The Instigator
aoibhinn
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
xlilmattx
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The United Nations Should Prioritize Global Poverty Reduction Over All Other Issues

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/10/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,974 times Debate No: 9657
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (18)
Votes (2)

 

aoibhinn

Pro

Please conduct this debate in typical PF format, although we will not have a place for CX. Please ignore contextual anomalies like "My partner and i" or mentions to the judge, time keeper, or opponents.

Intro
Doctor Seuss once said, in Horton Hears a Who, that, "a person's a person, no matter how small". Seuss attaches, as he should, inherent and intrinsic value to the human person. Meaning that every human being has natural dignity, and should be treated with respect, fairness and equality. However, when one takes a look at our modern world, one quickly see's how the poor have been stripped of nearly every basic human and civil right.

According to UNICEF, 25,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they "die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death."

The Census Bureau estimates the current population of Gladstone to be approximately 26,000. So, nearly everyday the equivalent of the city of Gladstone is lost to childhood poverty.

That is equivalent to:

•1 child dying every 3.5 seconds (in the time it will take me to make my 4-minute speech 68 children will have died, by the time this debate round ends, 531 will have died)

•17-18 children dying every minute

•Over 9 million children dying every year

•Some 70 million children dying between 2000 and 2007

This is completely unacceptable. Due to the fact that my partner and I believe that the dignity of the human person should be held over that of the protection of the environment, we stand in firm affirmation of the resolution:

When in conflict, the United Nations should prioritize global poverty reduction over environmental protection.

For the sake of clarity we offer the following definitions:
Poverty: as defined by the UNDP as earning less than $1.5 a day
Global Poverty Reduction: UNDP (United Nations Development Programme)
Environmental Protection: UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme)
Prioritize: the status of being earlier in time or higher in degree or rank; precedence (BLD)

Contention 1: Global Poverty is a violation of human rights

PREAMBLE

WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED

• to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and

• to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and

• to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
The only way that the United Nations can retain its purpose and credibility as an organization, is through poverty reduction due to the precise phrasing of the UN Preamble.

In the Universal declaration of Human Rights it states:

Article 1:

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

Article 25:

"consider Article 25: Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control."

Contention 2: Poverty reduction furthers Environmental Protection

One cannot expect a poverty stricken nation to have significant enough resources to protect the environment, least of all mere survival. By raising those who are poor to a higher standard of living, one actually aids protecting the environment. What happens when people are more educated about farming, and have learned about sustainable agriculture? Well of course they will use it. But in order to get to that level of sophistication, in order to maintain an economy of the likes we are discussing, the UN must first act in reducing poverty, thereby setting the example for other nations, nations inside but not limited to the UN (charter).

In developing countries some 2.5 billion people are forced to rely on biomass—fuelwood, charcoal and animal dung—to meet their energy needs for cooking. In sub-Saharan Africa, over 80 percent of the population depends on traditional biomass for cooking, as do over half of the populations of India and China (Millennium Development Goals Report 2007)
Indoor air pollution resulting from the use of solid fuels [by poorer segments of society] is a major killer. It claims the lives of 1.5 million people each year, more than half of them below the age of five: that is 4000 deaths a day. To put this number in context, it exceeds total deaths from malaria and rivals the number of deaths from tuberculosis. (Ibid)

The UN is not required to solve the problem of poverty, merely to prioritize the reduction of global poverty.

Inequality is not just bad for social justice, it is also bad for economic efficiency (Growth with equity is good for the poor, Oxfam, June 2000) Oxfam = Oxford Committee for Famine Relief

The priority of the issues is crystal clear, for "a person's a person no matter how small" and the UN must protect these people, but most of all these children, from the horrific fate that awaits them if change is not made. Once again I would like to thank the Judge, the timekeeper, my partner, and our opponents and please cast an affirmative ballot. Thanks you once again and VOTE PRO.
xlilmattx

Con

Resolved: When in conflict the UN should priotize global poverty over environmental protection.

I will make the following definitions clear. Poverty is defined by the World Bank as a state of living in which capable of adults live on less than 2.50 US dollars per day. Protection is defined by Websters dictionary as the act of being protected; being safe; or out of harms way.

My partner and I stand in firm negition of the resolution for the following reasons.

Contention One: Environmental and agricultural sustainability must precede poverty reduction efforts in order to ensure stability.

Desertification is quickly reducing the amount of arable land in developing nations, especially in India and sub-Saharan Africa. Desertification is swiftly progressing due to unsustainable agricultural methods being practiced in those nations, such as overgrazing and improper irrigation and fertilization methods. Luckily, sustainable agriculture is easily maintained, self-incentivizing and requires little funding to carry out.

Subpoint A: Sustainable agriculture is necessary to support persons in developing nations.

According to a United Nations University conference on desertification, if current trends continue, Africa will only be able to feed 25% of its people by 2025. Even if poverty is eliminated, the reduction of poverty will be irrelevant if there is no food to be bought. Likewise, 47 % of India's once-arable land has been rendered inhospitable through desertification. If agriculture cannot be up kept in these developing areas, food supplies will decrease, food costs will increase, and the inhabitants will sink into deeper and deeper levels of poverty.

Subpoint B: Agricultural stability precedes economic stability in developing nations.

In many developing nations, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, a majority of inhabitants work as subsistence farmers. The majority being occupied with farming, there is little economic stimulus for modern markets for people to purchase their own food. Until local agricultural methods can be improved in order to provide an adequate surplus to feed people working outside of the agricultural industry, economic development will be severely hindered.

Contention Two: The United Nations lacks the necessary means to ensure global poverty reduction.

Critics of the UN are quick to point out that it is plagued by having too little funding and power to get much of anything done. As it stands, there is no reason to believe that efforts by the UN aimed at reducing global poverty have any chance at even putting a dent in the problem.

Subpoint A: The UN is inadequately funded too significantly reduce global poverty.

The UN's unadjusted budget leaves the UNDP, the suborganization responsible for dealing with poverty, around 6 billion dollars to work with for the next two years. Even if the UN were to devote all of these resources exclusively to poverty reduction, ignoring the other Millennium Goals, it wouldn't even come close to making an impact on global poverty. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation alone has an endowment of 30.2 billion dollars; the UN has so little funding that it shouldn't waste its time on a problem that is already being tackled on a much larger degree by countless charitable organizations.

Subpoint B: Corrupted administrations and lack of transparency in developing nations severely hamper the effects of poverty reduction.

A study conducted by political scientists Knack and Brautigam strongly correlates high aid levels with government deterioration. Furthermore, the often-corrupt governments responsible for allocating aid lack the transparency necessary to ensure that the money is getting where it needs to go. The same aforementioned study also drew direct connections between high aid levels and elevated in transparency levels. The amount of power that the UN can exert on a sovereign nation is basically up to the nation in question, and, as such, the UN lacks authority to assure that its funding will be used to feed the hungry as opposed to lining some greedy dictator's pockets.

In conclusion, as opposed to resorting to irrelevant appeals to the emotional aspect of poverty, you, the judge, need to look at the facts. Not only is protecting the threatened environments of developing nations more beneficial and cost-effective than attempting to reduce poverty, but the funds that are allocated to reducing poverty will be so greatly affected by monetary and authoritative barriers that their results will be rendered negligible. Its because of these reasons you must vote CON. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
aoibhinn

Pro

Before I delve into the mechanics of this debate round I would like to make the following observation:

Xlilmattx's information page (http://www.debate.org...) states that he has "Post Doctoral" education, makes more than $150, 000 a year, is 23 years old, and work in the legal department. Why then would someone with such extensive and impressive credentials steal and plagiarize, and as working in the legal profession as well as having post-doctoral education this is even more shameful, to steal a R1 speech from a 16 year old high school student, Clockwork. Here is the link where Clockwork posted his R1 speech, which Xlilmattx stole: http://www.debate.org.... If you do not believe that, then taken straight from the author's mouth:

"lil, what the heck. You literally just copy/pasted my R1 speech from http://www.debate.org......, which PRO happens to have helped write. Plagiarism in and of itself is pretty bad, but this was just stupid. PRO knows a whole lot more about this case than you do." (http://www.debate.org...).

Keep in mind that Xlilmattx's entire case is plagiarized while reading this debate. The true author is my debate partner Clockwork, to which I offer my personal condolences for this atrocity.

My opponent has defined Poverty as the following:

"Poverty defined by the World Bank as a state of living in which capable of adults live on less than 2.50 US dollars per day"

So according to my opponent's definition, we are only dealing with CAPABLE ADULTS, not children, teenagers, or even young adults, but ADULTS. Keep that in mind as we progress through this debate.

Capable as defined loosely by dictionary.referance.com as "Having the ability required for a specific task or accomplishment; qualified:" So the my opponent is arguing, by implication, that I should advocate only helping capable, or those who are qualified, adults, through poverty reduction. This is ludicrous. Not only has my opponent plagiarized his entire case, with the exception of the first 4 lines, but he has failed in presenting clear working definitions.
However, the point made in the definition about making less than 2.5 American Dollars a day stands constant as a definition for poverty, and I have no contest to that. In my own case i stated that the UNDP defined poverty as ,making less that $1.5/day, this is for extreme poverty, $2.5/day is the baseline for all poverty.

He further goes on to define protection. "Protection is defined by Webster's dictionary as the act of being protected; being safe; or out of harms way.

To put that another way, my opponent wishes to interpret the resolution as follows:

When in Conflict, The United Nations should prioritize Global Poverty (a state of living in which capable of adults live on less than 2.50 US dollars per day) Reduction over Environmental Protection (the act of being protected; being safe; or out of harms way). His definitions are unclear, he stole his case, being a doctor philosophi´┐Ż, makes the sin even more worse.

We haven't even gotten into the good stuff yet, merely the first four lines of "his" R1 speech.

Contention One: Environmental and agricultural sustainability must precede poverty reduction efforts in order to ensure stability.

Here I would turn the voter's attention back to definitions for just a moment:
The Oxford dictionary of English defines the United Nations as:

"an international organization of countries set up in 1945, in succession to the League of Nations,
to promote international peace, security, and cooperation … The Secretary Council bears the primacy responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security …"

"Security is defined as being free from danger or threat" - Oxford Dictionary of English.

Security relates to poverty through the definition of poverty (lacking sufficient money to live at a standard considered comfortable or normal in a society)

Comfortable is defined as "not in pain or danger."

In other words comfortable is defined as secure.

Security is listed under The Purposes of the United Nations whereas environmental protection is not ( [directly related] as far as I can see, you can check for yourself herehttp://www.un.org...)
Stability and Security are intimately intertwined, and oftentimes you cannot have one without the other. So in order to ensure security, one must prioritize poverty reduction first, for by prioritizing poverty reduction, one both follows the tenants of the UN's declaration of Human Rights, as well as the Charter, but even more important the UN's Fundamental purpose.

Subpoint A and B cannot be maintained without the larger premise of C1, since that falls, so too do they.

Contention Two: The United Nations lacks the necessary means to ensure global poverty reduction.

How so? To use my opponent's logic against him here, he believes that, in C1 that "Environmental and agricultural sustainability must precede poverty reduction efforts in order to ensure stability." Yet here he is stating that the UN lacks necessary means to reduce global poverty, while he is advocating that it can be reduced VIA desertification reduction. Blatant Contradiction and terrible logic. Here I would like to make it crystal clear that I am not advocating my opponents policy, merely pointing out flaws within his own case.

"As it stands, there is no reason to believe that efforts by the UN aimed at reducing global poverty have any chance at even putting a dent in the problem"
Who's to say? It's nice to talk in generalizations, but if one doesn't have evidence to back up ones claims, then it is mere opinion with no substance to it. I have yet to see any empirical data supporting any of my opponent's claims, besides 3 quotations, 2 of them being definitions, and only one of them being an actual study.
Any effort whatsoever made by the UN, even if it is only helping out one individual, will make a "dent" in poverty. The dent does not have to be large, only present.

Subpoint A: The UN is inadequately funded too significantly reduce global poverty.

The UN does not have to solve, or even have a significant impact upon Global Poverty, merely make the moral example to the charter nations, which is the lifeblood of the UN. Although it is true that the UN in itself should
"Even if the UN were to devote all of these resources exclusively to poverty reduction, ignoring the other Millennium Goals, it wouldn't even come close to making an impact on global poverty"

The first MDG is that of poverty reduction, using the previously defined term for priority in my R1 satisfies this.
Subpoint B: Corrupted administrations and lack of transparency in developing nations severely hamper the effects of poverty reduction.

Were is the evidence or supporting proof to substantiate this? I can say that aliens are deep inside the oceans of Earth, or that Atlantis exists, but without proof, they are mere opinions and does not even merit the title of contention.

My opponent should lose the debate for 3 fundamental reasons:
1.)His argument is stolen
2.)His definitions, propositions, and syllogisms do not flow properly
3.)His contentions have no "Proof" (Claim, Warrant, PROOF, Impact)

Thank you for taking the time to read this debate, and VOTE CON!
xlilmattx

Con

xlilmattx forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
aoibhinn

Pro

Due to matt's forfeit of this 3 round debate i see no reason to cover old ground, merely state that due to the fact he has presented no counterarguments to anything within my case, as the old debate adage goes, "Silence breeds agreement", he therefore agree's with my entire case, or at least did not have any new points to add to the debate.

Due to the nature of the debate round, R1 speeches to establish positions, R2 speeches to reaffirm ones own case, and attack one's opponent, and R3 as a Rebuttal, due to my opponents forfeit he is dropping his opportunity to both reaffirm his own case, as well as attacking my own.

Thanks you all once again for taking the time to read this debate round, and please cast and affirmative Ballot.

Oh, at the end of my R2 speech i stated "VOTE CON", here i would like to make the clarification, for all due to its very subtle nature, that i was being completely sarcastic, and not literally telling the voters to vote in negation of the resolution.
xlilmattx

Con

xlilmattx forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
I lolled hard.
Posted by aoibhinn 7 years ago
aoibhinn
Really.......WHAT A GREAT R2 ARGUMENT!
Posted by Clockwork 7 years ago
Clockwork
Xlil, what the heck. You literally just copy/pasted my R1 speech from http://www.debate.org..., which PRO happens to have helped write.

Plagiarism in and of itself is pretty bad, but this was just stupid. PRO knows a whole lot more about this case than you do.
Posted by aoibhinn 7 years ago
aoibhinn
When i Lived in Ireland i lived on a Street called "Cluain Aoibhinn" Meaning "beautiful meadows" it sounded cool and unusual, so i stuck with it.
Posted by Clockwork 7 years ago
Clockwork
No idea why I put "designation" within quotes below.

By the way, PRO and I are debate partners. What's with the name, Wesley?
Posted by Clockwork 7 years ago
Clockwork
That would fall outside of the "When in conflict designation", though I'm unsure how it would solve poverty, seeing as many of the poor lack proper infrastructure to utilize energy plants.
Posted by I-am-a-panda 7 years ago
I-am-a-panda
Build wind farms. It allows both to work ;)
Posted by aoibhinn 7 years ago
aoibhinn
I am sorry for my intro, i recently went to a tournament, but was unable to run my pro case, so this will be my first "run-by" so to speak. I will accept any takers, even if you don't know PF style, it is still debate, so merely follow those guidelines. Any and all comments are welcome.
Posted by Clockwork 7 years ago
Clockwork
Not if you argue against the UN as an initiator.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
It would be hard to advocate anti-prioritization for any entity with a limited budget.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by aoibhinn 7 years ago
aoibhinn
aoibhinnxlilmattxTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by AubreyHigdon 7 years ago
AubreyHigdon
aoibhinnxlilmattxTied
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Total points awarded:70