UN deputy chief urges action on water rights

AP News
Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:52 AM

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — The UN's deputy chief says most of the world problems boil down to water and he's urging action from global leaders.

Jan Eliasson says he's increasingly worried about water issues as more poor people move to capitals with poor sanitation systems. About 60 percent of the world's population will be living in cities in the next eight years.

There are 783 million people who don't have access to clean or relatively safe water and 2.5 billion people who lack access to toilets.

Eliasson says that's the main reason why more than 3,000 children under 5 years of age die every day from diarrhea, dysentery, dehydration and cholera.

He spoke Friday on the sidelines of a European Union-Latin America-Caribbean summit in Santiago, Chile.