March 22, 2010WaterAid speakers address UN General Assembly today on World Water Day
Climate change and conflict take center stage at the UN on World Water Day
Today, on World Water Day, WaterAid’s Chief Executive Barbara Frost spoke at the first United Nations High Level Thematic Event on Water in New York.
Ms. Frost addressed the General Assembly, including Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, focusing on the issue of water and climate change, pressing for urgent action on the global water and sanitation crisis.
Former UN General Assembly President and Special Envoy to Darfur and current WaterAid Sweden Chair Jan Eliasson also took part in the event, chairing a panel on water and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The third panel debate looked at the role of water in conflict scenarios.Barbara Frost
The debate comes at a critical time in the fight to end the water and sanitation crisis. In April ministers will meet for the first ever High Level Meeting on Water and Sanitation, while in September world leaders will meet for the MDG Review Summit to examine progress on the 2015 targets to date.
On the same day as the UN debates, tens of thousands of people in 70 countries, including India, will take their place in the World’s Longest Toilet Queue in a Guinness Book of World Records attempt to draw attention to the fact that 4,000 children die every day because of lack access to sanitation and safe water.
has been Chief Executive of WaterAid since September 2005. Prior to joining WaterAid, Barbara was Chief Executive of Action on Disability and Development and has worked for ActionAid, Save the Children and Oxfam in Australia, Mozambique and Malawi. Barbara also worked for several years in Australia with the Federal and State governments as well as with the voluntary and community sector.
was elected President of the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly on June 13, 2005. At the time, he was Sweden’s Ambassador to the United States, a post he held from September 2000 until July 2005. He served as the Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Darfur, and is currently the Chair of WaterAid Sweden.
A veteran in the fields of diplomacy and foreign relations, from 1994 to 2000 Ambassador Eliasson served as State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, a key position in formulating and implementing Swedish foreign policy. Earlier, from 1988 to 1992, he was Sweden’s Ambassador to the United Nations in New York. During this period, he also served as the Secretary-General’s Personal Representative on Iran/Iraq.
In 1992, Mr. Eliasson was appointed as the first United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. During his tenure, he was involved in operations in Somalia, Sudan, Mozambique and the Balkans and also undertook initiatives concerning landmines, conflict prevention and humanitarian action.
Mr. Eliasson has authored and co-authored numerous books and articles and is a frequent lecturer on foreign policy and diplomacy. A recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from the American University, Washington, DC, Uppsala University and Göteborg University, Sweden, and Bethany College, Kansas, he also has been decorated by a number of Governments.