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Business News/ News / World/  The Netherlands to join hands with India on global water pact
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The Netherlands to join hands with India on global water pact

Both nations to prepare ground work for deal that will be discussed at UN conference next year
  • India’s efforts under the jal shakti ministry can be replicated, said Dutch envoy for global water affairs Henk Ovink
  • Henk Ovink, Netherlands’ special envoy for international water affairs.Premium
    Henk Ovink, Netherlands’ special envoy for international water affairs.

    THE HAGUE : India and the Netherlands will work closely to prepare a framework for a global water pact, based on water security initiatives from across the world, including the Narendra Modi government’s Jal Jeevan Mission, which promises access to drinking water for all, Henk Ovink, Netherlands’ special envoy for international water affairs, said in an interview.

    Ovink said India’s efforts under the jal shakti ministry can be replicated in other parts of the world, for which partnership will help. Both sides will prepare the ground work for a global water pact, which will be discussed at the UN water conference in March 2023, he added during the interview at his office in the Hague.

    Ovink also said the Netherlands-India partnership in mitigating climate change will bring innovative solutions from the Netherlands, as well as India’s experience in ensuring access to water, sanitation and hygiene to its masses for implementation globally. “India and the Netherlands are amazing partners in demonstrating what works, the commitment behind what works and in the opportunity to scale that up and put that on the UN agenda as a ‘global water pact’."

    Initiatives from across the world, such as India’s Jal Jeevan Mission and the commitments by national governments would make up the global action agenda on water, he said.

    The three-day UN conference on 22 March 2023 will set the agenda for taking action on sustainable water management. It will be co-hosted by Tajikistan and the Netherlands.

    India’s Jal Jeevan Mission aims to provide safe and adequate drinking water to individual household tap connections by 2024. The scheme entails water conservation and rain water harvesting measures. According to data from the jal shakti ministry, India had covered nearly half of the 193 million rural households as of 29 March.

    “In partnership, we can see how we can scale innovative solutions across the world. This is at the heart of a lot of what we do together," said Ovink.

    The government’s focus on water security is also of critical importance in the context of the covid pandemic. “We are coming after two years of the pandemic and we know how important water is for hygiene. We say ‘wash your hands’, but if there is no water, there is no hand washing. Your government has a big focus on issues of water, sanitation and hygiene, which are of critical importance in the context of the pandemic," said Ovink. “But we still know that billions of people around the world lack that access to water."

    “India’s water security programme is inspirational and we can bring that learning to other places around the world," he added.

    An email query to the jal shakti ministry on Wednesday seeking comments for the story remained unanswered till press time.

    Water is also a priority area for India-Netherlands relations as both countries are facing the impact of climate change. President Ram Nath Kovind is set to visit the Netherlands on 4-7 April at the invitation of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, India’s external affairs ministry said on 22 March. The state visit is significant as India and the Netherlands are celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations in 2022. In 2021, during a virtual summit between the prime ministers of the two countries, a strategic partnership on water was launched. The Netherlands is India’s fourth largest foreign direct investment source.

    The writer is in The Hague at the invitation of the government of The Netherlands.

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Gireesh Chandra Prasad
    Gireesh has over 22 years of experience in business journalism covering diverse aspects of the economy, including finance, taxation, energy, aviation, corporate and bankruptcy laws, accounting and auditing.
    Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Check all the latest action on Budget 2024 here. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
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    Published: 30 Mar 2022, 10:32 AM IST
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