State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has laid emphasis on shared responsibility, sincere efforts and strong cooperation at regional and global level to implement the water action under SDGs.
He said these are also required to make international water decade a success, and to create a water-secure world for all.
The State Minister was addressing at the UN Headquarters at a high-level event entitled "Launching of the International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development (2018-2028)."
This decade was launched on the occasion of the “World Water Day” being observed worldwide on Friday.
He also said: "We are confident that the International Water Decade will provide us the opportunity to put our acts together to change this scenario."
Shahriar Alam is representing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who is one of the members of the UN Secretary General's High-level Panel on Water, at the event.
Mentioning that water and environment remains at the centre of the development priorities of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the State Minister said under her visionary leadership, Bangladesh has earned global recognition as a champion for ensuring safe drinking water and sanitation for all.
"We always emphasized that proper management of rivers and water resources is closely linked to all sorts of development of Bangladesh. In a country of more than 160 million people, nearly everyone can access safe drinking water. Now, our target is to ensure direct access to safe drinking water for all by 2020."
As for sanitation, 99% people of the country have been brought under sanitation coverage, said a press release. Of them 61% people have been brought under cent percent healthy sanitation.
“The rate of open defecation has dropped drastically below 1% during the last 9 years,” the State Minister said.
He underscored the importance to the implementation of the SDG-6 in Bangladesh in his statement and said: "Our government has initiated a 100-year exemplary plan titled “Bangladesh Delta Plan-2100” for the coordinated water resources management.
“The government has allocated huge amount of money for implementing massive water related projects including for desalination, rainwater harvesting, and dredging."
The High-Level launching event was convened by the President of General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak.
The President of Tajikistan and a member of Ministers of other countries attended the High-level Launching. Among other speakers, the Executive Director of UNICEF in her statement acknowledged the water and sanitation related program achieved in Bangladesh.
The State Minister also joined the High-Level Luncheon event jointly hosted by the President of General Assembly and Under-Secretary-General of ECOSOC.