3 Sep 2013

UNited in confusion?

Global bureaucrats and stakeholders are writing a post-MDG 2015 development agenda.

They've released a "water thematic consultation report" [pdf] that claims that 2 billion people have "access to an improved water supply" yet "1.8 billion of those who gained an improved source still use water known to be unsafe to drink" [p. 12] -- a failure that I noted long ago.

They also make this strange statement on a human right to water (which I oppose):
Indeed, to endure and reach everyone – especially the weakest, most remote, impoverished or unborn members in society – on an equal basis, parties felt reluctant to force water access unilaterally from above. Nor can rights take shape without due respect for local cultural, gender, political or natural context. Rather, it became clear through the consultation that secure access to water must be recognized as a fundamental right for all, which can’t be taken away. [p.5]
It's strange to me that their bold text contradicts the statements above about "unilaterally from above" and "local... context." Did someone forget to run the logic checker?

Bottom line: The UN and other bureaucrats cannot help people if they are too confused to see their own failings and contradictions.