United NationsDépartement des Affaires Économiques et Sociales Développement Durable

Portugal

PERMANENT MISSION OF PORTUGAL TO THE UNITED NATIONS
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Mr Chairman, Distinguished Delegates, Dear Colleagues
Allow me first to express Portugal's support to the Statement made, on behalf of the
European Union, by Luxembourg.
For the success of CDS13, it is important that we are able to identify real actions that
governments and the international community can finance and implement in order to
make a quantifiable contribution to development efforts.
In the context of sustainable development, and bearing in mind the essential and crosscutting
role that water plays within it, it is key to adopt an integrated water resource
management as has been proposed by the UN and other organisations and advocated
by many delegates.
In Portugal, the drawing up of the National Water Plan and 15 River Basins Plans was
based on a process of characterising and diagnosing the current water resource
situation, the challenges brought about by a new policy approach, socio-economic
evolution scenarios and the main pressures on water resources. These Plans establish
a set of goals and measures, a timescale for their enforcement, and mechanisms for
their implementation and assessment.
The main aspects of this methodology are now incorporated and expanded in the
process of implementation of the EU Mater Framework Directive, which requires a
better monitoring, a more sound economic approach and periodic updates.
The management of water resources of four transboundary water basins is co-ordinated
with neighbouring Spain under a 1998 state-of-the-art agreement that includes river flow
parameters and bilateral institutions.
As regards the specific component of water supply and sanitation, Portugal has drawn
up a Strategic Plan for the 2000-2006 period. Under this plan we will increase and
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improve the quality of water services and the percentage of the population with access
to water and availability of wastewater treatment. This will be very beneficial for the
population and it will also have a significant impact in the quality of our rivers, coastal
waters and related ecosystems. In fact, the urban water cycle is part of the entire water
cycle and should be tackled as such.
Taking into account the difficulties faced by developing countries, investment in water
supply and basic sanitation services, both in urban and rural areas, is only feasible
through the significant allocation of international funds for cooperation.
Public and private sectors definitely play a role in turning our political commitments into
action. However, from our experience, strong public leadership is important for the
establishment of strategic goals, for the ability of monitoring and updating the
accomplishment of those goals and, last but not least, to provide the private sector with
clear, stable and transparent rules that are sought by private investors.
In fact, technical solutions and funding availability are a necessary condition for
sustainable development, but not a sufficient one. Social mobilization and appropriate
governance are also necessary to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and,
ultimately, sustainable development.
However, in order to achieve these goals, we need more than government budgets and
official development aid. We should look at strengthening governance systems and
promoting capacity-building. We should also look at involving private partners in a
context of transparent and stable public regulation. Private partners will then provide
access to improved management systems, new technical options and private
investment funds.
We need to understand how to motivate private investors and create the conditions to
assure their participation in partnerships of this kind. Part of the answer to this question
is precisely related to appropriate governance and stable regulatory systems.

Private investors are necessarily driven by profit and are reluctant to invest in projects
and areas where their investment might be at stake due to various factors, ranging from
operational and investment risks to unpredictable regulatory changes.
We believe that these points should be taken into consideration when we are trying to
devise ways of turning political commitments into action.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
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