The central role of people in managing the effective use of water resources for sustainable development was the main focus of dicussions of the Standing Committee on Sustainable Development, Finance and Trade of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Hanoi on M arch 29 and 30.

Participants offered their opinions on the draft Resolution “Shaping a new system of water governance: Promoting parliamentary action on water”.

Other key agenda points included human rights, especially those of women and children, in using water resources effectively and sustainably; the serious impact of water shortages on livelihoods and development; and the respect of signed international laws, agreements and conventions on water.

Deputy Head of the Economic Affairs Committee of Vietnam’s National Assembly (NA) Nguyen Van Phuc called on countries sharing water resources to enhance cooperation in issues concerning international water resources.

He stressed the need to consider the involvement of countries in legal frameworks on cooperation in cross-border water use and urged governments to abide by their commitments to protect clean water resources and implement international and regional conventions and agreements on using water appropriately.

Phuc also called for closer links between developed and developing countries in protecting water resources, focusing on outlining plans to effectively use water resources towards sustainable development.

Nguyen Van Giau, Head of the NA Committee for Economic Affairs, voiced that IPU member parliaments need to review the law on water resources and related laws within the national legal framework, approve and supervise the implementation of national strategic programmes and projects on water management, allocate funds for water management and improve organisation and management in the field.

He underlined the necessity of popularising the resolution to all-level State agencies, social organisations and people to boost regional and international relations in water management.

Attendees debated methods to raise public awareness of the IPU’s resolution on water resources management once it is issued, opportunities to use the resolution in member countries and implementation activities.

They reached a consensus on the necessity of implementing the 1997 Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Water.-VNA