Global Water Crisis Looms: United Nations and World Economic Forum Join Forces to Tackle the Impending Threat


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The United Nations and the World Economic Forum have recently unveiled a collaborative effort aimed at addressing what they anticipate to be an impending global water crisis set to unfold in 2024.

In March 2023, the UN Water Conference took place in New York, marking the first occurrence of this event in 46 years. Co-hosted by officials from the Netherlands and Tajikistan, the conference aimed to draw attention to the pressing global water crisis and formulate strategies to achieve agreed-upon water-related objectives internationally.

Henk Ovink, the Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Sulton Rahimzoda, the Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan to the Water and Climate Coalition Leaders, expressed their aspirations for the conference. They hoped it would lead to a watershed moment for water-related issues, akin to the impact the Paris Agreement has had on climate action.

The UN, on its conference website, emphasized the critical role of water in achieving Sustainable Development Goals but noted that progress on water-related targets was significantly off track, posing a threat to the overall sustainable development agenda. Termed “Uniting the world for water,” the project sought to rally global efforts to address this impending crisis.

However, an earlier press conference by the World Economic Forum in 2022 hinted at a different agenda. The Global Commission on the Economics of Water, launched during the 2022 annual meeting, aimed to explore innovative approachs to value and manage water as a common good. The phrase “common good” was highlighted, suggesting a focus on collective control and societal influence.

During the launch of the Commission, speakers, including Alem Tedeneke and co-chairs Professor Mariana Mazzucato, Professor Johan Rockström, and Tharman Shanmugaratnam, revealed the underlying motive. The Commission sought to reshape global perspectives on water and position it as a common good, echoing principles asociated with collectivist ideologies.

In a report titled ‘Turning The Tide: A Call To Collective Action,’ released a week before the UN Water Conference, the WEF claimed that that the report and its action plan would redefine discussions on water for the 21st century.

Mariana Mazzucato underscored the connection between the water crisis, climate crisis, and the unsuccessful global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Emphasizing the importance of water as a global commons, she suggested using it as a unifying cause for citizen engagement, framing it as an experiment with the notion of the common good.

In essence, the pursuit of a global water crisis appears to be driven by the perceived failure of previous global challenges such as the COVID-19 crisis and climate change to unite the world’s populations. The emphasis on a “common good” narrative aligns with historical tendencies towards collectivist ideologies, raising questions about the motivations behind this orchestrated global initiative.

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