Gusmão: Lack of access to clean water is a threat to international peace and stability

Gusmão: Lack of access to clean water is a threat to international peace and stability

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DILI, 22 may 2024 (TATOLI) – Speaking at the Bandung Spirit Water Summit and the High-Level Panel with the theme: ‘Water and Peace’, which took place in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, the Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmão, highlighted the importance of ensuring access to clean water for all.

“Today, two billion people lack access to clean water.  This is not only a humanitarian emergency, it is a threat to peace and international stability,” Gusmão said in his remark at the Bandung Spirit Water Summit.

He said: “It must be understood that without sustainable development – which includes water and sanitation – there can be no peace.  And without peace, there can be no sustainable development.”

Prime Minister stressed that access to water is just as important: “Water security is national security.  Water security is international security.”

“Conflict for water has the potential to destroy communities, regions, and nations.  Without water, there can be no economy, no development, and no society,” said Gusmão.

Prime Minister said that the world has seen a refugee crisis in Europe with hundreds of thousands fleeing conflict in Africa and the Middle East. Just imagine “a water supply collapse would result in even greater human displacement and tragedy.” “We also face climate change which will cause severe droughts across the world.”

While the need for water can threaten peace; “we are also seeing access to water being used as a weapon of war,” added Gusmão.

Prime Minister called on all parties to recognize access to clean water is a human right.  

Sustainable Development Goal 6 provides that by 2030 there will be universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.

Like the Millennium Development Goals before them, it is most unlikely that the SDGs will be achieved. 

“We must stop pretending that talking and setting goals is enough.  We need a sustained global effort and real international solidarity to achieve change.  We need the inspiration of the Bandung Spirit to be able to deliver water and sanitation for all – and to build a world of peace,” Gusmão concluded.


Journalist: Jose Belarmino de Sa

Editor: Filomeno Martins 


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