"Budapest Appeal" Addresses "Whats" And "Hows" Of Water Challenges, Water Security

21 Oct 2019 by Staff - Water Diplomat
BUDAPEST, Hungary

The third Budapest Water Summit concluded 17 October with the presentation of an outcome document, "The Budapest Appeal".

The purpose of the document is to collate views from the political and technical communities in order to raise the profile of water, especially with a view to increasing political will to address water challenges and water security.

The BWS 2019 Budapest Appeal addresses “What We Need To Do” and “How We Can Do It.”

Four main action areas include:

  • To recognize the multi-faceted value of water
  • To create a water-secure future for all
  • To ensure coordination across sectors and institutions
  • To build on innovative technologies, including remote sensing and digital information

The Appeal lists six recommendations for implementation:

  • Develop cooperation at all levels, through such actions as ensuring timely, transparent and accessible data and engender an all-inclusive approach to problem solving
  • Strengthen the role and capacity of institutions. Ensure gender balance and multi-stakeholder involvement; rethink the role of UN institutions in relation to water
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing at all levels on the science, management, impacts, and institutional arrangements for agreements on water;
  • Build capacities through education, vocational training. Revive local and indigenous traditional knowledge
  • Encourage a radical reorientation of financing flows. Account for and reduce water-related risk in all investments and programs. Develop economic valuation approaches to deal with trade-offs and the “hidden” water- stranded assets. Target subsidies towards those most in need
  • Frame every development policy with the environment in mind.

In his closing remarks, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary challenged the audience: “either all of us win or all of us lose,” in terms of water governance as “water connects us all.” He called for renewed effort for international organizations, governments, and the private sector to allocate financial resources in order to develop new technologies that would address water crises.

Emphasising that water is extremely important to maintaining peace and security, he added that challenges start out as local, “but impacts become global immediately,” and “neither water nor pollution stops at borders.”