PM seeks equitable sharing of transboundary water bodies

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NEW YORK, Sept 22, 2016 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the international community to consider water as an integral part of the new development architecture putting emphasis on ensuring equitable sharing of transboundary water bodies.

“We need to ensure equitable sharing of trans-boundary water bodies, including integrated management of river basins and promote access to water-intensive technologies to effectively address water-related challenges,” she said while addressing a high-level panel on Water (HLPW) at the UN Headquarters on Wednesday.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has earned global recognition as a champion for ensuring safe water and sanitation for all as “Today, more than 98% of our population has access to safe drinking water and above 65% has access to safe sanitation”.

The premier said the 2030 Agenda has articulated inter-linkages between water and wider sustainable development while she highlighted a few critical areas that she said deserved immediate global action. “First we must continue to develop less water-intensive varieties of crops, as agriculture accounts for around 70% of overall freshwater,” she said..

Secondly, the premier said, all should promote access to water-intensive technologies to effectively address water related challenges.

“(Thirdly) we need to ensure equitable sharing of trans-boundary water bodies, including integrated management of river basins,” Sheikh Hasina said.

Fourthly “we have to invest in water related infrastructures for its efficient use and governance. I would strongly advocate for creating a global fund for SDG-6.”

Fifth, water should be considered as an integral part of the new development architecture, as it is linked with climate change, food, health and energy security, she said.

“Access to safe drinking water and sanitation is part of human rights . . . as I shared our thoughts to deepen our collective effort, I assure you of all our support in this regard,” she said.

Later addressing a press briefing with other panel members, Sheikh Hasina said the members of the HLPW today issued a call to address the challenges of nine broad themes and implement of plans to ensure water.

The prime ministers said they urged the heads of state and government and other leaders to prioritise water issues in their thoughts, policies and action. “We also underscored the importance of valued water right and also water and sanitation needs for all,” she said.

She said: “We need to invest heavily in resilient and innovative infrastructure for effective use of water.” Sheikh Hasina said she also strongly advocated for creating a global fund on water SDGs to support research innovation and technology transfer.

“We also urged to build a global movement, and I personally requested media to support our call and help engage the people of the planet for our collective prosperity,” she said. LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Engineer Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain and Principal Secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad were present on the occasion, among others.

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