The events of the World Forum on Water began on 19th March, with the reception by the President of Brazil, H. E. Michel Temer, of his counterparts and representatives from each guest country. Following that there was a photo section and, following speeches by some dignitaries, the Vice-President of the Republic, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, spoke in representation of the Head of State, H. E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. We include here the full text of his message.
In representation of the Head of State, H. E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
H.E. Michel Temer, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil,
Their Excellencies Heads of States and Governments, His Excellency General Secretary of the United Nations,
Their Excellencies Heads of Delegations, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Mr. President, firstly please allow me to express the excuses of your brother and counterpart, H. E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Head of State and the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, who despite his desire and interest, was not able to take part in this conference due to his packed State Schedule of previous obligations, and for that reason he has asked me to pass on his greetings of Peace and Brotherhood, wishing the World Forum on Water every success.
Equally, I would like to take this opportunity to pass on to H. E. Michel Temer our sincere gratitude and recognition for the invitation that he issued to take part in this important World Forum on Water, with the aim of promoting political commitment and forcing action on the critical issue of water at all levels, in order to facilitate conservation, protection and use of water in all its facets for the sustainability and benefit of human life.
Mr President, water is life, and without water there is no life, so we must not undervalue the importance of water for any activity in the human sphere. Water resources are used in various contexts and from various perspectives in society. We have been witnesses to the importance of water for centuries, water has caused conflict between various communities over access; currently, the issues of control over the sources of water form the basis for numerous conflicts.
In effect, dealing with questions related to water is not only to deal with a basic resource for human life and for economic and social development, but it has a direct relevance on the maintenance of international peace and stability.
The lack of water should not surprise us. Long, well-understood processes have contributed to this point, such as the rapid growth of the global population, large scale production processes, climate change; all these factors and others show more and more the limited resources of water that we have.
In contrast to other natural resources, water is not valued in people’s minds in the same way as oil or natural gas. This situation should change; this World Forum on Water should support initiatives for better use.
The responsibility we have is enormous, and our actions today will have profound consequences for future generations. We have the politician and moral obligation to ensure a better, prosperous future for our children. We must make every effort to resolve any tensions regarding access to water.
The management, on a global level, of water resources is essential and affects human life on all levels and dimensions. From the small communities that need access to drinking water to survive, to modern industries that use enormous quantities of water. Based on the latest report from the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are around 850 million people in the world who do not have access to drinking water. This number must be reduced quickly and rationally. UNICEF estimates that one in every five deaths in children in the world is due to illnesses related to water.
Equatorial Guinea, through its strategic economic and social development program Horizonte 2020 for economic diversification and industrialisation, launched the Water For All project in 2012, which is being executed non-stop throughout the nations, so that water can be enjoyed, and managed adequately and responsibly.
In conclusion, we should show the highest level of commitment in relation to the efficient, rational use of water by the global population. We must invest resources in the study and development of technological solutions which support a better use of water.
I am convinced that the deliberations of this forum will be of huge value to the protection, management and efficient use of water resources in the world”.
Source: Official Web Page of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea