Water “is a matter of life and death”: UN chief
Water scarcity is becoming an “enormous concern” across the world as growing demand and climate change place pressure on supplies, said the UN chief on Thursday, marking World Water Day.
Secretary-General António Guterres told an event at UN Headquarters in New York, to launch the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development, that safe water underpins “poverty reduction, economic growth and healthy ecosystems”.
Demand for fresh water is projected to grow by more than 40 per cent by the middle of this century, and Mr. Guterres said it was time to change how we value and manage water.
“Quite simply, water is a matter of life and death. We cannot continue to take water for granted and expect to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Solutions exist and new technologies are in the pipeline to improve how we manage water for nations, communities and households. But often these solutions are inaccessible for those who need them most, perpetuating inequity within and among countries.”
Attack on UN camp in Mali condemned by MINUSMA chief
An attack on a UN peacekeepers’ base in Mali on Thursday has been strongly condemned by the Head of the UN Mission in the country, MINUSMA.
Mahamat Saleh Annadif said that the attack by unknown assailants had taken place on the Kidal camp early in the morning, and several members of international forces were wounded.
No injuries to UN peacekeepers have been reported.
The attack coincided with a visit to the volatile northern region by the Malian Prime Minister, Soumeylou Boubèye Maiga, and a ministerial delegation.
Much of Kidal has been under rebel control, since an uprising in the north of Mali in 2012.
More details from UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.
“Mr. Annadif condemned this attack at a time of positive developments in Mali, illustrated by the Prime Minister’s visit, which, he said, is a strong signal for peace and reconciliation in the country and an important step towards the return of the state across the territory of Mali.”
UN deputy chief lauds “great potential” of Liberia to “achieve lasting stability”
UN deputy chief Amina Mohammed has underlined the world body’s commitment to supporting the “lasting stability” of a democratic and prosperous Liberia.
The UN Mission in the country (UNMIL) wraps up at the end of this month, and the Deputy Secretary-General said, during a two-day visit there, that the country had “great potential” to succeed along a path of sustainable development.
The former Nigerian minister, said UNMIL was yet another example of a successful peacekeeping mission in the region, which had arrived in 2003 when Liberia was wracked by civil war.
Since then, it had been rebuilt with more than 100,000 former combatants going through a successful disarmament and reintegration process.
More from Stéphane Dujarric again.
“Ms. Mohammed said it is now up to the Government with the full support of the UN and its partners to continue to address poverty, youth unemployment, illiteracy and lack of basic infrastructure. Sustaining the international community’s investment in Liberia will require continued support from donors and partners. The peacekeeping Mission is leaving but a strong UN country team will remain in Liberia to focus on development and improving the lives of Liberian people.”