Using the example of Darfur where militants took over villages after poisoning wells, Jan Eliasson illustrates the link between peace and access to clean water. He then explains the importance of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 7, which aims to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
Jan Eliasson is chairman of WaterAid Sweden, former Minister of Foreign Affairs in Sweden and since 2010 he serves in the UN Secretary-General’s MDG Advocates Group.
Jan Eliasson at the opening of World Water Week 2009
The Chair of WaterAid in Sweden, Ambassador Jan Eliasson, has joined a new United Nations MDG Advocacy Group. Mr. Eliasson will have a special focus on Millennium Development Goal 7 on environmental sustainability, which includes water and sanitation.
On 23 June 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the establishment of an advocacy group of eminent persons to try to galvanize support worldwide towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by their target date of 2015. The MDG Advocacy Group will be co-chaired by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
The group is tasked with helping Mr. Ban to build political will and mobilize global action on the eight Goals ahead of the high-level summit on the issue that will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York in September 2010. Mr. Zapatero will host the first meeting of the MDG Advocacy Group in Madrid in July 2010.
Jan Eliasson is a former Swedish Foreign Minister, former President of the UN General Assembly and former UN Special Envoy to Darfur. At his first news conference as president of the UN General Assembly on 13 June 2005, Mr. Eliasson held up a glass of water and told reporters that clean water was still a luxury for 2 billion people and that during his term he would focus on global problems such as polluted water, hunger, and poverty. In 2008 he became the first chair of WaterAid Sverige (Sweden).
Source: WaterAid, 23 Jun 2010 ; NGLS, 24 Jun 2010