Update on Bolivia amendment to Single Convention

Martin Jelsma has an excellent write-up of the political maneuverings and hypocrisy regarding opposition to the Bolivian amendment regarding coca chewing. Definitely worth reading.

D-Day for Bolivia’s coca chewing amendment

Meanwhile the U.S. turned to its allies in the European Union, where especially the UK tried to rally support for the US objection. But the European Union was unable to agree on a coordinated position, and the divide only deepened further last week. The controversy appeared on the agenda of many EU coordination meetings in Brussels, Vienna and New York. Spain had made clear from the beginning they were not going to object; to the contrary, they would strongly support Bolivia’s proposal. Most other EU countries – all under heavy U.S. pressure to object – were undecided, and for several months Spain remained isolated in its explicit support, in spite of broad sympathy for their position from many EU officials in the corridors.

With the deadline of January 31st approaching, last week several other EU countries (Portugal, the Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Belgium, Austria and Finland) made clear that they would not be objecting either. Norway and Switzerland (non-EU members) also made clear they had no objection to the amendment. On the other hand, Germany, Denmark, France, Italy and a few others, said they still intended to submit an objection and made a final appeal to others to join them. Germany and Denmark indeed sent their notification on Friday. For the EU, aspiring to reach common positions on international issues, it was a painful process to see the divide deepening.

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