UNITED NATIONS: A senior Pakistani diplomat has underscored the importance of the UN’s 2023 Water Conference, which is aimed at ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation, as he pointed out that Pakistan is among the world’s top ten water-scarce countries. “Because of climate change and other developments, we suffer from floods during the summers and drought in the winter repeatedly,” Ambassador Munir Akram said at the briefing Tuesday on the Conference to be held at UN Headquarters in New York, March 22-24, 2023. It will be co-hosted by Tajikistan and the Netherlands. ‘Thus,” he said, “we are concerned that the world remains off-track in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal no. 6,” which is about clean water and sanitation for all. The conference will include an opening and closing session, six plenary sessions, and five interactive dialogues, as well as side events organised by participants. It will result in a summary of proceedings from the General Assembly President that will feed into the 2023 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). In his remarks, the Pakistani envoy highlighted the importance of incorporating Water Governance issues, including Trans-boundary Water Cooperation as one of the themes of the dialogues. “Transboundary water cooperation plays a crucial role in supporting wider regional integration, peace and sustainable development, as well as in tackling regional security challenges and in supporting climate change adaptation,” Ambassador Akram said. Noting that at present transboundary waters account for 60 percent of the world’s freshwater flows, he said that 153 countries have territory within at least one of the 286 transboundary river and lake basins and 592 trans-boundary aquifer systems. “With most of the world’s water resources being shared between two or more countries”, the Pakistan envoy added, “the need for transboundary cooperation assumes even greater urgency with rising water scarcity.” In this regard, he said the three elements which will be most important as regards our commitment are: finance, technology cooperation, and partnerships. “We are happy that you will aim for the adoption of a Compact on Water and a roadmap for its implementation,” Ambassador Akram said in conclusion.