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Messages from the Secretary-General

This year’s World Water Day focuses on the links between water and jobs.  Almost half of all workers – 1.5 billion people – work in water-related sectors, and nearly all jobs depend on the availability of freshwater. Despite its paramount importance, water as a sector generally does not receive the attention it deserves.  Water is central to human survival, the environment and the economy. All workers can be harmed by poor water and sanitation.  Of 2 million work-related deaths every year, nearly one-in-five are caused by poor quality drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. People with the least access…
The world’s forests are essential to realizing our shared vision for people and the planet.  They are central to our future prosperity and the stability of the global climate.  That is why the Sustainable Development Goals call for transformative action to safeguard them. In this first year of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the International Day of Forests focuses on their role in supporting water systems.  Forested catchments provide three-quarters of all the freshwater used for farms, industry and homes.   City dwellers in Bogota, Durban, Jakarta, Madrid, New York, Rio de Janeiro and many other major cities…
By adopting the ambitious and universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the international community has promised to leave no one behind. This requires empowering children and adults with disabilities, including those with Down syndrome, to contribute to our common future. Persons with disabilities, including those with Down syndrome, are more than persons in need of assistance; they are agents of change who can drive progress across society – and their voices must be heard as we strive to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. Toward that end, I recall the words of Pablo Pineda, the actor and writer with Down syndrome.…