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July 20, 2018

3rd Asia-Pacific Water Summit concludes

Union Minister U Thant Sin Maung delivers the concluding speech at the 3rd Asia-Pacific Water Summit.  Photo: MNA

About 1.1 billion people in Asia live in areas currently experiencing severe water stress, and unless significant action is taken, that number is expected to increase by more than 40 per cent by 2050, according to the Yangon Declaration of the 3rd Asia-Pacific Water Summit released yesterday.
The third summit concluded yesterday following several discussions by the leaders of the Asia-Pacific Region.
In his address on the second-day of the summit, Union Minister for Transport and Communications U Thant Sin Maung called for mutual cooperation among various countries in the Asia-Pacific region to achieve water security at the regional, national, as well as global level.
“In Myanmar, our actions so far with regards to water-related disasters is only halfway, i.e. recovery part. We need to be proactive in the protection part, which includes mitigation measures, that prevent or reduce the impact of water-related disasters”, said the Union Minister.
“It is clear that the water resources potential for the realisation of a water-based economy in Myanmar is quite bright. We need to use it sustainably and pass it onto the future generations,” said U Thant Sin Maung.
The second day of the 3rd Asia-Pacific Water Summit (3rd APWS) at the Sedona Hotel in Yangon set out a course for the sustainable development of the region with a perspective on water, improve cooperation in safeguarding against disasters related to water, encourage partnership and share knowledge and experience.
Three parallel thematic sessions were held under the titles “Financing the Implementation of Water-Related SDGs (sustainable development goals),” “Working Together: Multi-Stakeholders Partnership for Regional Cooperation” and “Source-to-Sea Opportunities in the Asia-Pacific Region”, with local and foreign experts participating in the discussions.
Dr. Amy Khor, Senior Minister of the Environment and Water Resources, Singapore; Mr. Paula Ma’u, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Climate Change and Communications, Tonga; Dr. Swarnim Wagle, Vice Chair of National Planning Commission, Nepal; Mr. Ngoc Linh Nguyen, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Viet Nam; Mr. Park Jaeheyon, Assistant Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Republic of Korea; H.E. Mr. Daniel Zonshine, Ambassador of Israel to Myanmar; H.E. Mr. Kapunan Eco Eduardo, Ambassador of the Philippines to Myanmar; H.E. Mr. Nicholas Coppel, Ambassador of Australia to Myanmar; H.E. Dr. Ito Sumard, Ambassador of Indonesia to Myanmar; Mr. Zhiguang Liu, Director-General, International Cooperation, Science & Technology Dept. of the Ministry of Water Resources, China; Mr. Michael John Mangawai, Acting Director General, Department of Water, Vanuatu, Ms. Tenzin Wangmo, Chief Environment Officer, National Environment Commission, Bhutan, Mr. Timur Kydyrmyshev, Second Secretary of Department for Analysis and Coordination of Foreign Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kyrgyz Republic; Dr. Nick Scholfield, Chief Executive Officer, Australia Water Partnership; Dr. Toshio Koike, Director, International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM), Public Works Research Institute (PWRI); Dr. David Molden, Director-General, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD); Dr. Claudia Sadoff, Executive Director of International Water Management Institute (IWMI); Ms. Lusia Sefo Leau, Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Water and Wastewater Association (PWWA); Mr. Tom Panella, Chief of Water Sector Group, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Mr. Clausen Joench Torkil, Governor, World Water Council (on behalf of the President of World Water Council) and Prof. Simon Tay, Vice Chair of the APWF Governing Council and Governor Mr.Clausen Joench Torkili Vice Chair of the APWF Governing Council Prof. Simon Tay all gave speeches.
In the afternoon, a recap of the talks that occurred in the 10 thematic sessions of the 3rd APWS was made by the discussion leaders.
At the end of the day, the vice chairperson of the National Water Resources Committee and Union Minister for Transport and Communications U Thant Sin Maung announced the adoption of the Yangon Declaration: The Pathway Forward with the overwhelming approval of the representatives of the Asia-Pacific region countries and international organisations attending the Third Asia-Pacific Water Summit: Water Security for Sustainable Development.
The Yangon Declaration appears on Page 7.

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