Vietnam Calls for Greater Int’l Efforts for Effective Use of Water Resources at Asia-Pacific Water Summit

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh put forward three initiatives at the fourth Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Japan on April 23, in order to effectively manage, exploit and use water resources in a sustainable and equitable manner.
April 23, 2022 | 23:47
PM Pham Minh Chinh addresses the fourth Asia-Pacific Water Summit from Hanoi.
PM Pham Minh Chinh addresses the fourth Asia-Pacific Water Summit from Hanoi.

The summit is being held in Japan’s Kumamoto city from April 23-24, with the participation of the country’s Emperor and Prime Minister, and the heads of State and Prime Ministers of Asian-Pacific countries, including six other ASEAN nations, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand and the Philippines.

According to the Vietnamese PM, the unprecedented synergistic effects of global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, climate change, and excessive exploitation of natural resources, including water resources, have led to far-reaching consequences for both present and future generations.

These represent global problems that require a global approach and global solutions, said PM Chinh, emphasising that efforts of every country are the key and decisive factor, although international co-operation can be considered to be of paramount importance.

Among the three initiatives the PM proposed, it is necessary to strengthen regional and international co-operation in implementing commitments on water resources as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals until 2030, on climate change set at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), and on disaster risk reduction in the Sendai Framework for Action on Disaster Risk Reduction.

He suggested that Japan and developed countries pay close attention to, share, and support developing countries in terms of experience, finance, technology, administration, human resource training, basic survey, and water use planning as a means of effectively managing, sustainably exploiting, and equally distributing water resources. Priority should therefore be given to sustainable management and protection of ecosystems which are closely linked to biodiversity conservation in a bid to ensure fairness and justice in relation to solving water-related issues, according to the VOV.

The Vietnamese Government leader called on all countries to strengthen co-operation and support the operation of organisations and co-operation mechanisms on transboundary river basin management such as the Mekong River Commission and other river basin co-operation mechanisms. It is important to promote comprehensive solutions, including digital transformation, encourage the participation of businesses and people, ramp up public-private co-operation, and strengthen smart water governance.

PM Pham Minh Chinh and other officials attend the summit from Hanoi.
PM Pham Minh Chinh and other officials attend the summit from Hanoi.

Pointing to water use in Vietnam, PM Chinh outlined that water is considered to be a strategic resource that must be managed, exploited, and used in an appropriate and safe way in order to ensure hygiene and effectively promote development in a green, circular, and sustainable manner. He once again affirmed that Vietnam will never sacrifice social security, living environment, and water security for economic growth at any cost.

For Vietnam, water resources are at risk of decline due to over-exploitation, over-development of hydroelectricity in many places, along with the impacts of climate change and sea level rise, Chinh emphasised, adding that the country, therefore, always identifies water as a strategic resource that needs to be managed and used appropriately, safely and effectively to promote development in a green, circular and sustainable direction, helping ensure the harmony and rationality between economic growth, environmental protection and climate change adaptation, reported the Nhandan.

The Government leader also affirmed that over the past time, Vietnam has actively participated in and contributed to the common effort at all levels of international cooperation, especially with countries that share water sources with it such as Laos, Cambodia and China and other foreign partners to manage, develop, protect and use water resources from rivers sustainably and efficiently and for mutual benefit.

He took the occasion to thank international partners, including Japan, for their valuable support and wish to receive more effective support and cooperation from other countries, international organisations and business communities. He also affirmed his backing for the Kumamoto Declaration issued by the Government of Japan at this summit.

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