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Hello, this is Michelle. Discussions in Geneva on peacebuilding last week couldn’t have come at a stranger time for the community as calls for diplomacy and conflict resolution are drowned out by the sound of airstrikes and bullets in the Middle East.

While the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was not on the official agenda, it was on the minds of many. It was certainly the case for one of the speakers, UN expert on the right to water Pedro Arrojo Agudo, for whom Gaza is just the latest example where water is being wielded as a weapon.

This last month in Gaza has also proven to be the deadliest period in history for UN workers. And a WHO regional appointment is mired in allegations of nepotism and corruption.

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Michelle Langrand


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UN special rapporteur Pedro Arrojo Agudo, speaking at an event during Geneva Peace Week on 31 October 2023, said water should be a tool for peace not war. (Geneva Solutions/Michelle Langrand)

💧Pedro Arrojo Agudo: Water should be a blue flag for peace, not a weapon of war. From Syria to Ukraine and now Gaza, water has been long used to harm and even punish the civilian population, according to Pedro Arrojo Agudo, UN special rapporteur on the human right to water and sanitation. The Spanish economist and former politician says water should instead be turned into a catalyst for peace. Geneva Solutions

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