On March 23, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, gave a statement during the High Level Launch Event of the “International Decade for Action: ‘Water for Sustainable Development’ 2018-2028.
In his intervention, Archbishop Auza focused attention on the quality of water available to the poor, since unsafe water results in death and the spread of water-related diseases. Pope Francis, he said, has emphasized that access to safe, drinkable water is a basic and universal human right and a condition for the exercise of other human rights. As such, there must be increased funding to ensure universal access to basic water and sanitation, efforts to reduce waste and inappropriate consumption, and increased education and awareness. Archbishop Auza mentioned the projects supported by the Holy See, like the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel, that provide safe drinking water for the poor, fight against desertification, pump water, train technical personnel, and develop agricultural units. The world’s water challenges are not just technical, economic, political and social issues, but ethical ones as well, requiring what Pope Francis called an “ecological conversion” to a culture of care and solidarity.
His intervention can be found here.