Committee on Drugs and Crime
Written by Garret Reuckert, Salt Lake Community College
Judging from the delegates’ opening statements, it was clear that any disagreements were going to be divided along very regional lines. The Global North and Latin America were pushing to end death penalties for drug crimes, but these punishments mainly exist in Far and Middle East countries which were set to defend their practices as effective. Alongside ending ending the death penalty, issues of drug trafficking, terrorism, violent crime, and money laundering were to be discussed and recommendations drafted. These issues were mainly divided along regional lines as well. Four recommendations were proposed this session and played out as follows:
Recommendation 1: Ending the death penalty for all drug related crimes.
Largely supported by the US, Canada, Colombia, Uruguay, Costa Rica, and the EU nations present, and opposed by China, Japan, Indonesia, Tajikistan, Thailand and Cuba. Those in favor cited human rights and a Latin American imperative for ground work on crime without a punitive focus. Those against noted that they found the punishment effective in curtailing trafficking through their countries, especially the opium trade in China. State sovereignty and the right to selectively use the death penalty within a nation were concerns voiced by the delegate from Thailand. Tajikistan suggested a possible amendment to exempt traffickers of over 100 kg from the recommendation.
The final vote was 15 For, 8 Against; Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago joining those for, and the Philippines and South Africa joining those against.
Recommendation is DEFEATED by a narrow margin.
Recommendation 2: Reduction and elimination of crop eradication practices and protection of indigenous practices of growing certain drug crops.
Proposed by the delegate from Mexico. Supported by US, Trinidad & Tobago, and most other present Latin American and European delegates. Opposed by China and other Asian nations. The Canadian delegate proposed amendment to strike the wording including protections for indigenous protections. Uruguay threw its support behind the amendment and encouraged those who wished to see the whole recommendation pass do likewise to garner more support for the rest of the proposal, the United States did not support the suggestion and voted against the amendment. The amendment passed with a 13 For and 6 Against count, a few countries abstaining. The amended recommendation then moved to a vote.
The final vote on the amended recommendation was a similar 13 For, 9 Against. France and Honduras bucked the trend and voted against. Recommendation is DEFEATED.
Recommendation 3: Creation of regional, intergovernmental agencies to reduce trafficking out of prominent export countries.
The recommendation was put forward by Indonesia with immediate support from China, France, and the Philippines. Canada and Mexico were confused on what sort of implementation this recommendation would entail. Trinidad & Tobago mentioned that most island nations, who do little in the way of producing, should step up and address the heavy trafficking done through their countries. Columbia brought up the concern that the wording focuses too heavily on producing and not enough on reducing demand in importing countries. France also addressed this wording concern and brought up an amendment to strike the wording focussed on producing countries. Tajikistan was the main opponent of the French amendment because of their opium problem coming exclusively out of Afghanistan. Jamaica threw out support for the amendment, warning export countries could be bullied and manipulated by larger countries if the wording went unchanged. The Amendment passed with 14 votes For. The amended recommendation then went to full vote.
The final vote on the amended recommendation was 11 For, 11 Against. The opposed included Cambodia, Colombia, Portugal, the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Mexico, and South Africa. The recommendation is DEFEATED.
Recommendation 4: Establish a global standard for asset seizure and distribution in cases of money laundered to finance the drug market. Includes more transparency in private financial institutions and stricter controls/punishments for banks involved in money laundering.
This recommendation was proposed and was entirely supported by the whole assembly. Very little debate happened and no amendments were proposed.
The final vote for the recommendation passed unanimously.