Statement of the G-77 and China delivered by H.E. Ambassador Mahmoud Elamin, Permanent Representative of the Sudan, during the 56th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, 11-15 March 2013

Vienna, 11 March 2013
Mr. Chairman,

1. On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, allow me to express my warm congratulations to you on your election, as well as to other members of the Bureau to conduct this 56th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). I wish to assure you of the Group's support for the successful conclusion of our work.

2. In the name of the Group of 77 and China, I wish to convey our deepest sympathies and condolences to the people and government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for the recent demise of President Hugo Chavez, who passed away after a long illness.

3. The Group wishes to thank the Secretariat for the preparation of our meeting and for making documents available.

Mr. Chairman,

4. The Group emphasizes that the world drug problem remains a common and shared responsibility that requires effective and increased international cooperation. The world drug problem also necessitates an integrated, multidisciplinary, mutually reinforcing and balanced approach to supply and demand reduction strategies. In this regard, the Group while underlining the need to strive for further synergies at the international, regional, sub regional and bi-lateral levels calls upon the international community to provide adequate resources and technical assistance to the developing countries, upon request, in their fight against world drug problem. The Group further reaffirms its unwavering commitment to ensure that the above approach should be in full conformity with the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter, International Law and the universal declaration of human rights, and in particular with full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States as well as for the principle of non intervention in the internal affairs of States.

5. The Group remains committed to the three international drug control conventions as well as to the values and principles set out in the Political Declaration and its Plan of Action adopted in 2009. These important tools provide a framework to effectively address the world drug problem. The Group reaffirms its commitment to promote and facilitate the effective implementation of and follow-up to the Political Declaration and its Plan of Action through a high level review to assess the progress made in their implementation.

Mr. Chairman,

6. The Group takes note of the report of the Secretariat on the World situation with regard to drug trafficking, and while observing the increase of global seizures of some drugs since 2011, emphasizes the need to further strengthen controls over the illicit cultivation, production, manufacturing, sales, trafficking and distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, as well as to enhance international cooperation in this regard.

7. The Group while taking note of the INCB report of 2012 expresses its concern over the increasing trends in the illicit production, manufacturing and abuse of controlled as well as non-controlled substances in many regions of the world. The Group emphasizes the need to further strengthen International Cooperation to counter all dimension of the world drug problem through an integrated, balanced and multidisciplinary approach within the framework of common and shared responsibility as a principle orienting the individual and joint action of all States in countering the world drug problem.

8. The Group recognizes the importance of the sub-themes for this year's three roundtable discussions. The Group expresses its confidence that the discussions on measures related to drug demand and supply reduction as well as for countering money-laundering and promoting judicial cooperation shall afford the delegations a useful opportunity to exchange views in this regard and propose responses to effectively address these issues.

9. The Group emphasizes the importance of FINGOV as an important mechanism that promotes constructive dialogue among Member States on important matters related to the governance and financial aspects of the UNODC, including the progress made by the Office in implementing its regional and thematic programs, as well as the elaboration of an updated Strategic Framework for the biennium 2014-2015. The Group appeals to all Member States, to get more involved in the working of this mechanism and empower it in a way that it can better serve to improve the governance and financial system of UNODC. The Group looks forward to a decision submitted by this Commission to ECOSOC for the extension of the mandate of the standing open-ended intergovernmental working group on improving the governance and financial situation of UNODC.

10. The Group of 77 and China while taking into account the need to alleviate the UNODC reliance on extra budgetary resources and in particular earmarked funding, wishes to reiterate the importance of providing UNODC with sufficient, predictable and sustainable funding for its technical assistance activities.

Mr. Chairman, 11. The Group takes note of the Commission's report (E/CN.7/2013/5) on the actions taken by the subsidiary bodies of the Commissions on Narcotic Drugs, and welcomes the draft resolution and the declaration recommended by HONLEA Africa during its 22nd meeting held in Accra from 25 to 29 June 2012, for the adoption by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs at its current session.

12. The Group attaches special importance to integrated and sustainable crop control strategies such as alternative development and, preventive alternative development programs, eradication and law enforcement measures in order to prevent, reduce, and eliminate illicit crops cultivation. These strategies jointly lead to sustainable results in illicit drug supply reduction as well as to consolidating sustainable development, by providing viable economic alternatives to the regions affected by illicit crops as a part of the strategy against poverty undertaken by concerned States to fulfill their commitments of the UN Millennium Development Goals. In this regard, the Group wishes to emphasize the essential role of the South-South and trilateral cooperation schemes. The Group furthermore reiterates the need for the International Community to make efforts to support Member States to implement alternative development, including preventive alternative development programs.

13. The Group of 77 and China welcomes the convening of the High Level International Conference on Alternative Development, held in November 2012 in Lima, Peru, in which it adopted the International Guiding Principles on Alternative Development. The Group appreciates the efforts made by Peru and Thailand in the process and takes notes with interest of their initiative to propose that these principles be presented to the United Nations General Assembly, to be adopted as the United Nations of the Guiding Principles on Alternative Development.

14. The Group welcomes the ongoing efforts to share experiences and proposals on the implementation of a mechanism that could, in full compliance with international trade rules, encourage international markets dynamic, facilitate and protect the production, commercialization and consumption of licit origin products steeming from drug affected areas through, among others, a global stamp on "alternative development including preventive alternative development".

Mr. Chairman,

15. The Group is concerned over the emerging means of transporting illegal drugs, as well as drug-couriers including women, girls and old persons. The use of these methods may lead to other illicit activities as well. The Group reiterates the need to strengthen international and regional cooperation to counter new challenges posed by the world drug problem especially by providing, upon request, support to the law enforcement authorities of the developing countries.

16. The Group underlines the challenges that law enforcement authorities of the developing countries, especially those most affected by the transit of illicit drugs face in the control of trafficking in and smuggling of drugs, as well as their efforts in fulfilling more effectively their commitment to prevent such substances from reaching end markets and from being diverted to domestic distribution. These efforts need to be supplemented by international cooperation on the basis of the principle of common and shared responsibility. In this connection, the Group wishes to renew its call upon the international community to cooperate and to support transit states on the basis of this principle and in full conformity with Article 10 of the 1988 Convention.

17. The Group of 77 and China recognizes the need to ensure adequate availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances under international control, for medical and scientific purposes, while concurrently preventing their diversion into illicit channels, pursuant to the international drug control conventions.

18. The Group shares its concerns over the abuse of substances not under international control, namely ketamine and tramadol, as was stipulated in the INCB report for 2012. In this regard, the Group calls for the adoption of appropriate measures aimed at reducing their illicit supply and demand, including strengthening of cooperation in law enforcement activities to tackle the trade in, distribution, and manufacture of these substances, as well as strengthening of international cooperation in data collection, data sharing, and data dissemination, in order to develop a comprehensive and proactive international strategy and policy for drug control.

19. The Group notes with regrets that in the 2012 report of the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD), it decided that bringing Ketamine under international control was not appropriate. Therefore, the Group expresses its hope that the Commission further considers the necessity and urgency of establishing international control of Ketamine.

20. The diversion of precursors for the manufacture of illicit drugs continues to be a challenge in addressing the world drug problem. The increasing trend towards the abuse of synthetic drugs in many parts of the globe further aggravates the problem. The Group, therefore, reiterates its commitment to promote and implement balanced policies and strategies on precursor control with a view to preventing the diversion of precursors used in the illicit manufacture of drugs while ensuring that the legitimate trade in and use of those precursors are not adversely affected.

21. The Group also calls for more efforts of information collection in order to develop strategies intended to limit the risks to public health posed by these new psychoactive substances.

22. The Group takes note of the UNODC's efforts in developing international standards on drugs use prevention which formulate a common and agreed basis for drug prevention worldwide, enabling Member States to target the most vulnerable sections of their societies to drug abuse and to develop action oriented and result based policies and programs, in close coordination with concerned stakeholders in their societies, aimed at delaying or avoiding the onset of substance abuse or preventing the transition from substance abuse to disorders.

23. Finally, the Group would also like to welcome the decision of the General Assembly to convene an Extraordinary session on the World Drug Problem in early 2016, in accordance to its resolution A/RES/67/193 to assess the achievements and challenges in countering the World Drug Problem and the progress made in the implementation by Member States of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action. In the same way, the Group supports the suggestion that the Commission on Narcotic Drugs act as the preparatory body for the General Assembly's Special Session in 2016.

Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for your attention.

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