: For the sake of consensus we are ready to remove this. Thank you Iran

Chair: Can we agree to PP8 in the CoW? It is so decided. We are now looking into PP12 which would replace the addition by China in the title. I still see work on OP6 so I would like to give the floor to Norway.

Norway: Can we ask Belgium if it would be okay without overall availability.

China: Our concern is while controlling access to medicine, the text cannot fully reflect our concern therefore it is unacceptable and I suggest more amendment to the text though we need more time. 

Belgium: Thank you for the question Norway – in this PP we address two things, that we are concerned by non medical use and diversion and we need to address this issue, as well as the part in the middle which ensures the availability of and access to controlled medicines. We know from research there is a link between both of them. The fear of governments increases so they are linked. We feel having this middle part is subject of the resolution and we feel the whole para is addressing the concerns of the delegates in the room who would like to see this issue addressed and more prominent. Maybe we can have a short break to check this and with China how best to address their concern. 

Chair: I propose we take 15 mins working break to work on PP12bis, the title, and OP6.

Resolution L.3.

Chair: I’m back! We need 2-3 minutes more on the title. We have received information that informals on L.3. have led to agreement on the paragraphs left in the morning session. So I’ll call Chile to introduce developments from informals.

Chile: We can start with PP10 ter.

Chair: Any comments? Can we agree in CoW PP10 ter? It’s decided!

Chair: OP1 bis? Requests for the floor? I propose we agree it also here in CoW? It’s so decided!

Chair: OP2 bis? I don’t see any comments. It’s so decided!

Chair: I will now go through the whole resolution from beginning to end to see if there’s any outstanding paragraphs —just to check together. Can this resolution be transmitted to the Plenary for adoption? I don’t see any comments. It is so decided.

Secretariat: Sign your cosponsorship on e-delegate to be reflected on the proposal for adoption. E-delegate. Alternatively, raise your country sign at the time of adoption at the Plenary.

United Kingdom: Need a note verbale?

Chair: No. e-Delegate is enough. We’re going New York now.

Belgium: Congratulations to Chile. I think it’s their first one and a female-led team. I congratulate them.

Resolution L.4.

Chair: Let’s start with PP12 bis alt. 

Belgium: We’ve changed it a bit to leave it out from the title so that the title is focused. That was our intention from the beginning onwards: Bearing in mind the necessity to enhance the availability of and access to controlled substances for those with medical conditions while preventing their diversion into illicit channels and non-medical use. It’s short and addresses the issue of preventing diversion. We can strike out the first proposal. And also the reference in the title.

Russia: There is previously agreed language on medical and scientific purposes so this would be included here.

Chair: Would that be OK with China and Belgium? Are sponsors OK? China?

China: We are OK with this.

Chair: Can we agree on PP12 bis alt in CoW? We are agreeing on PP12 bis alt in CoW. It’s decided. Let’s go back to the title. Can we agree to this title in CoW? It is so decided. OP6?

Belgium: Very briefly because the Russian Federation has a proposal so I’d like to revert to then to dictate it on the screen.

Chair: This is about including references to age and gender.

Russia: Can you display the beginning of the paragraph? We can agree to the reference to age and gender. ‘Such factors as age and gender’ and then ‘as appropriate’. When it comes to the aprt concerning the needs of children, ensuring that it links to the programme, we would reword with ‘with specific attention’ and also in this resolution we mention the rational use of controlled substances. We would delete ‘prescription’. So ‘towards the rational use of…’.

Chair: Agreement? Agreed on CoW? I propose we agree to OP6 in CoW. It is so decided! I think these are all the paragraphs so I propose a top-to-bottom check to see if we have tackled all paragraphs. L4 is agreed in CoW and sent to plenary.

Chair: Remember you can flag cosponsorship on e-Delegate —straight to New York. I will now talk to the sponsor and we’ll take on L5 in 5 minutes.

Resolution L.5. 

Chair: Good afternoon everyone we are back. I would like to continue as before with resolution L.5. 

US: we tabled a resolution to L5 and we worked on this revised version. Given the complexity in the amount of discussion we had in the context we thought it would be good to kickstart discussions based on what our understanding is of the closest text that could reach consensus as we worked on the OPs this morning from 9-1 and made decent progress. Good convo and good compromises. I think we found this morning and so given the progress we’ve made this morning we could continue with the oPs and with OP7. 

Chair: We will put OP7 on the screen.


US: this was already discussed in informals and we took the feedback that we received and tried to come up with OP7 and we would welcome delegations to treat this as new text but please consider the discussion we’ve already had. It might be useful right now to just put brackets starting from the word “whenever” until the end of “measures” as this is still an outstanding issue. We are working to resolve this but I believe we can caveat this version of the text and work productively on the resolution

Chair: I thank you for this introduction. I ask for potential comments if there are any. I have Sudan.

Sudan: Thank you chair. I’d like to thank the US for their work on this. I would like to start by editing the first language to add “their” before domestic. 

Chair: I thank you very much. Any other comments?

Venezuela: thank you chair and thanks to the sponsors of this resolution for their proposal. In negotiations when we saw this we made certain comments because usually member states are supported by international organisations including UN officers and vice versa and members states have repeatedly called for supporting the mandate of civil society so we propose the inverse drafting so where it says “encourages member states” instead to say “with the support of”. It’s about the idea that member states are working on these development tasks with the support of the organisation. 

Chair: Thank you for your comments. I don’t see any other comments. United States. 

United States: thank you chair. We remember this edit from Venezuela in the previous negotiations and it fundamentally changes the paragraph to move member states to supporting the organisations listed in the paragraph to the organisations to support member states and that was not the intention of the sponsor in drafting this paragraph. It was taken into account and it did not enjoy tremendous support in the negotiations which is why we reverted to the original formulation. 

Chair: I give the floor to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia: thank you madam chair. I usually speak in Arabic but I think English is clearer. We would like to remove “whenever permitted” and write “if” because it implies that either the law permits it or not. That’s just my understanding and I’m not a native speaker and look for any recommendations. 

Chair: Thank you. Egypt.

Egypt: Thank you chair. I agree with my colleague from Saudi Arabia and we could put in the beginning “harm reduction measures” If permitted by domestic law. 

Chair: Venezuela you have the floor,

Venezuela: I understand but honestly I don’t understand what the role is that we’re asking from here, states developing or states developing the UN organisation so they develop their work. So before we do away from the proposal that i made because I’m not happy with that yet. THat’s just something that I want to understand. And my delegation still can’t accept harm reduction. Thank you.

Chair: Czechia, Russia, then United States.

Czechia: We would like to oppose the proposal of Venezuela as we think this really changes the paragraph and the first part is rather technical and we have almost reached consensus on it so would much rather keep the original wording. 

Russian Federation: We don’t have major issues with this paragraph except the part now in brackets. We would like to note that in accordance with political commitments, measures listed in the second part of this paragraph relate to demand reduction, this is not just one of the measures included in prevention, treatment, recovery etc. We would propose altering the text somewhat to say “scientific evidence based demand reduction measures, including” then mentioning prevention. I would like to mention that one amendment deleted a word necessary for intervention measures and we should bring back the word “measures” in the second line from the bottom.

Switzerland: We can certainly live with original wording, bearing in mind that in this proposal we should be including the reference to risk reduction. We are not in favour of replacing harm reduction with demand reduction as proposed by certain delegations. 

Netherlands: We can come back to the comment from Venezuela on who supports who, I don’t understand why that is not clear or would be difficult. We see here the UNODC, WHO etc make efforts in this respect because we mandated them to do so, and then civil society out of their own initiative make this effort. We as member states should encourage these efforts. This seems like a logical way to express this concept. We would be flexible for clarity of language but the original proposal has our support as do the other amendments related to harm reduction and demand reduction. 

Sudan: Share sentiment from Venezuela but find it strange for member states to support organisations. We have an example from UNGASS that we have seen urging member states and we can use the same language here if the sponsors wish to do so. 

EU: We too would have been happy with the original paragraph but the suggestion made by Saudi Arabia probably makes it even clearer so we can go along with that. We are not against listing demand reduction but it is different to harm reduction so can’t replace it. We don’t oppose including demand reduction but need to keep harm reduction. 

Spain: Bearing in mind the first part of the paragraph we would be opposed to deleting demand reduction measures as the first part is enough for us all to be represented, without harm reduction we can’t support this. 

USA: We have just seen what happens when we mess with these brackets a little bit, the design of the brackets was carefully placed to not have the perception that the needle is being moved on this discussion. This needle may now have been moved with the current proposal. We would like to revert the brackets to the original. We must first resolve the conversation around harm reduction. Responding to Venezuela, when the sponsor drafted this it was intended to be MS supporting the UNODC, this is a US perspective as we support UNODC. In informals Venezuela pointed out there is a different perspective here encouraging MS to offer support so the orgs can in turn offer support to MS.

Egypt: If we started the OP with “invites” would this be suitable for other colleagues to consider. Our understanding is that these measures of demand reduction include all of the following measures which are stated, prevention etc. I think our point of view is that demand reduction encapsulates all of the other issues. About the issue of harm reduction, we can leave this until the end and support the sponsors of this resolution but we want it to be kept like this to have the options on the table. 

China: With respect to content in brackets, I want to make a proposal to achieve a quicker consensus. If we change harm reduction measures into measures associated with reducing harm or aimed at the reduction of harm, this would be acceptable. 

Venezuela: I would like to thank the US delegate and I think I understand now. States can support organisations so organisations can support us. I would ask for help from native English speakers to translate that as it was not clear to me and maybe place it in brackets so we can think about it. For civil society will they not be helping states, will they be helping organisations. It is not clear to me who is helping who and I would like to ask for clarity on what role we are expecting civil society to play here. We don’t have anything against this joint work even looking towards policy of harm reduction and public health measures. It is not an issue with harm reduction, more an issue with drafting, if we have help with wording we can maybe support. 

EU: This is something we have already discussed in informals and we have this term of harm reduction in literature and by professionals with a certain meaning and if we change the reference to it that meaning is lost. A crass example of aimed at reducing harm, if we place drug users in jail this could hypothetically reduce harm to society but is clearly not what we have intended.

United Kingdom: We appreciate the conversation about harm reduction but we have this formulation in brackets and we think it’s better to try not to touch it now. I think in terms of the rest of the paragraph it might make sense to move this back to informals and work on OP8.

Norway: We had a long discussion in the CoW yesterday on this issue of finding different words to describe this phenomenon and we expressed a strong preference for keeping it. We have moved much closer to consensus and I concur with the other speakers that it is to be read a couple of times to understand and perhaps we would benefit from looking at this again in informal. 

Chair: Do you mind if I move this back to informals or do a couple of speakers? Ok a couple of speakers.

Switzerland: I didn’t want to take the floor again on this paragraph as I’ve already expressed my country’s position but I’d like to go back to the proposed measures aimed at reducing harm. I’d simply like to explain that I want this because it is a term of art, meaning we have lots of flexibility for countries depending on their national legislation on implementing harm reduction measures. There are lots of countries who are implementing those measures who have different measures about what they should be but by keeping this term we leave that flexibility in there for national situations and leave the option open for countries to implement those harm reduction measures as they understand them.

Sudan: I have a proposal for consideration that could bring us closer to consensus. There’s not a common understanding of the relevance of harm reduction according to different perspectives so whenever we have a long list we don’t necessarily agree on it. So I would like to propose the following: after “drug use” we add “to ensure all of the factors relevant to demand reduction are taken into account when developing and implementing demand reduction measures” so when speaking about all relevant factors it is not necessary to have the entire list. So we give flexibility to all of the different countries in their national context.

Austria: I won’t repeat what has been said by the EU or Switzerland but for Austria it is important to have the term “harm reduction measures”. We have had harm reduction measures in Austria for decades now including needle exchange programs and opioid agonist programs so it would be helpful to have this.

Colombia: Just one quick comment. I think it’s great that we are trying to move forward with this paragraph but we have turned this paragraph around because it was about demand reduction and now we have turned into a whole thing of demand reduction. We can ask why we have harm reduction there. My delegation would like to go back. We think the inclusion of harm reduction is very important. This is not the intent of this paragraph thank you. 

Spain: Yes and sorry for taking the floor again but as the Colombian ambassador said demand reduction isn’t harm reduction. Harm reduction isn’t demand reduction so the only thing we’re achieving here is lengthening their decision making progress so we’re getting a text that is less and less easy to understanding so I’d like us to remove or cross out the last proposal about demand reduction because demand reduction is within square brackets so it should be on the same level 

United States: Difficulty trying to incorporate every persüective into one single paragraph with all caveats and concerns taken into account. This paragraph is difficult to read and it is time for us to take this back over to informals and time for us to move on to OP8.

Chair: I would propose that we go to OP8.

United States: This is a request to the UNODC and the international narcotics control board and the WHO to address some of the challenges that we address in this paragraph or in this resolution related to overdoses and from the US perspective particularly synthetic drug overdoses as they constitute many of the overdose deaths as well as non-fatal overdoses in the world today.

United Kingdom: I think we have lost  a little bit that was important in the previous version. We had a good explanation of what this was for the UNODC and we’ve lost the sense of inclusion of civil society, affected communities, and other NGOs that have been part of this workshop in the past. The way the paragraph was originally drafted suggested that civil society would convene with us which I guess wasn’t accurate but now we have them not taking part at all. We’d like to include reference to these other groups somewhere in the text. The suggestion I can offer is after intergovernmental “and inclusive” but happy to work on something better. 

Sudan: My comment is not in this paragraph but I wanted to justify my proposal in the last paragraph. When I said “all relevant factors,” I didn’t mean to insult any other member states. I was just trying to indicate that we want to offer flexibility to all member states for demand reduction. Whenever we don’t agree on a long list we can go for something shorter which was my intention.

Egypt: We would like to have one inclusion to be consistent with informals. Including “drug” overdoses. Regarding the inclusion by the UK colleague I would still have to examine it but I remember that last time I attended one of these extra group meetings on synthetic drugs 1-2 months ago and there weren’t any civil society groups or there weren’t affected populations so I saw who attended. It was international organisations and the INCB and the WHO and also it was organised by the UNODC synthetic drugs department so this is my experience of this kind of intergovernmental meeting so maybe there’s different language we can use which is intergovernmental. I think if the UNODC could help me there is language we could use like “open ended governmental meeting” I don’t have the language right now in my mind but this could help us move forward with this paragraph.

Venezuela: Maybe we don’t need to say it explicitly but my delegation would like to make it explicit. This governmental expert meeting is very important and it’s very important that it’s in all six UN languages. It wasn’t originally in the paragraph but I would appreciate it if it could be put back in there.

Russian Federation: The updated paragraph in this resolution is different than what we were discussing in the informals so we have a few comments. We want to ensure that all states will be invited to this meeting. We support Egypt’s proposal to add the words open ended. We support Venezuela’s proposal, for us multilingualism is a priority and we advocate the interpretation of all meetings into all languages, including Russian. In this instance we are talking about an expert meeting so to ensure all experts understand each other it is necessary that interpretation is provided into all official languages. I have a question regarding the financial implication of this meeting for states and would like to approach the sponsors to ask why this was included. Does this mean we are calling on donors to disperse funds or should states disperse funds. My last question relates to the mandate of this meeting and I have raised this question regarding informals and as the language has been altered put this forward again. Is there a plan to put forward some sort of document at the conclusion of this meeting. Will this be guidance, a draft resolution for the CND?

Pakistan: We have slight reservations on inclusion from the UK regarding “and inclusive” because intergovernmental expert groups are very familiar and this term has already been coined. The intention behind using “and inclusive” is to include civil society but, by definition, this is between governments (intergovernmental). I would propose after drug overdoses related, delete the next six words.

Netherlands: We support the proposal from the UK.  We think this inclusion has become unclear now and we are not sure it is clear enough what “inclusive” means here and maybe we can formulate this difficulty, so to “convene an open ended intergovernmental expert group meeting with participation of relevant non governmental entities,” to try to formulate something acceptable. I would like to underline that having evidence based responses is more effective and important to include this element in this paragraph and propose to insert “evidence based” before the words “core elements”.

Iran: We are of the view that this issue of synthetic drugs is of great importance for us. Just a couple of months ago an open ended working group was convened in Board Room D and this open ended expert working group has had participation from different representatives of the member states. Having this working group is satisfactory and creating additional working groups is unnecessary. Being proposed here for extra budgetary sources these can be considered by the major donors to allocate new resources for the framework we have already been given.

Belgium: We can go along with the wording on the screen but we would like to add that for the EU we have a lot of regional expertise and would like to include this expertise in the meeting. For example, with participation of regional organisations or relevant non governmental entities.

USA: We have a question for the Secretariat as there seems to be confusion about the terminology. We have heard that intergovernmental organisation is interpreted by some to mean that this inter-governmental meeting only has governments participating but we have also heard our congress referred to as inter inter-governmental meeting but this has the explicit purpose to include civil society, academia etc. Our intent is wide participation of governments, non governments such as civil society, subject to budgetary resources but ideally to be held once and ideally with the availability of the 6 languages. We just need guidance just on how to phrase this request. We also have seen requests to include extra budgetary resources in this paragraph.

Chair: I have consulted the sponsors of both resolutions and I can confirm we will stop the consideration of L5 today. We will continue considerations of L2 tomorrow morning at 10:00

Chile: We want to announce that we are sponsoring this resolution. 

Chair: With this I would like to inform you that we meet tomorrow morning at 10am to consider L2, then later on L5.

USA: The last time we had an informal meeting in C3 there were no placards there, can we put a request to conference services to bring placards to C3. 

Chair: Secretariat will put the request. The meeting is adjourned.

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