UN adopts Resolution on drowning prevention introduced by Bangladesh
Published: 11:04 AM, 29 April 2021 Updated: 04:05 PM, 29 April 2021
The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday adopted a historic Resolution on drowning prevention, acknowledging the issue for the first time in its 75-year history.
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, Rabab Fatima introduced the Resolution at the UN General Assembly in New York.
Drowning cost the world over 2.5 million lives in the last decade. The vast majority of these deaths could and should have been prevented.
The new Resolution, co-led by Ireland and co-sponsored by 81 member states, recognizes that drowning affects every nation of the world - though its impact is disproportionate. 90 percent of drowning deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, with Asia carrying the highest burden.
Introducing the Resolution at the UN General Assembly, Rabab Fatima said: “Drowning is a major cause of global mortality, accounting for a greater loss of life annually, than to maternal mortality or malnutrition. The imperative to act on drowning is not simply moral or political. The economic cost is equally untenable. As a leading cause of child mortality in Bangladesh and regionally, we recognise the urgency to secure a resolution to generate greater political commitment towards the prevention of drowning. This resolution provides a framework for global and national cooperation to do that. We are honoured to have worked in partnership with the Government of Ireland on this effort”.
A new UN Day for drowning prevention, July 25, has also been established to promote awareness and encourage national action, as well as share best practices and key solutions to drowning.
According to the WHO’s latest estimates, drowning is the cause of 235,000 deaths every year.
It has been noted that the Resolution identifies that drowning is a preventable cause or mortality or morbidity that disproportionately affects children and adolescents in rural areas. Many countries report drowning as a leading cause of childhood mortality, particularly in children under-5 years.