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UN Secretary-General Stresses Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources

UN Secretary-General Stresses Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources 1 September 2008: Addressing the Water Tribune at the

International Expo, which is taking place in Zaragoza, Spain, from 14 June to

14 September 2008, under the theme “Water and Sustainable Development,” UN

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recalled the UN's commitment to the protection

and adequate management of water resources, as well as the water-related

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Noting the growing magnitude of the

climate change challenge, the Secretary-General said people who rely on

snowfall and glaciers in high mountain ranges to replenish their water supplies

have serious cause for concern.

Extreme hydrological events such as severe

storms, floods and drought likewise have the potential to disrupt water supplies

and diminish food security, he added. Noting that the least developed

countries, notably in Africa, are among those likely to be worst affected by

water scarcity over the coming century, Ban said the UN was trying to do

everything in its power to help countries meet this threat with concerted

action.

He stressed that the focus now was on obtaining an international

agreement, under the auspices of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,

on the next steps that will guide the international response. [The statement]