Saudi Arabia launches G20 water platform

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JEDDAH: The Group of Twenty has announced the launch of its G20 Water Platform under Saudi Arabia’s supervision to collect countries’ best practices and experiences related to sustainable and resilient water management.

The announcement was made during the second Dialogue on Water meeting hosted virtually by Italy last week.

“I am very pleased today to share with you the G20 Water Platform as an effective tool for sharing G20 best practices in water management with the rest of the world,” said Saudi Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdul Rahman Al-Fadli.

During the Saudi G20 presidency, the water team conducted the first G20 Dialogue on Water meeting and prepared a water policy paper titled “Fostering Sustainable and Resilient Water Management Globally.”

The platform comes as a result of the Kingdom’s G20 presidency, as G20 countries agreed to hold an annual dialogue on water and share results in a digital platform hosted by Saudi Arabia for the first five years. The platform constitutes the primary tool for sharing the outcome of the water dialogue between the G20 countries and the world at large.

“We acknowledge that affordable, reliable and safe water, sanitation and hygiene services are essential for human life and that access to clean water is critical to overcome the pandemic,” the G20 leaders’ declaration said in 2020.

The declaration welcomed the G20 Dialogue on Water to share best practices and research and promote innovation and new technologies. “The novel coronavirus pandemic has shed light on many global challenges, including the need to ensure access to clean water and safe sanitation services,” said Al-Fadli.

Saudi Arabia considers water availability to be key for socio-economic development, poverty alleviation, human health and well-being.

According to Deputy Minister for Water Affairs Abdulaziz Alshaibani at the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, the announcement demonstrates the Kingdom’s leading role in developing knowledge in water management and its participation in the world, and its keenness to meet water challenges globally and ensure its sustainability.

“We believe that the various water-related issues and the pressing challenges for many countries such as scarcity, pollution and floods deserve a dedicated working group to address them,” Alshaibani told Al-Ekhbariya TV.

“We will continue to work with the next G20 host countries to maintain the annual water dialogue and to dedicate a working group for water matters.”

Alshaibani said that water challenges are shared by many countries, which requires a concerted international effort, the exchange of experience and effective participation of all nations to find sustainable solutions that guarantee the preservation of the most critical component on earth.

The G20 is the international forum that brings together the world’s major economies. Its members account for more than 80 percent of world GDP, 75 percent of global trade and 60 percent of the planet’s population.

The G20 water platform can be accessed at https://mewa.gov.sa/Sites/G20WaterPlatform

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