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General Assembly – High-level Event for the International Decade for Action

Statement delivered by Italy at the High-Level Event to Launch the International Decade For Action, “Water For Sustainable Development”, 2018–2028 —

Madame President,

Distinguished delegates,

Access to safe water is essential to human health, environmental sustainability, economic prosperity, peace and security.
Italy, a Mediterranean country is familiar with many challenges related to water scarcity and droughts. Through the work of the UNESCO World Water Assessment Program (WWAP) based in Italy in Perugia, we are able to have a clear assessment of the state, use and management of the world’s freshwater resources.

And the situation is grim. Still, more than 2 billion people are living in water stress, with the pressure of population growth, and water resources are continuously decreasing due to climate change, with tragic consequences on migration, food security and conflict.

Water is an essential element for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the fight against poverty, food security, sustainable agriculture, health and well-being, the sustainable development of cities, the management of terrestrial and marine resources ecosystems, it’s essential in building resilience to climate change and to catastrophes and to address the root causes of migration.

Italy adopted the right to water as an essential human right.

And, as a long term strategy in conflict prevention, Italy actively engages in the collective effort to ensure that climate change and water scarcity, because of their impact on peace and security, remain on the agenda of the Security Council for adequate risk assessment, promoting the concept of preparedness of vulnerable countries.

The lack of water is a threat to development, to peace and security, and ultimately to life.

The African continent, with its frequent droughts, is one of Italy’s top priorities for cooperation in water management. The Lake Chad basin, visited with the Security Council, is the one of the most urgent examples of water scarcity and of its dramatic effects on the livelihoods, food security, biodiversity, and peace and security. Italy also proudly engages in partnerships globally, in Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

Water is essential to life. Italy commends the launch of this international decade of Action “Water for Sustainable Development” and looking forward to engage with all the Membership.

Thank you, Madame Chair.