Distinguished Mr. President,
Distinguished Mr. Quijandria,
Distinguished Mr. Phuangketkeow,
Distinguished Ms. Clark,
Distinguished Mr. Jarraud,
Distinguished Mr. Wahlstrom,
Distinguished Heads of Delegations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to extend appreciation to the Permanent Missions of Peru, Switzerland, Thailand to the UN, who, in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Tajikistan to UN, organized this High Level Special Event dedicated to the discussion of ways of reducing risks from water related disasters.
The subject under discussion is an urgent issue since water-related disasters represent a considerable part of all natural disasters. The social and economic damage caused by these disasters has been increasing year by year, and often they claim thousands of human lives. All are equal before natural disasters, but it is the poorest population that is mostly affected by natural disasters’ impact because they lack sufficient resources or potential to deal with them.
In, Tajikistan, which is the source of the significant part of water resources in Central Asia, the population of the country is severely affected by water related disasters, in particular, mud flows, snow avalanches, land sliding, etc. Every year these kinds of natural hazards severely damage the country’s economy and social sector. The total damage caused by natural disasters over the last ten years increased from 30 to 130 mln. US dollars.
According to our observations, the last two decades witnessed an increase in frequency and severity of water related disasters. This creates new challenges for poverty eradication, improvement of living standards, and achievement of energy, food and water security in the country. The forecasts of our experts are not encouraging: due to the accelerated pace of glaciers’ degradation on the territory of the country, the increase in quantity and intensity of precipitations, and change of the hydrological cycle, it is likely that Tajikistan is going to be severely affected by the ever increasing impact of climate change.
Like other natural disasters, water related disasters do not recognize the administrative borders. For this reason, subregional and regional approaches, which are meant to harmonize the efforts of the countries in this area, are of paramount importance for mitigation and management of risks from natural disasters. In this regard, creation of regional mechanisms and establishment of regional funds on reduction of risks related to natural disasters can play a positive role.
Equally important is strengthening of the mechanisms of monitoring, modeling and forecasting through use of advanced technologies and methodologies. Enhancement of the countries’ potential in this field could become an important component in making scientifically substantiated decisions. Broad scale dissemination of knowledge, sharing of best practices, innovations and technologies can also contribute to reduction and management of risks.
Support of the measures on reinforcement and construction of secure hydrotechnical facilities capable of preventing floods and mud flows and mitigating the impact of droughts could also become a part of joint efforts.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Currently, all the efforts of the international community are focused on the discussion and development of the post 2015 development agenda. Our view is that when developing a new sustainable development agenda we should take into consideration not only the lessons we learnt during the implementation of the MDGs but also the lessons learnt during the implementation of the two projects initiated within the UN, namely, the International Decade of Action “Water for Life”, 2005-2015 and Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015. These projects of global significance not only coincide in terms of time but they also compliment each other.
In March 2015, in Sendai City, Japan, the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will be held, whose participants are going to discuss a new program for action for disaster risk reduction. We hope that the Conference will give special attention to the risks from water related disasters. We also propose to hold on World Water Day March 22, 2015 a broad discussion of the progress made and lessons learnt in the course of the implementation of the International Decade of Action “Water for Life”, 2005-2015. We operate on the assumption that the integrated approach that harmonizes the interests of the sectors of economy can effectively contribute to the comprehensive solution of water related problems and risks. Water cooperation can become the key component of the integrated approach based on the principles of co-development, which is capable of establishing broad framework for harmonization of the interests during the mitigation of water related risks.
Thank you for attention.