Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew attended the International Water Week Conference in Amsterdam on Tuesday afternoon shortly after his arrival in the Netherlands.
The organisers were informed of the arrival of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Amsterdam for the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Holy Metropolis of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg and invited him to give the closing speech of the conference.
It is the first time a spiritual leader has been invited as a speaker, giving the Church the opportunity to express its view on such a precious good such as water.
In his speech, the Ecumenical Patriarch praised, among other things, the important role water plays in human life and in the world, supporting every effort designed to save water and to find new ways of water management.
He said, “All the efforts to improve water management are the cry of the human soul which recognises that water is a gift, which is an issue for all His creatures. We share the miracle of water with all the Creation. Every human being here and everywhere is essentially a tiny ocean. That is why, two decades ago, we declared that ‘for human beings to contaminate the waters of the earth is tantamount to sin.’
He added, “It is our responsibility, as political and religious leaders, as communities and individuals, as companies and industries, to provide sustainable, clean and safe water resources for the future of our cities and our citizens, and of all people and our planet.”