The 4th Main Committee of the General Assembly (Special Political and Decolonization Committee) deals with a variety of political subjects not dealt with by the First Committee, as well as with decolonization. The committee came into being in its present recognizable form in 1993. Its origins can, however, be traced to the Special Political Committee that was formed as an ad-hoc committee in 1947 to deal specifically with issues of international politics and security. The General Assembly maintained SPECPOL as an ad-hoc committee until 1978, when it replaced the Trusteeship Committee as the Fourth Committee. Ten years later, the United Nations declared the 1990s to be the “International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.” In furtherance of this goal, the United Nations moved to modify SPECPOL, turning it into the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, with a mandate to oversee decolonization. As of 2005, the United Nations recognizes 15 Non-Self-Governing Territories. This number, of course, is highly disputed as some territories have had referendums where the people have rejected self-governance. SPECPOL is primarily an advisory committee, recommending courses of action to the Security Council, specialized agencies of the United Nations, governments of member states, international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It does not have the power to take military action nor pass a binding resolution. During this conference, however, there will be no plenary session; therefore, all resolutions passed during the committee session will be deemed binding.
History of the Topic:
The War on Drugs is a campaign of prohibition and foreign military aid and military intervention undertaken by the United States government, with the assistance of participating countries, and the stated aim to define and reduce the illegal drug trade. This initiative includes a set of drug policies of the United States that are intended to discourage the production, distribution, and consumption of illegal psychoactive drugs. The term "War on Drugs" was first used by President Richard Nixon in 1971. On May 13, 2009, Gil Kerlikowske, the current Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), signaled that although it did not plan to significantly alter drug enforcement policy, the Obama administration would not use the term "War on Drugs," as he claims it is "counter-productive". ONDCP's view is that "drug addiction is a disease that can be successfully prevented and treated... making drugs more available will make it harder to keep our communities healthy and safe." One of the alternatives that Mr. Kerlikowske has showcased is Sweden's Drug Control Policies that combine balanced public health approach and opposition to drug legalization. The prevalence rates for cocaine use in Sweden are barely one-fifth of European neighbors such as the United Kingdom and Spain. In June 2011, the Global Commission on Drug Policy released a critical report on the War on Drugs, declaring "The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. Fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and years after President Nixon launched the US government’s war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed." The report was immediately criticized by organizations that oppose a general legalization of drugs. Since most of the illicit drugs consumed in the United States come from foreign sources, an integral part of reducing drug use in the United States involves a strong interdiction capability, both in source countries and in the smuggling transit zone. The aim of source country programs is to assist host Nations in destroying drug trafficking organizations, drug crops, drug production facilities, tracking or seizing drugs scheduled to be shipped to the United...
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