New York

14 March 2018

Secretary-General’s remarks at event to hand over the Outcome Document of the Secretary-General’s Panel on Water

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I want to express my very deep gratitude for this work that is deep, it’s serious and it is extremely inspiring for everything we have to do in relation to the implementation of the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals with a particular emphasis on water.

It is my deep believe that water is a matter of life and death. Sixty per cent of our body is water. Two billion people in the world have no access to safe water and 4.5 billion to proper sanitation, which means that we are facing an enormous challenge.

On the other hand, climate change is running faster than we are and the implications of that from the point of view of the water systems is huge.  If one looks at natural disasters, the natural disasters that have water included in them are multiplying and becoming more and more dangerous everywhere, which means water is indeed a matter of life and death and it must be a natural priority in everything we do.

That is why your work is so important and I will ask the whole of the UN system but also all Member States to take it very seriously and to make sure that your proposals and your recommendations are effectively implemented. Thank you very much.