The first full session of the United Nations Water Resources Conference took place on Tuesday (15 March) at Argentina's coastal resort city of Mar Del Plata.
SV Danish Minister of Environment Mathiasen addressing conference in English
GV Delegates listening as Spanish delegates speaks
GV Conference listening as Egyptian Minister speaks (3 shots)
MATHIASEN: The uses of the World's fresh water resources are multiples. But can be grouped together under main heading for separate consideration. I see it as a major task of this conference to make such a classification and arrive at conclusions and recommendations as to how human and social demands can best be met while taking due account of the limited national resources.
JASKOWIAK: The cooperation concerning the water resources management should be, in our opinion, focus and exchange of information technologies, lending technical assistance, particularly in the form of personnel training in the developing countries, exchange of experts and organisation of international meetings and symposia. To this end we should fully utilise the present structure of the United Nations system.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION : A number of speakers at the first working plenary session of the Conference on Tuesday (15 March) expressed concern at the pressure on water supplies from growing populations, agriculture and industry as the World's water stocks dwindled. They said such demands threatened to lead to a world water crisis in the next few decades. Vietnam's chief delegate, Nguyen Van Sang, appealed to the nations of the world for "all kinds of technical and economic assistance" to rebuild his country's war-shattered economy.
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Background: The first full session of the United Nations Water Resources Conference took place on Tuesday (15 March) at Argentina's coastal resort city of Mar Del Plata. The conference is chiefly concerned with world population increases which result in heavier demands on the World's fixed fresh water supply for domestic, agricultural and industrial use. The Danish Minister of the Environment, Mr Neels Mathiasen, was one of the first to express his delegation's hopes on what the conference could do.
SYNOPSIS: The opening address for Spain was given by Mr Santiago S. Penda, the Secretary of the Spanish delegation. Spain was expected to be one of the first countries to put forward ideas for preventing a world water crisis. Among the other first speakers was the Minister of Irrigation for Egypt, Mr Abdul Azim Abul Atta, who had his own proposals to put to the conference.
But the first day's most radical proposal came from Tanzania's Water Minister, Mr Al Noor Kassum. He suggested that the nations of the World should cut down their purchases of weapons and channel the money saved into providing water for deprived rural areas of under-developed countries. Another speaker - Poland's Agriculture Minister, Alfred Jaskowiak.