24 September 2017
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Miscellaneous - Mixxillenja

World Water Development Report - European Parliament, Brussels. Opening Remarks by Ambassador Joe Vella Gauci - 6 June 2017

On behalf of the Maltese Presidency, I have the honour to address you today on the occasion of the presentation of this comprehensive report, published by the UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme.

This year’s topic – wastewater – is perfectly in line with the priorities set by the Maltese Government. The Maltese Presidency has engaged to further advance the Circular Economy package of the EU, which is a way of reinventing our economy in order to make it more sustainable and competitive. One of the most important components of circular economy is an efficient reuse of water resources, which directly contributes to the 2030 Development Agenda. Moreover, water is the common priority shared by the Presidency Trio, together with the Netherlands and Slovakia.

It is therefore my pleasure to endorse this report here, and I would like to encourage you, dear Deputies, to spread the messages drawn from this report further: to National Parliaments, regions and local communities. The wastewater report offers important information, but it will only have a real effect on development if its findings and recommendations are implemented on appropriate levels.

The World Water Development Report contributes to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, by providing exhuastive information on the state of water resources in the world, and by providing policy recommendations and best practices aimed at improving the management water. Improving water management techniques leads to creating improved conditions for people’s lives and contributes to the improvement of the quality of environment. Sustainable Development Goal N.6 is directly linked to all other SDGs and deserved particular attention.

Our policies should reflect the fact that clean water and sanitation is the basic condition for all other development ambitions Europe strives to achieve. As a major financial contributor to the global water-related development activities, the EU could make better use of its investment by deepening partnerships with expert organisations, such as UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme.

The European Parliament has the privilege to reach out to every corner of Europe and spread important messages that should be acknowledged on all levels. The report is a valuable tool for private investors, NGOs and all local stakeholders as well, since all activities are directly linked to sustainable management of water. It is therefore essential to ensure that UNESCO’s report on water and job opportunities does not stay within the circle of diplomats and European parliamentarians.

The WWDR is a powerful instrument in the hands of policy makers on loca, regional and national. It shows how water can be managed effectively to spur growth and decent livelihood, while preserving the planet for future generations. The European Union is well placed to become the leader in wastewater management for a more prosperious, peaceful and sustainable world.

Thank you for your attention.

 

HE Mgr Dr Joe Vella Gauci

Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Malta to UNESCO

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