The Muscat Declaration on Water: G-77 calls for enhanced regional push on water
The three-day G-77 Ministerial
Forum on water concluded last 25th February calling for an enhanced co-operation
in the areas concerned of preservation and judicious consumption of
water. The forum also reached a consensus on a set of joint decisions
called 'The Muscat Declaration on Water'.
Shaikh Abdullah bin Salim al Rowas, Minister of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, officially declared the session closed and adopted the document of joint decisions and an action plan for the successful implementation of the resolution. The three-day event, attended by delegations from 130 member states, addressed the challenges and strategies for water resources management in the South and agreed on 21 conclusions and recommendations which will be a mandate for the Istanbul convention to be held next month in Turkey.
Highlighting the vital importance of water as a source of life, the Muscat Declaration on Water recognises the human right to clean water and hygienic sanitation as the key goal. The main challenges namely the lack of capacity, finance and political will to implement the decisions and other actions recommended by numerous meetings were stressed.
The forum highlighted the importance of strengthening the networking of research and development of institutions on water as well as data information, equipped by new technology in national and regional information centres on water resources received unanimous support from the delegates.
The member states will encourage developing countries to work together to strengthen strategic partnerships so as to contribute to the sharing of knowledge, innovation and transfer of technology for better access to improved water resources and sanitation. A number of steps will be pursued in terms of exchange of scientific and technological know-how among developing countries including:
- Knowledge, mapping and analysis of national capacities in managing shared water resources,
- Enhancing capacities of member states in negotiation skills and in providing technical advisory services,
- Promoting exchange of experiences, best practice and lessons learnt in implementing projects dealing with water resources and environment management,
- Identify new sources of funding with capacities to scale up available resources and exchange of expertise; identify new approaches for additional funding for projects, irrigation and sanitation
- Promote innovative technologies to address the negative impacts of water-related disasters such as floods, droughts, cyclones, desertification, deterioration of river watersheds and the intrusion of sea water in to the non-saline ground water in coastal areas resulting from the rise of the sea surface caused by climate change and global warming.
Besides these, enhancement of dialogue on water and sanitation under the UN framework, promotion of sub-regional, regional and international South-South partnerships, joint undertaking for development of irrigation and transfer of low-cost technologies, exchange of experience on the application of good governance between the member states and establishment of a G-77 Achievement Award in the field of water were stipulated in the declaration.
Globally, almost 1 billion people have no access to clean water and 80 per cent diseases are due to polluted water and shockingly, an average of 1.5 billion children die yearly due to diarrohea and other diseases caused by contaminated water and inappropriate waste water systems. It is quite obvious that increasing consumption of water, insufficient water resources, lack of balance between supply and demand, depletion of water resources and absence of prompt, integrated water policies have all led to this critical situation. The Form realised that despite the great number of institutions addressing the issues of water management and projects for access to water, progress in reaching the goals to halve the number of people without access to safe water and adequate sanitation is slow and uneven.
By Kabeer Yousuf, © Oman Daily Observer 2009
|File link local||Muscat_Declaration_on_Water.pdf (application/x-octetstream, 32 Kb)|
|Source of information||© Oman Daily Observer 2009|
|Subject(s)||DRINKING WATER , DRINKING WATER AND SANITATION : COMMON PROCESSES OF PURIFICATION AND TREATMENT , METHTODOLOGY - STATISTICS - DECISION AID , POLICY-WATER POLICY AND WATER MANAGEMENT|
|Working language(s)||ARABIC , ENGLISH|