BY KIRTHANA SASITHARAN, HÜRRIYET DAILY NEWS
The Special Political and Decolonization Committee held a press conference today regarding how water scarcity could lead to possible conflict. The numerous delegates were very engaged in the questions addressed to them. When asking the delegates what the risks of failing to address water scarcity would entail, the delegate from Sweden confidently presented the notion that the biggest risk would be that the entire integrity of the UN is compromised. The objectives of the UN would be undermined if water scarcity is not addressed. The delegate from Qatar pointed out that water was a human right and this human right should be accessible to all.
The delegate from China pointed out the three most important risks that would result if water scarcity were not addressed. The delegate said that it would affect the UN’s policies, that the economy could not function as we are reliant on water to function, and the greatest issue would be that lack of water would just cause more conflict. The delegates were very passionate about addressing this risk, as their purpose in this committee was further validated by their responses.
The delegates were also asked how the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is impacted by water scarcity. To this question, delegates from Israel, United Arab Emirates, and Nigeria stepped forward to present their perspectives. The delegate from Israel was quick to say that Israel often provides water to the Palestinian authorities, suggesting that the conflict over water did not reflect the conflict between the two nations at hand. The delegate from Nigeria said that realistic solutions needed to be in place in order to have water access for all. The delegate mentioned that Palestine does not even reach the minimum liters of water required per day; as such the issue of water scarcity in this region is grave.
When asked how the international community should approach situations that could turn into water wars, the delegate from Namibia said that early plans to receive alerts regarding such issues should be implemented. However, the delegate from Bangladesh appeared more nonchalant in their response, stating that the UN should merely discuss the issue.
The press conference allowed new notions and ideas to be left on the table and as such, will hopefully result in further to debate throughout the next committee session.