The nightman of Turtle Bay

world toilet dayDuring his first turn as prime minister, Kevin Rudd spent big to put pink batts in Australian ceilings, finding diversion from that and other chores by flinging large sums at the UN, its various agencies, minor member states and sundry organs. Just coincidentally, the world body has now tossed something his way — a gig as its globe-girdling Emperor of Effluent. From up on the roof to down in the sewer, Rudd’s latest contribution to the betterment of mankind will see him serve as chair of the Sanitation & Water For All Partnership.

Judging by the panel’s latest minutes — that’s an excerpt below — the programmatic specificity of Rudd’s capacity to say little at great length will mesh sweetly with the body’s many, many delegates from the Third World, where large numbers of sons, brothers-in-law, third cousins and bar-sinister spawn of the well-connected are always keen on well-paying, tax-free UN jobs.

Following a request at the last SC meeting, Amanda gave a presentation on the on-going post-2015 debate and presented recommendations for 1) SWA’s role in influencing decisions on the post-2015 agenda and 2) positioning SWA as a key partnership for achieving post 2015 WASH targets.

Amanda informed the SC that the WASH sector’s input into the upcoming SDGs was kick-started by many of the organizations in the room. A technical consultation was organized and the relevant UN decision-makers have been advised of the conclusions. She stressed that the issues are still being debated, the WASH sector cannot become complacent and must strive to support ambitious but achievable WASH targets.

Acronyms! Targets! Consultations! Key partnerships! Debates without decisions! Expect Rudd to fit right in.

To learn something of Rudd’s role as Commodore of the Commode and his very many interesting new colleagues, the link below leads to just one of the committees devoted to debating septic tanks and the like. Readers with a perverse yen to immerse themselves in bureaucratic boilerplate should download some of the minutes. Like ambition, there is no shortage of it.

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