G-77 and China position paper on Joint Ministerial Declaration for the 46th session of the Ministerial-level Segment of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on 28 Feburary 2003, delivered by H.E. Ambassador Roberto Abdenur, Permanent Representative of Brazil

Madame Chairman,

1-. I have the honour to address this Intersessional Meeting on behalf of the G-77 and China. First of all I would like to thank the Chairperson of the CND and the delegation of Mexico for the drafting of this Joint Ministerial Statement and the efforts made to include the different positions expressed by delegations during the previous consultations on the matter.

2-. This document and the rationale for its conception, as was explained by the Chair, constitutes a valid starting point for the negotiation of the Joint Ministerial Statement. We can say that it situates in a viable frame the contents that pertain to the meeting of the ministers and gives a clear idea of the task we are faced with.

3-. I would also like to thank the Chair for her wise guidance during the consultations and the Secretariat for their working on the documents, and for the assistance on the preparation of the intersessional meetings.

4-. At the beginning of the consideration of the Draft Statement I would like to refer to some aspects of the document. These comments are made on a preliminary basis and are intended to be followed up by the Group during the negotiations with concrete drafting proposals:

A)-. With regard to the length of the draft text: from our first consultations it was understood (taking into account the original purpose of the ministerial meeting) that the Joint Declaration was going to be a concise document, with the main emphasis put on the analysis of the progress report on the goals of the 1998 meeting that were attained in 2003 and a critical evaluation of those that could not be achieved. The document we have before us appears to be rather long and focusing on some matters that do not clearly reflect this original purpose of the meeting.

It is also noticeable that an effort was made to look for least common denominators between some proposals that appear to be contradictory, and we feel that it might be still too early in the negotiation process to achieve such a compromise.

B)-. With regards to the contents we feel that it does not reflect clearly the viewpoints expressed in many opportunities and venues by Member States in the various thematic areas; in particular some language proposed by members of the Group of 77 and China does not appear reflected in the paper in a precise way. In this sense let me remind you of some valuable proposals already made that the Group wants to give its support to:

1. "The Group proposes that the fight against demand and supply of drugs keeps combining prevention and repression and the need for cooperation in tackling the problems of States most affected by transit of drugs".

2. "The Group reiterates the need to maintain the balance between licit supply of, and licit demand for, opiates and opiate-derivates for medical and scientific purposes".

3. "The Group proposes to call upon international organizations and developed countries, in the spirit and principle of shared responsibility, to provide new and additional financial resources and technical assistance to drug producing countries and transit countries in their efforts of fighting the drug problem."

4. "The Group reaffirms the need for strengthening international, regional and bilateral cooperation, particularly for the purposes of countering the threats posed by linkages that exist with frequency between illicit trafficking of drugs, money laundering, illicit traffic of arms, other forms of transnational organized crime and terrorism".

5. "The Group considers that control of the cultivation of cannabis, by far the most widely and frequently abused of the drugs listed in the international drug control treaties (CND Res. 45/8), is a very important issue, taking into account that cultivation is on the increase in Africa with negative economic and social consequences. The Group warns that decriminalisation policies by developed countries on the use of cannabis may hamper efforts towards supply reduction."

6. The Group reiterates the paramount importance to maintain and strengthen in spirit and letter the international drug control regime and calls upon all Member States to continue to uphold their commitments".

7. "The Group is convinced that the fight against the world drug problem, in order to be efficient in its results, must be based upon a comprehensive strategy that combines alternative development, including the preventive alternative development, interdiction, law enforcement, prevention and rehabilitation."

8. "The Group reiterates the importance of alternative development programmes and projects including preventive alternative development, especially for those countries which have adopted measures to reduce and eradicate illicit drug crops, and also calls upon countries that have not yet implemented such programmes to do so as soon as possible."

9. "The Group reaffirms that such efforts have to be supported with greater international cooperation in order to extend alternative development programmes, including the preventive alternative development and to execute interdiction programmes, as well as to enhance the countries' intelligence systems against drugs, aiming at the neutralization of the drug trafficking actions, and greater market access for alternative development products which enhances their competitiveness vis à vis the illicit drug cultivations."

10. "The Group states that the principle of shared responsibility can contribute to coherent policies like, for example, appropriate commercial norms and disciplines that include better market access conditions for the products proceeding from alternative development programmes, including the preventive alternative development."

11. "The Group stresses that means should be provided to combat poverty and social marginalization as well as to improve the quality of life at the grass-root level through education and economic support, in conjunction with alternative development programmes and projects, including the preventive alternative development."

12. "At the same time there is a clear need to strengthen measures to prevent and combat the laundering of money derived from illicit drug trafficking and related criminal activities, with the support of the United Nations system, the international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the regional development banks."

13. "An increase of the information shared between agencies charged with preventing and detecting money laundering derived from illicit drug trafficking and related criminal activities, should be contemplated."

14. "The Group strives for further synergy to jointly counter the global drug problems in all of its manifestations through partnership and shared responsibility at the international, regional, sub-regional and bilateral levels."

C) The evaluation chapter was to be prepared on the basis of the contents of the Report of the Executive Director, and so far only some chapters on the Report have been distributed. The paragraphs dedicated to the matter of the evaluation (and specially para. 10) do not provide a clear picture of the difficulties encountered and the progresses made in the different areas since 1998. Above all there is a certain lack of specificity in the diagnosis.

D) As it was manifested supra, some items should be included in the Evaluation and Recommendation chapters or when incorporated they do should show a proper balance on the developing of certain ideas. For instance, the item regarding chemical precursors´ control is not reflected in all its importance. The same can be said of the para. 24 on money laundering. There is not enough emphasis on certain areas such as the need for an increase on technical cooperation, and on the financial constraints of UNDCP, that affects very clearly the capacity of the Organization for attaining the leading role proposed for it in the 1998 General Assembly Declaration.

E) The Group would also like to state that the singularisation of countries is discriminatory and incomplete in its reflection of the World Drug Problem, which involves a large number of countries where efforts have to be undertaken in an integrated manner, and where it is our duty to look for common and joint solutions.
Thank you Madame Chairman.

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