On June 4, the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and ASEM members hosted a seminar on strengthening concerted action on water management through post-2015 development agenda.
Those in attendance included Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, representatives from the Steering Committee for Southwestern Region and 13 Mekong Delta provinces together with ambassadors and officials from 53 ASEM member countries, the Mekong River Commission (MRC), the World Bank, (WB), and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Speaking at the seminar, the participants highlighted water as the core of the sustainable development of any country in the world. Despite the joint efforts in realizing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on water, as many as 750 million people across the globe still fail to have access to improved water resources.
A few countries often lack fresh water in the dry season due to drought and environmental pollution. Demand for water is predicted to increase by 55% from the current level.
The Vietnam government and people always pay heed to ensuring water security that is closed linked to food security. Over recent years, Vietnam has worked hand in hand with other ASEM member nations and the MRC to manage and explore water resources on an efficient and sustainable basis.
Vietnam has devised a national strategy on water resources by 2020, complied with ASEM commitments, proposed 21 initiatives, and served as a co-author of 24 other initiatives for ASEM on management and exploitation of freshwater resources and environmental sanitation.
In his speech, Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh underscored the importance of water resources for human life and socio- economic development of all countries around the world.
He suggested ASEM members should launch initiatives, solutions and feasible projects to manage and protect water resources more effectively.
"We need to turn words into concrete actions. It is time for ASEM members to join hands with the international community to accelerate the approval of the post-2015 development agenda. It is imperative to reach a consensus on awareness and actions to ensure effective water management. The protection of water resources can only be sustainable and effective if it is integrated into sustainable development strategies of each country. We should intensify experience sharing so as to make good recommendations ad sound policies on water management in the time ahead.” Minh said.