The Budapest Water Summit opened on Monday morning at the Millenáris Park conference center, to the rhapsodic strains of Hungarian music and a live sand animation performance by film director Ferenc Cakó, illustrating the vital importance of clean water for communities around the world.
In his opening address, János Áder, President of Hungary, identified water as the most significant issue of the 21st century. UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson, World Bank managing director Joaquim Levy and the heads of state of Bangladesh, Mauritius, and Tajikistan, addressed delegates at the opening, and messages were conveyed from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Archbishop of Constantinople Bartholomew I, and Pope Francis.
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of Mauritius and Co-Chair of the High-Level Panel on Water (HLPW), emphasized small island states’ extreme exposure to the impacts of climate change, and announced that the HLPW is currently taking stock of financing mechanisms for the water sector. Emomali Rahmon, President of Tajikistan, stressed the importance of water for agriculture and energy production for development. Sheikh Hasina Wazed, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, outlined the HLPW’s priorities, including: building resilience to disasters; ensuring equitable water distribution; and developing resilient crop varieties and agricultural technologies.
In the morning and afternoon, a series of panels convened. The opening panel of speakers discussed how water connects the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The following sessions featured speakers and high-level panelists who discussed ways to provide safe and affordable drinking water, and to improve sanitation and hygiene.
In the evening, delegates attended a concert and reception at the Palace of the Arts.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web coverage, daily reports and a summary report from BWS 2016, which is available in HTML and PDF.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Sean Wu
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