INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST ACT TO AVERT IMPENDING WATER SUPPLY 'CATASTROPHE' SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL IN WORLD WATER DAY MESSAGE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST ACT TO AVERT IMPENDING WATER SUPPLY 'CATASTROPHE' SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL IN WORLD WATER DAY MESSAGE19960321 ADVANCE TEXT Following is the text of the message of Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali on the occasion of the observance of World Water Day 1996, in Beijing on 22 March:
I send warm greetings to all those taking part in Beijing in the global observance of World Water Day 1996.
In the course of the Water Decade -- the 1980s -- significant progress was made in providing water for the world's people. But rapid population growth, urbanization and increasing urban poverty have now once again made the goal of water for all seemingly unattainable, particularly in developing countries.
Despite warnings of an impending water crisis, one worse than the oil crisis of the 1970s, the political will and commitment to tackle and solve this crisis has yet to be demonstrated. Unless we act now, the desperate water problems which many of our brothers and sisters are facing today will be beyond the ability of our children to solve tomorrow. Therefore we must act now.
As we move towards the Habitat II conference, the conference of commitments, we must ensure that these commitments include the solution of water problems the world over. Only if all providers and users of water -- governments, local authorities, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and communities -- work together can we stand any chance of averting an impending catastrophe in water supply. We must exercise our rights and responsibilities to provide water for rich and poor alike, for all competing uses, equitably, reliably and affordably, through the broad-based, participatory process called for by the General Assembly.
As I call on all donor nations to increase their commitment to assist, I remind recipient nations of the need to put in place policies to ensure more sustainable water resources management. United Nations agencies will continue their catalytic role of bringing together all stakeholders to work towards solving the global problem of depletion, wastage and pollution of water resources.
- 2 - Press Release SG/SM/5931 21 March 1996
And I call on all peoples of the world to focus, as individuals, community groups, and nations, to help reduce and eventually conquer water supply and sanitation problems in today's expanding cities. Everyone must act together to avert the water crisis for present and future generations.
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