UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs

Committee Information

Title: UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs

Organ: General Assembly

Chair: Daniel Palmieri

Topic A: Narcotics Trade and Smuggling

Topic A Summary:

The UN General Assembly is the main policy-making body of the UN, responsible for passing resolutions aimed at solving different issues throughout the world. Within this body, each member state has one vote. The General Assembly can convene a UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on topics that feel most pressing to the member states. In particular, in both 1998 and 2009, the UN held Special Sessions on drugs and narco-trafficking, where they attempted to address the growing drug problem throughout the world. As such, as a General Assembly "committee," we are responsible for non-binding recommendations made to member states, without the enforcement mechanism of the Security Council; so keep this in mind when drafting potential resolutions. Despite a decades-long drug war, narcotics continue to be smuggled across borders all over the world. Columbian cocaine still pours into Mexico and the United States, while Afghani heroin spreads across Asia and Europe, contributing to the growing world heroin epidemic. Narcotics Trade and Smuggling is not only responsible for the destruction of countless lives of those affected by drug addiction, but also empowers criminal organizations around the world. Drug cartels gruesomely battle for territory and smuggling routes, leading to the destruction of numerous communities. As such, how does your country plan to reduce the rates of narcotics smuggling? Do you plan to directly target the power of the cartels, or do you see alternative solutions? Make sure to emphasize how your nation has been affected by the illicit narcotics trade.

Topic B: Legalization of Addictive Substances

Topic B Summary:

Since the dawn of the "War on Drugs," the legal abolition and stringent sentencing laws placed on substance abusers has reigned supreme. Though laws, sentencing reviews, and jurisdiction of addictive substances range throughout the world, with extremes in both directions, the time has come to better contextualize and define the legality of addictive substances. With the illegal intercontinental drug trade ruled throughout the world by sophisticated and powerful drug cartels, the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs has a unique and meaningful role in curbing the harm that this drug trade has on society at large. Delegates within the committee should ultimately discuss whether the legalization of addictive substances is the right path to take in order to curb their harms on society. The delegates must ultimately propose a framework by which to better contextualize these addictive substances for years to come.

Background Guide


Letter from the Chair

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to ILMUNC India! My name is Daniel Palmieri, and I will be your chair for the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs this year. This is my first year serving as a chair for ILMUNC India, and I cannot wait for what will be an interesting and very engaging committee.

Originally from nice and sunny Los Angeles, I'm a Junior in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in the Biological Basis of Behavior and minoring in French (I know, totally related). My hope is to one day go to medical school and become a neurosurgeon, so I won't be leaving school anytime soon. It may seem like my life revolves around the sciences and pre-med, but in reality my passions are fairly scattered. I've been fascinated by international relations ever since early in high school, which I've pursued here at Penn by being an active member of the International Affairs Association (in case you didn't know, the organization running this conference.) I've already chaired several conferences, both UPMUNC and ILMUNC, but look forward to having my first experience as an international chair with all of you! I have experience competing with Model UN in high school, but have relegated myself to chairing at Penn. Outside of international affairs, I am also a big foodie and spend tons of my free-time cooking! When time permits, I'm also a big soccer fan, but maybe that's just the Italian within me speaking out.

The ILMUNC India Secretariat and myself have been preparing this conference with the upmost attention to detail. Of course, we encourage you to research and prepare extensively for what will be a difficult but rewarding committee, but we also have one very simple request: have tons of fun at ILMUNC India!

I am looking forward to meeting all of you in the near future. See you in November!

Daniel Palmieri
Chair, UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs

Dynamic Background Guide