28.06.2012 - Natural Sciences Sector

Rio+20: Water as an enabler of peaceful international cooperation

Mr. Hans d’Orville, the Assistant Director-General for Strategic Planning, took part in the side event Thematic Session on Water Cooperation, organized by the government of Tajikistan at the Rio+20 Conference.

The event was moderated by Olcay Unver, Director of the UN World Water Assessment Programme hosted by UNESCO. Speakers included H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon, President of Tajikistan, H.E. Mr. János Áder, President of Hungary, H.E. Mr. Brice Lalonde, Assistant Secretary-General, Executive Coordinator for the Rio+20 Conference and former Minister of Environment of France, H.E. Mr. Jari Koskinen, Minister for Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, represenatives of UNDP, FAO, World Bank and UNDESA as well as representatives of the civil society.

In his intervention Mr. d'Orville explained: “One of the primary objectives of the UN International Year of Water Cooperation 2013 is to break down, analyse and achieve a common understanding on the essence of 'water cooperation'. Water cooperation refers to the peaceful management and use of water resources among various players and sectors and at different levels. Indeed this consists of acting together toward a common end and mutual benefits.” He then emphasized: “Making the world a 'better place' will only be possible through a coordinated, cooperative, and interdisciplinary global will that will spring from the consciousness that a paradigm shift is possible and that inclusive green societies start in the mind of men and women. And water can be the common denominator to start this process.”

H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon emphasized that "water is at the heart of a green economy". H.E. Mr. János Áder, stated in his speech: "Water is one of most important challenges of humanity. Time is running out. The task will be for international organizations, governments and civil society. All should play their part." H.E. Mr. Brice Lalonde, affirmed in this closing address that "water will obviously be one of the new Sustainable Development Goals" to be defined in an intergovernmental process after the Conference.

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