SUPPORTING THE GOALS AND IDEALS OF WORLD WATER DAY -- (House of Representatives - May 02, 2006)
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution (H. Res. 658) supporting the goals and ideals of World Water Day, as amended.
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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of House Resolution 658, expressing support for the goals and ideals of World Water Day. The global celebration of World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. The United Nations General Assembly by resolution designated March 22 of each year as World Water Day.
I want to thank my colleague, the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson), for introducing this important resolution. Passing this resolution will add to the strong bipartisan support in Congress for fighting global water challenges. This resolution builds upon the accomplishments of this Congress as embodied in the Senator Paul Simon Water For the Poor Act of 2005, Public Law 109-121, introduced by Mr. Blumenauer.
Water-related illnesses claim the life of one child approximately every 8 to 15 seconds, killing up to 5,000 children a day and up to 5 million people every year. The statistics associated with global water issues are shocking. According to the World Health Organization, 1.2 billion people do not have access to safe water, and 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation.
World Water Day helps to raise awareness among international community members about this humanitarian catastrophe which places global development and human security in peril.
This resolution communicates our support for World Water Day. It recognizes the importance of conserving and managing water resources for sustainable development, environmental integrity, and the eradication of poverty and hunger, human health and overall quality of life; and it encourages the people of the United States to observe World Water Day.
Paula Dobriansky, the Under Secretary For Democracy and Global Affairs, recently led the U.S. delegation to the fourth World Water Forum in Mexico City, Mexico. Under Secretary Dobriansky's remarks emphasized the linkages between increased access to safe water and sanitation to improving human development indicators.
The administration has taken some noteworthy actions in response to these challenges. The Water For the Poor and Clean Water For People are initiatives equaling almost $1.5 billion combined are positive contributions that will advance the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and implement the Johannesburg Plan by 2015 to reduce the number of people by one-half who have no access to safe drinking water and sanitation.
I invite my colleagues and staff to learn more about what the private sector and the U.S. Government are doing to meet these challenges this Thursday at an event sponsored by the Rotary Club of Washington and water advocates. This event will focus on safe water and sanitation worldwide and implementing the Senator Simon Water For the Poor Act. The event will take place on Thursday, May 4, at 11 a.m. in the Montpelier Room of the Library of Congress. Mr. Speaker, I urge passage of this resolution.
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