Water on the Brain
Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 16th July, 2008
Oil has dominated the geopolitical agenda for the past three decades, not least since George W Bush and Dick Cheney have been in charge in Washington. But water could be the new oil, according to Ed Davey, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesman and MP for Kingston and Surbiton. He was the keynote speaker at the annual general meeting of the Liberal International British Group (LIBG) at the House of Commons this evening, presided over by Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman of the all-party Select Committee on International Development). Ed underlined how important the issue of water is in relation to peace and security, not only in the Middle East, but in so many regions of the world. The party president, Simon Hughes MP, also put in an appearance at the AGM and underlined his support for LIBG and its internationalist work. Amongst the distinguished gathering was Emil Kirjas, (Macedonian) Secretary General of Liberal International, and the Canadian Liberal MP, Marco Silva.
At the subsequent dinner, at the National Liberal Club, we were able to thank David Griffiths, who has for many years served as either Chairman or Secretary of the group, as well as the outgoing Treasurer Ahmad Mallick. There is likely to be a generational change within LIBG over the next year or so, which is essential for the smooth functioning of any healthy organisation. In the meantime, LIBG will be hosting what promises to be one of the liveliest fringe meetings at the Bournemouth LibDem autumn conference, on the theme ‘Middle East: Is a Two-State Solution Still Viable?’, with speakers including Ran Gidor (Counsellor at the Israeli Embassy), Jeff Halper (from the Israeli Committee against House Demolition), a Palestinian academic (to be confirmed) and Willie Rennie, MP, who was recently on a fact-finding mission to Israel/Palestine.