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Clean Water for People Initiatiative Announced

Announcement of the Clean Water for People Initiative

Remarks with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi at the Announcement of the Clean Water for People Initiative

Secretary Colin L. Powell St. David s Marist College Johannesburg, South Africa September 4, 2002

FOREIGN MINISTER KAWAGUCHI: Ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to announce today, the Clean Water for People Initiative, a joint endeavor by the United States and Japan to provide safe water and sanitation to the world s poor. Japan and the United States are known for historical partnerships to tackle global issues that threaten the existence of human beings, such as infectious diseases and environmental degradation. Our cooperation was reconfirmed when President Bush and our Prime Minister Mr. Koizumi announced the partnership for security and prosperity in June last year.

Today more than 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water. More than 2 billion lack adequate sanitation. Some 6000 children die everyday from water-related diseases. Overall, the challenge facing us is enormous. I believe that the United States and Japan, the two largest economies of the world, can make a difference if we act together to overcome the challenge. Japan will host two important international conferences closely related to water and sanitation next year, namely the Third World Water Forum in March and the Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development or TICAD in October next year. In addition, the next G8 Summit will be held in Evian, the French city famous for mineral water.

Rising from Johannesburg, I am confident that this stream of partnerships will become a big river as it runs through Asia and Europe next year. In the past 5 years, Japan has provided access to safe drinking water and sanitation for more than 40 million people. We will continue these efforts. Our water supply projects will alleviate the heavy burden of women and children in housework. Our support for local villagers to establish an autonomous community on water resource management will promote the participation and thus promote democracy at the grassroots level. The Clean Water for People Initiative being launched by the United States and Japan today is open to all countries, including developing countries, regions, international organizations, and civil society partners.

It is our hope that through such partnerships, the effect of our actions will be more than double of what we can achieve individually, clearly making a difference in our common endeavor to achieve sustainable development. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY POWELL: Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I would like to express my thanks to Minister Kawaguchi for joining me today to launch the Clean Water for People Initiative, a United States-Japan partnership to help provide safe water and sanitation to the world s poor. The need for access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation has been a recurring theme at the World Summit on Sustainable Development. In a world where 6000 children die from water-related illnesses every day, access to safe drinking water and sanitation is essential to life, to dignity, and to well-being. Here in Johannesburg, the United States announced a $970 million initiative to bring clean water and improve sanitation to people of developing countries.

Today we take a step further. We have agreed with Japan to join forces on water-related projects. We are working on plans to fund jointly huge projects, improve the availability of clean drinking water in the developing world, and also for better management of coastal and river basin water systems. Together we will establish a working group to advance the partnership. We will look forward to reporting real progress at the next World Water Forum, which Japan will host in March.

The Clean Water for People Initiative is a concrete example of the type of US-Japan cooperation pledged by President Bush and Prime Minister Koizumi in the US-Japan Partnership for Security and Prosperity, which they announced in June 2001. Japan and the United States are leaders in the quest to help improve access to safe water and sanitation for people in need. Working together, we can expand our leadership to be a powerful force for development in the world.

The Clean Water for People Initiative is an important first step, built for improving the lives of millions of people around the world and for working together with Japan to tackle the global challenges that we face. We welcome the support we receive for this initiative and we look forward to others joining us in this essential partnership. I think it is especially important to note that this kind of partnership is exactly the kind of partnership we were hoping would come out of this Summit meeting.

It has been a very successful Summit meeting. We have focused on sustainable development. We talked about clean water. We talked about renewable energy. We have come up with a "Johannesburg Plan of Action," which is a plan of words but also a plan of action, real action and not just government action but government and private organizations and NGOs getting together. We have focused on the need for additional aid but also more trade. Aid and trade are what will drive sustainable development throughout the world.

So our two countries are represented here, the Foreign Minister and I, in this particular partnership where real resources are being put to the rhetoric of needing clean water and needing better sanitation. We are putting money behind it. We are putting energy behind it. We are putting political commitment behind it and that is what I think makes this Summit such a successful one and a different one and a very important one. I would now like to turn this meeting over to my colleagues who will introduce some of those who are here, while Minister Kawaguchi and I move on to other appointments that we have. Thank you very much.

[End]


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