Committee: Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL)
Topic: International Drug Trade
Country: Equatorial Guinea
Delegate Name: Emily Kinnicutt
School: Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy (SASA)
The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is concerned by the growing number of those affected by drug trafficking, especially the impact it has on nations all throughout Africa. A shocking 31 million people worldwide have drug use disorders (World Health Organization, 2018), with that number only increasing as the network of drug traders expands. Growing drug trade is also due to the increasing amount of drug production, with global cocaine, opium, heroin, and cannabis manufacture estimates by the UNODC, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, reaching an all time high (World Drug Report (UNODC), 2019). As of now, there are three UN treaties that govern global drug trade, and they are: the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol; the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971, and the Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988. Each of these treaties aim to ensure that certain substances are available for medical purposes while preventing them from being put towards illegal practices. Even still, as shown in the 2019 World Drug Report, drug production and trade has only expanded.
The Republic of Equatorial Guinea has unfortunately faced an increase in drug trafficking due to its neighboring Western and Eastern Africa being an epicenter of drug trade. Central Africa is a large exporter of narcotics, and can manage to transfer it between borders due to the instability from many displaced refugees and from conflict between nations. Unclear borders, both land and sea, as well as economic instability have led to drug trade flourishing in African nations. One front that has been more prevalent and is a reason that Africa has a large number of drug traffickers is that of anti-malarial drugs. Traffickers would incorporate non-medical antibiotics into these drugs intended to cure those affected by malaria, which interferes with the initiative to help those who could potentially die due to malaria. Equatorial Guinea has taken steps to stop drug use by passing no tolerance drug use policy as well as by collaborating with the African Union to ensure that drugs do not pass between borders or cause damage within member states (Interpol). Drug trade has also shown to have a detrimental effect on the economy of many African nations as they are used as transit areas. Not only is the value of the drugs brought through the nation higher than many nations’ yearly income, but it also destroys many young people’s lives, making them susceptible to being “mules”(African Union).
Equatorial Guinea believes it is imperative that, in this committee, we not only look at addiction and the production of drugs, but also the underlying causes that allow for international crime to exist between borders. In many cases, the driving forces behind networks of international drug traffickers are terrorism and money laundering. Equatorial Guinea would like to ensure that these topics are addressed, and that measures are taken to encourage member nations to take action. There is, particularly in developing nations (like Equatorial Guinea) a lack of resources to maintain any of the programs put in place. Not only should this issue garner international support both financially and intellectually from other member states, but also with those NGOs that are in the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs. In the past, the UN’s lack of regard for humans’ rights when developing their treaties on drug trade has led to the implementation of abusive and repressive drug policies. This is why we must ensure that those who have had drug issues get a fair trial and are placed into the proper systems to recover. Certain forms of drug seizures by the UNODC and Interpol have proven to be successful, but only when the aim is to dismantle large drug organizations, so it is recommended that those are expanded.
- Emily Kinnicutt