September 16, 2019
 In Articles

The Special Political and Decolonization Committee

International Drug Trade

The Commonwealth of The Bahamas

Joshua Hay

Forest Hills Eastern


The illegal international drug trade is a pressing issue due to the global harm it causes every year. The countries and criminals illegally manufacturing and selling drugs are spread all throughout the world. This causes major upsets and problems in controlling the trade, and leads to up to an average of 1,600 drug related deaths in the Bahamas per year. The United Nations have already had three conventions addressing drug control that 95 percent of members belong to: 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. However, since the conventions’ adoptions, the number of narcotic and illicit drugs has continued to rise. The UNODC (United Nations office on drug control) has met in the past to discuss import and export regulations, smuggling prevention, and restrictions on manufacturing drugs. Unfortunately, the illegal trade still continues today- even expanding due to social media and technology becoming a cornerstone for criminality. As such, it is  now necessary for the United Nations to reach a decision on how to control universal drug trade for the safety of the world’s people and economy.


Due to the Bahamas’ massively open borders, we are a major site for drug trafficking. Traders use the Bahamas’ optimal location to transport drugs to large supply and demand countries and locations including North, South, and Central America. To combat these illegal operations, the Bahamian law enforcement teamed up with the United States in 1982 for operation Bahamas Turk Caicos. Annual seizures of cocaine and marijuana measured in the tons. Seizures of more deadly drugs including heroin and psychotropic substances, were rare. The drug trade is now regarded as one of the biggest roots of crime in the Bahamas. Drug traffickers are estimated to run a 300 billion dollar industry globally, meaning the crimes show no signs of stopping. Relating to this, Bahamian drug overdose rates have gone up 73 percent since 2015, showing that action must be taken quickly. The National Anti Drug Secretariat  (NADS), a unit of the ministry of national security, has already been established as an NGO in the Bahamas to bring focus onto the Bahamian and world drug abuse problem. They have teamed up with other NGOs in the past to help combat drug trading through meetings and anti drug days.


The Bahamian government has already had major success in cutting down on drug trafficking and use. This being due to partnering with wealthier, neighboring countries to help seize illegal substances. The Bahamas propose teaming up with nearby countries including, but not limited to, Haiti, The United States, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, and Cuba. CARICOM, the carribean community, already supports working in unity to stop illegal trade through our territories. There will be supporting law enforcement in our country, and patrolling our seas, starting a new operation. They also propose that the UN take a similar approach throughout the largest trafficking areas, and increase border and naval control on drugs. It is clear that national unity is the strongest way to combat this problem.

  • Joshua Hay

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