New York

02 November 2016

Secretary General's remarks at Award Ceremony for Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water [as prepared for delivery]

Your Royal Highness Prince Khaled Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz, Your Royal Highness Abdulrahman Al Fadhli, Saudi Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, General Secretary Dr. Abdulmalek A. Al Alshaikh, Distinguished recipients of this year’s Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize For Water, Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
I am honored to be with you today.
 
The Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water rewards the crucial efforts of scientists, researchers and inventors around the world to address water challenges.
 
I congratulate today’s recipients for their pioneering work and achievements.
 
And I commend His Royal Highness for his efforts to advance Sustainable Development Goal 6 on water and sanitation, and the valuable support he has given to innovation on water since 2002.
 
Water and sanitation are critical for peace, prosperity and dignity for all.
 
Yet, around the world, hundreds of millions of people still lack access to safe water and adequate sanitation.
 
The SDG pledge is that we will not leave them behind.
 
Growing populations, more water-intensive patterns, increasing variability of rainfall, and pollution are adding to the water challenge.
 
Science has a crucial role to play.
 
We must recognize science as a universal public good, strengthen science education, increase investment and promote an integrated scientific approach to sustainable development.
 
The 2030 Agenda recognizes the need to mobilize science at multiple levels and across disciplines.
 
We need to gather and create knowledge to lay the foundations for the policies, innovations and new technologies that will help us to address global challenges. 
 
 
Securing water and sanitation for all will require new investment, new partnerships and new levels of international attention.
 
It will need cooperation among nations, communities and different sectors of society, including the science community.
 
I thank you all again for taking part in this very important ceremony and for the attention you are giving to this critical issue.
 
Let us continue working for a world where all people have access to water and sanitation they need.
 
Thank you.