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Commission on Narcotic Drugs

represented by Lucas Skupin and Tadhg Stumpf

The Economic and Social Council created the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)in its resolution 9 (I) of 16 February 1946, in order to pursue drug-related matters. In December 1991, the General Assembly established the Fund of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) in its resolution 46/185.

The CND is the governing body of the UNDCP and consequently analyses the global drug situation. Its work is focused on developing concepts aimed at strengthening the international drug control system in order to combat the world drug problem. Part of its work is to further the implementation of the three international drug control conventions. Its mandate enables it to consider all matters pertaining to the aim of the conventions. This also includes the scheduling of substances, which are to be bought under international control. Furthermore, it advises the Council on all matters concerning the control of the narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors. Members are elected from among the Member States of the United Nations, Members of the specialised agencies and the Parties to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

During its first formal session at NMUN, the CND focused on the setting of the agenda. There where three topics on the agenda:

  1. Role of Narcotics in Fuelling Conflict;
  2. Strengthening Alternative Development as a Drug Control Strategy; and
  3. Building Partnerships to Address the World Drug Problem.

During informal caucuses the discussions on the order of the topics were held with great verve and it soon became clear that the Commission was split in two blocs – those wishing to first focus on alternative development – and those desiring to concentrate on the role of narcotics in fuelling conflict. Nonetheless, the Commission managed to agree on an agenda setting by the end of the meeting and set the agenda as follows:

  1. Strengthening Alternative Development as a Drug Control Strategy;
  2. Role of Narcotics in Fuelling Conflict;
  3. Building Partnerships to Address the World Drug Problem.

The topic of importance at NMUN 2009 in the CND was Alternative Development as a Drug Control Strategy.

In the course of the negotiations, several main topics emerged and led to a variety of different drafts. Those topics ranged from a focus on educational issues, law enforcement strategies, micro-financing or human rights.

The Australian Delegation has been a supporter of various of these ideas. As we wanted to adequately represent Australia’s position, our strategy was to promote human rights and the collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

So, initially the focus of our Delegation was the human rights draft. Alongside the Delegation of Finland, we took a fruitful look at the topic of Alternative Development through the perspective of human rights-sensibility.

In the course of the conference, we gathered more and more delegations to support our approach. In the meantime, the Delegation of Australia also negotiated with other delegations and was successful in adjusting several working papers in the direction of the Australian position.

Altogether, there were eight draft report segments in the CND at the NMUN conference. We voted in favour of six of them. We thought that the two other draft report segments were too vague, therefore we abstained in both cases.

In total, we were very pleased with the results of our negotiations. Especially the emphasise on the UNODC as central organising figure can be seen as one of the fruitful results of our mediations, as there were many initiatives trying to lay the general responsibility and funding for alternative development into the hands of regional organisations. We were very content with the CND/1/4 report, which emphasised many of our objectives. Its very human rights focused approach had a very determined framework and was very accurate in fields of interest for the Australian Delegation. Moreover its strategy was multifaceted and considered development focused issues as well as law enforcement considerations. The strengthening of law enforcement and capacity-building has been a field of great expertise and engagement by Australia in the Asia Pacific region. Therefore, the inclusion was of great importance. In total, we can say for ourselves that we had very good, interesting and fruitful negotiations and got along quite well with the other delegations. Fortunately, we managed to include many of our ideas in several of the working papers and definitely managed to further discussions. Working with other delegations turned out to be very interesting and was definitely a great experience.