President of the Republic of Tajikistan

Statement by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon at the High-Level Event “Towards the Implementation of the International Decade of Action “Water for Sustainable Development 2018 – 2028”

19.09.2017 17:43, United States

Heads of delegations,
Ladies and gentlemen!

I am delighted to first of all express words of very warm of welcome and thank you for being with us today in this high level event.

I do believe today’s deliberations and exchange of views help to reinforce our joint efforts towards implementation of the International Decade of Action “Water for Sustainable development 2018 – 2028”.

I take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to the UN Secretary General, organizations of the UN family and to all friends of water for their continued support and effort they exert in advancing UN GA Resolutions on water.

Distinguished gathering,

The experience we learned during an implementation of the International Decade of Action «Water for Life 2005 - 2015» has demonstrated that such decades might serve as effective instrument for promoting an implementation of development goals.

For this reason, while putting forward our initiative on a new International Decade we have basically been focused on the vision that water - related goals in 2030 Agenda are ambitious and we all need to undertake added strong and targeted measures to drive these objectives forward.

We do strongly believe that we can implement these tasks and objectives only through continued cooperation and mobilization of human, financial and technical resources.

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

Inclusive development and sustainable use of water resources are high on the UN agenda over the last years.

Efforts undertaken during the last 40 years by and within the walls of the United Nations and other organizations had been essential in facilitating access to safe drinking water, improving knowledge and skills in the field of water resources management, strengthening collaborative partnership on water and forming new holistic approach to tackle water-related global and regional challenges.

Despite international community has made a visible progress in this domain, we are still far behind in a mobilization of resources we need for an adequate and timely water-related issues management. We in this context need to take extra steps forward to make sure these challenge is properly addressed.

In light of this, we should not lose sight on factors that narrow horizon of our cooperation.

The first: global climate change severely impacts water resources and undermines efforts the international community exerts at achieving shared sustainable development.

Over the recent years, the area of glaciers in Tajikistan which are considered to be a proven generator of water resources in our region declined by one third and out of 13 thousand glaciers almost one thousand are completely vanished in the results of receding.

Over the past few years, Tajikistan has seen increase in number of extreme water-related natural phenomena. Every year, natural disaster particularly floods, mud-flows, avalanches and landslides cause heavy damage on the livelihood of the people and the economy of the country. In the period of last 5-6 years, an intensity of natural disasters in Tajikistan has increased by 25%. During this period of time natural disasters claimed more than 200 human lives, livelihood of nearly 100 000 people had been disrupted and an aggregate volume of economic damage exceeded 600 million USD.

The second: population growth and increase in demand in water resources are yet another causes of difficulties and challenges we have to cope with. Ever-increasing demand in water resources in a global scale causes tension among different economic sectors and touphens competition for water resources when many countries worldwide experience water scarcity.

The third: transboundary cooperation in water sector is a key element to driving SDG forward. In our views, efficient cross border collaboration serve as a catalyst for sustainable management and use of water resources, help to prevent irrational utilization and ensure a balance between the methods and principles of water resources managements.

The fourth: we finally should also take into account gender aspects of a transition to sustainable management and use of water resources. It is equally important and helpful if we empower women and let them play a part in promoting effective water resources management and preserve it for the generations to come.

At the end, I’m humbled to inform the august gathering that Tajikistan   as the initiator of the International Decade of Action «Water for Sustainable development 2018-2028»  intends to establish a Center for Coordination of actions aimed at implementation of the Decade.

Moreover, we have developed and endorsed National plan of action for promoting an implementation of the International Decade. In line with this, we propose to host the International Conference on Water next year in the city of Dushanbe.

We very much look forward our partners – the UN member states and institutions, UN Secretary General and all other entities concerned will support us in our most noble efforts and initiatives.

Thank you!

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