Irina Bokova: There can be no sustainable development without sustainable water management
On 16 January, the second day of her participation in the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, attended the first International Water Summit, which was organized back to back with the World Future Energy Summit, reflecting the United Arab Emirate’s commitment to sustainability.
The Summit brought together policymakers, scientists, experts and business executives in order to promote water sustainability in arid regions, and to tackle the urgent water and wastewater challenges they are facing -- including the water energy nexus that is gaining prominence on the international agenda.
The Director-General participated in a 1-2-1 interview session on “The Role of Water in Sustainable Growth”, together with Mr. Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiya, Chairman Qatar National Food Security Programme. The interview, conducted by Mr. Bert Diphoorn, UN-Water vice chair, shed light on international water strategy and policy and the effectiveness of collaboration to achieve water sustainability and to meet global demand for potable water, as well as on the role of the water-food-energy nexus in sustainable growth.
“There can be no development without water, and no sustainable development without sustainable water management” declared the Director-General.
She called for “a global compact on sustainable and more integrated water management”, emphasizing that “water cooperation is one of the keys for water sustainability”. “The ultimate goal of cooperation is to develop a shared vision of sustainable water resources management as being at the heart of sustainable development”, said Irina Bokova.
The Director-General also noted that “the emphasis on the link between water and energy in the two parallel summits is highly consistent with the emphasis UNESCO places on clean and renewable energy, on fresh water, and on the nexus between the two critical components of sustainable development and green growth”.
Discussions continued in the evening at the reception hosted by H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, in honor of the Director-General.