Topic: International Drug Trade
Delegate: Jasmyne Bush
School: Williamston High School
The international drug trade is a global issue because they are being imported and exported all across the globe by a variety of ways. The Ten Year Agreement of 1907 and the Hague Opium Conference of 1912 sparked a giant push for this international drug trade. These things set a precedent for years to come. The problem was that it required very little. Now, the UNODC is continuously monitoring and researching global illicit drug markets in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of their dynamics. At current levels, world heroin consumption (340 tons) and seizures represent an annual flow of 430-450 tons of heroin into the global heroin market. Of that total, opium from Myanmar and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic yields some 50 tons, while the rest, some 380 tons of heroin and morphine, is produced exclusively from Afghan opium. While approximately 5 tons are consumed and seized in Afghanistan, the remaining bulk of 375 tons is trafficked worldwide via routes flowing into and through the countries neighbouring Afghanistan. The Balkan and northern routes are the main heroin trafficking corridors linking Afghanistan to the huge markets of the Russian Federation and Western Europe. The size of that market is estimated to total $13 billion per year.
It is the drug route you’ve never heard of: a multibillion-dollar operation involving cocaine and methamphetamines being packed into the hulls of sailing boats in the US and Latin America and transported to Australia via South Pacific islands more often thought of as holiday destinations than narcotics hubs. In the past five years there has been an explosion in the number of boats, sometimes carrying more than a tonne of cocaine, making the journey across the Pacific Ocean to feed Australia’s growing and very lucrative drug habit. Fiji is one of the countries caught in the crossfire. However, The transnational shipment of drugs through the Pacific is not the only cause of Fiji’s burgeoning domestic drug problem, it is also the booming tourism industry and increasing wealth in the country that also plays a part.With drugs in Fiji comes great violence. Like in any country, at the top of the food chain, drug dealers are dangerous men. There is no data collected in Fiji about drug use or addiction. There is no rehab centre in Fiji, no methadone clinic, no addiction health specialists, not even a Narcotics Anonymous meeting to be found. If addicts want or need treatment, they end up at St Giles, the psychiatric hospital in Suva (the capital), which reported that nearly 20% of its patients in the year from May 2017 to April 2018 were treated for substance abuse issues, mostly for addiction to methamphetamines.
Considering there is no data being collected about drug us or addiction, I would say that would be a good first step. If no one is looking at such data, there would be no need for change. Having more rehab centers is very important. In Fiji, the only place where people can get help with addictions is in Suva. There should be many more throughout the country so people can have easy access to get help. Creating a Narcotics Anonymous would be a good way to deal with drugs and addiction. Any help is good help and so far Fiji has none of it. If these things don’t change, there may never be a time in which Fiji escapes the horrible effects of the international drug trade.
- Jasmyne Bush