Delegate: Paige Hahn
Topic: Access to Water
The lack of access to a source of water is problematic on a large scale. This problem is not a recent one, it is an issue that the United Nations has been struggling to resolve since its creation. Approximately 785 million people live without access to potable water. The regions where this issue is most prevalent in countries of Africa such as Ghana and Kenya, and in countries in Asia such as Bangladesh and India. The people who live without easy access to water will sometimes have to walk miles to a water source. This walk could take multiple hours just to retrieve water. The water that is collected is often not safe to drink, but because the people have no means to purify it, they must drink it. Consuming this water can cause a variety of diseases, such as cholera, dysentery, and typhoid.
Although there is still much progress to be made on resolving this issue, the United Nations has made great strides in attempting to tackle this ongoing problem. At the 1977 United Nations Conference for Water, it was stated in the Action Plan that everyone had the right to water in the quantity and quality needed for basic living. During the International Drinking Water Decade (1981-1990), the United Nations raised awareness of the cause to bring more people water. This awareness brought roughly 1.2 billion people water. The UN did something similar from 2005-2015 called the “Water for Life” International Decade. One of their most recent accomplishments was in 2010, when the General Assembly of the United Nations recognized water as a human right.
In Canada, the majority of people have easy access to safe drinking water. However, there are groups of people that inhabit Canada that do not always have a source of clean water. One prominent example would be the First Nations communities. The government of Canada is in the process of increasing funds to try and eliminate long-term drinking advisories. The legislature has also revised past laws to ensure improvements in water quality. Canada would like to see increasing efforts in getting people water all around the world – and to those who are without it in their own country – in a resolution. Canada looks forward to working with the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and others in the fight for water for everyone.
- Paige Hahn