September 16, 2019
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 In GLIMUN2019: International Drug Trade

Special Political Committee

The International Drug Trade

The Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Jesse Yang

Forest Hills Eastern

 

The problem of the international drug trade is growing larger and larger every day. There are markets for illegal drugs all over the world, but one of the worst is located in Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, Myanmar happens to be in the dreaded “Golden Triangle”, where the countries of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand produce much of the world’s opium, heroin, and more recently, methamphetamines. Opioids have really taken control of Myanmar, with around 37,000 hectares (around 90,000 acres) of land dedicated to the cultivation of poppies. Myanmar is the second largest opium producer in the world, as well as one of the largest producers of amphetamine-like stimulants. It is our goal to lower that in order to benefit the world.

 

The Republic of the Union of Myanmar is one of the three countries of Southeast Asia’s “Golden Triangle”, along with Laos and Thailand. This means that it is one of the world’s largest producers of drugs such as opium and heroin. Myanmar believes in eradicating this title from the country, as opium fields are sweeping the east and north parts of our nation. Myanmar has taken large steps towards eradicating the poppy fields, with only 37,300 hectares (92,000 acres) in 2018. This number pales in comparison to the 55,500 hectares (137,000 acres) recorded in 2015, a more than 25% decrease. Unfortunately, Myanmar has been unable to take larger steps towards eradication due to the problem of increased conflict throughout the country, with the Myanmar government focusing efforts on trying to protect its citizens and country from a group of ethnic rebels. This allows the opium fields to continue growing and developing under a blind eye, giving them a safe haven in the areas of Myanmar known as Shan and Kachin.

 

The international drug crisis is in clear need of a solution. The Republic of the Union of Myanmar proposes to tackle the problem by using mostly supply-side prevention tactics. By placing tighter restrictions around international, national, and local trade, the less likely countries such as Afghanistan, Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand are able to export the mass amount of product they produce. Targeting specific offenders would also be very beneficial. By preventing one of the largest exporters of amphetamines, opium, heroin, or any other hard drug from selling their goods, it drastically injures the market of international drug trade. If Afghanistan had tightened restrictions and was unable to participate in the trade, then many countries in Europe would lose their main exporter of opium. However, Myanmar does realize the benefits of demand-side prevention. Better education of these topics in developed and developing countries would benefit the world by teaching children about the horrors of drug use, therefore handicapping the market in the future. A combination of supply-side prevention and demand-side prevention would present itself with immediate benefits and lowered trade, as well as a concrete base to build off of in order to stop the drug trade for future generations to come.

  • Jesse Yang

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