Water plays a crucial role in the development of mankind. From time immemorial people have settled near water, which has always been a source of life and well-being. Humanity has praised I and glorified it as a sacred resource for thousands of years.
Today, due to rapid population growth, economic development and other challenges that impact the natural resources, the value of water has increased dramatically.
In my statement at the First Asia-Pacific Water Summit in 2007, (1) noted that "... the world development trends suggest that the cost of water might exceed the cost of oil, gas, coal and other natural resources essential for the sustainable future of each country and region". Numerous studies conducted over the past 10 years proved, with facts and figures, the accuracy of that statement and encouraged the international community to focus on addressing water issues.
As an essential resource for sustainable development, water has been included in numerous documents and strategies for development at the regional, national and global levels. As a result, various aspects of water issues were incorporated into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Such an accomplishment was made possible thanks to the hard work and tireless efforts of various stakeholders.
I am pleased and proud that my country, the Republic of Tajikistan, has made and continues to make a substantial contribution to this process. From 2000 to 2016, at the initiative of Tajikistan, the United Nations General Assembly adopted seven resolutions on water. Among them are International Year of Freshwater (2003); (1) International Decade for Action, "Water for Life", 2005-2015; (2) International Year of Water Cooperation, 2013; (3) and International Decade for Action, "Water for Sustainable Development", 2018-2028; (4) which deserve special attention. Throughout this period, Tajikistan has repeatedly provided a platform for discussing global water issues.
We continue pursuing this course by actively promoting water issues identified in the 2030 Agenda. As a member of the High-level Panel on Water, Tajikistan, in cooperation with other panel members, has proposed a number of initiatives and is advancing them by demonstrating political leadership and commitment. The recently published outcome document of the Panel calls for further mobilization of efforts of all stakeholders, especially political leaders, in the adoption and implementation of measures aimed at ensuring the sustainable use and management of water resources. The Friends of Water group, established at the initiative of Tajikistan in 2010, currently comprises 51 United Nations Member States, making a significant contribution to the ongoing discussion of water-related issues, as well as to the adoption of relevant decisions within the framework of the United Nations General Assembly.
Tajikistan has also been an important player in solving water problems at the regional level. About 60 per cent of water resources of the rivers in Central Asia...