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Vietnam to prioritize sustainable conservation and management of water resources: PM

HANOI, March 21 — Vietnam will prioritize the sustainable conservation and management of water resources as it is an important part of the nation’s 2011-2020 development strategy and the 2020 national strategy on water resources.

Dung made the remarks in a speech to open the AsiaEurope Meeting (ASEM) workshop on water and river basin management-a green growth approach-in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on Thursday, Vietnam’s state-run news agency reported.

Vietnam will actively take part in and contribute to international efforts through various cooperation levels, Dung said, adding that the nation pays due attention to raising cooperation efficiency along the Mekong River.

ASEM should be more active in assisting and linking its members’ regional and sub-regional programs, he said, adding that orientations should be planned so that ASEM’s activities contribute to the international community’s sustainable management and development of water resources.

Dung suggested that conserving water resources in a sustainable manner be included in every nation’s sustainable development and green growth strategy, and combined with the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UN MDGs).

At the two-day event, 150 delegates from 51 ASEM member nations and relevant organizations will discuss water resources and sustainable development, food and energy security, and improving the efficiency of Asia-Europe cooperation in water resource management.

The participants are expected to adopt a report detailing proposals to be submitted to the 11th ASEM Foreign Ministers Meeting in India in November, 2013, and the 10th ASEM Senior Officials Meeting in Belgium in 2014.

At another meeting held on the same day in Can Tho to mark the World Water Day 2013, Dung said that as two-thirds of Vietnam’s water reserve sourced from the Red River and Mekong River which originate from the neighboring countries, international cooperation in sharing, using and developing water resources in a sustainable manner needs to be intensified.

Cooperation in water issue will contribute importantly to reducing poverty, promoting social equality, and creating better living conditions and education opportunities, especially for women and children, thus realizing successfully all UN MDGs, Dung said.

According to the UN report on the MDGs 2012, around 11 percent of the world’s population or 780 million people have not access to fresh water. Weather extremes caused by climate change have contributed to the degradation and exhaustion of water resources.

The World Water Day, themed “Water, water everywhere, only if we share”, emphasized the need to enhance cooperation towards the common goal of using water in an effective and sustainable manner.