Political Science






Positions for the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

  1.              I.      Narcotics and Conflict Zones

Yemen is a member of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs representing its unending concern for the menace that affects all societies in the world. The abuse of Narcotics has become a concern for many countries especially for the United Nations. Ali Abdullah, the Yemeni president, is at the forefront trying to reduce the availability and consumption of narcotic drugs worldwide. In Yemen, the most common narcotic is khat, which is chewed by people of all ages in the country.[1] However, President Abdullah in 2007 was a chief campaigner for the bill that aimed to stop civil servants from chewing khat on duty. This represents the commitment of the president in the fight against narcotics. Secondly, narcotics are usually used in conflict areas to overpower the people and influence their decisions. Yemen in the recent years has been a target for militia groups who want to use it as a training ground and a base for illegal drug trade. The government has refuted claims that it has allowed militia groups to train on its soil.[2] In addition, the president in conjunction with the government is implementing recommendations to quell the civil conflict that exists in Yemen. This is done by ensuring a fair distribution of resources among the people. The government is also in the process of directing its waters to farming other crops apart from khat, thus enhancing its agricultural industry. The Minister for Water and Environment is working together with agricultural research firms to find ways to improve the current condition. Through collaboration with the United Nation’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Yemen is gradually reducing its people’s dependency on khat.

Yemen is a country where chewing of khat is considered part of every person’s life whether male or female. Research shows that more than 72% of all men and 33% of all women in Yemen chew khat.[3] Conflict in Yemen is based solely on political issues and the control of important resources in the country. The rebels in this country are the Huthi rebellion, new formations of al-Qaeda and a threatening southern movement. Illicit drugs play a major role in the conflict in Yemen with an increasing number of minors being introduced to drugs.[4] This is meant to increase their dependency on chemicals to ensure warlords have control over them. If the supply of drugs to Yemen continues, the conflict will soon become irresolvable with militias like al-Qaeda taking advantage of the situation to control the country. In this view, it is important for the CND to find ways to reduce the supply and use of narcotics in the country.

One of the most viable recommendations for the current state in Yemen is to reduce the amount of Khat that is produced. This will not only limit the supply to chewers but also to militia groups who use drugs as a method of control. This can be done by giving farmers incentives so that they can grow other crops. In addition, water that is pumped for irrigating khat plants should be used for other agricultural purposes. The country’s capital, Sanaa’s water wells are almost dry and the only solution is to cut the growth of khat. In addition, thorough educative seminars should be held in the country to help people understand the threat of narcotic drugs. The CND can help by working with the government to analyze the contribution of drugs in the conflict and finding means to help addicts stop using the drug. In conclusion, Yemen applauds the work of the CND and encourages more countries to join the commission since the problem of drugs is not regional but global. If more countries support the fight against narcotics, it will be easier to find a permanent solution.


  1.           II.      Strengthening of the United Nations Machinery for Illicit Narcotics Control

The United Nations was formed based on security issues that were facing the world at that time. However, its mandate has now extended to other issues that affect people in different areas. Drugs and crime are a pertinent issue in the welfare of the people and this led to the formation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The purpose of the office is to come up with recommendations that will help contain the drugs problem. In order to focus more attention to the narcotic drugs, the United Nations formed the CND[5], whose responsibility is to focus on the control of narcotics. The problem with the commission is that very few countries have registered as members thus reducing its mandate. This makes it impossible for the commission to target countries involved in the narcotics trade even if they are members of the United Nations Assembly. In order to strengthen the United Nations machinery in the fight against narcotics, it is important to engage more countries in this fight. The United Nations has the power to create restrictions for countries that do not abide by its regulations. This should be done for those countries that do not support the fight against narcotics.

The CND has further created sub-commissions that serve specific regions. One such commission is the Sub-commission on Illicit Drug Traffic and Related Matters in the near and Middle East. This sub-commission is mandated to work with governments near or in the Middle East to end the drug problem in this area. With adequate funding, such sub-commissions can be an effective means of aborting illegal drug trade in different areas. Other organizations that are in the race against drugs should work together with the CND to combat drug abuse in the world. In order to be able to coordinate international drug combating efforts, the CND requires extra funding from the United Nations and an increase in its manpower. In summary, the success of the CND will be determined by the support it gets from the UN and other organizations.


  1.        III.      Addressing the Social and Economic Factors of Narcotic Production

The production of narcotic drugs is fuelled by social and economic factors, which either increase or decrease their production. In most countries, farmers focus on the growth of narcotic plants due to the increased demand thus an increase in prices. In Yemen, khat is considered one of the main sources of income especially for the people living below the poverty line. In order to curb the widespread farming and usage of narcotics in such a country, it is important to address the issue of poverty. In addition, if the use of narcotics is a cultural practice, the people must be educated to ensure they understand the impact of narcotics in health.

In this view, it is important to find alternative agricultural crops that farmers can grow and still earn a living.[6] For example, farmers in Yemen must be given an alternative to khat if they are to stop its production. The government must work together with people to come up with a solution that is viable for the farmers. For example, Yemen imports most of its food items and if farmers focus on producing food crops, it would not only benefit them but also the country as a whole. Furthermore, farmers and all other users of drugs must be educated in such away that they make informed choices on whether to stop or continue with drug use. Through partnerships with regional organizations, the UN can come up with strategies that are effective for combating drug production.

Works Cited:

Bulletin of the WHO. “Khat chewing in Yemen: turning over a new leaf”, Oct. 2008. Web. 13 Oct. 2010. < http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0042-96862008001000005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=en>

CND. “Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Vienna, 16 – 25 April. 2010. Web. 13 Oct. 2010 <http://www.drugtext.org/library/legal/unc1.html>

UNODC. ‘Subsidiary bodies of the commission on narcotic drugs.’ 2010. Web. 13 Oct. 2010. <http://www.unodc.org/unodc/commissions/CND/06-subsidiarybodies.html>

UNODC. “Helping Yemen respond to terrorism”, 12 Jan. 2010. Web. 13 Oct. 2010. <http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2010/January/helping-yemen-to-respond-to-terrorism.html>

UNCND. ‘Model United Nations’, 2010. Web. 13 Oct. 2010. <http://munuc.uchicago.edu/committees/UNCND>

UN “Children and armed conflict,” 12 Dec. 1996. Web. 13 Oct. 2010. <http://www.un.org/children/conflict/english/pr/1996-12-1252.html>

UNODC. “Bulletin on Narcotics”, 16 Aug. 2008. < www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/bulletin/2006/Bulletin_on_Narcotics_2006>




[1] “Khat chewing in Yemen: turning over a new leaf.” Bulletin of the WHO. http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0042-96862008001000005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=en


[2] “Helping Yemen respond to terrorism” UNODC.



[3] “Bulletin on Narcotics.” UNODC.



[4] “Children and armed conflict.” UN.



[5] ‘Subsidiary bodies of the commission on narcotic drugs.’ UNODC http://www.unodc.org/unodc/commissions/CND/06-subsidiarybodies.html


[6] “Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Vienna, 16 – 25 April. CND.



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