Asian Water Development Outlook Launch, 15 December 2020


Mr. Angel Gurría,

Secretary-General, OECD

Transcript of Video message
Paris, France, 15 December 2020

Dear Friends,

The OECD is delighted to partner with the Asian Development Bank and the Asia-Pacific Water Forum for this 2020 edition of the Asian Water Development Outlook. Since 2007, the Outlook has successfully raised the profile of water security in the Asia-Pacific region.

The COVID-19 pandemic confirms that water security is a foundation of societal resilience, inclusive growth and people’s well-being – as exemplified by Sustainable Development Goal 6 on “clean water and sanitation”. Three out of ten households in East Asia and the Pacific do not have a dedicated place for washing hands with soap and water on premises.

The OECD’s contribution to this edition focuses on our expertise on financing and governance, notably from the OECD Council Recommendation on Water and the OECD Principles on Water Governance. The report shows that, while much progress has been made, additional efforts are required to address the pressure of urbanisation, economic development and climate change on water resources and services.

Let me highlight two areas of action.

First, financing water security in Asia and the Pacific is not just about more money. It is about making the best use of available water assets, avoiding future liabilities, and ensuring that investments deliver substantial benefits for communities, the economy and the environment.

Second, effective governance is essential to create synergies, foster trust and manage complexity. While legal frameworks on environment and water exist in most of the 48 countries of the Asia-Pacific region surveyed, the challenge is to implement these frameworks by minimising fragmentation, strengthening knowledge, engaging stakeholders and fighting corruption.

The OECD stands ready to support Asia-Pacific governments in the implementation of the recommendations of the Outlook and to contribute to better water policies for better lives.

I want to conclude by inviting you to join our upcoming OECD Roundtable on Financing Water and Water Governance Initiative that we hope will provide best practice and policy dialogue in this critical policy area.

Thank you.


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