World Water Forum Poised for Landmark Ministerial Agreement

The 10th World Water Forum currently underway in Bali, Indonesia, is set to make history with the adoption of the first-ever Ministerial Declaration. This collaborative document, reached through consultations rather than traditional negotiations, signifies a significant step forward in addressing global water challenges.

The declaration, spearheaded by Indonesia, outlines four key areas for international cooperation. A central focus is the proposal for a UN General Assembly resolution establishing World Lake Day. This initiative recognizes the environmental and socio-economic importance of lakes, aiming to raise awareness and promote their conservation.

Water security for small island developing states (SIDS) is another critical aspect addressed in the declaration. SIDS face unique vulnerabilities due to factors like limited freshwater resources, rising sea levels, and extreme weather events. The agreement emphasizes the need for integrated water resource management strategies tailored to the specific challenges of these islands.

Furthermore, the declaration underscores the importance of transboundary water cooperation. Rivers and lakes often traverse national borders, necessitating collaboration between countries to ensure their sustainable management. The document calls for strengthening existing frameworks and fostering dialogue to address water-related issues in shared basins.

Finally, the agreement acknowledges the role of innovation and technology in tackling water challenges. This includes promoting investment in research and development of new water management solutions, such as desalination technologies and wastewater treatment processes.

The collaborative approach adopted for the Ministerial Declaration is a noteworthy aspect of the forum. Traditionally, such declarations have involved lengthy negotiations. By opting for consultations, the World Water Forum is fostering a more inclusive and efficient process for reaching common ground.

This landmark agreement is expected to be officially adopted on May 21st, 2024. The Indonesian Foreign Ministry's Director General of Multilateral Cooperation, Tri Tharyat, highlighted the significance of the declaration, stating, "This is a historic moment for the World Water Forum, and we are confident that this declaration will serve as a roadmap for international cooperation on water management. "

The 10th World Water Forum has brought together government representatives, water experts, and stakeholders from around the globe. The forum serves as a critical platform to discuss and develop solutions for the world's most pressing water challenges. With the adoption of the Ministerial Declaration, the forum is poised to leave a lasting legacy on global water governance.

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