Aslam Chaudhry, the Chief of the Water and Natural Resources Branch of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), told a press conference at UN Headquarters in New York that water in particular was central to the current deliberations of the Commission on Sustainable Development. The CSD
- a subsidiary of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) - is this year assessing the progress made in 72 areas outlined in its water and sanitation agenda in 2005, Mr. Chaudhry
said that dozens of countries have reported to the Commission that they are making significant progress on this front, particularly in their efforts to better regulate and manage their often limited water resources.A water, sanitation and hygiene programme in some 70 countries across Asia and Africa was also reducing the burden of diseases in many nations, for example.
A lack of funding, infrastructure and capacity in poor countries were the main obstacles to further improvements, Mr. Chaudhry
said, calling for assistance in all three areas as well as better coordination at the country level.
...Her colleague, Aslam Chaudhry, who is chief of the water and natural resources branch of DESA, said that crops used for biofuel production had also contributed to the current worldwide rise in food prices, since "they depend quite heavily on land and water resources - so we are using our precious natural resources for the production of these crops."
"At the same time, poor people in developing countries do not have food and had those natural resources been managed for the production of cereal crops, we might not have seen this crisis," he