For the past week, an international entourage of industry leaders, politicians, and officials from the United Nations have been meeting in Stockholm for the annual World Water Week summit. The purpose of this event was to improve access to clean water in communities across the globe in a bid to slow the high number of deaths each year in poor developing nations.
According to The Local, some 2,000 attendees converged on Stockholm to tackle important issues related to our planet’s most vital resource. Sweden’s Minister for International Development, Gunilla Carlsson, opened the conference by pointing out that millions of people die every year from preventable hygiene-related diseases.
“By increasing access to water we can change the lives and health of poor women, men and children for the better,” said Gunilla Carlsson. “Nearly four million people die every year due to water- and sanitation-related diseases.”
The summit this year focused particularly on cross-border waterways and the way they both create conflict and have the potential to develop better relations between neighbouring countries. Carlsson urged “coherence and compassion” between the full spectrum of agencies involved in water management to help make progress on this sensitive issue.
The Stockholm International Water Institute organised the event, which ended on 22 August. It also discussed a wider range of issues like farming and climate change. This summit is one of several events leading up to Copenhagen’s big conference on climate change in December.