President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon delivered a speech at the UN Conference “Water for Sustainable Development” in New York. It has already been called historical, it is held for the first time since 1977, when the UN first started talking on a large scale about water problems. Vera Ismailova, correspondent of MIR 24, tells what representatives of the world community discussed.
Musicians from Tajikistan and the Netherlands perform on stage at the UN headquarters. The song is called “Water”. Two countries have prepared and are holding the conference. The problem of conservation and use of water resources is relevant for all states.
All the issues that are now being discussed at the UN headquarters are exclusively related to water. Emomali Rahmon stressed that Tajikistan has been regularly calling on the world community to solve water problems for two decades. During this period, at the initiative of the republic, the UN General Assembly adopted nine resolutions on this topic. And this time, in his speech, the President of Tajikistan proposed to develop international, regional and national water programs.
“Currently, 2 billion people on the planet do not have access to safe drinking water and more than 3.5 billion people do not have access to relatively good sanitation. Nearly half a million people die each year from water-related infectious diseases. Unfortunately, these and other facts and figures testify to the insufficiency of the actions of the world community in solving existing problems,” President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon said.
The head of state dwelled separately on the measures being taken in Tajikistan. By 2030, a targeted program will be developed in the republic to ensure access of the country’s population to high-quality drinking water. By 2050, Tajikistan will double its hydropower potential and thus contribute to the development of “green” energy. The country is already the sixth largest producer of electricity from renewable water sources in the world.
The king of the Netherlands also spoke at the conference. He called on all states to follow the example of cooperation that has developed between Amsterdam and Dushanbe .
“I am inspired to see so many UN Member States attending the conference, as well as stakeholders, cities, indigenous peoples, women’s organizations and academic institutions. I am also happy to see the active participation of the younger generation, which is ready to look for solutions. However, we cannot leave all the problems to future generations. We are responsible for doing everything in our power today,” said King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.
An event on glaciers was also held on the sidelines of the Conference. For Tajikistan, this topic is of particular importance. Over the past 50 years, more than a thousand glaciers have completely melted in the country.
“According to the conclusions of experts, the last three years are considered the hottest for the entire period of meteorological observations in the world. Obviously, the continuation of this process, given the rapid growth in water demand due to population growth and economic development, can lead to negative consequences. Over the past five decades, the indicator of clean water per capita in the world has decreased by 2.5 times, and in the Central Asian region by 4 times. In addition, the melting of Arctic and Antarctic glaciers has caused an increase in the level of the ocean, which threatens the lives and well-being of hundreds of millions of people on the Earth, especially in small island states,” Emomali Rahmon emphasized.
The countries will continue to discuss this topic in 2025 in Tajikistan. According to the UN resolution, the International Conference on Glaciers will be held in Dushanbe.