Statement of the G77 and China delivered by H.E. Ambassador Taous Feroukhi, Permanent
Representative of Algeria during the 53rd session of the Commission on Narcotic
Drugs, 8-12 March 2010
Vienna, 8 March 2010
I have the honor to speak on behalf of the G77 and China. At the outset, I would like to express the warmest congratulations of the Group to the Women all over the World on the occasion of the International Women's Day. The Group wishes to convey its condolences to the families of victims of the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile assuring the governments and peoples of Haiti and Chile of the sympathy and solidarity of the G77 and China.
I would like to congratulate you and the members of the Bureau on your election and to assure you of the Group's support. I also take this opportunity to thank the Secretariat for the preparation of the meeting and for making the documents available.
The Group would like to reiterate its commitment to the Political Declaration and its Action Plan on international cooperation towards the integrated and balanced strategy to counter the world drug problem which was adopted at the conclusion of the High level Segment of the 52nd session of the CND in March 2009.
The Group of G77 and China attaches great importance to the thematic debate as well as to the sub-themes selected for the discussion and would like to underline the importance of raising awareness about the risks of drug abuse, including cannabis. In this regard, the Group is deeply concerned with the increasing trend of cultivation and consumption of cannabis in the World, as highlighted in the INCB and UNODC reports. The Group also notes with concern the magnitude of the illicit production, cultivation and the increasing of worldwide seized quantities of drugs.
Awareness raising on the risks of drug abuse, including cannabis, as well as the linkages between drug abuse and public health problems such as the spread of HIV/AIDS infections, need to be addressed in a comprehensive way, taking into account the specific needs of women, men and youth. The Group of 77 and China supports the development of technical assistance programs for treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration of drug users in particular in developing countries. The Group calls for the implementation of the Joint UNODC/WHO Programme on Drug Dependence Treatment and Care in order to strengthen the public health and social service systems.
With regard to demand reduction efforts, the Group believes that to adequately address the issue of drug consumption, taking into account its pervasive, wide-ranging and complex characteristics, a cohesive and strategic approach is needed from governments, the international community and civil society on the basis of the principle of shared responsibility. Needless to say, special focus should be given to address in a comprehensive manner the specific needs of women, youth and children.
Furthermore, the Group recognizes the importance of developing prevention programs, with the participation of various sectors of society, aimed at enhancing the capacities of children, youth and their families to resist and reject drug use.
The Group of 77 and China underscores the importance of technical assistance support by the UNODC to address the issue of drug abuse as well as the necessity to strengthen the knowledge base pertaining to drug abuse to properly assess this problem and explore means and ways to tackle it.
The Group notes with concern the disproportionate focus on the supply side of the illicit drug problem, therefore, equal attention should be paid to reducing illicit drug demand in destination countries. Simultaneously, the Group calls upon the destination countries to implement effective legislative, preventive and enforcement measures to reduce the demand for drugs in full compliance with the three international drug control conventions.
The Group takes note of UNODC reports E/CN.7/2010/4 and E/CN.7/2010/6, respectively. The findings of these two reports clearly show that opium cultivation and production in Afghanistan has dropped by 22% between 2007 and 2009. At the same time, the number of provinces free of opium has augmented from 18 to 20. These positive developments are the results of enhanced promotion of alternative livelihoods, intensified counter-narcotics action and good governance.
The Group wishes to highlight the importance of regional mechanisms for identification and dismantling of illicit drug trafficking networks and appreciates the outcome of the Third Ministerial meeting under the Triangular Initiative among the I. R. of Afghanistan, I. R. of Iran and I.R. of Pakistan, held in October 2009 in Vienna. The Group considers this meeting as a means to address the delicate situation in Afghanistan as regards the illicit production and trafficking of drugs, notwithstanding the efforts of the country to revert this trend.
The Group reaffirms the need for providing technical assistance to enhance and support the efforts of concerned transit States, as mandated by the Convention against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances (1988), in particular to those neighboring the countries affected by illicit production and manufacture of drugs taking place in their territories.
International trade in poppy seeds from licitly grown poppy crops has become a major problem. The Group encourages Member States to put in place effective mechanisms to fight international trade in illicit poppy seed. The Group also requests the INCB, as the coordinating body, to continue gathering information on international movements of poppy seeds for its analysis and dissemination to member states.
The Group would like also to express its concern over problems of wide spread abuse of synthetic drugs and their trafficking, including ketamine, particularly among youth, and requests the INCB to continue gathering information on it.
The Group would like to highlight the important efforts made by Governments to reduce and eliminate the drug supply through Alternative Development programmes, including preventive alternative development programmes, as well as eradication measures. Regarding alternative development, including preventive alternative development, the Group recognises that it is an important component in generating and promoting lawful, viable and sustainable economic alternatives to the illicit cultivation of drug crops and is one of the key components of the policy and programmes for reducing illicit drug production.
The Group noted with appreciation the enhanced efforts to promote best practices and lessons learned from experiences in different regions of the world, in particular on alternative sustainable development programmes in the context of South-South cooperation. The Group takes note of the proposal of Thailand and Peru to co-host an International Conference on Alternative Development in Thailand in November 2010.
The Group is concerned by the misuse of modern information and communication technology such as internet in criminal activities particularly in the illegal sale of internationally controlled substances, including through internet pharmacy. This new challenge calls for an increased international cooperation and coherent and coordinated efforts in order to address this problem. In this regard, the Group encourages the use of the new tool developed by INCB and launched during last CND, namely 'The Guidelines for Governments on Preventing the Illegal Sale of Internationally Controlled Substances through the Internet."
Reaffirming the commitment made by Member States in the political Declaration to fight the drug problem in a balanced approach between drug demand and drug supply, the Group stresses the importance for Member States to enhance international cooperation and adopt comprehensive and multidisciplinary strategies aimed at reducing both demand and supply on illicit drugs that should be supported by relevant specialized international organisations, in particular UNODC, as well as the international community.
International cooperation is a crucial element to fight against the drug problem on the basis of principle of shared responsibility. There is a need to enhance the capacity of developing countries through efficient technical assistance, including provision of equipment to fight the production, trafficking, abuse of drugs and precursor chemicals and their diversion.
The Group of 77 and China encourages intensified cross-border cooperation in order to repress and eradicate the operations of transnational organized criminal groups. Efforts should also be made to identify transnational linkages of drug trafficking networks in the destination countries as they also contribute to the problem.
Acknowledging the increasing link between trafficking in drugs and other transnational organised crime, in some cases terrorism, the Group reaffirms the need for enhanced bilateral, regional and international cooperation in areas of exchange of information, extradition and mutual legal assistance, in accordance with domestic legislation, aimed at strengthening the common efforts to counter the threat posed by criminal networks that undermine the stability and the integrity of criminal justice systems.
The Group calls upon Member States to fully comply with the three international Conventions on drug control as well as the conventions against 'Transnational Organized Crime and Corruption' and other relevant international instruments, which constitutes the legal framework in coping with the harm caused by these crimes.
The Group of 77 and China supports the exchange of intelligence on the methods used by international drug traffickers in terms of recruitment and nature of operations affecting drug couriers. The Group urges UNODC and interested specialized international Organizations to launch initiatives restraining the vulnerability of those groups most affected by the recruitment as drug couriers.
The Group notes with concern the challenges posed by organized criminal groups, in particular the rapid changing in their methods and routes. The Group stresses the importance of strengthening international cooperation as well as bilateral and regional efforts in this regard.
CONTROL OF PRECURSORS
The deviation of precursors for the illicit manufacturing of drugs continues to be a challenge in the fight against the world drug problem. The shift towards abuse of synthetic drugs, especially amphetamines, in many parts of the Globe, further contributes to the problem. The G77 and China stresses the urgent need to strengthen controls over precursors. However, an overwhelmingly large share of the total precursors manufactured is used for legitimate industrial and medical uses. Hence, the need for finding the right balance between regulation and the prevention of diversion is very important whilst not affecting their legitimate trade and use.
The Group emphasizes the need for technical and financial support by the UNODC, to increase the national capacities of the concerned countries to control diversion of precursors, including the provision of detection equipment.
The transit countries, along the major drug and its precursors trafficking routes, have suffered much over the years and it is appropriate that their achievements, particularly countries with high seizures, be supported both financially and in terms of equipment needed.
The Group appreciates the efforts by the Co-chairs, Ambassador PR of Cuba, H.E.
Mrs. Norma Goicochea Estenoz and the Representative of Spain Mr. Ignacio Vallina
Ruis in guiding the work of the Group on Governance and Finance and looks forward
to the continuation of its work towards a reinforcement of the governance by Member
States of the Drug and Crime Commissions.
The Group of 77 and China welcomes the increase in the share of the UN regular budget allocated for the UNODC and recognizes the need for further improvement of its financial situation, in order to allow the Office to fulfill its mandate and to implements fully its programmes.
The Group also notes the proposal of a realignment of the UNODC along the thematic and regional programmes as the Office is organized according to these activities. While agreeing with the general thrust of such a proposal, the Group would like to reaffirm the importance it attaches to the status and role of technical assistance in the context of realignment, and expresses its concern about the suppression of the term "drugs" in the proposed characterization of the Office.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Vienna, 12 March 2010
Agenda Item 10 (ii):
On behalf of the Group of 77 and China I would like to acknowledge the great role played by UNODC within its mandate to assist Member States in their fight against illicit drugs and crime, however, the Group is concerned about the overall financial situation of and the difficulties facing UNODC to fulfill its mandate and to improve the situation especially the fall in the general purpose fund.
As stated already in the Group's general statement at the beginning of this week, the Group of 77 and China takes note of the work developed by the FINGOV since its establishment a year ago. Although much remains to be done to allow the FINGOV to fully perform its task in accordance with the mandate agreed by both Commissions, this instance is proving to be an adequate forum for dialogue among Member States, as well as between Member States and the Secretariat, for the purpose of strengthening the financial situation and governance of UNODC.
The two co-Chairs of FINGOV Ms. Norma Goicochea Estenoz and Mr. Ignacio Vallina, Ambassador PR of Cuba and Representative of the PM of Spain, respectively greatly contributed to the constructive discussions. In this regard, the Group is proud that the Group could contribute to the FINGOV through the experience of Ambassador Goicoechea Estenoz.
In effort to address the financial challenges of UNODC, the Group urges the Secretariat to consistently apply the standard programme support charges of 13% to extra budgetary contributions, with transparent and uniform criteria.
The Group takes note that a dialogue is complementary to the decision making process and we look forward to the continuation and strengthening of the FINGOV to allow it, inter-alia, to conclude the examination of an adequate procedure for the development of thematic and regional programmes. In this connection, the Group would like to call on the Commission to extend the term of the FINGOV for another year with a view that for the future to be considered as a permanent body.