Wars will not be fought over water – our thirst could pave the way to peace
The changing of the guard on the 38th floor of the United Nations has taken place at a time when notions about peace and conflict undergo a subtle change. In particular, the role of resources – especially water – is getting the recognition it deserves, as António Guterres takes over from Ban Ki-moon as UN secretary general.
This recognition has been a long time coming. Both Ban and his predecessor, Kofi Annan, have argued for decades that protecting and sharing natural resources, particularly water, is critical to peace and security. But it was not until last November that the issue gained widespread acknowledgement, when Senegal – that month’s UN security council president – held the UN’s first official debate on water, peace and security.