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May 18, 2012, 4:10 PM

UN Conference Considers The Ethics of Water Use

How should our understanding of The Golden Rule affect our consumption of water?

That’s the question URI presenters will attempt to address when “The Spirituality of Ethics and Water” takes the stage at the Rio +20 conference next month. The presentation will take place at 9:30 a.m. on June 18, 2012 at the RioCentro convention center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Through faith and spirituality – potential driving forces behind sustainable development -- all of us can create “the future we want,” according to the presenters.

In addition, through dialogue and cooperation, members of different religions can avoid competing with or de-humanizing “the other” – and can learn to share the world’s shrinking resources with other members of their community.

The event will include a speech on the ethics of water by author and theologian Dr. Reijo E. Heinonen, founding dean of the ecumenical theology faculty of the University of Joensuu in Finland.

Dr. Heinonen’s presentation will be followed by a panel of three speakers addressing the same subject – moderated by former Latin America Regional Coordinator Andre Porto -- and a series of presentations by practitioners of several world religions, spiritual traditions and indigenous beliefs who will describe the essential meanings of water in their faith traditions.

The presentation will end with a closing spiritual ritual and a blessing over water samples brought from many different parts of the world.

URI will present the event together with URI Brasil, URI Finland, the Faith Without Borders CC, the World Council of Churches and the Ecumenical Water Network, a group of churches and Christian organizations promoting access to water throughout the world.

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