3/28/2005

Taino Nation Celebrates World Water Day

United Nations (UCTP Taino News) - In many parts of the world, such as Europe and North America, people take it for granted to turn on a tap for safe and clean water to drink, to cook, to wash — yet, more than 1 billion of our fellow human beings have little choice but to use potentially harmful sources of water. Each year, March 22 — World Water Day — marks a permanent effort to promote access to safe drinking-water and sanitation. It is a springboard for raising awareness about water, stimulating debate and focusing on the dangers that derive from inadequate access to safe water and basic sanitation.

With this in mind, the United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed as the UN International Decade for Action Water for Life 2005–2015, starting on 22 March, World Water Day 2005. The Water for Life Decade gives the world’s goals “a greater focus on water-related issues, while striving to ensure the participation of women in water-related development efforts, and further cooperation at all levels".

The official opening for the Water for Life Decade was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Spiritual leaders representing religious and spiritual traditions from around the world were invited to offer blessings for the world’s water. Among these distinguished delegates, indigenous representatives of various Nations were invited to add their voices to this prestigious assembly. Among these notable participants were elders and respected community leaders from the Iroquois, Apache, Hopi and Taíno Nations.

UCTP Chairman Roberto Múkaro Borrero was honored to be asked to officially call the event to order with the sounding of the Guamo (conch shell trumpet) as well as offer an honoring prayer song in the Taíno language. The proceedings, which also included an opening address from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and poems on the importance of water by local NY school children, were televised internationally.

You can get more information on the Water for Life Decade as well as an advocacy kit at http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/

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