HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính attended the fourth Asia-Pacific Water Summit on Saturday where he proposed three groups of measures to enhance international cooperation.
The summit is being held in Japan’s Kumamoto City from April 23-24, with the participation of Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and the heads of State and Prime Ministers of Asian-Pacific countries, including six other ASEAN nations – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand and the Philippines.
In his online remarks, the Vietnamese Government leader stressed that the unprecedented synergistic effects of global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, climate change, and over-exploitation of natural resources, including water, have been leaving serious and multifaceted consequences for today and future generations that requires a global approach and solutions.
In order to proactively respond to and minimise the negative impacts of these challenges, and also promote green, sustainable, inclusive and transnational economic growth, especially the post-pandemic recovery process, each country’s efforts are a key and decisive factor, but international cooperation is important and breakthrough.
In that context, PM Chính proposed three groups of measures to be carried out in the region.
Firstly, it is necessary to intensify regional and international cooperation in an open, transparent, substantive and mutually beneficial manner, he said, adding that the international community should seriously and effectively implement international commitments on water resources, especially the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030, the Paris Agreement and commitments at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.
Secondly, Japan and developed countries should pay attention to, share with and support developing ones in experience, finance, technology, governance, human resources training, basic investigation and planning on the use of water for the effective management, sustainable exploitation and equitable allocation of water resources.
Finally, it is important to boost cooperation and support the operation of organisations and cooperation mechanisms on transboundary river basin management such as the Mekong River Commission, and focus on promoting comprehensive solutions including digital transformation, encouraging the participation of businesses and people, promoting public-private cooperation, and strengthening smart water governance.
For Việt Nam, 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 rises, Chính emphasised, adding that the country 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.
The Government leader also affirmed that in the past, Việt Nam 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 used 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. — VNS