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Statement of Ambassador MA Zhaoxu on the High-level Event to Launch the International Decade for Action, "Water for Sustainable Development" (2018–2028)


Mr. President,

China associates itself with the statement made by Egypt on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

With the worsening effect of climate change, sustained population growth and industrialization and accelerated urbanization, water resources and water-related environmental and ecological problems are becoming more prominent. Water is essential to the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially elimination of poverty and hunger and improvement of health and sanitation.

China appreciates the efforts made by the President of the General Assembly to hold this high-level event, which is of great significance to the strengthening of international cooperation in the field of water and the comprehensive advancement of sustainable economic, social and environmental development. We are convinced that this event will give new impetus to the International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development.

Mr. President,

President Xi Jinping pointed out in his report to the 19th Congress of the CPC that in order to build a healthy ecology, we must realize that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets and act on this understanding, implement our fundamental national policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment, and cherish the environment as we cherish our own lives. We will adopt a holistic approach to conserving our mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, and grasslands, implement the strictest possible systems for environmental protection, and develop eco-friendly growth models and ways of life. We must pursue a model of sustainable development featuring increased production, higher living standards, and healthy ecosystems. We must continue to create good working and living environments for our people and play our part in ensuring global ecological security.

The Chinese government works actively to implement an innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development concept, and tries to achieve human-water harmony in our development. First, we are implementing comprehensively the most strict regime for water resources management to force economic upgrading and green development. Secondly, we are working to comprehensively increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of water use and implement a country-wide plan of water saving. Thirdly, we pay great attention to ecological protection in the development of water resources and are making efforts to promote clean production, hazardless processing and recycling of water. Fourthly, we are scaling up efforts to prevent and treat water pollution and improve the water quality of river basin areas. Fifthly, we are working to realize water ecological rehabilitation and improve the capability of conserving and protecting water sources. We have in this respect conducted pilot projects of building cities with ecologically healthy water resources and sponge cities. Sixthly, we are working to continuously improve our water governance system and mobilize the participation of the whole society.

Mr. President,

With only 6% of the global fresh water resources and 9% of the global arable land, China has managed to feed 21% of the global population. From 2010 to 2016, China’s water usage per $10,000 of GDP and per $10,000 of industrial value increase went down by 25.3% and 27.5% respectively. China has maintained a medium to high economic growth rate with a slight increase of total water usage, which is an important contribution to the global development. China has also conducted all-round cooperation with water related international organizations and hosted important international events on water such as the Yangtze River Forum and the International Yellow River Forum. China has provided assistance to over 30 developing countries in water conservancy and hydropower plant construction, and trained more 2,000 technical and management personnel from over 100 countries, with a view to steadily enhancing the capacity of technical personnel of other developing countries. Going forward, China is ready to further deepen cooperation with the international community in a joint effort to promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the building of a community of shared future of mankind, and to build for mankind a beautiful home with ecological security and green development.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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