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Ambassador Munir Akram Speaks at Briefing on UN 2023 Water Conference

NEW YORK: The Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations Ambassador Munir Akram delivered a statement at the In-Person Member States Briefing on the UN 2023 Water Conference on April 12.

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The following is his full statement;

“I thank you Madam Moderator

Let me begin by thanking my colleague, Ambassador Jonibek of Tajikistan and Ambassador Yoka Brandt of the Netherlands for organizing this meeting and bringing us together with USG Liu as well as the two Special Envoys of Tajikistan and the Netherlands for this important and informative briefing.

Pakistan is estimated to be among the top 10 water scarce countries in the world. Because of climate change and other developments, we suffer from floods during the summers and drought in the winter repeatedly.

Thus, we are concerned that the world remains off-track in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6).

I believe that the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework, with its five accelerators of Financing, Data and Information, Capacity Development, Innovation and Governance can provide an appropriate framework around which to structure the themes of the dialogues.

These dialogues should be focused and action-oriented as has been highlighted in our discussion today.

In particular, I would highlight the importance of incorporating Water Governance issues including Transboundary Water Cooperation as one of the themes of the dialogue.

Transboundary water cooperation plays a crucial role in supporting wider regional integration, peace and sustainable development, as well as in tackling regional security challenges and in supporting climate change adaptation.

Currently, trans-boundary waters account for 60 per cent of the world’s freshwater flows. 153 countries have territory within at least one of the 286 trans-boundary river and lake basins and 592 trans-boundary aquifer systems.

With most of the world’s water resources being shared between two or more countries, the need for transboundary cooperation assumes even greater urgency with rising water scarcity.

We believe that the three elements which will be most important as regards our commitments is firstly finance, secondly technology cooperation and thirdly partnerships. This has been mentioned in our discussions so far.

We are happy that you will aim for the adoption of a Compact on Water and a roadmap for implementation of that Compact.

We hope that progressively the commitments we undertake on water will come to be reflected in the national commitments of Member States and reflected in the VNRs we annually conduct to review progress on the SDGs, as SDG 6 is a vital element in the 2030 Agenda.

I thank you.”

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