Speech by President Emomali Rahmon at the Opening Session of the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit
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Ladies and gentlemen,
I at the onset would like to extend sincere appreciation to the Government of Japan for the arrangement of this Summit.
It is gratifying to note, that today’s Summit will be held under the theme of “Water for Susutainable Development – Best Practices and the Next Generation”.
Yet in 2007 at the First Asia – Pacific Water Summit in the beautiful city of Beppu I stated, that “… global development processes are taking shape in a such way, that the price for water may outweigh the cost of oil, gas, coal and other key resources essential for the sustainable development of each state and region”.
After almost 15 years of development, the analysis proves the viability of those projections.
Realities of this period have encouraged the international community to reinforce its attention to water – related challenges and include different aspects of its solution in the SDG Agenda.
Tajikistan has been putting superb efforts over the last two decades to promote and advance World Water Agenda and makes valuable contribution to this process.
There are eight Resolutions have been adopted by the UN GA on the initiative of Tajikistan and our country multiply hosted high level international conferences on a review of key water challenges.
Meanwhile, on Tajikistan’s initiative in 2016 the United Nations General Assembly endorsed a Resolution on the International Decade of Action “Water for Sustainable Development” 2018 – 2028.
The core objectives of our efforts include catalyzing and reinvigoration of actions in water with the view to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
Sustainable Development Goals is about securing deserved life for the next generation.
However, analysis show that it would be hard to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in water sector with the efforts, which we are currently putting.
Unfortunately, modern threats and challenges, including climate change have seriously undermined this process.
Current circumstance needs a particular attention and concentration, since its impact on water resources, especially on glaciers is visible and indeed alarming.
Tajikistan has lost more than thousand glaciers over the last decade, as the negative consequences of a climate change while annually suffers from severe floods and drought, which are linked with this process, and experiences enormous financial damage and casualties.
It is obvious, that water resources are the key in adaptation and building up resilience to climate change effects.
In this context, Tajikistan as the proactive member of Water and Climate Coalition Leaders makes every effort to an integrated promotion of water and climate issues in the global agenda.
As a part of this process, we particularly proposed to declare the year 2025 as the Year of Glaciers Preservation and called for the international community to increase its efforts in this direction.
Obligation and specific target-oriented actions are yet another key point in this respect.
To this end, Tajikistan as the initiator of a New Action Decade “Water for Sustainable Development” has launched “Dushanbe Water Process” and in 2018 convened the First High-Level International Conference on this Decade. The Second Conference is set to be held on June 6 – 9, 2022.
The Second Dushanbe Conference as the main loop would serve to link the chain of different global events, including today’s Summit and be essential part of the preparatory process for the next year UN Conference on Mid-Term Review of Water Decade.
It is noteworthy, that 2023 New-York Conference, which is scheduled to be held under the co-chairmanship of Tajikistan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, would be convened after almost 50 years since the first UN Water Conference had been held in 1977.
In the meantime, the international community’s anticipations from this Global Water Forum is high and our nations while preparing for this event are bending massive efforts to make this Conference productive indeed.
It is my firm belief that all stakeholders, United Nations member states will give us enduring support in an implementation of this great mission.
Taking the advantage of this opportunity, I wish to invite all Summit participants to Dushanbe Conference and count on a decent contribution you make to the preparation process to UN Water Conference.
In conclusion, I wish to reiterate that we will proactively pursue our championship and political determination to this process with our partner countries.
I thank you!
Source: National information agency of Tajikistan