Experts call for inclusion of water security as part of UN Sustainable Development Goals
Washington, Mar 23 : Amid changing weather and water patterns worldwide and forecasts of more severe transformations to come, the UN Security Council is being increasingly urged by experts to include water security issues on its agenda.
This has come in view of rising international support for adopting 'universal water security' as one of the Sustainable Development Goals -- a set of mid-term global objectives being formulated to succeed the UN's Millennium Development Goals, agreed by world leaders in 2000 for achievement by 2015.
According to UN-Water, the United Nations' inter-agency coordination mechanism for all water-related issues, water security has been defined as the capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of and acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development.
UN-Water further said that water security also means ensuring protection against water-borne pollution and water-related disasters, and for preserving ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability.
Calling for the inclusion of water security issues on the UN Security Council agenda, Chair of UN-Water and Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization Michel Jarraud said that security has now come to mean human security and its achievement through development, adding that water also fits within this definition.
Co-chair of the UN-Water Task Force on Water Security Zafar Adeel said that common understanding has central importance in international discussions and water security cannot continue to have a variety of meanings.
Adeel, who is also the director of the United Nations University's Canadian-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health, added that water management also requires realistic ways of recovering delivery costs, for which an agreed definition of water security is vitally important.
Many observers have identified water as an "urgent security issue," a group that last year included both former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the InterAction Council, an association of 37 former heads of state and government.