On 9 October 2014, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Mr. Didier Burkhalter joined the Creating Shared Value Forum 2014 organised by Nestlé and UNCTAD to deliver the closing address. With his permission, I post his important speech (also on YouTube, starting after 1 hour 09’ 40’’), as usual with an invitation to comment.
Ladies and gentlemen,
When astrophysicists look for traces of life in the outer space, they look for water. Water is life. Water is a finite resource, which cannot be substituted. Without water there is no health, no food, no energy, no social and economic development, no security – no life.
Today, we are moving dangerously towards a world without enough fresh water.
Population growth, urbanisation, a growing global middle class and changes in production and consumption patterns – all these trends are directly impacting our water resources and related ecosystems. Climate change adds to the challenge by increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.
The problem is not only one of over use. Diminishing water resources are also threatened by pollution. Every day, two million tonnes of sewage and waste are discharged directly into the world’s aquatic ecosystems.