UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has called for addressing water problems such as floods and drought in a “timely and holistic” manner, saying sustainable water management remains one of the world’s most formidable challenges. Speaking at a virtual meeting organized by a 17-nation ‘Group of Friends Water’ and Tajikistan, Ambassador Aamir Khan, Pakistan’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, also stressed the need to scale up investment in sustainable and resilient water infrastructure to ensure access to water for all. The event was held in preparation for the 2023 UN Conference on Water Action, which will be co-hosted by Tajikistan and the Netherlands. “Water is both an economic good and SDG (sustainable development goals) accelerator,” the Pakistani envoy said, adding that it is at the core of sustainable development, and pivotal for poverty eradication and economic growth around the world “Delivering on SDG 6 ( which calls for clean water and sanitation for all) and guaranteeing water and sanitation for all is a complete win for the Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development,” Ambassador Aamir Khan said. Noting that the coronavirus pandemic had also highlighted the critical importance of water, the Pakistani envoy said that building forward better and greener was not possible without addressing water issues. As a lower-riparian country, he said Pakistan’s engagement and commitment with water-related goals, including SDG 6 , was longstanding and unwavering. ‘Recharge Pakistan’ has been launched, which he said was a project which envisions better climate resilience, water and food security, and sustainable livelihoods through ecosystem-based adaptation by 2050. “Given the importance of water and glaciers for our ecosystem, Pakistan has also announced its support for the initiative of Tajikistan to declare 2025 as the ‘Year of Glaciers’”. To implement water-related goals, he said the world needs to keep a close eye not only on SDG 6, but also on the other issues of land degradation, desertification, and drought. “Climate change is altering the pattern of weather around the world, causing droughts in some areas and floods in others,” Ambassador Aamir Khan said. “When the land degrades, it loses its natural ability to absorb, filter and store water,” he said. “Restoring degraded land and fighting land degradation, coupled with sustainable water management, are therefore a key to ensure availability of water for all by 2030”.