Like many Stockholm residents, I am fortunate to live by the water. I never tire of looking at it and, in the last few days, inspired by my intrepid mother-in-law’s visit, I’ve even been swimming in it!
In an abstract way I understand how important water is for all of us and for the planet. But I confess my understanding is vague. I may know more in a few days, as World Water Week Conference will be held in Stockholm from 26 – 31 August.
Water has direct relevance to the UK’s objectives of promoting Prosperity and Security. Along with food, energy and climate it’s one of what William Hague calls the four pillars of global prosperity and security. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is sending an expert delegation to Stockholm to take part in the week’s discussions.
The conference will consider the security implications climate change impacts have on water availability and the need for a global response to address this. This has personal resonance for me, as in my last but one job I organised the first ever UN Security Council debate on the conflict and security risks of climate change. World Water Week will take this debate forward, sharing knowledge on food and water security – knowledge which will inform policy on climate and resource insecurity and which will feed into our political work to reach a global agreement on climate change.
A city defined by its water in a country renowned for ambition in tackling the challenges of climate and security is surely the perfect host for a conference such as this.