Because of the complexity of the drug problem in most parts of the world, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs is divided between two large blocks who want the same result, but are unwilling to budge on the process to achieve that result. This seems to be a recurring theme in most HMUN Committees; each delegation wants their resolution to be the one that is passed, even when compromise is the only real solution.
I spoke to the delegation of Pakistan regarding their draft resolution 1.2, which essentially gives smaller countries a voice when it comes to drug reform. The draft resolution also stresses education as a potential solution for corruption. While this seemed like a good idea on the surface, this was proposed to be given to the corrupted officials themselves who are incentivized to maintain their corrupt ways. Pakistan has partnered with Japan, Germany, Brazil, United States of America, and Botswana to create this draft resolution. Pakistan states they are “aware of the complications within a solution for drug reform” meaning they were expecting at least some opposition. They also expressed that the opposition has lessened with the help of some amendments and simple edits in the draft resolution.
The draft resolution stresses the option for countries to legalize marijuana if they choose which they believe could decrease the crime rate in certain countries and give governments the ability to tax the drug trade. This has come under scrutiny by countries such as Sweden and Nigeria. These delegations expressed to me their concerns with this clause because there are many farmers now who get their income through selling things like marijuana and if a portion of their income is taken away by taxation then these farmers could suffer because of it. The 1.2 draft resolution team suggested that the farmers supplement this income by planting biofuel crops, but the opposition says this would not at all be profitable. Not only is the biofuel industry not very prevalent in developing countries, but there is not a biofuel industry in most developing countries. The opposition recommended planting food crops instead.
One of the 1.2 resolution team’s values is national sovereignty, which they attempted to uphold by giving countries a choice as to whether they implement these policies or not. Many delegations saw this as ineffective and not at all concise in what the committee was trying to accomplish.
As of now the two blocks in the Commission on Narcotic Drugs are unwilling to budge on any clauses or draft resolutions on the table at the moment. The only true way to solve the problem of drug trade is compromise however, the light is very dim at the end of a long tunnel.
By Komsomolskaya Pravda Editorial Board
This is a Pravda Opinion Piece.
These pages have long argued that the U.N. has, over time, become a bureaucratic and pedantic organization serving no one but the elites. This year’s Economic and Social Council sessions have proven that to be true.
Take the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for example. They jumped straight into the discussion of the Iran Nuclear Deal, with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and several Security Council resolutions as foundation, to pave the road for the peaceful use of nuclear energy in Iran. Think that’s what they did? Psych! They turned on the committee’s full-on attack mode. “Bomb Iran” Agency would have been a more accurate name. The delegates themselves are also a mess, to the point that the presiding officer had to vocally ban profanity and personal attacks in notes. To make the situation even worse — Iran isn’t even allowed to participate in the committee, not even as an observer! As of the time of publication, no Iranian government representative has spoken or written to IAEA. How can the committee allow this! How can the delegates tolerate this! President Trump of the United States, a vocal opponent of the U.N. establishment, was able to somehow make a cameo appearance, while Iran has been denigrated to a position inferior to that of a criminal — at least a criminal has the right of due process and representation.
The western capitalist giants are so arrogant and superfluous that they don’t even realize their own mistakes. In the Committee on Narcotic Drugs, it is left to the delegate from Botswana to point out the deficiency in the documents such as the unreliability of some so-called non-governmental organizations, the issue of funding, and the lack of specificity. Believe it or not, the Economic and Social Council even has a permanent body called the Office of Outer Space Affairs. Having immense power and political support, the committee is exclusively designed to debate about “out of the world” issues while ignoring problems in the real world. In addition, the Office of Outer Space Affairs overrides countries’ sovereign right and authority over their own space program, and will lead to nothing but a massive global tax to fund their wildest dreams.
At its inception, the Economic and Social Council is designed to create friendly discussions and benefit ordinary citizens. It is now straying further away from its purposes. Enshrined in the U.N. charter is the expectation to “practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours;” this cannot be achieved without a systematic reform of the U.N. institution and a thorough refreshment of the delegates’ mentality.
A quiet hum floated over those in the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, matching the somber theme of the debate. Delegates voted to discuss Topic A: Combatting International Illicit Trafficking of Drugs. Unlike other conversations being had throughout the Sheraton, theirs seemed closer to home due to the conviction of the delegates.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes estimates that there are approximately 246 million stable drug users between the ages of 15-64. This corresponds to a global prevalence of 5.2%, suggesting recent figures have remained rather stable. Another 27 million people are estimated to suffer from problem drug use, including but not limited to drug-use diseases and drug-dependence. The burden of HIV/AIDS among people who inject drugs continues to remain quite high in many regions of the world. Approximately 40% of the estimated global total of PWID living with HIV reside in Eastern Europe, predominantly in Ukraine and Russia. Other concentrations fall to regions like East Asia and South-West Asia.
Most delegates seemed to repeat the same sentiment; there must be an eradication of narcotics. For many, the solution seemed to be in finding comprehensive reform in education, integration, and safety. “One of our main solutions is investing in agriculture and infrastructures like irrigation canals and crops. We hope this alternative agriculture will cut down the production of opium; the farmers who harvest it don’t want to be producing it.” a delegate from Afghanistan pronounced. She emphasized that the committee was also discussing rehabilitation methods and the obliteration of HIV/AIDS. A representative from Botswana had earlier noted that 11.7 million people inject forms of illicit substances, rapidly spreading the incurable disease. The Afghan delegation also indicated the importance of economic development in their bloc. Their objective was largely on the basis of social change.
Other nations, like Estonia, pushed for border security and advancements in rehabilitation. Their clauses were aimed at stopping drugs at the border, not reforming the industry as an entire entity. While more developed nations could perhaps afford the short-term effects of this control, the delegation from Afghanistan pointed out that this was not a sustainable method of abolishing the drug trade, but rather a semi-permanent and costly solution. The delegate continued to note that this standardized border control was not manageable for most nations and should instead be adapted to every individual country.
No matter the solution, it was clear that all nations wanted to prioritize safety and health. While each bloc had unique perspectives and plans to build out fundamental programming for narcotic use, all could agree that it must end.
The Press Corps Staff welcomes you to HMUN 2017.