Geneva Platform statement at the 3rd round of informal negotiations of the draft HRC Resolution on Drugs, Friday 9th of March 2018.
We commend the Core Group for bringing this issue to the attention of this session of the HRC and strongly support the draft Resolution. We would like to stress the importance of health and human rights in all drug policy issues (including indigenous rights, proportionate sentencing and alternatives to punishment for low-level drug offences; the need to abolish the death penalty for drug offences; to put an end to repressive punitive drug policies; and the increasing call for decriminalisation in many States).
With regard to the HRC’s mandate, previous Resolutions such as A/RES/72/198 reaffirming the need to strengthen cooperation between the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and other United Nations entities; or CND Res 60/6 stating the decision of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs to continue working with relevant United Nations entities in the implementation of the UNGASS 2016 Outcome document, explicitly provide for the OHCHR’s contribution to drug policy-related issues.
While the Commission on Narcotic Drugs leads on drug control policies, drugs are a horizontal issue requiring a societal response enshrined in human rights, as recognised by the Member States at UNGASS in 2016 and reflected in the Outcome document.
We commend the High Commissioner and his office for providing the human rights elements and expertise to the CND and to UNODC in order to achieve better drug control outcomes. Moreover, this contribution to drug policies needs to continue being supported by the Human Rights Council, with its ‘raison d’être’ of mainstreaming human rights across all issues (as recalled in HRC Res 28/28).
For example, there is a need for the ARQ review process, which Member States are currently working on in Vienna, to include health and human rights-related indicators; and benefit from the technical knowledge and expertise of the HRC and the human rights mechanisms to make sure that human rights violations in drug control are prevented and /or meaningfully addressed.
More generally, there continues to be a need for Member States to implement drug- related policies and programmes in accordance with human rights standards; a point which the International Narcotics Control Board, the body set up by the three drug control conventions to guarantee States’ compliance with their obligations, recently pointed out when it called on “all States to implement international drug control conventions in accordance with their commitments to human rights treaties and the rule of law”.