“I am delighted to note that—after almost 50 years, since the 1977 UN Water Conference in Mar del Plata, Argentina, on the World Water Day 2023, the United Nations is convening this Water Conference in its headquarters in New York,” said Pillay. “I want to make sure you know that the WCC is committed to water justice.”
Since 2006, the WCC has provided leadership, spiritual direction, and solution-oriented dialogue through the Ecumenical Water Network. “We believe that water is gift of God,” said Pillay. “A public good. A fundamental human right.”
Pillay further noted that Christian communities are in the season of Lent, which is a time of self-denial. “Two billion people around the world do not have access to safely managed drinking water and about 4 billion people do not have access to safely managed sanitation facilities,” he said. “We cannot turn a blind eye.”
The WCC is currently offering a Lenten campaign, “Seven Weeks for Water,” to engage people in praying, reflecting, and acting to address the global water crisis.
“This UN Water Conference is a lifetime opportunity to make sure that by 2030, all people will have access to water and sanitation,” said Pillay, who urgently called for world leaders to respect and act for the human right to water; protect water defenders; engage faith communities in addressing the water crisis; and take other necessary steps.