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PM calls for greater efforts to tackle global water issue

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Hun Sen speaking at the Water Summit in Budapest on Tuesday. AKP

PM calls for greater efforts to tackle global water issue

Speaking at the third Budapest Water Summit in Budapest, Hungary, Prime Minister Hun Sen said water security would be under threat due to poor management of water resources and chemical waste, global warming, and population growth.

“Climate change, forest logging, insufficient public investment, lack of infrastructure and poor management of water causes water wastage and resulted in some areas facing water shortage while others faced drought,” said the Prime Minister in his keynote address.

The summit, held on October 15, was attended by Hungarian President Janos Ader, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank President Liqun Jin, India’s Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and other high-level delegates from various countries.

Amid global warming, climate change, urban population and industrial growth, decreases in water quality and quantity, an increase of conflicts on transboundary water usage, and other issues have worsened the water issue which might develop into a crisis.

“We should have collaborative mechanisms to jointly tackle water security issues at the regional and global levels. If a global water crisis breaks out, it can affect the development of society, the economy, citizens’ wellbeing and the environment,” he said.

Hun Sen said as economies grow and evolve in the Asean region, sufficient water supply for citizens and industrial use had become a major issue that demands a resolution at the regional level.

At the summit, the Prime Minister also recommended that to resolve the water issue in the future, it was important to continue to create a new global political architecture for water management.

The recommendations were aimed to gain support from all stakeholders to save water. They should avoid water pollution and build institutional governance and implement a healthy water policy, of their own accord and with transparency.

The prime minister also urged them to strengthen coordination, cooperation and accountability on water issues under the global framework.

Hun Sen said that the UN is a crucial platform to resolve the global water issue by 2030 through the formulation of a global initiative.

“Inter-sectional coordination between the ministries and institutions at all levels is necessary, including the cooperation of relevant stakeholders and the public.

“A national-level commitment to getting rid of water source contamination and increasing a country’s capacity to treat wastewater, as well as store clean water, is crucial to combat the issue,” he stressed.

The Prime Minister said that the UN should also encourage member countries to brainstorm new strategies as solutions to the global water issue.

“They can evaluate and distribute the responsibility for water resource maintenance, such as planning and building cross-border infrastructure aimed at preventing possible conflicts and promoting sustainable usage of water resources.

Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology secretary of state and spokesman Chan Yutha said the global water security issue requires efficient water resource management and fair distribution to prevent a global water crisis in the future.

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