The former Soviet leader, Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev, Chairman of Green Cross International and Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT on Monday signed a Cooperation Agreement aimed at achieving a global breakthrough for the realization of the Millennium Development Goals for water and sanitation.
“Fundamental to this breakthrough is a Human Values approach that can bring about positive attitudinal changes and a new ethic for water and sanitation management in society and lay the foundation for good governance”, said Mrs. Tibaijuka.
She said current approaches to water and sanitation management had failed to bring about any fundamental change in behaviour and personal attitudes, and in the underlying values of the people that infl uence decisions. Both organizations recognize that water is one of the basic human needs – that the water crisis is global and sustainable solutions should be found at local level. They also view the participation of civil society essential to the prevention and resolution of water conflict.
Mr. Gorbachev, said: “I am here today to declare that enough is enough.” He said world governments were failing to live up to the development pledges made in the Millennium Declaration exactly four years ago.
In the last four years, 20 million children have died from preventable water-borne diseases, and hundreds of millions of people continued to live with the daily drudgery and squalor associated with the lack of water and sanitation. Yet, today, there was little to indicate that we will not face the same situation four years from now.
“The people of the world need to wake up, take responsibility, and play their part in the great human mission enshrined in the Millennium Development Goals. We should be acting with the same sense of urgency as we would if it were our own children going thirsty,” insisted Gorbachev.