• Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

United Nations calls for decisive action to curb global water crisis


Mar 27, 2023

BUJUMBURA March 27th (ABP) – The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, proceeded on Wednesday, March 20, 2023 in New York at the headquarters of that institution, at the opening of the United Nations Conference on Water, 2023 edition, according to a press release sent to a check by ABP.

This is the first event of its kind since 1977. The conference brings together various stakeholders, including States, international organizations, associations, scientists and even private actors. Those global figures come together as water faces increasing pressures on it from rising consumption, worsening pollution and climate change.

“It’s more than a water conference. This is a conference about the world today seen through the lens of its most important resource,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his opening address. “This conference should represent a leap forward in the ability of Member States and the international community to recognize the vital importance of water for the sustainability of our world and as a tool for promoting peace and international cooperation, and to act accordingly,” he said.

“During this conference, we want to turn the water wheel, said Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands. “We will keep pleading until the water occupies the place it rightly deserves on global political agendas and programs. We will bring together all our commitments, promises and actions in an action program for water,” he continued to say.

According to that communiqué, access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene is the most fundamental human need for health and well-being, and a declared human right. Yet some 2 billion people in the world still do not have access to safe drinking water. More people have access to mobile phones than to toilets and sanitation facilities, and 80% of wastewater is discharged into the environment untreated. More than 90% of disasters are water-related, and climate change is only making the situation worse. Humanity’s demand for water continues to grow, and the pressure on fresh water is expected to increase by more than 40% by 2050.

Despite those challenges, the same press release continues to say, it is still possible to achieve a breakthrough towards a planet where water is safe. But it is urgent to act now. It is with this in mind that world leaders, along with more than 6,000 civil society representatives, business leaders, young people and registered experts, are participating in the conference to present innovative solutions and bold commitments to accelerate the transformation of the water sector. The conference, which brings together representatives from all sectors, is an opportunity to unite the global community around a common goal and trigger concrete action.

The main outcome of the 2023 UN Water Conference will be the Water Agenda, a set of commitments by Member States and other stakeholders that aims to showcase game-changing solutions to accelerate progress on SDG 6. To date, more than 500 commitments have been registered by governments, UN agencies, business leaders and civil society, ranging from targeting open data sources and improving water education, scaling up effective water management practices and raising funds to spur water action. Many commitments are already available, but important announcements will be made throughout the three days of the conference.