September 16, 2019
 In Articles

Country: Kuwait
Committee: SPECPOL
Topic: International Drug Trade
Delegate: Divya Reddy
School: Williamston High School


The international drug trade has come to be is a very prevalent topic in the modern age. The international drug trade was first brought to light as a pressing world issue at the Hague Opium Conference of 1912 and the Ten Year Agreement of 1907 where the need for regulation of drug flow across nations was first sparked, and as a result a framework of complex rules and laws concerning drug use and distribution were created across the world. Today, drug trafficking, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), accounts for the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and sale of substances that are subject to drug prohibition laws. As the demand for narcotics and different varieties of drugs increases, it is becoming unclear where exactly governments have jurisdiction to limit drug accessibility in their own nations, as well es how many international regulations of drug manufacturing and distribution can be placed without infringing upon a nation’s sovereignty. According to the UNODC executive summary, In 2017, an estimated 271 million people, or 5.5 percent of the global population aged 15–64, had used drugs in the previous year. This number is 30% higher than the 210 million recorded in 2009. Along with that, in 2017, it was recorded that about 53.4 million people worldwide had used opioids in the previous year. This number is 56 percent higher than the estimate for 2016. Among those people, 29.2 million had used opiates such as heroin and opium, 50 percent higher than the 2016 estimate of 19.4 million. These estimates show that new regulation for both drug intake, manufacture, and distribution is needed worldwide in order to halt this crisis before it can grow to a bigger problem than it already has. 

Kuwait is struggling with large drug addiction among its citizens. It is estimated that Kuwait had a population of nearly 20,000 addicts, nearly one percent of the population, and when there are particularly “bad batches” the death rate is known to spike above its current 75 people per year. One of the possible factors health and law enforcement officials point to when examining this drug crisis is the Iraqi invasion. The invasion left residents traumatized and more prone to seek comfort in drugs. And it was also noted that the current population of two million is slowly getting younger and as a result, bored youths (with money to spend), who find little entertainment in the religiously conservative emirate, take drugs to pass the time. Another issue is the reluctance to receive treatment. After the addiction starts, these people typically don’t want to receive help due to the fact that the main source of treatment is through a government-run psychiatric hospital and addicts are reluctant to seek help due to the stigma around being labeled “mentally ill”. This only leads to the addiction to progressing and worsening problem. There are also no rehab centers easily available since it is believed that stopping people by force through arrestment is the best policy, and drugs are also easily accessible in jails through means of bribery. 


The first step that needs to be made on a national level is the construction of rehab centers, as well as a reworking of the jail system in order to halt the current method of “treatment” being used. Regulation on the current ban on drugs also needs to be altered. The Iraqi ban on alcoholic substances still holds strong, however, this just means Kuwaiti citizens are shifting towards greater use of illicit drugs. As for the current opioid crisis the Kuwaiti government agrees with others such as Ireland and Norway, that the crisis will not be solved without halting the international distribution and flow of prescription drugs through widespread regulation on such substances. Kuwait believes that this regulation should be the main topic of discussion throughout the committee and that the only way this regulation can be carried out successfully is if each nation contributes to its formation as well as its implementation.

  • Divya Reddy

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