Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has called for nations lying on the upper reaches of the Red River and Mekong River to share water resources and work with Vietnam in making these transnational rivers peaceful, bringing prosperity to all countries located in their basin.

The PM made the call at a meeting to mark the World Water Day 2013 in the Mekong delta city of Can Tho on March 21.

He said as two-thirds of Vietnam’s water reserve sourced from the two rivers which originate from the neighbouring countries, international cooperation in sharing, using and developing water resources in a sustainable manner needs to be intensified and it was taken on as an important part of Vietnam’s sustainable development in 2011-2020.

As one of the big suppliers of farm produce in the world, Vietnam is aware that ensuring water supply is crucial to farming production stability and also sustainable development of other fields.

Therefore, 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 realising successfully all UN Millennium Development Goals, PM Dung said.

That cooperation will help create economic advantages, conserve
and improve water resources, protect the environment and preserve biodiversity, build regional and world peace and help nations overcome cultural and political differences to jointly build confidence, he added.

He called on ministries, sectors and localities to cooperate in building mechanisms for sharing information and legal framework to protect and use water resources in a sustainable manner.

Dung also urged organisations, individuals, sectors and localities to use water in an economic way to mitigate impacts of drought and flood, treat water pollution, and combat sea level rise.

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, said the report.

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