Commision of Narcotic Drugs in Portugal

Commision of Narcotic Drugs in Portugal
Country Profile
Physical Geography
1. The official name of the country is Portuguese Republic.
2. The climate in Portugal is maritime temperate, being cool and rainy in the north, and warmer and drier in the south. Furthermore, the annual rainfall is 27.4 inches and the vegetation is thorn-bushes, heather, and fern.
3. Map:
a. The location of Portugal is located on 39 30 N, 8 00 W (latitude and longitude) and it is part of the Southwestern Europe and Portugal borders the North Atlantic Ocean and is located west of Spain.
b. Physical features in Portugal are volcanoes, mountains, and plains.
c. The area of the country is 57,222.073 sq. mi/92,090 sq. km.
Political Geography
4. Portugal is a republic, parliamentary democracy, and some of its government officials are the President Cavaco Silva, and the Prime Minister Passos Coelho. Furthermore, the political parties are Democratic and Social Center/Popular Party (CDS/PP), Social Democratic Party (PSD), Socialist Party (OS), The Left Bloc (BE), and Unitarian Democratic Coalition (CDU), and CDU includes Portuguese Communist Part (PCP) and Ecologist Party (PEV).
5. The capital is Lisbon
6. International Organizations that the country is affiliated with are ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE, CERN, CPLP, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club (associate), PCA, Schengen Convention, SECI (observer), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMIT, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, and ZC.
7. The size of armed forces that are available are 5,024,561 in total, where 2,566,264 of the total are men.
Cultural Geography
8. The official language is Portuguese, and other language that is spoken is Mirandese, which is spoken locally. The majority of the country’s ethnic group is homogeneous Mediterranean stock and a small number of African descents. Furthermore, the major religion is Roman Catholic.
9. The population is 10,760,305, where the population growth rate is 0.212%.
10. Another major city other than Lisbon is Porto.
11. The infant mortality rate is .466 deaths/1,000 live births, and the average life expectancy is 78.54 years.
12. There are 3.755 physicians/1,000 populations.
13. The GDP per capita is $23,000.
14. 17.29% of land is arable used for agriculture.
15. The natural resources of Portugal are fish, forests (cork), iron ore, copper, zinc, tungsten, silver, gold, uranium, marble, clay, gypsum, salt, arable land, and hydropower.
16. Major agriculture products are -grain, potatoes, tomatoes, olives, grapes; sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, dairy products, fish
Industrial-textiles, clothing, footwear, wood and cork, paper, chemicals, auto parts manufacturing, bass metals, dairy products, wine and other foods, porcelain and ceramics, glassware, technology, telecommunications; ship construction and refurbishment; tourism
17. Exports-agricultural products, food products, wine, oil products, chemical products, plastics and rubber, hides, leather, wood and cork, wood pulp and paper, textile materials, clothing, footwear, machinery and tools
Imports-agricultural products, chemical products, vehicles and other transport material, and optical and precision instruments, computer accessories and parts, semi-conductors and related devices
18. The currency of Portugal is euro and the current exchange rate is 0.755 per US dollar, as of 2010.
19. The balance of trade is -$23.76 billion, where the total exports is $48.91 billion and the total imports $72.67 billion.

Background of Topic
People have been using and abusing drugs throughout history, not by just one group of people but by everyone worldwide. The issue on drugs is a problem that has started as early as 2737 B.C., so this issue shouldn’t be directed as a problem that has started recently, but rather the nations has to look as a problem that has been going on for decades. In 2737 B.C., people in China used Marijuana as medicine and in the 19th century, there was the Opium War between China and Great Britain. This just shows that this is an ongoing problem. Furthermore, the bigger problem is that drugs didn’t start out as being sold as illegal drugs to addicts, but rather started out as medicine to cure illness. Even though drugs were first used for a good purpose, as the time went by, the use of drugs ended as taking it for the sole reason of addiction, and this is one of the biggest problem going on worldwide. The fact that people are getting addicted to narcotic drugs so easily led to people trying to get an advantage of this, which was to sell narcotic drugs illegally. But the sad part is that the addicts are buying the illegal drugs because they feel happier and freed from stress when they take in the drugs. Also, these addicts that want to be more freed from stress happens to be the ones that are in the lower part of the society, the ones that are not as well off as others. Furthermore, this issue on drugs doesn’t only involve this group of society that is not well off but also the people that are well off. In this issue, the involvement of the lower part of society is mainly because they want to take in the drugs. But, on the other hand, the group of society that is well off is mainly involved because they are the ones selling the drugs. Overall, this issue of drugs involves everyone because of the increasing number of addicts and the fact that some nations are solely lying on drugs to help their economy.

United Nations Involvement
The United Nations got involved starting with its predecessor, the League of Nations. The UN thought that drugs were becoming a huge problem worldwide, so to help solve this issue, during their first assembly of the League of Nations, the Advisory Committee on the Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs was created. This Advisory worked to stop the abuse of drugs, but it was not active during 1940 and 1946, due to a war, and naturally the Advisory got abolished. But, the UN knew that this was a big problem, so to carry on with the Advisory’s work, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was created right after the UN replaced the League of Nations. The Commission was given certain powers and made many attempts to stop the use of illegal narcotic drugs. Recently, there was the 54th Session of the CND. Furthermore, there are non and UN-organizations that are involved, like the World Health Organizations, the Food and Agricultural Administration, and the INTER-POL. With these organizations, the Commission created resolutions and treaties to solve this problem, for example, there was the Vienna Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971). Another treaty was the IUN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which was an international treaty in 1961. Other than treaties, the Commission tried and is still making short-term organizations like the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control (UNFDAC).

The Country's Policy and Actions
Being part of an international NGO, Dianova, Portugal is working towards in focusing on the areas of education, youth, drug addiction, and community development when it comes to the issue of drugs. When it comes to the commission on narcotic drugs, Portugal thinks that a nation shouldn’t put a limit, or rather a law when it comes to drugs. Rather than putting a law, Portugal thinks that you shouldn’t treat the drug users as a criminal but rather let them take in the drugs, because the government of Portugal thinks that drugs isn’t a crime but rather a health issue. And because this is a health issue, the drug users should be given free access to health care, so that they can freely ask for care. This idea was actually succeeded by Portugal, because in 2000, a law was passed that stated that the government decriminalized all drug use, including heroin and crack cocaine. People thought that decriminalizing drugs will actually increase the number of drug users, but Portugal succeeded in contradicting these people. Furthermore, Portugal thinks that other nations should follow Portugal as a model and try decriminalizing a few types of drugs at a time in their nation. The fact that this solution was successful in Portugal for the last decade shows that this can be done in other nations.

1.Central Intelligence Agency. "CIA - The World Factbook." Welcome to the CIA Web Site — Central Intelligence Agency. Directorate of Intelligence. Web. 23 Dec. 2011. .
2."Portugal." U.S. Department of State. Web. 23 Dec. 2011. .