United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Netherlands

Mr. Chairman,
Water and sanitation are at the foreÍÌont of sustainable development and therefore central
to the achievement of other objectives related to the thematic issues of the CUlTent CSD
cycle. Water is relevant to all the MDG's, but especially to MDG7.
The Netherlands fully aligns itse1fwith the earlier EU intervention regarding the review
of water and sanitation decisions ofCSD 13. We consider the start-up ofa process of
monitoring these decisÍons a valuable step to tàcilitate the achievement of water and
sanitation objectives. In addition to this the planning process and implementation at the
national development planning level is of major importance.
The Netherlands is situated largely below sea level and faces therefore major challenges
in relation to water issues. We have gained a lot of experience and knovv.ledge in
addressing these challenges over the years and we are very interested in sharing this with
other countries. In this regard the Netherlands Government also actively contributes to
the achievement of the Milennium Development Goals and JPOT commitments through
the Intern1inisterial Partners for Water Program and the Netherlands Cooperation
Programme on Water and Climate. The latter focuses on knowledge transfer and capacity
building in the IÌeld of water and coastal zone managen1ent issues in developing
countries, while at the same time addressing the issue of adaptation to climate change. A
pool of expeiis is established to assist in water adaptation issues. The Netherlands also
provides immediate assistance at times of extreme drought or in the event of Hoods.
To acknowledge the importance ofNGOs and the private sector in the tìeld of water and
sanitation, the Netherlands Government decided to draft joint multi stakeholder
agreements on how to enhance our international activities with respect to these topics.
This resulted in the Wash (water, sanitation and hygiene) initiatives ofJunc 2007. The
main goal is to speed up the achievement ofMDG7 by actively focusing on and
exploiting the strengths of the different stakeholders in water management and by
combining water and delta technology. In this process, a more integrated approach to the
multiple uses of water management as well as the integration of local kl1iwledge and
expertise of water managers, often women, is essentiaL. Finally, education tt.")r youth,
gender sensitive education and measures on sanitation and hygiene should be
implemented.
In concluding, T would like to highlight the importance of ensuring good governance in
the water sector, as this is crucial for achieving lasting improvements in water resources
management at the national and international leveL. For example through regional
integrated river basin approach, effective water governance structures and trans boundary
agreements. Tn this respect we would like to call upon the delegations present today to
ratify the 1997 UN Watercourses Convention.
Thank you Mr Chairman.
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