Needless Competition for Water, Reckless Pollution Draining World’s Lifeblood, Secretary-General Tells Bali Forum, Urging Solutions for Sustainable Use

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message on the occasion of the tenth World Water Forum high-level meeting, in Bali today: 

I thank the Government of Indonesia and the World Water Council for organizing this important gathering. 

Water is life.  It is central to healthy people, ecosystems and biodiversity.  And as this year’s theme reminds us, water is key to our shared prosperity.

Yet water is under threat.  Needless competition, mindless consumption and reckless pollution are draining and poisoning the world’s lifeblood.  Climate change is pushing water temperatures to deadly new highs.  Glaciers are melting, seas are rising, and river flows are shrinking.  And people will pay the price — in droughts, ruined crops, malnutrition, disease and disasters.

Governments around the world are waking up to this crisis.  This Forum is a critical opportunity to discuss solutions around water and sanitation, disaster risk reduction, governance, finance and innovation. 

The United Nations stands with you in these efforts.  Following last year’s UN Water Conference, we will launch the UN’s system-wide strategy on water and sanitation in July.

The UN Water Conferences in 2026 and 2028 will be milestone moments for the world to carry this work forward.

We need to put water at the centre of all our efforts on climate, biodiversity and sustainable development.  Let’s work as one to give this vital issue the attention it needs. Let’s take action for water.

For information media. Not an official record.