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Committee : United Nation Office of Drug and Crime (UNODC)

Topic : Drug Trafficking

Country : Myanmar

Country’s Representative : Ellena Maggyvin

Myanmar as the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia, has been struggling on fighthing
drug trafficking for decades. As the world’s second largest producer of opium after
Afghanistan, opium and heroin produced in the country are consumed in and distributes
through China and Thailand as well as the rest of Asia, even australia, north america and
europe. According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, opium cultivation in
Myanmar increased from an estimated 21.000 hectares in 2006 to over 57.000 ha in 2014,
showing a great increase in opium production to 670 tons in 2014. Overall, myanmar
accounted for 67% of the opium produces world wide, and about 90% of that is in south east
Asia, with domestic value estimated at USS 244 million[1]. Opium has always been the main
livehood for the local ethnics in Myanmar, opium has been cultivated in the hills and
mountains of Shan State and Kachin State, which are isolated and war-affected areas. Opium
has been used as cash crop, where local communities grow opium to alleviate food shortages
and to buy essential household items, not to mention the tendency to grow poppy are far more
higher compares to crops like rice or corn.[2]

The existance of large-scale crime and its ensuing web of corruption as well as the unstable
condition of the goverment has enrich criminals and their cronies, and also ensuring the
whole drug business to stay untouched for decades, eroding the civil society. The production
and consumption of illicit drugs are resulting up to 300.000 people are officially registered
drug users in Myanmar. These number has serious implications for the spread of HIV/AIDS
and hepatitis C, which is expanding in Myanmar at an alarming rate. The collapse of the
national health system during military rule paired with Myanmars’s isolation from
international community, which limited aid money, has had severe negative consequences, by

[1] United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). 2014. Southeast Asia Opium Survey 2014: Lao PDR,
Myanmar (Bangkok, Thailand: Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, UNODC, 2014).
Available Online at: http://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/sea/SE-ASIA-opium-poppy-2014-
web.pdf. [Accessed on: 25 September 2016, 08.37 WIB]
UNODC. 2014. World Drug Report 2014. Vienna : United Nations. Available Online at:
http://www.unodc.org/documents/wdr2014/World_Drug_Report_2014_web.pdf. [Accessed on: 25
September 2016, 08.40 WIB]
[2] Kramer et al. 2014. Bouncing Back : Relapse in the Golden Triangle.
2000s it had become clear that Myanmar was facing major HIV/AIDS epidemic[3]. A 2012
report by Medicins Sans Frontieres suggests that some 85.000 people are still ini urgent need
of ART in Myanmar. The same report also states that about 15.000-20.000 people living with
HIV die annually in Myanmar, because of lack of access to urgent lifesaving anti-retroviral
therapy (ART).[4]

Myanmar has been implementing the 1993 Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Law
, which allows goverment to criminalize not only the use, possession, cultivation,
production and trafficking of relatively small amounts of drugs with long sentences, but also
penalize drug users if they fail to register for medical treatment. Government has also runs
various drug treatment centers in order to rehabilitate drug users and as a member of
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), myanmar along with 9 other members has
set a goal to make the region drug free on 2015. Myanmar has come to define “drug free” as
“a significant reduction in drug consumption, production, and trafficking”, and has postponed
the deadline until 2019 [6].

Myanmar along with neighbourhood countries, such as China and Thailand and the united
nations, has been working together to eradicate drug trafficking and distribution through the
nation’s borders since 2000s. These actions have resulted a great positive impact to the nation
itself, in which some region of the Shan State has been declared opium-poppy free. Myanmar
believes the project will succeed if there’s more parties that actually help in eradicating the
illicit drug bussiness in the nation. There are still a few more goals to achieve in order to
achieve a drug free nation, including illicit crop monitoring, and illicit drug control, provide
alternative livelihoods to (ex) poppy farmers in their area, encompassing drug use and
HIV/AIDS prevention focussed on the needs of the youth, and treatment and rehabilitation
for addicts, and continue to collaborating with the parties concerned to eradicate illicit drugs
problem in the nation, region, and worldwide.

[3] Kramer, T. 2016. The Current State of Counternarcotics Policy and Drug Reform Debates in Myanmar.
Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence Latin America Initiative.
[4] Médecins Sans Frontieres. 2010. Lives in the Balance: The Urgent Need for HIV and TB Treatment in
Myanmar. Available Online at http://www.msf.org/sites/msf.org/files/old-cms/fms/article
documents/LiveInTheBlanace_Myanmar.pdf [Accessed on: 25 September 2016, 08.15 WIB]
[5] Jelsma, M., Jensema, E., Ei Kham, N. P., Kramer, T., Gloria, L. And Tripti Tandon. 2015. Towards a
Healthier Legal Environment. A Review of Myanmar’s Drug Laws. Available Online at
https://www.tni.org/files/download/towards_a_healthier_legal_environment.pdf [Accessed on: 2 October
2016, 16.00 WIB]
[6] United Nations. 2002. Strategic Programme Framework UN Drug control activities in Myanmar.ODCCP
Country Profile : Myanmar 2001.