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PRESIDENT of the 64th Session
United Nations General Assembly

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At the Side-event on “Towards Midterm Comprehensive Review of the implementation of the International Decade of Actions “Water for Life”

New York, 7 May 2010

[Delivered by H.E. Mr. Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad - Permanent Representative of the Sudan to the United Nations on behalf of the President of the General Assembly]

Ladies and Gentlemen

I have the honor to address this important event today on behalf of H.E. Ali Abdussalam Treki the President of the General Assembly.

As you are aware, the General Assembly convened a High Level Interactive Dialogue on World Water Day, in New York on 22 March 2010, with the participation of representatives of governmental and non governmental organizations, civil society and private sector. This Dialogue focused on the implementation of the International Decade for Action “Water for Life 2005-2015” and the realization of the internationally agreed water-related goals, addressing the following themes:

Water and the Millennium Development Goals;
Water and climate change and disasters;
Water and peace and security.

Most of the Millennium Development Goals are based on the need to secure the access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation, as well as the need to stop the unsustainable exploitation of water. In this context, the dialogue underscored that making progress on this front will lead, no doubt, to advancing in the areas of poverty reduction; improved health conditions; promoting gender equality and empowerment of women as well as environmental sustainability.

Ladies and Gentlemen

The International Decade for Action provides an opportunity to underscore the connection between disaster risk management which includes environmental, social and economic aspects and the proactive engagement of all stakeholders. There is a need to integrate disaster risk reduction into programmes at all levels.

Higher average temperatures and changes in precipitation and temperature extremes are projected to affect the availability of water resources through changes in rainfall distribution, soil moisture, glacier and ice and snow melt, and river and groundwater flows. In this respect, adaptation to the hydrological impacts of the climate change is of primary importance.

Ladies and Gentlemen

The High Level Interactive Dialogue on World Water Day emphasized that it is essential to turn words into action. A focus on sustainability is needed as well accountability, financial resources and capacity building. There should be a global commitment to realize all of this into actionable measures. Water resources and sanitation must be managed in a sustainable manner to allow human development, dignity, and economic growth as well as to safeguard water quality and ecosystems.

I want to express my thanks to all Member States for the support and active participation. I would like also to express my sincere appreciation for the work of the United Nations Development, Economic and Social Affairs, through UN Water.

A summary of the High Level Dialogue was sent to all Member States with the intention to give an account of the common challenges as well as opportunities to address the water related issues in the future, with a view to accelerate efforts toward timely and full achievement of the International Decade for Action Water for life goals. I am sure it will also contribute to the high-level international conference to be hosted by Tajikistan in June 2010.

Thank you.

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