Speech at the Signing Ceremony of the China, Japan and Korea Joint Statement during the 5th World Water Forum
By H. E. CHEN Lei
Minister of Water Resources, P. R. China
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to attend the signing ceremony of the China, Japan and Korea Joint Statement during the 5th World Water Forum, together with Mr. Kaneko Yasushi, Vice Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan, and Mr. Kwon Do-Youp, Vice Minister of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs of Korea.
First of all, on behalf of the PRC Ministry of Water Resources, I would to convey my sincere gratitude to all the guests, including officials from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan and the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs of Korea, as well as experts, entrepreneurs and media friends from Japan and Korea that are present at this ceremony.
Water is a fundamental natural resource and a strategic economic resource. It is also a control factor of the ecological environment. With intermingled impacts of global climate change and rapid economic and social development, constantly emerging water problems such as drought and water shortage, flood and waterlogging, water pollution and soil erosion, have proposed great challenges to the entire Asian-Pacific Region and even the whole world. Therefore, water crisis of all kinds can only be properly dealt with and addressed through effective coordination and close cooperation of all countries of the world.
All situated in North-East Asia, China, Japan and Korea are close neighbors only separated by a strip of water and have kept extensive exchanges and effective cooperation in water field for a long time. The regular exchange mechanisms between the Ministry of Water Resources of China with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan include “Sino-Japan Workshop on Water Resources” and “Sino-Japan Symposium on River and Dam Engineering”. The “Sino-Korea Workshop on Water Resources” is the exchange mechanism between the Ministry of Water Resources of China and the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs of Korea. These exchange mechanisms play an important role in enhancing mutual understanding, exchanging experiences and boosting cooperation of the three countries.
During the 4th World Water Forum held in Mexico in 2006, China, Japan and Korea successfully hosted the joint sessions of “Flood Management”, “River Rehabilitation in the Asian Monsoon Region” and “Water Information System”, and also announced the proposal of joint sessions to the international community that won positive feedback from international water field.
In order to cope with water problems in North-East Asia together and further cooperation on water related issues, China, Japan and Korea are willing to further our efforts on sharing of technologies and experiences, widen our cooperation areas and deepen our partnership. We are also considering to establish an annual meeting mechanism for water ministers of our three countries on a regular basis, whereby we shall carry out joint studies on specified key areas, strengthen exchange and cooperation in water field, tackle water problems faced by us with concerted efforts, and advance towards common development. I am confident that, through common efforts and sincere cooperation of the three countries, we will surely accomplish new breakthroughs and progresses in finding solutions for major water problems and key water areas, and make further contributions to solve global water problems and sustainable utilization of water resources.