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"Consideration of the long term development objectives are crucial for sustaining peace, and ensuring a more prosperous future for all", Minister Asim

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22 March 2018, New York, Speaking on the Panel on the Role of Stakeholders in mobilising needed means for the implementation and followup of water-related SDGs, held during the High Level Meeting to launch the "international Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2020", Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Mohamed Asim highlighted that the next few years would show how draughts, lack of access of water, is increasingly causing conflict, and impacting peace across the world. He further highlighted the dramatic increase in water-related disasters, impacting Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in particular.

As part of the panel of experts, Minister Asim outlined the several policies the Government of Maldives had adopted to adapt to the scarcity of safe, quality, drinking water in the country. In this regard, he highlighted the "Supporting Vulnerable Communities in the Maldives to manage climate-change induced water shortages" project that is targeting 49 islands across 13 atolls. The project incorporates rainwater harvesting, groundwater, recharging and supplying of desalinated water to combat shortages.

Minister Asim also delivered remarks at the plenary of the High Level Meeting, delivering remarks on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). In his statement, he highlighted the various challenges SIDS face in accessing quality water. This includes the realisation of the committed means of implementation, including the capacity for data collection and analysis. In SIDS, it also means tackling the impacts of climate change.

The Minister also participated in a High Level Luncheon hosted by the President of the General Assembly and the Under-Secretary General for Economic Social Affairs, and a dinner hosted by Tajikistan, Germany, Japan, and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

The High Level Meeting to launch the "International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028" was hosted by the President of the General Assembly, on the occasion of the World Water Day, 22 March 2018.

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