Cyprus fully supports the Ιnternational Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028 and is ready to actively participate in its activities, Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN Kornelios Korneliou pledged on Friday.
Addressing a high-level event to launch the international decade for action, Korneliou said “we believe that it provides an important opportunity to promote dialogue, increase partnerships and the sharing of experiences and best practices between relevant stakeholders, thus helping in building peaceful, sustainable and prosperous societies”.
Water scarcity, pollution, lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and water-related disasters, said Korneliou, constitute serious global water challenges. A water crisis is fast approaching, he warned, “for some of us it is already here – and will disproportionately affect the poorest and the most vulnerable”.
The Cypriot diplomat described the International Decade as “a timely and significant step in supporting efforts to address today’s water challenges, adding that “we support the efforts to promote the better coordination and work of the UN system in order to address effectively water related challenges around the world”.
Turning to Cyprus, he said the importance of water is evident on the island, which has for decades been facing water scarcity, frequent droughts and lately a decrease in rainfall.
“Climate change is set to exacerbate further the situation in the future. Mainstreaming in the public opinion what is called a ‘conscience on water’, namely advocating the use of water in a wise manner, has been a central aspect of our water policies for decades,” he remarked.
Korneliou said Cyprus has traditionally implemented policies of sound water management and in recent years, state of the art technologies were put in place to increase the availability of water resources, through desalination and recycled water.