Article from Euractiv.com:
You can read my response is listed below the article.
Water security was brought to the table by a decision taken earlier that the ministers should periodically look into long-term issues of high importance. No specific water-related conflict was discussed at the Brussels meeting.
As the ministerial agenda was packed with issues that included putting Hezbollah on the EU terrorist list and the Middle East peace process, no discussion took place on water diplomacy.
A diplomatic source told EurActiv that the ministers endorsed Council Conclusionsprepared ahead of the meeting.
Ministers acknowledge that water-related conflicts could endanger the stability in many parts of the world, affecting the EU interests and international peace and security. Climate change and demographic developments are seen as aggravating the situation.
Some 783 million people, or 11% of the world’s population, lack access to improved sources of drinking water, UN figures show.
Ministers stress that water and sanitation should be taken into account in designing the successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015. They also highlight the need to empower women, as well as civil society and local communities – giving them a stronger voice in water diplomacy.
Ministers also welcomed the result of the EU Water Security Mapping Initiative, which they said has provided a picture of the individual member countries’ engagement on transboundary water security challenges across the world.
The Nile basin, the Middle East, the Sahel region, the Mekong River and Central Asia are among the areas of concern. The ministers called on EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton to continue to work with the countries concerned to broker solutions.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization says the current interstate conflicts over water resources occur mainly in the Middle East (disputes stemming from the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers among Turkey, Syria, and Iraq; and the Jordan River conflict among Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinians), in Africa (Nile River-related disagreements among Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan), as well as in Central Asia (the Aral Sea disputes among Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan).
Ministers also emphasised that EU policy promoting water cooperation across the world could be built based on the long experience and knowledge of the management of transboundary waters in Europe.
There is absolutely no acceptable reason that nearly 1 billion people on earth are dying and suffering simply because they do not have clean water. The earth is plentiful and can easily supply for the needs of we humans that have sprung up from this planet.
But as the article articulates, bureaucracy and disconnected self-interest complicate how simple the solution truly is, as we continue to place war, terrorism, violence, and greed over what we have the technology and resources to do – develop solutions for all people to have clean water.
It is the most essential element for all of life on this planet, and we should be wise to give it the priority it deserves.
Dylan Rainwalker – Walking For Water at http://www.dylanrainwalker.com
- Lebanon doesn’t recognize EU decision to include “Hezbollah” on list of terrorist organizations (en.trend.az)
- EU to decide on blacklisting Hezbollah (foxnews.com)
- Israeli Intellectuals Support European Sanctions (altahrir.wordpress.com)
- South Sudan set to sign new Nile agreement (zenileabbay.wordpress.com)
- Busy diplomacy traffic in Nile Basin over disputed dam (worldbulletin.net)
- Ethiopia urges Nile nations to deal opposed by Egypt (dailynewsegypt.com)
- Foreign ministers promote ‘water diplomacy’ (euractiv.com)