(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and gentlemen,
Water – water is everywhere. It is all around us. It borders and interconnects countries. It is essential to our lives and to the environment in which we work and live. I think you can say it is the driving force in nature.
However, we often forget it is there. We take it for granted.
This year’s theme "Energy and Water", has been an opportunity to consider the linkages between the two. To be able to deliver sustainable energy globally, we must manage our water resources more efficiently. We need to continue to engage with actors on a local, national and global level to raise the water issue on the global sustainability agenda.
It is therefore with great pleasure, that I thank the Stockholm International Water Institute for yet another inspired World Water Week. Not least through The Stockholm Water Prize event so much progress has been made in the past decades.
Thinking back of the achievements of previous winners, I am humbled and inspired. This year is no different. I would therefore like to extend a special welcome and congratulations to this year’s Laureate, Professor John Briscoe.
Ladies and gentlemen, we all need to carefully consider the challenges and opportunities that we are encountering.
We cannot achieve sustainability without wise management of water. Beyond our individual networks, communities and countries, let us take concrete action to work together to ensure we all have clean and accessible water, also for generations to come.
I fear that we simply do not understand the value of water until there is no more!
Let me finally thank you for a very pleasant dinner. It has been a most enjoyable and rewarding evening.