Tuesday, April 19, 2016

5 Panels at Drug Assembly Focus on Socioeconomic Aspects

The Special Session of the General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (19-21 April) will have five expert panel discussions arranged by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, an expert subsidiary of ECOSOC, closely guided by the President of the General Assembly. 

The following paragraphs are excerpted from the official document describing the arrangements and are notable in emphasizing the social, human rights and development aspects of the problem. Panel 3 below places the three prohibitionist drug conventions at the very end of its list of relevant legislation.

1. Drugs and Health: Demand reduction and related measures, including prevention and treatment, as well as health-related issues; and ensuring the availability of controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes, while preventing their diversion.

2. Drugs and Crime: Supply reduction and related measures; responses to drug-related crime; and countering money-laundering and promoting judicial cooperation. This will include countering money-laundering, including, where appropriate, in connection with the financing of terrorism.

3. Cross-cutting issues: drugs and human rights, youth, women, children and communities: (i) Addressing drug-related issues in full conformity with the purposes and the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant international law, including the three drug control conventions.

4. New challenges, threats and realities: in preventing and addressing the world drug problem in compliance with relevant international law, including the three drug control conventions; strengthening the principle of common and shared responsibility and international cooperation.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Picking a New UN Head

So far, there are four women and five men bidding to be the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations. Each has provided biographical details and a vision statement (see here for links to all)

Three of them -- Igor Luksic of Montenegro, Irina Bokova of Bulgaria and Antonio Gueterres of Spain -- engaged in "informal dialogue" with an attentive audience in the Trusteeship Council on Tuesday, 12 April. (Here for video and summaries of vision statements)

On 13 April, Danilo Turk of Slovenia,  Vesna Pusic of Croatia and Natalia Gherman of Moldova will take the stage, followed on the 14th by Vuk Jeremic of Serbia, Helen Clark of New Zealand and Srgjan Kerim of Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic).

There is a general expectation that other candidates will emerge, and cynical opinion is that the Permanent Members of the Security Council will eventually do the real choosing, However, General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft made a powerful point: if there is solid support for any one candidate in the General Assembly, the Permanent Members are unlikely to contest it.

A running commentary at the www.undiplomatictimes.com site will follow the process to its completion.