The Symposium was attended by over seven hundred (700) high-level representatives from ninety (90) countries of the world, including representatives of 47 international and regional organizations, such as the United Nations and 17 of its agencies and specialized organizations, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the World Bank and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and other officials.
The symposium brought together senior officials and analysts from the leading countries, government and international organizations, representatives of the academic, scientific and business communities, and civil society that can take part in decision-making processes in the field of water management.
The symposium, which will last from 9 to 11 August, will discuss topical issues, including capacity-building of national governments and local authorities in the promotion of integrated water resources management, exchange of knowledge and experience in innovative practices to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene, improve water use efficiency, reducing water pollution, protection of watersheds and ecosystems, and promoting international cooperation and partnership, development of regional and multilateral cooperation, and the promotion of specific partnerships to implement LRC 6 and targets.
In his statement, the Head of State Emomali Rahmon emphasized about the SDG 6, which is dedicated to the issue of everybody’s access to water and sanitation.
This goal, alongside with the necessity of ensuring everybody’s access to drinking water and sanitation, also covers the issues of water quality, its efficient use, implementation of integrated water resources management, protection of water ecosystem, as well as expansion of water cooperation and partnership.
According to the President of Tajikistan, water related part of SDGs identifies separate objectives ensuring the integration of the Goal 6 with other goals of SDGs, thus, a conclusion can be made that water resources management is a key point in the new global development agenda.
Regarding the significance of new and important initiatives of Tajikistan related to water issues, including the announcement of a new International Decade under the motto "Water for Sustainable Development” that was put forward last year in April, the Head of State Emomali Rahmon expressed hope that such an initiative, if supported by the international community and the participants of this most important Symposium, would help attract more and comprehensive attention to the implementation of the SDG 6 and its targets.
The President of the country Emomali Rahmon also said that the High-Level Panel on Water was established with involvement of the heads of ten UN member states, including Tajikistan, at the beginning of this year by the initiative of the UN Secretary General and the President of the World Bank.
In this regard, it was hoped that the Panel would play a significant role as a platform for discussion and consideration of the key global issues on water.
President Emomali Rahmon suggested that during the review of SDG 6 constant attention should be given to the negative impact of climate change on water resources that may impede our efforts in achieving SDGs, to growth of the world population and increasing demand in water resources, consideration of gender aspect in water resources management and transnational water cooperation that is one of the key factors to ensure peace, stability, and development.
In his statement, President Emomali Rahmon once again reminded about the dangers of accelerated melting of glaciers, raising level of rivers, climate change, other problems associated with water, and urged the international community to cooperate and to conduct a constructive interstate dialogue in order to address issues related to water.
At the opening ceremony of the High-Level International Symposium, a message from the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was read out by His Excellency Gyan Acharya, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. Also, UN Under-Secretary General Guy Ryder delivered a video message. Then, on behalf of the Group-77 - the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Thailand to the United Nations Virachai Plasai, Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN Kai Sauer, on behalf of the special advisers of the High-Level Panel on Water - Permanent Representative of the Republic of Mauritius to the UN Jagdish Dkharmachand Kundjali as well as the Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Rashid Alimov, Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization Khalil Ibrohim Akcha, Director for the World Bank Group's Water Global Practice Jennifer Sara and Deputy Chairman of the Global Water Partnership Steering Committee Alice Bowman-Dentener have also addressed the Symposium.