- Civil society engagement
13. Strong support was expressed for the work of the Office in developing and implementing its various programmes in follow-up to the relevant Sustainable Development Goals, and for its efforts to expand targeted regional, country and global programmes addressing drug demand and supply. The Office should continue to seek synergies among its global, regional and national programmes and with partners to promote complementarity in efforts and strengthen the balanced, integrated and mutually reinforcing approach to the world drug problem.
18. Several speakers made reference to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, underlining its complementarity with the outcomes of the special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem held in 2016. They further welcomed the Office’s efforts to align its projects and programmes with the Sustainable Development Goals in an effort to support Member States in achieving those Goals at the global, regional and national levels, especially taking into consideration that the Sustainable Development Goals were all interlinked and mutually reinforcing. Appreciation was expressed for the work done by UNODC to report on global-level indicators and for its research publications.
36. Several speakers reported on initiatives to improve both the coverage and the quality of drug use prevention and treatment, often with reference to standards published by UNODC and WHO on those issues, as well as to human rights and scientific evidence.
37. (…) Other speakers referred to overdose prevention measures and efforts taken at the national level to provide treatment as an alternative to imprisonment for people with drug use disorders. (…) The importance of both pharmacological and psychosocial treatment services and of providing gender-sensitive services was underscored.
38. A number of speakers referred to the implementation of harm reduction interventions as part of comprehensive, evidence-based public health measures in their countries to effectively reduce the transmission of HIV and other blood -borne infections among people who used drugs. At the same time, it was noted that, while harm reduction measures were important and effective under certain conditions, such measures should be promoted with due consideration for the social and cultural situation in each country. The importance of mainstreaming gender responsiveness was stressed, including in prisons, as was close coordination and collaboration between criminal justice, health, social and other sectors and with civil society for the delivery of HIV prevention, treatment and care among people who used drugs.
46. Several speakers expressed their countries’ commitment to implementing the relevant recommendations of the outcome document, highlighted the robust nature of the section on alternative development therein and reiterated the outcome document’s importance as a guide for collective action to address the world drug problem. The significant contribution of alternative development programmes, including, as appropriate, preventive alternative development programmes, towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals was noted.
47. Several speakers emphasized the importance of the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Alternative Development and noted successes resulting from regional and interregional cooperation in the field of alternative development. Many speakers stressed the importance of community-based solutions to achieving a sustainable reduction in illicit crop cultivation.
56. At its 10th meeting, on 17 March 2017, the Commission adopted a revised draft resolution (E/CN.7/2017/L.12/Rev.1), as orally amended, sponsored by Andorra, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Israel, Liechtenstein, Malta (on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the European Union), Norway, Switzerland, Togo, the United Republic of Tanzania, the United States and Uruguay. (For the text, see chap. I, sect. C, resolution 60/8.) Prior to the adoption of the revised draft resolution, a representative of the Secretariat read out a statement on the financial implications of its adoption. (For the text, see E/CN.7/2017/CRP.6, available on the UNODC website.) Prior to the adoption of the revised draft resolution, the representative of the United States made a statement. Upon the adoption of the revised draft resolution, the representative of Norway noted that its adoption demonstrated the concern of many regarding the need to increase funding for HIV-related work among people who use drugs and in prison settings. She expressed hope that that resolution would lead to increased funding for this important area of work.
67. (…) Several speakers also commended the Commission for its inclusive approach and welcomed the active participation not only of UNODC, but also of other relevant United Nations entities including WHO, INCB, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as of international and regional organizations and civil society, including through video messages, in the Commission on Narcotic Drugs follow-up to the special session.(…)
68. Several speakers highlighted the importance of addressing and countering the world drug problem in full conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (…) Several speakers further highlighted that the fundamental goal of the three international drug control conventions was to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all humanity.
70. (…) Some speakers noted that there was no one-size-fits-all solution, and that the international drug control conventions allowed for sufficient flexibility to accommodate different national and regional approaches, taking into consideration national priorities and needs. Several speakers reaffirmed their strong opposition to the use of the death penalty in all circumstances, including for drug-related offences, and called for a moratorium.(…)
72. (…) Many speakers further underlined that measures aimed at minimizing the adverse consequences of drug abuse needed to be part of a structured, comprehensive package of measures that included prevention, early intervention, treatment, social reintegration, rehabilitation and recovery measures, including to prevent the transmission of HIV, viral hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases associated with drug use. Some speakers reiterated the importance of ending, by 2030, the epidemics of AIDS and tuberculosis, as well as of combating viral hepatitis and other communicable diseases, inter alia, among people who use drugs, including among people who inject drugs, and highlighted the importance of closely collaborating with UNAIDS in that regard.
73. The inclusion of a dedicated chapter on the availability of and access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes, while preventing their diversion, trafficking and abuse, was welcomed by many speakers. Several speakers underlined their commitment to promoting domestic legislation, regulatory and administrative mechanisms, and procedures to support the availability of and access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes, including for the relief of pain and suffering. Several speakers emphasized the importance of increased international cooperation and of providing capacity-building, technical assistance and targeted training for health professionals and competent national authorities.
75. Several speakers emphasized the importance of implementing the operational recommendations on proportionate and effective policies on and responses to drug-related offences, including alternatives to incarceration, focusing on treatment, education, aftercare, rehabilitation and social reintegration, for drug-related offences in appropriate cases of a minor nature.
76. Some speakers highlighted the importance of mainstreaming a gender perspective in drug policies and programmes, including through enhancing the knowledge of policymakers and the capacity of national authorities.
78. Some speakers underlined the importance of comprehensive monitoring tools and mechanisms, as well as drugs indicators, to measure the effectiveness of policies with a view to the implementation of the operational recommendations as well as in the broader framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this regard, the importance of capacity-building relating to data collection to Member States was highlighted.
80. Many speakers emphasized the importance of having the Commission and UNODC, in their respective leading roles, closely cooperate and collaborate with all relevant United Nations entities, other international organizations and civil society. Several speakers highlighted the signing of the memorandum of understanding between UNODC and WHO as a welcome initiative in support of, among other things, the implementation of the operational recommendations set out in the outcome document of the special session and the broader framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Some speakers stressed the importance of linking the cooperative efforts of the Commission with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They referred to the contribution made by the Commission to the global follow-up and to its support to the thematic review of the progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
82. Many speakers expressed support for the inclusion of alternative development strategies in national drug control policies, focusing on a broader development perspective. They also expressed support for the promotion of a holistic approach to alternative development to alleviate poverty and strengthen the rule of law through a comprehensive and balanced package of interventions aimed at strengthening sustainable crop control strategies. Some speakers underscored the importance of taking into account the United Nations Guiding Principles on Alternative Development when designing sustainable crop control strategies. They highlighted the importance of advancing sustainable alternative development initiatives in rural and urban areas and of promoting viable economic alternatives for communities affected by illicit drug-related activities.
92. Those same speakers mentioned that the Commission should be assisted and should benefit from the contributions made by the competent United Nations entities, by intergovernmental and regional organizations, by the scientific community and by civil society in the implementation of the outcome document, the aim of which was to be inclusive.
94. Several speakers expressed support for further strengthening, if and when appropriate, the link between the operational recommendations contained in the outcome document of the special session and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It was noted that efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to effectively address the world drug problem were complementary and mutually reinforcing.
126. A number speakers expressed support for the focus of the report on the issue of proportionality and condemnations of extrajudicial killings and for the renewed call on States that imposed the death penalty to consider abolishing it for drug -related offences. (…)
127. (…) It was further noted that medical cannabis programmes were permissible under the 1961 Convention, which laid down specific conditions for their operation, and that the medical use of controlled substances should be supported by medical evidence of their therapeutic value and effectiveness.
129. A number of speakers welcomed the statement of the Board on the conditions that must be met in order for the operation of “drug consumption rooms” to be consistent with the international drug conventions, namely, that the ultimate objective of those measures was to reduce the adverse consequences of drug abuse through treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration measures without condoning or increasing drug abuse or encouraging drug trafficking. It was noted that such facilities must be operated within a framework that offered treatment and rehabilitation services as well as social reintegration measures, either directly or by active referral for access, and must not be a substitute for demand reduction programmes, in particular prevention and treatment activities.
130. Reference was made to the work carried out by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, UNODC, WHO and INCB in ensuring the adequate availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes while preventing their diversion. Concern was expressed regarding the global disparity in this regard, and all Member States were encouraged to implement relevant policies to address it. A number of speakers described the specific measures taken in their countries to address this issue.
131. One speaker expressed his country’s view that the international community, while focusing on the insufficient availability of controlled narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in some countries, should also pay attention to their abuse, overdose usage and diversion. The speaker also expressed the hope that the Commission, UNODC and INCB would continue to support countries in addressing those problems in the light of national conditions with a view to striking a policy balance between control and availability, as well as to provide technical assistance and avoid measuring availability in developing countries on the basis of the dosage standards of developed countries.
133. Full support was expressed by many speakers for the decision of the Executive Director of UNODC and the President of INCB to call for the immediate and unequivocal condemnation and denunciation of extrajudicial actions against individuals suspected of involvement in the illicit drug trade or of drug use, to put an immediate stop to such actions and to ensure that the perpetrators of such acts are brought to justice in full observance of due process and the rule of law. Reference was made to a statement by INCB whereby the extrajudicial targeting of persons suspected of illicit drug-related activity was considered not only a breach of the three international drug control conventions, but also constituted a serious breach of human rights, including due process norms as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
134. It was also noted that the international drug control conventions required criminal justice responses to drug-related criminality, which included internationally-recognized due process standards and rejected extrajudicial sanctions of whatever nature. With respect to drug abuse, it was noted that the conventions committed States to a humane and balanced approach requiring the parties to give special attention to, and take all practicable measures for, the prevention of drug abuse and for the early identification, treatment, education, after-care, rehabilitation and social reintegration of the persons affected.
135. In that regard, extrajudicial sanctions of whatever nature were condemned in the strongest terms, and all Governments concerned were urged to put an immediate stop to such actions and to publicly commit to investigating such activities and to prosecuting and sanctioning, as warranted, in full observance of due legal process and the rule of law, any person suspected of having committed, participated in, aided and abetted, encouraged, counselled or incited any such extrajudicial actions.
136. Furthermore, concern was expressed regarding the application of the death penalty for drug-related crimes, which was considered a human rights violation, and it was proposed that countries, with due regard for their national realities, consider the possibility of adopting a moratorium on the application of the death penalty for drug-related crimes, with a view to its final abolition.
167. Satisfaction was expressed by one speaker with the inclusion of alternative development as one of the main thematic areas in the outcome document of the special session. It was noted that alternative development was directly linked to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, since it strengthened efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals related to poverty reduction, sustainable agriculture, peace and justice, access to health and education, gender equality, environmental protection and good governance.