UN calls for global major push on water and sanitation
It is time to push for global action on delivering water and sanitation globally, according to the United Nations General Assembly President Peter Thomson...
STOCKHOLM, Sweden – It is time to push for global action on delivering water and sanitation globally, according to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly President Peter Thomson.
Speaking during the opening of the World Water Week being held this week in Stockholm, Sweden, he said that all environment issues are connected.
“None should imagine that the state of sanitation and coral reefs are anything but directly connected,” said Thomson. “It makes no sense to consider terrestrial environmental issues, fresh water challenges or climate change in isolation.”
He urged the international community to take an “inclusive, integrated approach,” and put to use all skills, idea and energies.
Water and sanitation are among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were adopted by the 193 Members of the UN in September 2015, and which are guiding the work of the development efforts of the international community through 2030.
Combined with the Paris Agreement on lowering the impact of climate change, the SDGs represent “the best chance our species has to achieve a sustainable way of life on Planet Earth before it is toolate,” said Thomson.
“SDG6, the water and sanitation Goal, is in need of a major push. The time is right, thus I encourage you all to join together to develop concerted global action to deliver on the targets of [that Goal].”
The theme of this year’s World Water Week, which draws 3000 participants from nearly 130 countries, is “water and waste: reduce and reuse”.
Sweden’s Minister for Environment, Karolina Skog said that: “Sustainable and efficient management of our water and wastewater […] has a profound effect on all aspects of human life; economic growth, sustainable development, sustainable city planning, circular thinking in industry and in production, energy saving, good quality of our water and, last but not least, it is crucial for health and for a sustainable environment.”
Astronaut and Member of Sweden’s Royal Academy of Science, Christer Fuglesang described the intricate water reuse systems that are necessary during space missions, enabling food to be grown on board, and ensuring a drinking water supply – both helping to inform research, and optimize methods for increased water use efficiency on earth.