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Committee of the Whole (Wednesday morning)

L2. Commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Alternative Development: effective implementation and future perspectives (Germany, Peru and Thailand) 

Chair: Good morning, I will start with L2 (Thailand), and will then continue with L4 (Belgium)

Thailand: Yesterday we made slow progress. We managed to clean up the text a bit and deleted some of the brackets, only keeping a couple. We managed to add a couple of paragraphs with only one delegation reserving for consultation with their capital. I want to start with the only para we agreed in informals: OP10. We managed to address the concerns of the delegations in the room and I hope it can be agreed in the CoW.

Chair: I like to start with paras agreed in informals and see if we can agree now. If there are no comments I hope we can agree also in informals. I don’t see any comments, so I propose that we agree on OP10 in the CoW. It is so decided.

Thailand: We now look at OP9bis, a proposal from Colombia. Yesterday we also discussed this, drawing on language from the Guiding Principles. The Russian delegate put a reservation on this to consult with capital. We hope she can come back with good news on this.

Russia: We consulted with capital and there is one issue as we are exclusively focusing on farmers in this para. After ‘so that’, we propose adding ‘their beneficiaries including, …’

Chair: Sponsors agree with the suggestions.

Switzerland: As today is Iranian new year, we wish you a happy new year. For us, the proposal as made by Russia is fine, thank you.

China: We think the proposal by Russia includes more beneficiaries and therefore completes the contents of the draft resolution so we agree.

Chair: We now agree on OP9bis.

Thailand: We now look at OP7bis, a proposal by Brazil. After much debate, we decided to go back to agreed language without any additions.

Iran: For the time being we still need to consult with capital on this, so please retain our reservation on this para.

Thailand: We now look at PP2, which we had agreed to in informals, then reopened in the CoW on Monday. After consultations in the room, Colombia and Brazil tabled another para, PP2bis. I hope delegates can show flexibility on PP2 and go back to agreed language from the 1988 convention. This would enable us to go to PP2bis that would include new language.

Colombia: Bearing in mind the dynamics of the negotiations, yes, we have presented PP2bis so that we can move our request from PP2. But we need to make sure that by agreeing to PP2, we will also look at PP2bis. So we would prefer that the agreement on both paras be done with the consent of Brazil.

Mexico: I also want to move forward with PP2 and PP2bis together if possible.

Chair: Brazil is not in the room, so let’s agree to PP2 ad ref. It is so decided.

Thailand: The Colombian delegate has shown flexibility, so I would like the CoW to turn to PP2bis. We have a number of supporters to this paragraph with only USA and Iran having a reservation.

Chair: We have some reservations as it is a new paragraph, including on the mention of ‘urban areas’. Can we remove any of these reservations?

USA: The USA can remove its reservation on PP2bis.

Russia: At present we would like to retain our reservation and opposition, thank you.

Thailand: I now invite the room to have a look at PP12. In informals, Iran told us he had a proposal, but then was not in the room in the CoW yesterday. So perhaps he can help us find a consensus on this paragraph today.

Iran: Here, we refer to the World Drug Report, and Booklet 5 does not refer to crime. So we prefer to retain our reservation. We need to be loyal to the wording of the booklet. We can work in informal informals and find a way out.

Egypt: I checked also the Booklet as Iran indicated and there isn’t a reference to crimes there. So if we are going to mention something on the World Drug Report, we should not change anything. So our proposal is to delete ‘crime’ here and that way we can agree on the current formulation.

Chair: Unfortunately I also need to check this with Brazil which is not in the room.

Russia: We also support the language of the World Drug Report and therefore advocate deleting this clause which is not in the text of the Report.

Australia: Because we have the indirect impact on the environment in the 4th line, so after ‘manufacture’ we can just go straight into ‘and drug policy responses’ to create a bit of separation.

Russia: In the report, we don’t find the wording ‘at the regional level’, but the wording ‘regional variations due to the geographical distribution of plants’.

Chair: This proposal is from the World Drug Report. Can we agree to the text?

Germany: The change proposed by Australia is fine for us. On the latest proposal, it’s taking it out of the context of the PP. This would narrow the para very much down if we only focused on the plants.

Colombia: Similar to Germany, we believe that the Russian proposal limits the scope and recognition of the results of the 2022 report in terms of environmental degradation. We think that we want to present the general context of the report and therefore would not be in agreement with the proposal, with a wording that is insufficient.

Thailand: Why don’t we say ‘as well as regional variations’ and leave it at that?

Russia: This language accommodates us and we thank the sponsors for making the proposal.

Chair: Can we agree on PP12 at the CoW now?

Australia: It’s not fatal, but wondering if we could put ‘including regional variations’.

Chair: I see some nodding, including from the sponsors. We now agree with PP12 in the CoW, it is so decided.

Thailand: Thank you everyone for working on the previous para and getting it agreed. We now move to OP3. There are two proposals here and I am hoping we can move forward on them. AD is about how farmers grow illicit crops, and then we expanded to manufacture. The main definition for us in terms of AD is a focus on cultivation. But consumption would take us to another territory so I am not sure about reflecting ‘the causes of consumption’. The mention of viable economic alternatives would also distract the room from AD. We ask Bolivia if they could help us find a solution to this.

Chair: Please for those who have contacts with Bolivia, I ask that you ask them to come to the CoW. We have informed delegations that L2 would come to the CoW this morning.

Thailand: In that case, while we are waiting for Bolivia, I ask the room to look at OP1. In the previous CoW we asked the room to add a reference to enhancing technical support. We almost achieved consensus, with Iran stating they would come back to us but never agreed to the proposal. We therefore ask for a compromise by mentioning ‘enhancing technical and financial support’.

Iran: In our view, the elements for supporting countries, including technology transfer and equipment is an important part of that. Here, there is an escape clause with ‘when appropriate’. So we want to keep the language we proposed.

Peru: We said in the informals yesterday that when it comes to technology transfer, we’ve understood it’s important for Iran. It’s important for us too. But we need to look at the context in which technological transfer occurs. The heart of our efforts is about technical support. When it comes to technology transfer, it doesn’t cover all elements of assistance, far from it. When it comes to ‘where appropriate’, it might help us here. There are countries focused on AD. Technology transfer is not the crux of our efforts. But financial and technical support are critical and should be retained here. We ask Iran to show flexibility on this para, while we understand its position. We want our own position to be understood here too.

Chair: Can I ask Iran to show some flexibility here?

Iran: We can be flexible, but we deem necessary, if we reach agreement in OP3bis, because it’s important for us. We should look at both paras as a package.

Thailand: I wonder whether Bolivia is back with us. If not, we can move on to PP4bis. This PP was proposed by Brazil. It is a reference to the UNGASS and there is a reservation from the USA and Iran. Russia proposed using PP6 from last year’s resolution as a compromise.

USA: With respect to this paragraph, we can remove our reservation, but we also had a comment on the other para on financial support. We have issues about this because AD does not include providing stipends to people to stop growing illegal crops. So before that phrase, we would need to include ‘as appropriate’, and we could accept the language as is without mention of ‘technology transfer’ which lies outside of the scope of this resolution.

Iran: We can agree on this para if we agree on OP3bis.

Chair: Are these two paras directly related?

Iran: We want these to be agreed as a package.

Chair: I really don’t see the necessary correlation between these two paras.

Australia: There is no package here, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, let’s take each para in their own merit. 

Peru: I wanted to support what Australia said. Our preference is to work on the resolution para by para, to avoid doing anything in packages. 

Russia: If we are to quote UNGASS and refer to it, the citation should be exact. UNGASS does not include the wording ‘most pressing’ and para 7, ‘when it comes to development programmes as part of sustainable crop control strategies’ is missing here too. If I understand correctly, this is the part of the UNGASS that is being cited, so we should cite it exactly without any additions. 

Brazil: We’ll need a minute to look at this.

Mexico: We are looking at UNGASS itself, not specific commitments. But para 8 mentions both rural and urban areas, without any mention of ‘as part of sustainable crop control strategies’. So we do not agree with Russia’s proposal.

Brazil: It’s important to retain the mention of both rural and urban areas. We would rather not have the mention of ‘as part of sustainable crop control strategies’ since it does not relate to urban areas. 

Algeria: On this para my delegation would like to keep the last part, without ‘in urban and rural areas’ and with the addition of Russia ‘which are part of sustainable drug control strategies’.

Brazil: The mention of ‘urban and rural areas’ is central to our approach to development so we insist on having it, and on deleting the Russian proposal for the explanation we gave before.

Chair: We now have elements from different parts of the UNGASS outcome document. Thailand – how do you see us moving on for this para? 

Thailand: If we cannot agree on this yet, we will bring this back to informals. Maybe Mexico can provide a solution.

Mexico: If we go to informals, we should bear in mind the fact that ‘as part of sustainable drug control strategies’ is already included elsewhere. We also agree with Brazil’s explanation. We discuss how rural farmers will engage in drug activities, how more people now live more in urban areas than in rural areas. We don’t understand your position. This is something discussed in the UNGASS and elsewhere.

USA: We wonder if we might be able to get out of this dilemma by taking the phrase ‘sustainable crop control strategies’ and moving it after ‘balanced drug control policies and programmes’. 

Russia: For now, we want to leave the citation as it is. We do not want to move this clause. 

Iran: We also agree with Russia because based on the suggestion by the USA those strategies, if you bring them above, are not part of policies and programmes. 

Chair: I propose we leave this and move to OP3.

Bolivia: We were hoping to add a new para here. In the meantime, it is fine for us if you remove our proposed amendment. I know we’ve had this conversation in other paras: i have instructions from capital that it would be important for us to put a footnote on ‘integral’ at the beginning of the resolution that includes mention of ‘alternative development, as part of sustainable development’. I leave it to you on where that could be best added. 

Peru: We would like to thank Bolivia for their flexibility and can support the proposal of a footnote. I want to suggest the inclusion of ‘sustainable’ after ‘comprehensive’ on the 5th line of the paragraph. Since we already have ‘comprehensive’ we could then remove ‘and integral’ down the line.

USA: It’s a question: we don’t recall we have used a footnote before to identify a single country. Are there other countries using similar technology. So we could use ‘some countries’ in the footnote. Otherwise it could be a concerning precedent on defining certain terms in resolutions. 

Chair: This is a question for the room about the use of the footnote. We may need a little more time for this. 

Thailand: As the USA, I wonder if we have had experiences in the past in adding a footnote based on the country of one country. Perhaps having an interpretative statement by a country that interprets the language it might be better? We thank Bolivia for showing flexibility in removing its proposal at the beginning of the paragraph. I also wondered if there are any objections to Iran’s addition, so that we can move on.

Chair: Could Bolivia make an interpretive statement instead of a footnote? The second is about the additions of Iran on national needs and priorities.

Peru: This was just a comment about ‘integral’. In peru we have this concept of integrated, sustainable and inclusive development. But these are words we use nationally and it doesn’t need to be in a CND resolution. So we understand Bolivia’s position but remain in your hands.

Bolivia: At national level we have the idea of sustainable, integral development. Within the framework of our work at the UN and UNODC, in the relationship between UNODC and our work in Bolivia, we use this term. Considering a high percentage of the budget goes to Bolivia, we have instructions to request that this term be included for us. We understand that it is not all the same situation for all, but it is for Bolivia, and for this resolution to be relevant, we would need the term to be included. We would like a reference made in a footnote here. 

Iran: Regarding ‘national needs and priorities’, we think that it is important that at national level we should note the national needs and priorities of countries that want to implement AD programmes. It is important to keep it here. 

Australia: There is a religious note to this addition and therefore we would not want to have this reflected in this resolution.

Germany: I remove our reservation on Iran’s wording.

Russia: I want to add the words ‘relevant’ instead of ‘the’ in front of ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ as not all SDGs are relevant to AD.

Colombia: For us this proposal is not acceptable. The integrality of the 2030 Agenda is important and indivisible here. We can’t access that we would only mention only some SDGs.

Chair: Could I ask flexibility from Russia maybe?  

Russia: We would be willing to remove ‘Sustainable Development Goals’, but in that case, we also ask the removal of ‘relevant’ before ‘national drug policy developments’. 

Chair: We now have an agreement on OP3 with the caveat of the footnote or interpretive statement from Bolivia. Can we agree on this OP3 ad ref pending the decision on footnote/interpretative statement from Bolivia? 

Indonesia: I want a clarification: is it a footnote on ‘integral’? On this, we share the feeling from the USA on this and how it could open the door to many footnotes based on individual states’ positions. AD itself has been well known and language is used at the UN, including the CND. Introducing new language in footnotes based on one or two countries’ interpretation is not a good precedent. 

Chair: OP3 is agreed, this is so decided ad ref.

Thailand: We can now consider OP7. The proposal is to go back to agreed language from last year in OP7alt. We only have one reservation from Denmark and we had a lot of support in the room for the proposal. We understand that many countries do not have indigenous people and want to have other minorities they would like to have considered. We therefore propose agreed language, but a small amendment with including’.

Denmark: We thank the cosponsors for their great efforts to find agreement. We set out to make distinctions between indigenous communities and local communities. We introduced three proposals, with some efforts reflected in the original OP7. Another thing I want to include is the caveat at the end of OP7 alt which we’re not comfortable with. We believe the rights of indigenous peoples should not have a qualifier. We recognise that some other delegations have opposing views so I want to propose to the room, as a compromise proposal introduced in relation to other language, that at the end of OP7alt, we can say ‘in accordance with domestic and international law’. We also had similar discussions on OP8, where we would have a similar proposal. 

Finland: This is an issue of importance to Finland. We have multitudes of references of indigenous people in this resolution. Here we talk about the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities, and they are not the same under international law. So we support the compromise of Denmark. 

Germany: We were one of those seeking to go back to agreed language, and agree with Denmark.

Egypt: We want to retain the language without the amendment as it changes everything. For us, the caveat we want to put here is ‘in accordance with domestic law’, it was our maximum flexibility. We would not accept any further insertion. 

Belgium: We want to add our voice to Denmark, Finland and Germany. This addition would be welcome.

Norway: We also support this.

Iran: We support Egypt because we are talking about international law here on indigenous peoples’ rights. This has a different context for various member states. We do not support adding ‘international law’ references here.

Colombia: In line with previous interventions, we want to support the inclusion of the reference to international law on the basis of the UN Universal Declaration in this field. 

Sudan: We don’t need international law again. We are here in an international forum and whatever we agree to is internationally agreed. We don’t need mention of both domestic and international law. It’s upon member states to implement commitments in their national frameworks. That’s why we have domestic laws. We are not imposing anything in domestic legislation.

Australia: We support Denmark in adding intl law. UN Dec on rights of indigenous people includes right to productive capacity of land and resources and UN shall support this conservation and protection.

USA: Acceptance of this would be dependent on inclusion of intl law. Govt should be cautious about intl legal obligations. We would also accept “in accordance with relevant and applicable intl law”.

Egypt: Instead of applicable provision of intl law we can say in accordance with UN declaration for indigenous people. Then we remove “and intl law” or we stick with domestic law, or removing land rights until the end.

Peru: We can support proposal from Denmark regarding intl law. We oculd also be flexible regarding proposal fromEgypt to include decl on rights of indigenous people

Mexico: Intl law is relevant and it is not only declaration on rights so this should reflect that it is both domestic and intl law.

Brazil: We appreciate suggestion from US being reflected on screen. We are already discussing 7alt as it was fall back, if this doesn’t work maybe we should return to 7 and start again. In informals I request working on clean 7alt and returning 7. We support US otherwise return to PP7.

Indonesia: We would like to retain original. Maybe we can agree with some suggestions, such as from Egypt, but before that we could add “and take into account UN declaration on rights of indigenous peoples”.

Iran: We support the suggestion from the United States.

France: We would also support proposal from the US. This is the best way forward. 

Australia: To bring everything together we oculd have after intl law “, including UN declaration…”

Chair: I conclude discussion today and it goes back to the informals. Thank you for your work and flexibility. We move now to L4.

L4. Improving access to and availability of controlled substances for medical purposes, including for the treatment of children in pain, through the promotion of awareness-raising, training and data collection (Belgium on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the European Union, and Côte d’Ivoire)

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