Iraqi female swimming coach Elaf, 35, teaches a child how to swim and dive, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a swimming pool in Basra, Iraq, April 22, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

UNITED NATIONS — The UN General Assembly on Wednesday adopted its first-ever resolution on drowning and designated July 25 every year as World Drowning Prevention Day.

The resolution encourages all UN member states, on a voluntary basis, to appoint a national focal point for drowning prevention; develop a national drowning prevention plan; develop drowning prevention programming in line with World Health Organization recommended interventions; and ensure enactment and effective enforcement of water safety laws.

It also encourages all UN member states to include drowning within civil registration and vital statistics registers and aggregate all drowning mortality data into national estimates; promote drowning prevention public awareness and behavior-change campaigns; promote the integration of drowning prevention within existing disaster risk reduction programs.

It encourages all UN member states to support international cooperation by sharing lessons learned, experiences and best practices; promote research and development of innovative drowning prevention tools and technology, and to promote capacity-building through international cooperation; consider the introduction of water safety, swimming and first-aid lessons as part of school curricula.

The resolution invites the World Health Organization to assist member states, upon their request, in their drowning prevention efforts and to coordinate actions within the UN system among relevant UN entities.

It invites all UN member states, relevant organizations of the UN system and other global, regional and subregional organizations, as well as other relevant stakeholders to observe World Drowning Prevention Day annually in order to raise awareness.