22 March 2014. Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, warns that Climate change will exacerbate water stress and scarcity in many regions.In his message on World Water day, 22 March, the Secretary-General points out that Climate change is driven in great part by the unsustainable use of energy .“Efforts to provide universal access to water and energy will be undermined if the current warming trend continues,“ Mr. Ban Ki-moon says.
The theme of this year´s World Water Day is “Water and Energy”. Energy generation and transmission requires utilization of water resources, particularly for hydroelectric, nuclear, and thermal energy sources. Conversely, about 8% of the global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers.
The focus of World Water Day is especially placed on addressing inequities, not least for the 'bottom billion' who live in slums and impoverished rural areas and survive without access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, sufficient food and energy services. This year the Secretary General appeals to the international community to, “pledge to develop the policies needed to ensure that sustainable water and energy are secured for the many and not just the few.”
Worldwide, 1.3 billion people cannot access electricity. 768 million people lack access to improved water sources and 2.5 billion people have no improved sanitation. Water and energy have crucial impacts on poverty alleviation.
Yuri Fedorov, the Director of UNODCsays that corruption prevents fair access to water for all. In support of global efforts to combat corruption the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) have launched a campaign, “Zero corruption, 100x development,” to also raise awareness on this issue (www.actagainstcorruption.org).
“On World Water Day, we need to appreciate that water is a fundamental human need. We cannot live without it. But it must be allocated equitably and for the benefit of all. This means that governments, the private sector, civil society and the public should work together to eradicate the corruption that can prevent fair access to water for everyone,” says Mr. Fedorov in a message on World Water Day
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC Brussels)
Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 155, Block C2,7th and 8th floor, Brussels 1040, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 788 8484 / Fax: 32 2 788 8485