WHO Day 2 - Opioid crisis
On this second day of the WHO negotiations regarding the opioid crisis, the overall atmosphere was collaborative, although some tension could be felt when more sensitive topics were brought up. All countries restated their commitment to ending the epidemic. They also acknowledged the need for more innovative solutions in order to do so, although there was some disagreement on what these solutions should be.
The Russian Federation, China, Vietnam and the Philippines for instance claimed that drug abuse was first and foremost a criminal offense, and therefore should be treated accordingly. Meanwhile the U.S., Canada, and Mexico rather claimed that the issue was in fact one of health and that harsh criminalizing policies were not an efficient solution to reduce substance use and trafficking and not aligned with the purpose of the WHO.
Among the notable propositions to address the opioid crisis was one from the Russian Federation, which proposed investing in cyber security to track down illegal drug-selling websites. It was rejected by multiple countries on the basis that it was not relevant to the competencies of the Organisation. Another proposition that held more attention was one from the U.S., which suggested funding targeted training programs for medical staff. Another solution widely recognised was to create educational campaigns on social media, which would supposedly reach a large public, and particularly young people who are the most concerned by the opioid epidemic, for a minimal cost.
Finally, a juicy development occurred as Germany confronted China about the rumored massive production and exportation of opioids taking place in Myanmar, which the country claimed was fake news that should not find their way into UN summits.
~Victoire de Sauvage