Explanation of Position for the International Cooperation to Address and Counter the World Drug Problem Resolution

Nicholas Hill
Deputy U.S. Representative to ECOSOC
New York, New York
November 18, 2021


Thank you, Chairperson.

The United States thanks Mexico for its efforts to update this resolution, which we view as critical to reflecting our global commitments and priorities in addressing the world drug problem. Until last year, the United States had been pleased to consistently cosponsor this text. Unfortunately, like last year, we are once again not in a position to do so.

The United States must dissociate from OP6, which calls on Member States to take measures to attain the goals and targets set out in the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action. These goals and targets lapsed two years ago, and as such Member States agreed during informals on this text to remove references to them. We regret this outdated language remains also because it does not reference the full compendium of international drug policy documents that are essential to represent the holistic approach to drug policy as agreed within the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the lead entity within the UN system for international drug policy. OP6 does not represent this important understanding from the CND.

We must also disassociate from OP101, because it once again misstates the treaty-mandated role of the International Narcotics Control Board. As we have stated for the past two years, this text must be updated to reflect the INCB’s proper role, which is to monitor the substances under international control and provide assistance to member states in their efforts to implement the three UN drug conventions – not to monitor State Party compliance with conventions, as is currently written. The CND examined this exact issue in 2019, resulting in a finalized resolution sponsored by the Russian Federation, whereby the CND agreed by consensus about how to reference the INCB’s treaty-mandated role. Since then, we have continuously tried to update this resolution to reference correctly the INCB’s treaty-mandated role and honor the CND-based consensus. Regrettably, as a result of the insistence by some delegations that this resolution remain outdated, this text continues to be inaccurate on this issue. Our disassociation from this paragraph does not reflect on the important work of the INCB, which we continue to value as a critical element supporting the efforts of states to effectively achieve the purposes of the UN drug treaties. The United States fully supports the INCB’s treaty-mandated role as described in the treaties themselves and underscores that the UN General Assembly should remain faithful to the mandates set forth in the treaties themselves.

I’ll stop there, thank you very much.