Chargée d’Affaires of Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in China
Distinguished Guests, Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
For the second year in a row, the Egyptian embassy was keen to attend the forum. It gives me a great pleasure to be among you today, and to give a speech at the Third Forum on Grand Rivers Civilization and Tourism in the wonderful province of Shanxi.
Rivers are the most precious and sacred gift to humankind, since the dawn of history and the beginning of existence of life on the earth. Rivers were and still are the secret of life and the spring of all civilizations, which have brought progress and prosperity to all humanity.
Seven millennia ago, a civilization rose on the banks of the river Nile in Egypt – a civilization which has set the tone for development with all its aspects in the region. Considered as one of the first hydraulic societies and civilizations, that society and that civilization was depending on the Nile. The river in its turn was dictating a technocratic government. That government established the first irrigation ministry known in history. The river needed a bureaucratic system to be able to control it, thus, contributing to the stable life of its people and the wealth of the country. The crucial dependency of the lives of the Egyptians on the Nile, was known and felt for each and every Egyptian. No coincidence to be worshipped as a god – the god “Hapi”, the god of fertility and good.
The Nile was not merely a source of water and agricultural activities in old Egypt, but also a mean of transportation and communication among the nations. The magnificent ships of the Egyptian Great Queen Hatshepsut have sailed from Egypt to its neighboring countries of Punt in Africa, carrying wealth and culture on the waves of the Nile, exchanging products, arts, knowledge, and paving the way for more cooperation among the nations, and provide a favorable condition for the development process.
China, as well has a very long history and a civilization built across the valleys of its rivers, mainly Yellow River and Yangtze River, since the time of the first emperor “Yu the Great” who was able to control the anger of the river, building a civilization that lasted for thousands of years. China is sharing with its neighbors the fruits of cooperation and development through the Maritime Silk Road, connecting the different parts of the world.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Rivers are considered a shared gift and should be a source of peace and coexistence, not a cause of conflicts. Based on the principle of no harm and shared destiny, it should represent an opportunity to cooperate and to achieve the welfare and the prosperity of each and every human being living on its banks. In fact, this shared gift is being affected by the climate change, industrial misuse and many other threats. It is imperative to share the responsibilities to protect the rivers, as such challenges expose our common interests, including the global food security, especially at this critical moment.
Egypt and China share the vision and interest in protecting the rivers, as well as the philosophy of the peaceful management of rivers. Both countries are seeking to achieve common development, which leads to the welfare and prosperity of all nations, leaving no one behind.
Egypt Vision 2030 for Sustainable Development attributes a great attention to the issue of climate change and water issues. Egypt will host the COP27 in November this year, which provides countries with a platform to discuss the challenges world is facing including the water issues as a major element in the equation of the global environmental agenda, and its negative impact on scarcity of water resource and food security. There is an inevitable need to jointly address these challenges and to take necessary actions to overcome them.
Finally, I would like to extend my thanks to Shanxi Province and all the organizers for hosting this event, which is a great opportunity for our countries to share the experiences as well as the aspirations, and I wish all the success for the event.