U.S. Water News Online
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Mikhail Gorbachev is pressing
world leaders to adopt a treaty guaranteeing clean water and
sanitation for their people, a task he says is more daunting than
ending the nuclear arms race during the Cold War.
Dwindling water supplies and political resistance have hampered
efforts to bring fresh water to poor people around the world, the
former Soviet leader said in an interview with The Associated Press.
"We were able to solve the nuclear arms race because of ...
political will," he said before an awards banquet held by his
American environmental group, Global Green USA. "Today we don't see
that political will. But I think it will emerge that leaders will
have to address this problem."
Gorbachev will call for a first-ever international water treaty
during an April 21 keynote address to the U.N. Commission on
He envisions a binding agreement that makes access to water and
basic sanitation a human right, holds nations responsible for
providing it, and governs how freshwater resources are managed and
A petition campaign he launched March 22 aims to pressure
governments to begin negotiations that would produce the covenant.
Gorbachev, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who led the Soviet Union
for six years until its 1991 collapse, founded Green Cross
International in 1993 to encourage business, government and
non-governmental organizations to collaborate and find solutions to
About 2.5 billion people worldwide lack water sanitation services,
and 5 million die from waterborne diseases each year, according to
Global Green USA, the American arm of Green Cross. Nearly 1.2 billion
people do not have clean water to drink.
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