UN envoy calls for 'litre of water per day' for people in world's poorest countries

6 May 2006

The United Nations envoy for the most vulnerable countries has called for a global campaign to bring safe drinking water to the millions of people living in the world's most impoverished States.

The United Nations envoy for the most vulnerable countries has called for a global campaign to bring safe drinking water to the millions of people living in the world's most impoverished States.

In an opening speech at the First Global Peace Film Festival in Beppu, Japan, on Friday, Anwarul K. Chowdhury, the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries (LDCs) and Small Island States proposed a campaign to ensure at least one litre of water a day for each of the 300 million people without access to safe drinking water in the LDCs.

Mr. Chowdhury said that in recognition of the value of water to human health, well being, poverty reduction, sustainable development and peace, the UN had declared the years 2005 to 2015 to be the “International Decade for Action: Water for Life.” Yet over 40 per cent of the population in the LDCs remains without access to an improved source of drinking water.

To achieve sustainable peace, he advocating improving “living conditions of the whole of humanity through poverty eradication, equitable economic development, good governance and democratization and respect for human rights.” He added that sustainable peace also requires changing “the subjective conditions that breed conflict, our beliefs and our prejudices, by cultivating the values of tolerance and understanding, in short, the culture of peace, in our mindsets.”

Mr. Chowdhury emphasized the role of film and other forms of art in promoting dialogue and understanding and galvanizing action in support of the victims of natural and man-made disasters. He urged filmmakers to focus more purposefully on those in distress, the poor and the marginalized in society.

The film festival, sponsored by the City of Beppu, Friends of the UN and the Global Peace Film Committee, was dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the UN and the Decade for the Culture of Peace.

 

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