“This is a challenge that we can master with ingenuity and determination,” said Csaba Kőrösi, calling for science-based solutions and solidarity, as he delivered a prime number at the high-level symposium on “Integrated water cycle management in post-COVID 19 epoch.”
He said when the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were drafted, the full extent of climate change impacts through droughts and floods was not yet prominent enough to allow explicit flood- and drought-related indicators to be considered in SDG6the goal related to water and sanitation.
He compared the current challenge to that of the ill-fated Apollo 13 moon mission which managed to return to Earth after encountering a catastrophic mechanical problem.
“In 1970, ingenuity and decisive action brought the astronauts back to Earth alive,” he said, stressing that the same kind of determination will be required to deal with flood risks.
In addition to threats caused by climate change, he pointed out that poor protection and management of floods and reckless land use also lead to disaster risks.
More commitments are expected at the water conference
He called for solutions based on resilience, sustainability and inclusion and stressed the essential need to strengthen transnational alliances, such as the United Nations The Water Convention from 1992, managed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and reiterated its demands for a global water information system.
In five weeks, the general assembly will convene the landmark United Nations Water Conferencewith Japan co-chairing the summit’s interactive dialogue on climate, resilience and the environment, he said, encouraging Japanese leadership in these areas.
He expressed hope that Water conference will produce “the commitments which will enable us to catalyze the global water information system, the early warnings for all initiatives and the strengthened scientific partnerships we all need to face what’s coming.”
In his video message, Li Junhua, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said that a main outcome of the water conference is the water action agendaa platform where action-oriented voluntary commitments are collected.
“If we are serious about changing the game of water and flood management, I count on you, dear colleagues, to bring your most imaginative and forward-looking commitments to the conference in March,” he said.