Political leaders meeting at the Rio+20 Summit this week must put water at the heart of sustainable development, making universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation part of a new set of post-2015 development goals, the head of the World Water Council has said.

Loïc Fauchon, who will present proposals on water commitments this week to the nearly 120 heads of state and government expected at the Rio de Janeiro gathering, urged them to recognise water security – having enough clean water for social and economic needs – as a top priority.

“We would like political leaders to accept that water security is one of the main global security issues which has to be placed at the top of the global debate,” he told AlertNet in an interview before the U.N. conference on sustainable development, adding that it should be on a par with food, nuclear or maritime security.

The Marseille-based World Water Council is an international platform for dialogue, established in 1996, in response to growing global concern about water issues. It has more than 300 member bodies in over 60 countries, including governments, businesses and civil society groups, and organise a world water forum every three years.

Water has been identified as one of seven critical issues for the Rio+20 meeting, along with decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and agriculture, oceans and disaster preparedness.


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