18/03/2021: High-Level Meeting on the Implementation of the Water-related Goals and Targets of the 2030 Agenda

18/03/2021: High-Level Meeting on the Implementation of the Water-related Goals and Targets of the 2030 Agenda

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Statement by H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand

at the High-Level Meeting on the Implementation of the Water-related Goals and Targets of the 2030 Agenda of the High-level Plenary on Urgent action on water for 2030 and sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

18 March 2021, Via Video Conference

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Mr.President, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,

On behalf of the Royal Thai Government, I am very pleased to participate in this meeting to expedite our cooperative efforts for the Sustainable Development Goals on water and sanitation, particularly during the Decade of Action. I believe that this meeting provides us with the timely opportunity to share best practices and learn from past experiences in order for all sectors and stakeholders to find the best ways to enhance cooperation for the attainability of our shared goals.

The COVID-19 pandemic has halted progress on water and sanitation security for many countries, given that many resources have had to be urgently allocated towards our efforts in responding to the pandemic situation. As well, the devastating socio-economic consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the increased severity of water-related disasters stemming from the effects of climate change have underscored the importance of sustainable water resources for our disaster prevention and mitigation efforts. Therefore, access to clean water and sanitation is an important foundation for the protection and security of all global citizens and as such, effective and holistic water management is essential for all countries in order to recover from future pandemics and disasters, and become even more resilient.

To expedite the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals on water and sanitation and revive the country from the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand is resolved to enhance international water cooperation by partnering with multi-stakeholders on a host of areas for the mutual benefit of all, particularly through capacity building, technology transfer, and the promotion of innovative water management practices amongst developing countries, with due respect to varying development and readiness capabilities. This will ultimately enable Member States with the capacity to effectively deal with future crises and challenges, and support the realization of our common sustainable development goals, with particular emphasis on leaving no one behind.

The Royal Thai Government has thus prioritized sustainable water management as a forefront national agenda, and adopted the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy together with other royal project based approaches on sustainable water management for the conservation, revitalization, and utilization of Thailand’s water resources through our national Water Management Master Plan. This has involved the development of specific measures and the support for innovation in water-related issues to support the Bio-Circular- Green or BCG Economy, with focus on reducing water consumption and increasing water recycling in all production sectors, as well as the dissemination of information to the public on water conservation and water resources sustainability, including the importance of protecting forest areas, and suitable water storage measures to ensure sustainable and environmentally viable access to water resources.

I am confident that the Thai people and the international community have learnt valuable lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially how humanity has coped with such extraordinary changes to our world, thus highlighting the importance of building more resilient and informed societies. On this occasion, I would like to reiterate Thailand’s determination and readiness to share our experiences and support all efforts of the international community in sustainable water management, especially for balanced and inclusive growth.

Thank you.

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