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Narcotics Trade Conference

Agenda: Tackling the drug trade in South America, with emphasis on the Escobar presidency

“Everyone has a price, the important thing is to find out what it is.”

- Pablo Escobar


Welcome to South America, on July 5th 1982. The land of a thousand rainforests, a million species, and the birthplace of the Medellin Cartel, by none other than Pablo Escobar. Blessed (or cursed) based on your preference, South America provides the perfect breeding ground for growing the simple yet commoditised herb, the Coco Leaf, both geographically and in terms of distribution of its final product, white gold – cocaine. 


During the 1980s, drug cartels operating in South America became the world’s largest suppliers of narcotics, particularly cocaine. The rise of the cartels boosted the drug trade worldwide and precipitated major foreign policy disputes between the United States and Colombia, Bolivia and Peru.


The most notorious of these? The Medellin Cartel, run by the man making a name for himself in Colombian politics, the man, the myth and a legend for half of South America, Pablo Escobar. As of July 5th, 1982, Pablo Escobar won, by intimidation, the support that would lead him to be elected as Senator for the Liberal Alternative movement. If said party were to win the election upcoming election, it would ultimately lead to the end of the war on drugs in South America, and usher in a new day and age in South American History, one under the influence of white gold. 


The United States began its war on drugs shortly after a press conference, given on June 17, 1971, during which President Richard Nixon declared drug abuse “public enemy number one”. He stated, “In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive”. Hence began the war on drugs. During the same time, the USA was heavily involved in the Nicaraguan Revolution, amidst its cold war with the soviet union. In the eyes of the USA and the Western world, this killed 2 birds with one stone. 


The established trade that began in the 1960s, involved Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela and Cuba. Peasant farmers produced coca paste in Peru and Bolivia, while Colombian smugglers would process the coca paste into cocaine in Colombia, and trafficked the product through Cuba. This trade route established ties between Cuban and Colombian organized crime. From Cuba, cocaine would be transported to Miami, Florida and Union City, New Jersey. Quantities of the drug were then smuggled throughout the US. The governments of most South American countries turned a blind eye to these practices, after all, they were benefitting from the funds raised by the drug trade unless put under pressure from the United States Government, which began covert operations to crack down on major cartels 


Federal funding for the war on drugs reached 17.1 billion dollars. The profit on the drugs being smuggled in? Near double that. 


As we take on this challenge, we as the Executive Board of the CNT, expect the delegates to be well-researched and prepped for any challenge that comes their way, while remaining to be diplomatic in committee and offering a resolution to every crisis thrown their way across the 3 days of intense committee. Delegates will be tested to the utmost in terms of lobbying and crisis management, with allegiances shifting throughout the course of committee. Through diplomatic means and old-fashioned horse-trading, this committee aims to create a comprehensive framework to tackle the drug trade in South America and determine the outcome of Pablo Escobar’s future. 


Delegates of the CNT, it is now up to you to decide the fate of South America. Will Pablo Escobar rise to power in the race to become the next president of Colombia, or will he finally be brought to justice? Will the war on drugs in South America finally come to an end, or will it continue to live under the fear of Cartels and like millions of people around the world, continue under the devastating effects of cocaine?


In the words of the man himself :



Letter from the Director

Dear Delegates, 


I am immensely honoured and privileged to welcome you to the Narcotics Trade Conference, 1982 – a precursor to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, at the 28th session of the Cathedral Model United Nations. The international community is plagued with a seemingly insurmountable crisis – rampant and debilitating drug trade. 


It is the need of the hour to tackle the myriad of challenges brought about by the drug cartels operating across South America, who have established infallible trade and supply routes for narcotics. These South American cartels burgeoned when the US government cracked down on Mexican drug supply. Drug trade encompasses a variety of substances ranging from opium to marijuana and cocaine. This marks the onset of the normalization of drug use and violent crime rates. Governmental corruption, complicity and even collusion have enabled drug trafficking to flourish to unprecedented extents of profitability. The threat of the rising Medellin Cartel, a cartel based in Medellin, Colombia that dominates cocaine trade, is especially pervasive. The cartel has ownership of sophisticated drug laboratories, private airplanes and a private island in the Caribbean. Its founder and uncrossable drug lord Pablo Escobar has gained entry to the Colombian senate. His infallible position prevents successful opposition. 


The fraught situation is exacerbated by the interrelatedness of nations like Peru, Cuba, Bolivia, Columbia and Venezuela in the production and smuggling of cocaine. Meanwhile, the United States, under the presidency of Richard Nixon, has declared drug abuse “public enemy number one” and has waged a ‘war on drugs’. This is of significance because of the ongoing Nicaraguan revolution and American influence in South America. 


Furthermore, the global focus of the conference extends to trade overseas and across international borders, such as but not limited to the Sinaloa Cartel from Mexico and the Japanese Yakuza. Drug supply has reached Europe as well with major smuggling occurring through the Netherlands. 


Delegates, drug trade cannot be confronted, let alone curbed in the absence of global cooperation and a clear regulatory framework. During this conference, I expect you to discuss the origins of drug trade and the different stakeholders involved, as well as the political, social and economic implications of this booming illegitimate industry. The tenuousness of relations between the United States and Latin American countries must be addressed with Latin America being accused of complicity in providing haven for cartels. I look forward to watching committee address the various facets of this agenda and devise solutions to tackle them. I expect a realistic approach from delegates, that is cognizant of the profitability that cartels reap as well as their dominance in the political landscape. I encourage you to be well-researched and remain open-minded throughout. Remind yourself that the loudest voice is not always the most impactful and that one bad speech or session does not dictate the mark you leave. 


Before I conclude, a little bit about myself: I am a Year 12 IBDP student at The Cathedral and John Connon School. I am passionate about music and have been learning classical vocals since I was 7. I love listening to Abba, Pratik Kuhad, Lizzy McAlpine and Gracie Abrams. Furthermore, I enjoy watching thriller movies and shows in my free time and can discuss them for hours at end. My go-to activity when I’m bogged down with work, is a long run or walk. Academically, my interests lie in Economics and Psychology. 

Regrettably, CMUN 2024 will be my final CMUN conference, marking the end of an unforgettable set of experiences. MUN has played a pivotal role in my journey in high school – developing my skills as a critical thinker and a public speaker. Words fail to encapsulate the sense of passion and anticipation that a challenging conference evokes in me and I am sure in you as well. I look forward to seeing this manifest in committee and urge you to make the most of your experience. Please feel free to reach out to us at


Until August, 

Ananya Tawakley,


Narcotics Trade Conference, 1982, CMUN 2024.

Ananya NTC picture.jpg

Ananya Tawakley


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