Topic Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,

Topic A: Security in the Caribbean IslandsThe Caribbean islands have a notably troubled and violent colonial past. A series of coups, foreign interventions, and authoritarian governments have left 38% of the regional population below the poverty line. Lack of economic stability has caused many problems in the Small Island Developing States, otherwise known as SIDS. Home to more than 63.2 million people with a collective gross domestic product of $575.3 billion, SIDS have economically, socially, and politically evolved tremendously over the past 5 decades. These states present a unique situation to the international community with regard to their vulnerability in many socioeconomic and terrestrial aspects. Many of these states are facing the brunt of the negative effects of climate change, particularly rising sea levels, and the difficulty for goods to reach the islands has stymied economic growth and led to an increase in illicit activity. The mandate of the UNODC and its mission to fulfill the sustainable development goals allow the committee to tackle major issues surrounding the Caribbean Islands. Delegates will debate combating the rampant illegal activity in the SIDS and will focus on different aspects of the issue and implementation methods.The UNODC shall be addressing the illicit activity running rampant in the Caribbean’s SIDS (Small Island Developing States), fueled by stymied economic growth and economic instability, due to historical turmoil, poor accessibility of goods, and climate change. The topic takes place in the Caribbean’s SIDS, and regards the proud nations of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Puerto rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States Virgin Islands. The Caribbean’s geographical position provided the underpinning for some of the region’s challenges due to its location “between major drug-producing countries in the south and major consumer markets in the north.” For this reason, he said, the Caribbean “remained extremely vulnerable to the threats posed by illicit trafficking and organized crime.” The SIDS are home to more than 63.2 million people, including 43.5 million in the Caribbean, and are affected by the lack of implemented and reliable security, plaguing them in almost every aspect of their daily lives. For sustenance, some turn to illicit activities, such as the drug trade or more general crime, like burglary, which affects them, the surrounding population, and the nations themselves socially, economically, and politically, thus spawning instability.  The Caribbean SIDS, “as countries of the commonwealth, have been passively integrated into the international economy for all their modern history.” Founded on a plantation economy centuries ago, the nations comprising of the Caribbean heavily relied on one or two exports (chiefly agricultural). Now, modern globalization has inarguably altered the dynamic of Caribbean economics. Though many attempts, both foreign and local, at the diversification of their sources of income have been made, the political and economic infrastructure necessary to successfully respond to market fluctuations and loss of competitiveness in key export sectors have rendered the attempts useless (eg. the dismantling of the Lome Convention, which provided Caribbean Banana exports preferential treatment from the EU, by the WTO in 1999). This, plus a series of coups, foreign interventions, and authoritarian governments have left 38% of the regional population below the poverty line. And, as stated before, poverty increases crime, such as drug smuggling and human trafficking. It’s true however, that with a collective gross domestic product of $575.3 billion, the SIDS have economically, socially, and politically evolved tremendously over the past 5 decades. But today, they face a new threat: climate change. Extreme weather, a symptom of global warming, has the potential to cause massive amounts of damage to infrastructure, which would take a substantial toll on their GDP, hindering their economic development. Their ability to educate, to treat, to govern, and to thrive would be severely compromised. To sum it up, the lack of omnipresent security in the Caribbean has varied in severity over time but has been present since modern globalisation because of their loss of competition and failure to diversify their economy.  The UNODC Regional Programme 2014-2016 in support of the CARICOM Crime and Security Strategy is the result of strong joint development and coordination between UNODC and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). This regional collaboration facilitated the full alignment of the Regional Programme with the Strategic Goals of the CARICOM Crime and Security Strategy (CCSS). Its five sub-programmes, listed below, reflect the thematic areas covered by the UNODC mandate, but also directly target the priority goals of the CARICOM Strategy, and guide the development of concrete UNODC projects and initiatives to be implemented in the region: (i) Countering transnational organized crime, Illicit Trafficking and Terrorism; (ii) Countering Corruption and Money Laundering; (iii) Preventing Crime and Reforming Criminal Justice; (iv) Drug Use, Prevention and Treatment and HIV/AIDS;(v) Research, Trend Analysis and Forensics. Some countries may not be inclined to spend money and resources on the increased stabilization on the Caribbean economy if they don’t have or gain any economic, social, or political ties or advantages to them; or if they are concerned with the spread of human and human trafficking. However, we expect most countries to comply because most countries are affected by crime and drug trafficking and can gain from less instability in the Caribbean, because they can make trade deals with them. Besides an “Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance,” signed in 1947, Uruguay and the Caribbean SIDS have no economic or illicit drug-trafficking ties to them. Therefore, the absence of security in the Caribbean SIDS does not directly impact Uruguay. In fact, known as “the Switzerland of Latin America,” Uruguay has some of the lowest crime rates and strongest state institutions in the region. Although it has seen a small rise in drug trafficking and small-scale gang-related activities in recent years, Uruguay is nevertheless classified as the most prosperous nation in Latin America, including the Caribbean, and ranked 30th globally according to the Legatum Prosperity Index. However, as a vocal supporter of global human rights, we understand that illicit activities put basic human rights in peril. With a military almost entirely used for UN peacekeeping (ranking first in the world on a per capita basis for its contributions to the United Nations peacekeeping forces), we are willing to use it to try to reduce illicit activity. However, Uruguay has a few unorthodox laws put in place to cut down illicit drug activity: decriminalization, legalization, and state regulation of cannabis. Countries are beginning to realize that the War on Drugs is a bust: it simply does not work. The last president, Jose Mujica, wants to make a “contribution to humanity” by serving making Uruguay a potential test case for an idea slowly gaining recognition across not only Latin America, but the world: that the legalization and regulation of some drugs could sap the cartel violence devastating much of the region. Mujica was totally willing to backtrack if the experiment fails. He said, “Like any experiment, naturally, there are risks, and we have to understand that if they prove too much for us then we must backtrack. We do not have to be fanatics.” Not only is it estimated to curb and reduce drug-trafficking and the violence that comes with it in Uruguay, but by putting the government in charge of the marijuana industry, Uruguay is supposed to add $30-40 million (USD) a year to GDP, boosting the economy. The Caribbean SIDS’ spend a large portion of their GDP on the importation of fossil fuels as a source of energy. If they could just use this money wasted on fossil fuel importations and instead invest it in crime-cutting solutions, the Caribbeans would become a much more secure place with a more stable economy. Switching from fossil fuels to renewables seems expensive and maybe even non-profitable. However, by switching, nations diversifie their energy sources, become less dependant, spend less on fossil fuel imports, and contribute to the global goal of reducing carbon emissions. It does seem daunting, yes, but let Uruguay’s eye-raisingly rapid transition be an example. Just fifteen years ago, oil accounted for 27% of Uruguay’s imports and a new pipeline was just about to begin supplying gas from Argentina. However, in that decade and a half, Uruguay has transitioned its energy source from chiefly fossil to nearly 95% renewable, without government aid or high consumer costs! Our diverse energy mix means a higher resilience to droughts and disasters. While not every country in the world can replicate this model, Ramon Mendez, Uruguay former national director of energy and acting head of climate policy, says that his country has proved that renewables can reduce generation costs, can meet well over 90% of electricity demand without the back-up of coal or nuclear power plants, and that it can lessen the dependency of a country. Today, the UNODC are attempting to reduce the presence of illicit activities by criminalizing and going after organized crime groups. However, crime is born from economic turmoil. They believe that by treating the symptoms (crime), they’ll cure the disease (economic instability), when in reality, they have to cure the disease to get rid of the symptoms. Uruguay cured the disease to get rid of the symptom and they’re now ranked the most prosperous country in latin america. Just fifteen years ago, Uruguay was blowing through their income by importing massive quantities of fossil fuels. They told themselves, “this is not sustainable, we must become more independent.” And that’s exactly what they did: not only do they produce 95% of their own energy, but it’s renewable too, slashing their carbon footprint in just a decade and a half. Renewables such as solar, wind, and geothermal are plentiful in the caribbean. To build a stable economy today in a globalized world, energy is a must. But this isn’t enough for an economy, you need a source of income. Since agriculture is the number one export and source of income, more trade agreements must be made to even the playing field for the SIDS, like the Lome Convention, which provided Caribbean Banana exports preferential treatment from the EU, by the WTO in 1999, but was discontinued soon thereafter. This would inarguably stimulate the Caribbeans SIDS’ economies. Although this might be met with backlash from other countries who also depend on certain common exports, the advantage of the expected crime recession will outweigh the small loss of income from certain common exports in other countries. Climate change is undoubtedly making it harder for these SIDS to thrive, so by relying on renewables, they’re contributing to the solution by slashing their carbon footprint. The trade agreements to even out the economic playing field could be funded perhaps by a certain “discount” on produce with countries who have the agreement. The agreement would make sure that the buyer would show preferential treatment (only buy a certain produce from the SIDS and only that SIDS unless they don’t have it available, like in a drought or something).  If the people in the SIDS have the knowledge that they can produce their own energy (eg. solar) and never have to pay the government, they will. So maybe they don’t need government subsidies but instead just knowledge that the option is there, because knowledge is less expensive than subsidies, aiding once again economic growth by devoting the scarce money to what’s really necessary, like disaster relief efforts. Unfortunately, the caribbean SIDS are located right in the midst of hurricane alley. With climate change, the frequency as well as the severity of these massive storms are supposed to increased. Over the past 30 years, the number of annual weather-related disasters has nearly tripled, and economic losses have quintupled. The only thing to do is commend the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy locally as well as across the globe, and maybe divert some money from another committee (lol) to provide subsidies. Renewables offer one very attractive thing that fossil fuels cannot: the option to take control of your own energy production and to slash monthly energy payments, which should provide enough incentive for people who struggle to pay for energy to take matters into their own hands.