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Date registered: 17.03.2008
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COMMITTEE:Peace building Commission
COUNTRY: United Kingdom
TOPIC: Eradication of opium production for a sustainable economy in Afghanistan
Delegate: Tasneem Sarwar

This topic of peace building commission focuses on the issues related to cultivation and production of opium poppy in Afghanistan. The people of the Great Britain have great concerns about this matter. Such issues bear the potential of devastating global consequences through regional destabilization and the threat of losing Afghanistan to the title of “Narco-State”. In order to resolve these issues, it is important to bear in mind the demands of urgency as well as the need for a profound assessment of the situation's complexity.

After serious observation, there is no doubt on the fact that there will be an increase in opium cultivation this year as it has consistently been happening for the past 5-6 years, what we need to understand is that even after tremendous efforts of the Afghan government itself and the international community, why has the problem persisted?

The increase is likely to more than compensate for any reductions in cultivation in other provinces. This rise in the aggregate level of cultivation in Afghanistan gives us a sign that there is a need to seriously rethink Afghanistan’s current counter narcotics and development strategy. Undoubtedly, there will be those who assert that there is a need to implement a more aggressive position on opium poppy eradication. Let’s look at the relation between eradication of opium poppy and changes in the risk associated with its cultivation in Afghanistan. Why not argue on the point that simply looking at the risk that destruction of the crop imposes on rural households is insufficient, as a farmer will not associate any real financial costs to the loss of a crop unless there are other legal income opportunities available.

Eradication is an authoritative word; it implies action, force and control. The updated National Drug Control Strategy (NDCS) addresses itself to achievement of a sustainable reduction in opium poppy area and places eradication not as a lead action but one that will only work, once farmers have access to sufficient legal livelihoods and UK agrees to this approach. Only where there are legal livelihoods will a credible threat of eradication be used in order to provide incentives to shift away from opium poppy cultivation.

In short, United Kingdom would like to propose and support the idea of not considering eradication as the only way out for structuring sustainable economical conditions of Afghanistan. Eradication has to be judicious and targeted. This type of eradication requires a perceptive of the magnitudes of risk and opportunities cost and of where eradication can justifiably and effectively raise these without reproving households to distress and misery. Under these circumstances, eradication can supply to changing household decision making and prevent cultivation in future years.

The spotlight should not be on eradication alone but on state building and the formation and diversifying of income opportunities.

COMMITTEE: Peace building Commission
COUNTRY: United Kingdom
TOPIC: Establishing a stable situation in Liberia
Delegate: Tasneem Sarwar

The Peace Building Commission, a body entrusted with the responsibility of healing the wounds of conflict and getting traumatized societies back on their feet, has the topic of establishing peace and a stable environment in Liberia to discuss and resolve.

United Kingdom has sustained Liberia on various grounds. The UK Department for International Development has supported Liberia through its funding of UN agencies and NGOs working in the country. Thus this topic is of great concern to us.

Explanations for the outbreak of conflict in Liberia have mostly focused on the domestic, socio-economic and political environment of the 1980s. Liberia is at a crossroad, and we must get our bearings right. Though the guns are falling silent over much of the region, there remain simmering tensions regarding humanitarian issues and illegal activities. Somehow, these must be resolved before they become intractable.

From our perspective, the strategy for peace consolidation should focus on the following broad priorities: first, resolving ongoing conflicts as quickly as possible or at least preventing them from escalating; secondly, preventing a relapse into conflict in Liberia that has emerged from war; thirdly, preventing a fresh outbreak of conflict; fourthly, developing the institutional framework and relevant capacities for peace initiatives; fifthly, mobilizing the required resources at the national, regional and international levels for peace initiatives; and sixthly, addressing the underlying causes of conflict in a comprehensive manner.

In particular, we should aim at achieving the complete demobilization, disarmament and re-integration of ex-combatants, particularly child soldiers and mercenaries. Violence against women is another very important and burning issue to be tackled. There are also critical cross-border issues that should be urgently addressed, such as the illicit trade and proliferation of small arms and light weapons, illegal dealings in mineral and natural resources, smuggling of narcotics, human trafficking, repatriation of refugees and resettlement of internally displaced persons.

I think it is extremely important that we focus on ending the conflicts in the region so as to be able to tackle the essential tasks of economic and social development. For peace to prevail, and to last, we are seeking to develop meaningful peace building initiatives, including reconciliation and confidence building processes, as well as mechanisms to strengthen the rule of law.

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