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Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali

BD seeks common set of actions with UN

WT24 Desk

Bangladesh has said the UN high-level panel on water now needs to articulate a common set of actions in moving forward taking into account the diversity in countries — their differentiated needs and circumstances, agencies report. .

“Therefore, it’s time for bold thinking and action – as regards our approaches and solutions over water,” Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali told the UN meeting at its headquarters on Friday on behalf of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

On Friday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim formally announced the appointment of 10 heads of state and government, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the high-level UN panel on water.

Sharing few aspects that Bangladesh Prime Minister asked him to flag, the Foreign Minister said the inter-linkages and interfaces vis-a-vis water and wider sustainable development architecture has been substantially articulated through the 2030 Agenda. “Water is one area where climate vulnerable countries, including the LDCs, are most intensely challenged,” he mentioned.

In terms of ensuring water security, Mahmood Ali said they would need to ensure an optimal balance about non-public support measures, according to Foreign Ministry here. “While market or philanthropies may offer much of promise, we need to ensure that the solutions are accessible and affordable to the people at the bottom,” he added.

The Foreign Minister said water may exacerbate inequality along the pathway of rapid urbanisation or, planned industrialisation or, resilient agriculture.  “The dichotomies in terms of protection, conservation and balanced utilisation of common water resources need to be effectively addressed in policy or programmatic choices.”

The Foreign Minister said development of adaptive water-resilient technologies would be crucial if they want to craft effective and sustainable solutions towards ensuring water security. “We need to consider helping the manufacturing sectors in the LDCs develop their productive capacities vis-à-vis water use efficiency,” said the Foreign Minister.

He also mentioned that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was very keen to join the event but for certain exigency, she could not make it.

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