President of the Republic of Lithuania

Lithuania’s water resources and their protection receive attention in Davos

2016-01-21

Thursday, January 21, Davos – President Dalia Grybauskaitė is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, which this year is focused on the fourth industrial revolution.

Influential political and economic leaders, public opinion makers and global business representatives have gathered at an informal meeting to discuss how innovation is changing the world’s economic and social environment and how modern technologies can help solve global problems concerning unemployment, poverty and inequality, climate change, and medicine.

The President attended a meeting of the heads of state on access to and securing the quality of the world’s water resources, held on the initiative of the United Nations and the World Bank.

According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, water scarcity and security is a global problem which can become a cause of international conflicts and social tensions and encourage even greater migration flows. This problem requires a concerted response from the international community.

Due increasing pollution and climate change, about 40 percent of the Earth’s population experience water shortages, 1.8 billion drink contaminated water daily and nearly 1,000 children die every day from diseases related to lack of water and sanitation. In the future, water can become more expensive than gas or oil.

In Davos, the President emphasized that one of the major challenges was to ensure security controls for industrial projects developed at the EU borders. It is necessary to enhance cooperation at the international level in order to ensure water quality and protect natural resources in the European Union.

“Water security is of special relevance to Lithuania. Our country manages its water resources very well and can be proud of excellent water quality. However, a lot also depends on the attitude of neighboring countries to the security of energy infrastructure. The Astravyets nuclear power plant, which is being built in Lithuania’s neighborhood, will be cooled with water from the River Neris. This project does not comply with international security standards. Therefore, it is essential to speak about it at the highest international level. Rivers have no borders, and irresponsible use of water resources will result in painful consequences for all,” the President said.

Lithuania is among EU leaders in terms of water purity and waste water treatment. It almost totally meets EU requirements for drinking water, and Vilnius is one of the few European cities where the waste water treatment system is fully in line with EU directives. Lithuanian companies export modern water treatment technologies to many European, Asian and African countries.

The President will join a group of 15 heads of state to develop global policies on the protection of water and resources. This group will also include South African, Mexican and Hungarian presidents, Chinese, Indian and Dutch prime ministers, as well as the King of Morocco.

One of the UN’s sustainable development goals is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The international community is committed to an ambitious goal of ensuring that in 15 years’ time clean water would be available to every person in the world.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2016.02.05 15:53

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