Pakistan urges int’l cooperation, aid to help developing countries

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistani parliamentarians, speaking at the annual Parliamentary Hearing at the UN, have called for enhanced international cooperation to deal with the growing water crisis as global climate change was increasingly impacting water availability, leading to water scarcity in some regions and flooding in others.
Entitled ‘Water for People and Planet: Stop the waste, change the game, invest in the future,’ the Hearing, a joint initiative between the President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), opened on Monday.
UN officials said that the Hearing will provide a parliamentary contribution to the UN Water Conference, which is being held from March 22-24, 2023, in New York.
The Deputy Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly, Zahid Akram Durrani, is leading the Pakistani parliamentary delegation, which includes, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Naseema Ehsan, Senator Farooq Hamid Naek, Senator Muhammad Abdul Qadir and Senator Faisal Saleem Rahman. More than 250 members of parliament, Speakers, advisers and related officials from 60 countries are participating in the event at the United Nations Headquarters in New York
Deputy Speaker Durrani, the Pakistani delegate, told the Hearing that water scarcity caused by climate change stemmed from underinvestment in water and sanitation and insufficient cooperation on transboundary waters.
The urgency of these challenges differed across regions, Durrani said, pointing out that while globally water stress levels remained safe at 18.6 per cent in 2019, South Asia registered high levels of water stress at over 75 per cent.
With Pakistan among the top ten water scarce countries in the world, he said, the need for enhanced cooperation on water has assumed greater urgency in recent years, with climate change increasingly impacting water availability, leading to water scarcity in some regions and flooding in others.
“Undoubtedly, water will increasingly become a key factor in managing risks related to famine, disease epidemics, migration, inequalities within and between countries, political instability and natural disasters, the Pakistani delegate said.
“To overcome these challenges, we believe that there are three essential requirements: finance, technology transfer and enhanced international cooperation,” Durrani added. –Agencies