UN Water Conference: Four Questions to UN General Assembly President

The President of the United Nations General Assembly Csaba Korösi gave an exclusive interview to M24, MAP's 24-hour news channel, on the occasion of the UN 2023 Water Conference, which will be held on March 22-24 in New York.

Co-organized by Tajikistan and the Netherlands with the support of the United Nations, the Conference will be devoted to the mid-term comprehensive review of the implementation of the goals of the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028, which was proclaimed by the UN GA, in December 2016.

Morocco, which advocates in particular for a better consideration of the water issue in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, participates in this UN flagship event by a delegation led by the Minister of Equipment and Water, Nizar Baraka.

In this interview, the UN GA president has commended the "very visionary and wise" policies implemented by Morocco for sustainable water management. He also stressed that the Moroccan strategy in this area will greatly help the economic development and social development in Morocco.

Interview by Karim Aouifia

1- What are the implications of holding such an international conference on water in the current situation?

Csaba Korösi: The drama of water is unfolding as we speak. The not enough water, the too much water or the too polluted water. We are in the midst of the water crisis. We have to stop wastewater crises, we have to get this water crisis under control. Otherwise, all the progress what we're going to achieve in the implementation of the SDGs would be reversed, so we'd say, a real, historic watershed moment. We have to seize the opportunity. We have to create this opportunity.

2- What are your expectations vis-à-vis the outcome of the conference, especially when it comes to the SDG number six?

As I just mentioned, we are in the middle of the crisis, but the good news is that we see the driving forces of this crisis, we see the solutions we see and we understand the necessity of the cooperation and there is a good spirit now for the cooperation. So my expectations are very high. We need to create a moment that can be a little bit similar to what we achieved in 2015 in Paris, for the climate policies. It should be a breakthrough point. That is my real hope that we can achieve it at the end of this three days water conference. This water conference is being organized almost 50 years after the last one. We don't have another 50 years to wait

3- In Morocco, there is a deep awareness at the high level of the state about the importance of managing water. How do you evaluate and assess this, this policy?

Water storage is one of the key elements in renewing our water and climate policies. Water storage can be in many ways, building reservoirs to store more water in the ecosystem, or to store more water in the aquifers. And I would like to come into Morocco, for its very visionary policies to work on water conservation, and work on water storage as well. It will greatly help the economic development in Morocco and social and social development. I think Morocco has a very wise water policy.

4- Africa is one of the hardest hit regions when it comes to climate change, water scarcity and all the repercussions that come with that and what should the continent expect from this conference?

The good news is that Africa is already the main beneficiary of the UN system and your system policies are leaving no one behind. The same applies to the World Bank Group. More than 50% of the capital allocations of the World Bank Group is going to Africa. I think it will stay or maybe even increase in the years to come but the developing countries in general will benefit greatly if we do the work right here in the conference. However, this conference is not a forum where some other countries will come to tell the African countries what they have to do. It is an opportunity for the African countries themselves to come up with their own strategies with their own visions on how to integrate water and climate policies in their countries. How to align finances with projects and how to improve the education system and then seek cooperation from the international partners. I think that will be a good opportunity at this conference. If we can create an atmosphere and we can agree how to integrate water and climate policies. If we can agree that we need to create a global voter information system that will be a leapfrog and that will be absolutely crucial and beneficial for developing countries, including in Africa.

We need to create an education network in the world to produce more experts. Be them technicians will be the PhD scientists, Africa definitely needs to improve its pool of experts. I hope this network will help African countries. And last but not least, we need to rethink jointly. What does it mean to renew the economy of water? What does it mean in the modern economy? How to decouple the water use from food production and land use. If we can solve these questions here at this conference, even if we can agree on these major points, I think Africa and in general the developing countries will benefit from the common work and decisions greatly.

Source: Agency Morocaine De Presse