Yangon, Myanmar

11 December 2017

Secretary-General's message to the 3rd Asia-Pacific Water Summit, 11-12 December

I send greetings to the Asia-Pacific Water Summit.
I commend your focus on transboundary and multi-stakeholder cooperation.  The majority of UN Member States share rivers or basins with their neighbours.  More than 270 internationally-shared river basins serve as the primary fresh water source for approximately 40 per cent of the global population.  Countries must work together to ensure water is used sustainably and equitably.  Moreover, given the disruptions that climate change is unleashing on the global hydrological cycle, it is becoming ever more urgent to ensure water security for a sustainable future.
History has repeatedly demonstrated that investing in water security helps to ensure durable peace.  So too has been the case in the Asia-Pacific region, which is endowed with a significant number of transboundary rivers. 
Our challenge today is to use global frameworks to facilitate cooperation.  Last year, the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes opened for accession by all UN Member States. Universal accession and, full and effective implementation is our goal.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development points the way toward partnership and innovation.  Next March, we will enter a decade dedicated to “Water for Sustainable Development”.  In July, the United Nations High-level Political Forum will review Sustainable Development Goal 6 – “to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”.  I encourage all countries to step up action towards implementation of the decade, engage in the global review and invest in water security for a safe and prosperous planet for current and future generations.