Statement by Ambassador Aamir Khan, Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN at the Group of Friends of Water - Virtual Meeting (New York, October 15, 2021)


Dear Participants,

I thank you all for organizing this timely and important event.

Sustainable water management is one of the most formidable challenges of our time.

Water is both an economic good and SDG accelerator. It is at the core of sustainable development, and pivotal for poverty eradication and economic growth around the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted the critical importance of water. We cannot hope to build forward better and greener following COVID-19 without addressing water issues.


As a lower-riparian country, Pakistan attributes high importance to water. Our engagement and commitment with water related goals including SDG 6 is longstanding and unwavering.

We have launched ‘Recharge Pakistan’, 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, we need 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 pattern of weather around the world, causing droughts in some areas and floods in other. When the land degrades, it loses its natural ability to absorb, filter and store water.

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.


We must address the issue of water in a timely and holistic manner. Multilateral and regional cooperation is critical for achieving SDG 6 and other water-related goals.

In addition to this, there is also an urgent need to scale up investment in sustainable and resilient water infrastructure to ensure access to water for all.

It is my sincere hope that this meeting will contribute to preparations for UN Water Conference in 2023 and will accelerate the implementation of the water-related goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

I thank you.