UN chief stresses need to protect and manage water

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Water is life and with the threat of climate change and the needs of populations growing in size, the global community must work together to protect and manage this finite resource.

That's the message delivered by UN Secretary-General as the General Assembly observed World Water Day on Friday, 22 March.

Mr. Ban says this is the International Year of Water Cooperation, and World Water Day 2013 is dedicated to highlighting the joint efforts necessary to ensure a fair share for people and the planet.

"Water is life. It is central to the wellbeing of people and the planet. It holds the key to sustainable development. We need it for health, food security and economic progress. Yet, each year brings new pressures. One in three people already lives in a country with moderate to high water stress. B 2030 nearly half the global population could be facing water scarcity, with demand outstripping supply by 40 per cent." (34")

The Secretary-General says agriculture is by far the largest user of freshwater and there is growing urgency to reconcile its demands with the needs of domestic and industrial uses, especially energy production.

Mr. Ban adds that the United Nations system, through UN-Water and its 30 UN members and 25 international partners, is fostering collaboration from the global level to the grassroots.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration; 1'26"

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