Update from Day Five of the 55th UN Commission of Narcotic Drugs

Friday 16th March 2012

NGO Briefing

The day started off with the normal NGO briefing, co-ordinated by the Vienna NGO Committee, who have supported NGO's throughout the week. Today, we discussed the planning of future side events for the CND and also, how we, as NGO's could help to monitor the implementation of the resolutions agreed at the CND each year.

Plenary Session

Within the plenary, Member States were also discussing the implementation and monitoring of CND resolutions, referring to the High Level Review on the implementation of the Resolutions.

Under any other business, Norway representatives took to the floor to say that there had been great value achieved through collaboration with NGO's this year and asked that the interpretation of the rules on consultative relationships should not be deviated from. Switzerland also made a comment to this regard, calling for greater transparency and asking for clearer interpretation of the rules.

Adoption of Resolutions

The resolutions were adopted. The most up to date versions are available on the UNODC website.

Closing Speech by Yury Fedetov, Executive Director, UNODC

Mr Fedotov's made the closing statement to the planary. He noted that this year’s session of the CND has seen a lively debate. The resolutions reflect our shared concerns on these issues. From the need to address the challenges in Africa, the female risk caused by drug use and also the challenges of new psychoactive substances. He referred particularly to the resolution celebrating 100 years of the international drug control system, that calls on members states to strengthen action and cooperation towards the goals of the drug control conventions which remain the cornerstone of the system.

He noted that the resolutions are the strength of the Commission and reflect the ability to debate and reach consensus. He mentioned that this year, the issue of alternative development was high on the agenda and that farmers producing illicit groups must have access to alternative development.

Mr Fedotov in particular mentioned that he sought to promote engagement with civil society. This year the Vienna NGO Committee held informal dialogues with him in the margins of the CND and Mr Fedotov found these discussions very helpful and informative. He reaffirmed UNODC looks forward to civil society engagement both here and in the field. NGOs have real ability to make a difference in the field of drugs and are an important resource. He also noted that he was impressed by the Global Youth Initiative in terms of the actions they are taking against drug use in communities.

He ended by noting that he had started in opening speech with the two words ‘illicit drugs’ and wished to close his speech with two other words, ‘drug control’. The strength is in a balanced approach – we are guided by the conventions. We must consider human rights and respect for rule of law for all activities that we undertake. Drug control remains necessary and we must acknowledge that conventions are the foundation of this work.