Oblate Voices is a JPIC blog that follows stories of hope and is about how Oblates and associates live and experience mission work in the spirit of the Oblate founder, St Eugene De Mazenod of responding to the needs of poor and most abandoned around the world.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

United Nations Launches Action Decade for Water: 2018-2028

844 million people today have limited access to safe drinking water with women and girls suffering disproportionately. The United Nations General Assembly, recognizing that ‘water is critical for sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger, and indispensable for human development, health and wellbeing,’ on March 18, 2018, proclaimed 2018-2028 as International Decade for Action: ‘Water for Sustainable Development.’

The UN lists some water-related challenges facing communities: limited access to safe water and sanitation, increasing pressure on water resources and ecosystems, natural disasters and an exacerbated risk of droughts and floods. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres also notes that for the third year in a row, the World Economic Forum ranks the water crisis in the top three of global risks.

The 3 broad campaign goals for the Action Decade set by the international community are:

1) Advance sustainable development goal #6 (ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all)
2) Energize existing programs and projects
3) Inspire action to achieve the 2030 Agenda

Click here to read more about the campaign.

Click here to read the UN Secretary General’s Action Plan for the Water Action Decade: 2018-2028

Speaking at the High-level launch event in New York  H. E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, referenced Pope Francis’encyclical letter Laudato Si #30, which asserts that water is a human and universal right.  “The world’s water challenges are technical, economic, political, and social, but ultimately they are ethical and moral issues as well. For this reason, the water crisis is also a summons to profound “ecological conversion,”[2] manifested in a culture of care and solidarity, making our common home a more habitable and fraternal place, where no one is left behind and all are able live healthy and dignified lives,” He continued.

Read H. E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza’s full address.

Visit this website to read more on Catholic Relief Services’ work on water issues.

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