Topic: International Drug Trade
Delegate: Melvin Lopez
School: Fishers High School
International drug trading has not only become a great ordeal for many countries throughout the entire world but has also been a global hot topic on the news on how countries will approach this situation. Solutions such as The Ten-Year Agreement of 1907, and the Hague Opium Conference of 1912 have not only failed but have sparked interest and ways to put a stop to the International drug trades. With the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971, and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988, the demand for Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances has greatly increased with the more recent development of technology creating an even bigger problem. Thailand has unfortunately been apart of this global issue with the “Golden Triangle” being ran in South East Asia connecting other countries such as Laos and Myanmar. According to the UNODC, (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), in its Myanmar Opium Survey 2018 they stated 37,300 hectares of land in the country was under poppy cultivation last year with nearly 90 percent of all the opium being grown in the northeastern Shan state. And with cheap pills being generally trafficked into Thailand, Laos, China and Myanmar going for $1 to $1.50, causing a higher rate of methamphetamine seizures. Therefore, creating a reason for Thailand to want to further proceed with a greater solution to this problem.
Thailand has taken more extreme measures on their part to find and put a stop to drug smugglers and consumers by having parts of their military on the hunt for these people. With more than $137 million worth of drugs being confiscated in November alone, demand is still high for distributors from neighboring countries within the Golden Triangle and beyond. With Myanmar being a key country for distributors to farm Opium, Myanmar has had to have military forces at the border on patrol of smugglers in order to stop the cross-country distribution to Thailand. Thailand though has blamed the UWSA, (United Wa State Army), for allowing drugs through. With this conflict, Thailand may look forward into strengthen border security to prevent smuggling between countries. Laos is also thriving for an alternative for Opium drug cultivation through the National Social Economic Development Plans (NSEDP) program to help farmers find alternative farming for profit. With this change, countries have less and less supply, therefore lowering demand for these drugs.
With this in mind, Thailand would like to follow the examples and improve upon these current solutions to solidify a greater future for the world. Thailand see’s that the best fit for countries is to strengthen border patrol and help countries that may not be currently at a strong hold. By doing so, the distribution of smuggling narcotics will greatly reduce demand. But countries must be able to provide financial aid for farmers in transition programs such as the National Social Economic Development Plans (NSEDP). Farmers will then have the confidence to change to an alternative as opposed to opium and other narcotics. Countries may see a slow rate of change but must always keep farmers and others in check with strong punishments due to contributions and involvement in a global crisis.
- Melvin Lopez