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01 / 06 / 2004
Alexander Likhotal: “Governments are not prepared to give up their benefits or citizens to sacrifice their comfort”

For the president of Green Cross International the Millennium Goals are not being met. He also criticized that the ratio of GDP expenditure in aid for development has dwindled since 1992

The director of the dialogue “Water for Life and Security”, Bertrand Carrier, said “it is not enough to say there is legislation on water issues if laws are not enforced”

The president of Green Cross International, Alexander Likhotal, has asked for a drastic political change that will make it possible for more resources to be devoted to poverty eradication in order to meet the UN Millennium Goals. In his keynote speech in the dialogue “Water as a Strategic Resource”, Likhotal stressed that “governments are not willing to give up their benefits and influence, as much as citizens do not wish to sacrifice a life of comfort.” This poses difficulties for the resolution of water problems in our planet.

For Bertrand Carrier of Green Cross International and director of the dialogue, “it is not enough to speak of legislation on water issues if it is not duly enforced,” while he asked for a binding agreement on the matter. Carrier also stressed that the investment side of it is very problematic since “investment in water is extremely profitable, and there is a 34 dollar return for each dollar invested”. He also suggested that rich countries could pay 10 dollars per year in order to contribute to the solution of water problems in the world.

For the director of the UN-Habitat population program, Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, “only a thorough change will revert the present trend.” When she pointed out the traditional role of women in the search for and supply of water resources for their families, she stated that “girls are forced to exchange their opportunities for education for water”.

For Andras Szollosi, deputy assistant director-general for Unesco´s natural science sector, it is not true that wars are related to water, since for over four thousand years men have collaborated and shared water without disputes. He also asked himself whether our present world “will be able to make choices or if domination will prevail over solidarity”.

The dialogue “Water for Life and Security” begins tomorrow and continues until June 1 at the Forum Site.

More information about Water for life and security