Hungarian President János Áder’s opening speech at the Budapest Water Summit
Are we allowed to kill a baby, if this is the price to be paid to save the world? – this was the question posed by the author Dostoyevsky.
We in turn could ask: what does the fate of 10 thousand children mean? 10 thousand hopes? 10 thousand joys? 10 thousand smiles? The loving care of 10 thousand mothers?
Esteemed Ladies and Gentlemen,
This is how many children we lose every day. Every single minute of every single day of the year, as I speak, we are paying with the lives of small children worldwide for not being able to provide clean drinking water for every new-born child. Every day 10 thousand children under the age of five die on Earth due to illnesses caused by bad quality drinking water.
Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Because of this, year to year millions of parents have to endure the excruciating pain that their child will not grow up to go to school, will not set out on the path to adulthood, will not find discover what love means and will never be able to share their dreams with their parents.
However, it is not only the children that are in danger. Half of all the hospital beds worldwide have patients, who have fallen ill due to polluted water.
The struggle because of the lack of healthy drinking water goes on as we speak in many corners of the Earth. There are also countless places, where precious arable land goes dry, where life-saving water sources dry up, where carefully guarded water reserves are threatened or polluted beyond repair.
This is a problem that is common across all continents. It impacts us Europeans, just as those in North- or South-America, Asia, Africa, Australia...
Just as we are all affected by the fact that one fifth of the world’s fresh water species have by today either become extinct or are on the verge of extinction.
More and more people, more and more countries find themselves in a stand-off with others for the possession of water, a struggle which at times culminates in wars. The lack of drinking water affects more than 40 per cent of the population on the planet.
4 out of every 10 people do not have access to sufficient clean drinking water. If we do not reverse this process, 25 years from now, two-third of humanity will be in this same situation.