IN REMARKS AT LAUNCH OF UN-MTV PARTNERSHIP ON WORLD WATER CRISIS, SECRETARY-GENERAL APPEALS TO YOUTHS TO CARE, CONSERVE, AND JOIN SEARCH FOR SOLUTIONS

SG/SM/10590
9 August 2006

IN REMARKS AT LAUNCH OF UN-MTV PARTNERSHIP ON WORLD WATER CRISIS, SECRETARY-GENERAL APPEALS TO YOUTHS TO CARE, CONSERVE, AND JOIN SEARCH FOR SOLUTIONS

9 August 2006
Secretary-General
SG/SM/10590
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

IN REMARKS AT LAUNCH OF UN-MTV PARTNERSHIP ON WORLD WATER CRISIS, SECRETARY-GENERAL

 

APPEALS TO YOUTHS TO CARE, CONSERVE, AND JOIN SEARCH FOR SOLUTIONS

 


Following is the text of remarks by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan today at launch of UN-MTV water partnership:


Most of us take water for granted:  we turn on the tap and there’s plenty of it.  Or, if we prefer, we can buy hundreds of different brands in the supermarket.


But, for more than a billion people who lack access to safe drinking water, this is an inconceivable dream.  And, some 2.6 billion people have no access to proper sanitation.  The consequences are devastating.


Nearly 2 million children die every year because of unclean water and poor sanitation -- far more than the casualties from violent conflicts.


All over the world, pollution, over-consumption and poor water management are decreasing the quality and quantity of water.


Competition among nations for fresh water is already a factor in many conflicts, and has the potential to become much, much worse in the future.  In fact, nearly a half-century ago, late President John F. Kennedy said that “Anyone who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel Prizes –- one for peace and one for science.”


The water crisis -- like many issues confronting our world -- can only be fully addressed with the active participation of young people everywhere.


I am therefore very pleased to announce today a groundbreaking collaboration between the United Nations, MTV and Jay-Z to raise awareness about the world’s water crisis.


All of us at the United Nations are excited about this initiative.  Working with MTV and Jay-Z, we hope this campaign will motivate youth to take action both in their own lives, and in support of broad eco-friendly initiatives.


MTV’s global reach and credibility can play an important role in educating and empowering its audience.


Jay-Z, through his enormous influence, will inspire young people everywhere to care, conserve, and join in the search for solutions to our water crisis.


Together, we may yet inspire a young viewer to take up President Kennedy’s challenge, and claim both those Nobel Prizes.


[MTV President] Christina Norman, Jay-Z -- we’re really proud to have them here as partners with the UN, to get this important issue launched and to energize young people to become engaged.  I see so many young people here, and I am sure they did not only come for this event, and they are going to be very active in this water campaign.


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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.