Saturday Aug 27, 201107:58 AM GMT
'Clean water should be global priority'
Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:0AM
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World leaders attending upcoming UN conference should commit to achieving universal access to clean drinking water by 2030, international experts say.

In a "Stockholm Statement" issued in the Swedish capital, the activists urge international leaders that will participate at the Rio+20 Summit to commit to achieving "universal provisioning of safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and modern energy services by the year 2030."

The 2011 World Water Week in Stockholm closed Friday with assembled participants supporting a "Stockholm Statement to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (Rio+20 Summit)".

The statement signed by both international and Swedish groups urged governments to adopt intervening targets to increase efficiency in the management of water, energy and food.

The activists also urged a 20-percent reduction in worldwide water pollution and a same percentage increase in water efficiency in agriculture, water use efficiency in energy production, reused water quantity, and total food supply-chain efficiency.

The 'Stockholm Statement' has been supported or endorsed by a number of national and international bodies and organizations such as UN-Water, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, conservation International, International Water Management Institute, and Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).

“The Rio+20 Summit is a great opportunity to review how water, energy and food are perceived and managed by the human society. UN-Water, through its members and partners, has identified ways in which the global water, energy and food security challenges can be addressed - leading to a climate resilient and robust green economy.” said Adeel Zafar, Chair of UN-Water.

“A key target we would like to see taken up is the provisioning of safe water, adequate sanitation and modern energy services to everyone on the planet by 2030, prioritizing solutions for the 'bottom billion' who currently lack access to these basic services,” he added.

“If we do not take dramatic, immediate strides to create more resource-efficient societies, then water shortages will constrain economic growth and inhibit food and energy production in many regions,” warned Anders Berntell, Executive Director of SIWI.

The 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) or Rio+20 conference will take place 4-6 June 2012 and 20 years after the historic Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 1992.

The objectives of the Summit are to secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development; to assess progress towards internationally agreed goals on sustainable development and to address new and emerging challenges.

The conference will also focus on two specific themes including a green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development, and an institutional framework for sustainable development.

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