Peter Thomson President of the United Nations General Assembly has said “it makes no sense to consider terrestrial environmental issues, fresh water challenges or climate change in isolation.”
Delivering the keynote address at a special event in Stockholm to start World Water Week, Monday August 28, he added that “none should imagine that the state of sanitation and coral reefs are anything but directly connected.”
Encouraging global action to support clean water and sanitation, Peter Thomson underscored that when it comes to the environment, everything is connected. He further 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 too late,” Mr. Thomson said.
More than 3,000 experts, practitioners, decision-makers, business innovators and young professionals from a range of sectors and countries from “nearly the entire world are in Stockholm for the 2017 edition of the week under the theme ‘Water and waste: reduce and reuse”.
Mr. Thomson noted The Ocean Conference, which, held in New York in June 2017 and resulted in a political declaration, partnerships dialogues and nearly 1,400 voluntary commitments to help overcome these issues, was meant to raise attention and start working on stopping marine pollution – mainly plastics – ocean acidification, ocean warming, overfishing, damage to biodiversity and ecosystems, and strengthen governance on these issues.
“North and south east and west, the ocean unites us and we have to bring humanity back into a relationship of balance and respect with the water,” Mr. Thomson said.
He said The Ocean Conference gave a boost to a global movement to deliver on SDG14, or the so called Ocean Goal, and similarly, it is time to push for world action on SDG 6, related to water and sanitation.
“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,” Mr. Thomson said.