03/22/2019, 17.36
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Pope calls water a fundamental human right that should not be commodified

The pontiff sent a message to FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva on World Water Day, which is celebrated today. This year’s theme is ‘Leave no one behind’. The task to value and defend this good falls on the new generations together with all the inhabitants of the planet.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis issued a message to mark World Water Day, which is celebrated today. This year’s theme is ‘Leaving no one behind’.

In the message, which he sent to José Graziano da Silva, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the pontiff notes that water is "fundamental human right", an "essential good for the balance of ecosystems and human survival" and must be accessible to all, ending the "injustice" endured by so many brothers and sisters.

“We are all architects of the future, and the International Community, with its decisions and its work, is already investing in the tomorrow of our planet. It is necessary to develop financing plans as well as long-range water projects. This firmness will lead to overcoming the vision of turning water into a mere commodity, exclusively regulated by the laws of the market.”

“It may be seen in our days how the aridity of the planet is extending to new regions, and more and more are suffering as a result of the lack of water sources suitable for consumption. For this reason, “leaving no-one behind” means committing ourselves to putting an end to this injustice. Access to this good is a fundamental human right, which must be respected, because the life of the people and their dignity are at stake (see Encyclical Letter Laudato si’, 30).”

“Leaving no-one behind” also means being aware of the need to respond with concrete facts; not only with the maintenance or improvement of water structures, but also by investing in the future, educating new generations in the use and care of water. This task of raising awareness is a priority in a world in which everything is discarded and disdained, and which in many cases does not appreciate the importance of the resources we have at our disposal.

“The new generations are called – together with all the inhabitants of the planet – to value and defend this good. It is a task that begins with the awareness of those people who suffer the inevitable consequences of climate change and of all those who are victims of one or another form of exploitation and contamination of water by various factors. This challenge of education will generate a new vision of this good, producing generations that value and love the resources that our mother gives us the Earth.”

Finally, as “Saint Francis of Assisi said, ‘water, which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste’, may serve for the sustenance and benefit of ourselves and for future generations.”

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