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World Water Day is held annually on March 22 (Bigstock)

Pope Francis has reiterated his urgent call for a renewed international effort to achieve universal access to clean water and sanitation, which the United Nations recognised in 2010 as a fundamental human right. Source: Vatican News.

“We must join forces, involving the entire international community cooperating to create a consensus so as to allow the integral development of humanity,” the Pope said.

Pope Francis made the appeal in a message addressed to participants in the international event “Water and Hope: Experiences and Challenges for the Promotion of Sustainable Development and Care of Our Common Home” organised in the framework of the UN Water Conference taking place in New York this week. World Water Day was observed on Tuesday, March 22.

Speakers at the gathering are discussing strategies to address the urgent challenges facing the planet today, focusing on water and development; water and climate change; the role of the state in protecting the human right to water; indigenous peoples and the human right to water.

In his message, the Pope expressed support for the event and praised the various organisations that have come together to join their voices on this crucial issue.

Pope Francis remarked that the initiative lays “the bed of a river of hope” in the face of the “alarming and dramatic” issues facing humanity today.

He said the consequences of climate change and ever-deepening inequalities require “concrete and effective” action, and therefore closer cooperation between states for “humanity’s integral development.”

Pope Francis expressed hope that the conference might find the solutions the world needs so that, by ensuring universal access to water and sanitation, we may “fully accomplish” this right, which is none less than “the right to life, to the future, to hope”.

“We cannot be afraid of the debate, we must grow with it, for ourselves and for the generations to come,” the Pope concluded.


Pope reiterates call to ensure fundamental human right to water (By Lisa Zengarini,  Vatican News)