CIMUN Chronicle / Article / 1994

ECOSOC debates international narcotic drug trade regulation

IPD Article Image - ECOSOC debates international narcotic drug trade regulation

The 1948 meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Council started with a debate over how to address the increasingly prevalent global trade of narcotic and synthetic drugs. Most countries believe that there should be regulation concerning how drugs are traded between countries, but the division lies in how much and why.

Several Latin American nations, including Bolivia, Guatemala,and Ecuador have voiced their concerns over "too-strict" regulation that may harm their economies. The coca plant, which cocaine is made from, is native to many of these countries, and thus the countries rely heavily on the revenue made from this trade. Bolivia also brought forth the point that its indigenous people use cocaine on a daily basis, and they argue regulating this would be an infringement on their culture.

Other countries, such as the Philippines, expressed their worries about how regulation may threaten national sovereignty. China, despite having suffered greatly from an opium epidemic, believes that ultimately sovereignty should reign over safety, and agreed that these drugs are essential for the economy. According to Ecuador, regulation ought to be optional to allow poorer nations to participate as well as they can without causing an economic slump.

However, the opposition was also strong from countries that argue about narcotics’ effects on public health. Canada argued vehemently for strict regulation, citing the large amount of people suffering from overdoses daily.

Haiti offered a unique and seemingly bipartisan solution, saying drug trade ought to be regulated but should also be given permission by local governments to reduce cartels while still keeping the economy safe. This would allow for drugs to be safer for users, which would, in turn, save lives and money.

Multiple coalitions are in the running for a solution, but it seems that it will be quite some time before a majority can be reached in agreement on one resolution.