The Vatican present at the Water Summit at the United Nations

VATICANO.- Water is a source of life which should be recognized as a primary good that should be available to all. 

And because this is so, according to Archbishop Gabriele Caccia,  adequate policies  must be put in place that “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”

Archbishop Caccia, representing the Holy See, spoke  at the United Nations during the conference “Water for sustainable development” at the UN headquarters in New York. He said that  almost half the world’s population still lives in poverty, “and it is the poor who suffer most from the lack of water, with thousands dying every day.”

This reality is part of the  importance of water in the economic dimension of a sustainable development. Other two dimensions are social and environmental

He recalled words of Pope Francis pointing out that  ‘ the problem of water is partly an educational and cultural issue, since there is little awareness of the seriousness of such behavior within a context of great inequality.” 

The fact that “ water is wasted in places of abundance” is proof of that inequality, the Archbishop said.

Access to water, he pointed out, depends on greater investment and  infrastructure.

And he stressed that water is a source of life” which should be recognized as a primary good that should be available to all. 

At his weekly General  Audience March 22nd Pope Francis pointed out that that the second UN Water Conference was taking place. 

“Water, must never be the object of waste or abuse, or provide the grounds for war, but must be preserved for our benefit and that of future generations”, the Pope said, remembering

St. Francis of Assisi’ in his ode to creation, Laudato sì

“Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Water, who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.”

The Holy Father said that in these words, “we feel the beauty of creation and the awareness of the challenges involved in caring for it.”

Thousands of delegates are attending  a three-day Water Summit that began March 22nd,  World Water Day with the intent of:  Uniting the world for water.

According to the way it was presented“The first UN water conference in a generation, the UN 2023 Water Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Tajikistan and the Netherlands will be a watershed moment to mobilize Member States, the UN system and stakeholders alike to take action and bring successful solutions to a global scale. To catalyze action, the Conference is seeking voluntary commitments, galvanized by the Program, to the Water Action Agenda.

“I pray for the success of the work and hope that the important event will accelerate initiatives in favor of those who suffer from the scarcity of water, this primary good,” Pope Francis has  said.

At the opening of the Un water summit, a report from the UN warned about a global water crisis and about the risk of shortages due to overconsumption and climate change.

The report describes the world as “blindly travelling a dangerous path” of “overconsumption and overdevelopment.”  

More in Spanish and English at Vatican News

You can watch here  a United Nations movie about our global reality: “Nations United” and the 17 goals for Sustainable Development.