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STATEMENT BY THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF ITALY TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AMBASSADOR SEBASTIANO CARDI, AT THE HIGH-LEVEL INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE ON “THE INTERNATIONAL DECADE FOR ACTION, ‘WATER FOR LIFE’:…” (March 30, 2015) 

Madam Chair,

while aligning ourselves with the statement delivered by the EU on behalf of the EU and its Member States, we would also like to share some considerations in our national capacity to underline how dear the themes of water and sanitation are to Italy.

Madam Chair, I would like to recall that in the 2009 during the G8 Summit hosted by Italy we emphasized the importance of an inclusive and multistakeholder approach to the achievement of the MDG on water and sanitation. In 2009, for the first time in a G8 Summit, African and G8 leaders issued a joint statement expressing their determination to build a stronger partnership to increase access to water and sanitation leveraging on joint and coordinated efforts of the African Union and of the G8.

Mr. Chair, while all of us welcome the achievement of the MDG on safe drinking water in 2010, five years ahead of schedule, partnerships are today more essential than ever to realize the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation. Indeed, the ultimate goal of eradicating poverty cannot be realistically achieved without an efficient and integrated water management system. We should also not underestimate the impact of access to water and sanitation on building durable peace. For these reasons we fully share the outcome document of the Rio + 20 Conference on the critical role played by water for the achievement of sustainable development. It is therefore of the essence that the SDGs which will take over from the existing MDGs include specific and measurable targets and indicators concerning water and sanitation.

Madam Chair, water illustrates perhaps like no other natural resource the challenges and the interlinkages that must be addressed to ensure sustainable development. That is why, while conceiving the programme for “Expo Milano 2015” on the theme “Feeding the planet. Energy for life”, we have made sure that the deep interconnections between food security, nutrition, sustainable agriculture and water resources management receive adequate attention. To further stress the critical importance we attach to water we have foreseen an international event specifically dedicated to water: “Aquae Venezia 2015”. It will run parallel with “Expo Milano 2015” from May to October this year and it will be hosted in Venice, the city that epitomizes the symbiosis between human life and water.

Madam Chair, we remain as always fully committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure global ownership and partnership on a theme that clearly illustrates the need for the post-2015 agenda to be truly “universal” in nature.

Thank you.