Press Trust of India | GA Plenary | Are Water Issues Just a Symptom of Corruption?

The delegates of GA Plenary all share an eagerness to combat water insecurity and limited availability. The session opened with various ideas on the root causes of water issues; responses ranged from scientific to blatantly political. The most pressing and controversial root causes presented were the effects of corruption and global conflicts on the ability of nations to solve their water issues. The committee included mixed feelings as nations such as Lebanon and India demonstrated optimism on the ability of the United Nations to target specific corruption while nations such as Sweden and Iraq showed pessimism about how effective solution propositions can be.

Lebanon first drew attention when they pointed out that the effects of former French colonization due to the French Mandate still control Lebanon’s ability to progress toward water solutions. Lebanon had no malicious intent in targeting France. Instead, the posed argument addressed the basic desire of smaller countries to be truly freed from the impact of global superpowers who never entirely let go of imperialist ideas.

In an independent follow up with Lebanon, they explained that countries like France, “use national security and economic growth to continue to exploit the third world.” Developed nations care about global water issues and seek solutions, but third world nations question if superpowers are willing to sacrifice economic endeavors for the wellbeing of the people financial gain feeds off of. Despite displeasure with the state of superpower-third world nation interactions, Lebanon believes that the United Nations has the potential to mediate issues and pave the way for pushing aside history’s exploitations for the greater good. 

In later discussion, after using Morocco’s monarchy as an example of corrupt rulers failing to care enough about citizens, India elaborated in an interview their feelings about corruption within rather than between nations that prevent the people from improving water conditions. India then pointed out flaws in India’s own government as the executive sector of the government is “taking money that is supposed to be supplemented to pollution and taking it for themselves.” Even when solutions for water insecurity and ideas to bring water to the people are cohesive and plausible, greed and disloyalty to the people create governments that see aid as a means for personal gain.

In the context of the powers of the United Nations, India concluded that corruption in a nation can only be solved by the people of that nation, but as soon as that corruption affects neighboring countries (such as India affecting the Ganges river that other nations depend on), the United Nations has authority to step in and limit the reaches of corruption.

Unfortunately, not all delegates in the committee trust that the United Nations can solve the political issues that lead to stunted growth of water security progress. For example, after the United Kingdom compared the water crisis to “trying to pour water into a broken cup,” Sweden pointed out that the nations that struggle the most do not have a cup at all due to corruption and the unaffordability of secure water resources. In later unmoderated discussions with nations, Sweden continued as they stated that “government is corrupt… we can’t do anything about it.” Will water crisis solutions always have a cut off due to the imperfect nature of government?

Similarly, Iraq expressed concerns about water availability due to the ongoing wars in the Middle East. Iraq specified that due to Turkey’s dam building on the Tigris and Euphrates River, water resources for the Iraqi people “dried out in 2018.” Iraq is still open to discuss the future of global water problems and sees some potential for gradual improvements, but the delegate emphasized that solutions cannot be completely effective until after the war when tensions have calmed down.

The water security crisis flooding the world seems scientific at a glance, but upon further inspection GA Plenary has revealed that the potential for progress is being strangled by internal and external government profiteering and extortion.

Header: “France–Lebanon Relations.” Wikiwand. Accessed October 14, 2019.–Lebanon_relations.