UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon called on Central Asian countries to share their water resources and to provide protection and appropriate management, the UN press service reported.
According to the report, Ban Ki Moon made the call in this welcome address to the participants of a high level international conference on water cooperation which is being hosted by Tajikistan in Dushanbe.
The UN head reminded those present of the importance of natural resources for the nations' welfare, economic development and maintaining a healthy environment. Ban Ki Moon noted that population growth, the growth of consumption and production leads to water shortages in the world and its pollution.
To date, around 800 million people do not have access to appropriate water supply systems. Around 2.5 million are deprived of adequate sanitation. Approximately five children under five years die due to a lack of secure drinking water, unfavourable sanitation conditions and basic hygiene.
On the initiative of Tajikistan, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution declaring 2013 the year of international water cooperation, Trend reports.
"This year is the one of international water cooperation, stressing the importance of partnership in the solution of water and sanitation problems," Ban Ki Moon noted. He expressed his hope that the conference in Dushanbe will significantly contribute to the development of this partnership.
The UN head noted that regardless of location in the upper or lower course of rivers, the states should share their water resources, provide protection and reliable management for the sake of current and future generations.
The UN Secretary-General's message was read out by his Deputy on Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo at a press conference in Dushanbe.
There are around 276 trans boundary water basins in the world, of which 60 are in Asia and 68 in Europe.