Transboundary Water Cooperation

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The world is witnessing the drastic challenges of water scarcity.  Pakistan with no exception is estimated to be among the top ten water-scarce countries in the world. Because of climate change and other developments, we suffer from floods during the summers and droughts in the winter repeatedly. Thus, we are concerned that the world remains off-track in the implementation of 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 supporting climate change adaptation. Currently, transboundary waters account for 60 percent of the world’s freshwater flows. 153 countries have territory within at least one of the 286 transboundary river and lake basins and 592 transboundary 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 are firstly financed, 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 the 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.

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