Desertification - A Growing Global Challenge

The 2nd BMI Conference

March 29-31, 2017


Dr. Boris Mints' Speech at Inauguration of the BMI Annual Meeting 2017

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, I want to declare (express) my personal respect and gratitude for participation in the work of our session. Especially (particularly) I would like to greet the premier-minister of Malta – Joseph Muscat and the CEO of the World Bank Kristalina Georgieva, ministers as of Maltese government so as representatives of other countries. Also I would like to thank the members of the international Advisory Board – Vaclav Klaus, Joelle Aflalo, Armen Darbinyan, Sergei Dubinin, Simeon Djankov and Seppo Remes as well as the director of the institute – Itai Sened, scientists and experts in the participation and preparation for our session.

Today we will discuss one of the most difficult global challenges, the problem of desertification or I would say the global problem of water. The reason of why we decided to discuss this problem on Malta is not by chance. Malta is the only country in the world, in which there is no natural source of fresh water, there are no lakes or rivers. At that point (With that being said) – I wanted to thank Mr. Joseph Muscat and the government of Malta one more time for the opportunity to hold the discussion here on Malta.

By the estimation of UN – desertification in the nearest perspective will affect (hurt) around one billion people and around one third of all the land, that is used in agricultural purposes. It is important to note as well that this concerns all continents, where the population of our planet lives.

I think that this fact is one of the many which reflects the depth of this complicated and important problem for all the people on earth.

It is obvious, that in the list of global challenges, the problem of desertification is not (does not deserve to be) prioritized although (even though) a human being can not survive more than three days without fresh water, but can survive up to several weeks having water but no food. However (nonetheless), we have the world health organization, the world trade organization and the world food and agricultural organization, etc. but not a single world organization in regards of water and the problem of desertification.

I don’t want to foreshadow the results of our discussion, but I think that one of the recommendations should have a suggestion (proposal) of creating such an organization, basing its head office (headquarters) on Malta.

I am most certain that we are going to have a very meaningful discussion, results of which will make a significant contribution in finding a solution to this global challenge.

I don’t want to be a prophet (clairvoyant) in this case, but if in the future there will be wars I am afraid they will be for water resources. Pray heaven that this will never happen, partially due to our efforts.

Thank you very much!