Addressing to the opening ceremony of this international event, Samdech Techo Hun Sen expressed his sincere gratitude to and high appreciation for the Government of Hungary as the host country for its excellent arrangements and warm hospitality extended to the Cambodian delegation.
“I am of the view that this summit is indeed important, providing an opportunity for us all present here to share experiences and exchange views on common solutions to water issue that has become a current global challenge, in order to ensure inclusive and sustainable development while preventing a water crisis from happening. In addition, this summit is also a rare opportunity for the global leaders to reaffirm their determination, particularly with strengthened and increased engagements in resolving water related issues,” he underlined.
In the current global context of global warming, climate change, population growth, urbanisation, growing industrial development, increasing demand for water, decline in water quality and quantity, conflict over trans-boundary water, low access to clean water and sanitation, limited awareness and insufficient public investment in water, the water issue has been worsening that might lead to a crisis in the future, he added.
“Water is a key and essential resource for supporting the lives of human beings, animals and natural plants, for sustainable economic and social development, as well as for environmental sustainability, as defined by the Sustainable Development Goal 6 of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development of the United Nations. Hence, we should have adopt a joint approach and implementation mechanism on water resources management through promoting cooperation on water security at both regional and global level in order to work together to prevent water crises, which could affect the socio-economic development, the well-being of the people and the environment,” he stressed.
According to Samdech Techo Hun Sen, in ASEAN region, with strong growth and rapid economic transformation, especially the steady growth of industrialisation, urban migration and urbanisation, the pressure on demand for water either for livelihood or industrial uses have become a major public issue requiring a joint solution at regional level, as water is a trans-boundary problem, in which every country must unconditionally and willingly engage with.
Moreover, he continued, the issue of water security has been a threat due to the lack of policy mechanisms for water resource management including that of solid and chemical wastes discharged by industries. In addition, limited awareness by the public has caused pollution to water sources such as rivers, lakes, river streams and underground water. Along with increasing impacts of climate change and deforestation, the insufficient water resource management and public investment in its infrastructure have caused not only the loss of natural water resources, but also water shortage or even drought in some areas.