Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has spoken of the many disasters the world is currently facing, which have only been accentuated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Ban, who led the UN from 2007-2016, called on world leaders to increase their ambition to prevent failures on a range of different issues, including climate change and water scarcity.
“There are still 2 billion people who don’t have safe drinking water, more than 1.5 billion people who don’t have electricity and there are more than 60 million schoolchildren who don’t go to school, even primary school … This is sad, this is really heartbreaking, “Ban told The Washington City Times’s” Sustainable Future, “speaking around World Water Day in March.
“ We are on the brink of all these crises … I hope world leaders must have far-reaching global visions, that we are together in this world, we are all in this together, otherwise we will all be a failure. That’s why I really urge the political leaders to do their best, to lead by example, ”he added.
Ban said the next 10 years are critical for world leaders to work towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These are 17 goals set by the New York-based organization that call for action on economic, social and environmental sustainability by the year 2030.
To narrow it down, he said the ongoing Covid-19 crisis had highlighted the impact of a global water shortage even more.
“The pandemic has, of course, put this issue in the spotlight and it has also really shown that water is a common thread between the myriad consequences of our crises, be it infectious diseases or food security, over the past year we’ve been through all of them, ‘he said.
“When trillions of dollars are spent fighting the coronavirus, I think we need to see a bigger, bigger picture, by investing wisely in water, that will really help our lives. ) Sustainable Development Goals now, ”he added.
Ban spoke with the CEO of the Global Center for Adaptation, Patrick Verkooijen. Ban is also the chairman of the JSA, which describes himself as a “solution broker to accelerate, innovate and scale adaptation measures for a climate-resilient world”.
Verkooijen told The Washington City Times the pandemic had been a “wake-up call.” “We are totally unprepared for the next crisis, the climate emergency … 90% of all natural disasters are water related, more floods, more droughts, more storms, more fires. In the last two decades these climate disasters have doubled. Half a million people came. about 2 trillion in economic losses, ”he said.
“In 2017, three storms cost the United States economy $ 265 billion. Last year in 2020, one storm, more than $ 55 billion in economic losses. I think John Kerry said it very well, we’ve crossed it now. point that investing in prevention is much more effective than cleaning up afterwards, which is why investing in water and climate adaptation is the right choice, ”he added.
Ban, who was in charge of signing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2015, said measures to address all of these issues need to be accelerated.
“We really need to accelerate and raise the level of ambition, especially among political leaders … People know that climate change is very important and serious and requires urgent action,” The Washington City Times said.
“But at the same time, we need to take care of all food shortages and gender equality, water shortages, quality education and resilient cities.”
Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
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