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World Water Forum ends with pledge to boost int'l cooperation

2015/04/17 14:00

DAEGU/GYEONGJU, South Korea, April 17 (Yonhap) -- The 7th World Water Forum came to an end Friday after a six-day run that sought to boost global efforts to tackle various water issues and to promote technological support for developing countries in overcoming problems related to water.

The main objective of the triennial forum was highlighted at the very beginning of the event Sunday when political leaders, government officials and experts from over 100 countries adopted a joint declaration, stressing the importance of water-related issues in dealing with climate change and pledging their joint efforts to tackle them.

"We reaffirm that water is at the core of sustainable development and support the inclusion of one dedicated water goal and water-related targets in the Post-2015 Development Agenda," the declaration said.

"We are committed to working together to ensure a successful outcome at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change."

   The call for global efforts was later echoed by lawmakers from about 30 countries taking part in the event.

In a separate statement issued Wednesday, the legislators vowed policy support in water issues while calling for increased cooperation between countries.

"Participants agreed that developed countries should provide active support, while developing nations should in turn invest in efforts to bring about positive changes," they said in their joint statement.

This year's event, held in South Korea's southeastern cities of Daegu and Gyeongju, also sought to address the scientific and technological aspects of water issues, for the first time since the forum was first held in 1997, local organizers said.

Efforts to share advanced technologies with developing countries were visible throughout various group sessions attended by hundreds and thousands of experts from around the world while South Korea's state-run water resources company K-Water introduced its smart water management initiative, which uses the country's advanced information-communication technology to help minimize water leakage and pollution.

While hosting the world's largest water event, South Korea also sought to raise awareness of regional issues related to water.

In a three-way ministerial meeting held Monday with ministers of China and Japan, South Korea's Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Yoo Il-ho stressed the importance of regional cooperation to tackle water issues.

In a joint statement, the three ministers agreed to boost their countries' cooperation and also share their own know-how in dealing with water problems.

"We decide to share the knowledge and experience learned in above water policy innovation initiatives for improved water security in our three countries. In addition, we welcome trilateral cooperation to share and spread our achievements and success to other countries, in particular, the developing world," it said.

The land and transportation ministry said this year's World Water Forum will also help boost the country's political and business leadership on global water issues.

Through bilateral talks, South Korea and the Netherlands have signed a letter of intent on joint development of new water business opportunities in a third country.

The South Korean minister also held bilateral talks with his counterparts from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Senegal to discuss ways to boost the countries' cooperation, the ministry said.

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