BACKGROUND and OVERVIEW
What is the CND?
The CND, a functional Commission of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), is the principal policy-making body within the UN system on drug control issues and, as such, is the governing body of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in the area of drugs. It analyses the world drug situation and develops proposals to strengthen the international drug control system to combat the world drug problem.
The 53 members of the CND consist of 11 from African States, 11 from Asian States, 10 from Latin American and Caribbean States, 7 from Eastern European States, 14 from Western European and other States, with an additional seat rotating every 4 years between the Asian and the Latin American/Caribbean States.
The members take all decisions and resolutions by consensus or vote, with the exception of the scheduling of substances where a two-thirds majority vote is mandatory.
Membership of the CND is for four years. One representative of each Member State is entitled to reimbursement of travel expenses.
Action by the CND is taken through resolutions and decisions, which are generally adopted by consensus (except decisions on the scope of control of substances provided for in the 1971 and 1988 Conventions, which are adopted by a two-thirds majority vote and an affirmative vote of at least 35 members).
On the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO), the CND places and removes narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances under international control.
Upon the recommendation of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), it puts precursor chemicals frequently used for the manufacture of illicit drugs under special control.
Regular annual sessions in the Plenary meetings of the CND are structured in two segments:
- a normative segment (treaty-based and normative functions such as monitoring implementation of decisions taken at UNGASS, and special functions under international drug control treaties);
- an operational segment (governing body of the UN International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), providing guidance and policy directives to UNODC).
The Committee of the Whole of the CND meets to negotiate draft resolutions. The Committee may also be an opportunity for delegations to discuss technical issues in greater depth.
Observers – including NGO representatives – are entitled to attend the meetings of the Committee of the Whole. Member States can call for informal drafting committees to seek basic consensus on specific resolutions before such reworked drafts are tabled at the Committee of the Whole, and may decide that NGO representatives will not be permitted to attend those informal discussions which are not themselves part of the formal structure of CND.
During meetings of the Commission the different regional groups normally hold private meetings to discuss and co-ordinate their activities. These are private meetings and NGO representatives are not invited to attend them.
In addition, the CND convenes:
- intersessional meetings between its regular sessions to finalize the provisional agenda of the CND; to address organizational and substantive matters; and to provide continuous and effective policy guidance to the Programme;
- regular informal joint meetings of donor and recipient countries on the planning and formulation of the operational activities of the Programme, including projects;
- open-ended working groups to act on particular topics under the guidance of the Extended Bureau (see Glossary below for definition of EB).
The above-mentioned meetings are usually attended by the Vienna representatives of the Commission members and are not normally open to NGO representatives except with the permission of the President of the CND. The chairs of the regional groups are expected to keep their respective members informed on these deliberations and to coordinate their contributions to the work of the CND.
- A reconvened session is held in December of odd-numbered years to approve the budget for the following two years and the final version of the budget for the two-year period drawing to a close
Subsidiary bodies of the CND
- Subcommission on Illicit Drug Traffic and Related Matters in the Near and Middle East
- Meets annually to coordinate regional activities directed against illicit drug traffic andto formulate recommendations to the CND;
- Meeting of Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies (Asia and Pacific, Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, Europe)
- Coordinates activities directed against illicit drug traffic within the respective region.
Preparation of resolutions
Any Members wishing to submit draft resolutions for consideration by the CND, are asked to inform the Secretary of the CND in advance of the session and, if possible, provide the text. Resolutions are discussed in detail at the Committee of the Whole, which passes them to the Plenary for approval and inclusion in the report of the session.
Which NGOs may attend CND?
- NGOs with general or special consultative status with ECOSOC
- NGOs on the Roster at meetings within their field of competence
- These attendance arrangements may be supplemented to include other modalities of participation.
All NGOs must inform the Secretariat of the CND in writing well in advance of a Commission session of the names and addresses of their representatives who will attend (maximum of five plus Executive Heads).
Who can make statements?
- Organizations in general consultative status Statements not exceeding 2,000 words in an official language prepared in time for consultation with the Secretariat are circulated, after approval, by the Secretariat to the CND. Statements in excess of these amounts must be provided in all the working languagues in sufficient copies for distribution or a summary will be circulated.
- Organizations in special consultative status (as above but not exceeding 1,500 words).
- Organizations on the Roster may be invited by the Secretariat and the Chairman of the CND to submit statements not longer than 1,500 words.
- NGOs in general consultative status and in special consultative status may speak in the Plenary if time permits. They should register as a speaker and provide a written statement in advance to the Secretary of the Commission for interpretation purpose
- NGOs on the Roster may put a request to the Secretariat to speak.
NGO representatives can collect copies of most documents from the Documents Office based outside the main conference room. A Journal is issued daily which contains the schedule of the CND for the day, together with the relevant document numbers for the items under discussion and a list of events taking place during the day (hopefully also the NGO events). Photocopies can be made at a coin-operated machine.
Glossary of terms:
Bureau: At the end of each regular session, the CND elects its Bureau (Chairman, 3 Vice-Chairmen, Rapporteur) for the next session. The Bureau plays an active role in the preparation of the regular and the inter-sessional meetings of the Commission.
Committee of the Whole of the CND meets to negotiate draft resolutions. The Committee may also be an opportunity for delegations to discuss technical issues in greater depth.
Observers, including NGOs, are entitled to attend the meetings of the Committee of the Whole. Member States can call for informal drafting committees to seek basic consensus on specific resolutions before such reworked drafts are tabled at the Committee of the Whole, and may decide that NGO representatives will not be permitted to attend those informal discussions. .
Extended Bureau: Members of the Bureau plus the chairs of the regional groups, the Presidency of the European Union, and the Chair of the Group of 77 and China).
Governing body: The CND acting as Governing Body decides on the policies to be followed by UNODC in the area of drugs and approves its budget for this work.
Thematic debate: The agenda of each session foresees specific themes to be discussed. Panellists selected for their expertise and on the basis of geographical distribution, are invited to lead and ensure a focused, interactive discussion.