UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released an advanced version of his synthesis report on the post-2015 development agenda, titled ’The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet’ on 4 December 2014. This report responds to the UN General Assembly call on the UN Secretary-General, in A/RES/68/6 of September 2013, to synthesise inputs on the post-2015 development agenda, as a contribution to the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda.
In the report Ban proposes six essential elements to facilitate Member States’ deliberations: dignity; people; prosperity; planet; justice; and partnership. On people, for instance, Ban recommends addressing, inter alia: education; health; violence against women and girls; and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The report calls on the post-2015 agenda to promote healthy behaviours, including those related to water, sanitation and hygiene, and to foster sustainable management of water resources. The Secretary-General equally highlights sustainable approaches to water and sanitation as key drivers of sustainable production and consumption, job creation, as well as sustainable and equitable growth.
The official release of the report in all six UN languages is expected by 31 December 2014 and will be formally presented in early January.
On 5 December 2014, at its 69th session, the UN General Assembly (GA) approved a resolution on the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015 and further efforts to achieve the sustainable development of water resources. The resolution welcomes the activities related to water undertaken during the International Decade for Action and encourages Member States, the United Nations system and major groups to accelerate their efforts to achieve the internationally agreed water-related goals. Moreover, the resolution invites the President of the GA to convene following World Water Day on 22 March 2015 a high-level interactive dialogue of the GA in New York on a comprehensive review of the progress achieved in the implementation of the Decade, including best practices and lessons learnt. The resolution equally welcomes the offer of the Government of Tajikistan to host and fund, in June 2015, a high-level international conference on the implementation of the Decade. Finally, it requests the Secretary-General report to the General Assembly at its 71st session on the implementation of this resolution elaborating, inter alia, on the evaluation of the Decade.
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On 29 October 2014, UNICEF and Columbia University held the 3rd Annual Menstrual Hygiene Management in WASH in Schools Virtual Conference. As a follow-up to this conference, the partners held a strategy session and drafted a set of five priorities for menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in schools over the next ten years, including global guidelines, building a strong evidence base for MHM in schools, an evidence-based advocacy platform, getting national governments involved in responsibility for MHM in schools, and systematic integration of MHM in the educational sector.
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>> More about UNICEF and WASH in schools
5 December 2014 was the first official celebration of World Soil Day and the launch of the International Year of Soils, declared by the 68th UN General Assembly (A/RES/68/232) to raise awareness of the importance of soils for food security and essential eco-system functions. Soil, together with water, is the basis for food, feed, fuel and fibre production and for services to ecosystems and human well-being. The achievement of food security and nutrition, climate change adaptation and mitigation and overall sustainable development greatly depends on the condition of soils at local and global levels. Soil also plays a key role in the supply of clean water and resilience to floods and droughts. On 1st World Soil Day UN Secretary General welcomed the establishment of the Global Soil Partnership by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and pledged "to do more to protect this important yet forgotten resource".
>> UN Press release
>> Message from UN Secretary General
>> More on World Soil Day 2014
>> More on International Year of Soils 2015
The SHARE Research Consortium and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) formed a research partnership in 2013 to investigate the specific impact of inadequate access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities on women and girls in India and Bangladesh. This partnership supports four studies which converge on the lack of safe and acceptable choices for women and girls. The studies raise links between unsafe sanitation and women and girls’ poor health in terms of stress and infections. The higher incidence of reproductive tract infections linked to poor menstrual hygiene management under socioeconomically deprived groups is equally highlighted. The research also points out the lack of WASH facilities accessible by pregnant women.
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The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) published an update to its report on indicators for the post-2015 development agenda, including a proposed set of 100 indicators. Titled 'Indicators and a monitoring framework for Sustainable Development Goals: Launching a data revolution for the SDGs,' the report builds on the proposals of the UN's Open Working Group on SDGs and the conclusion of the UN Secretary-General's Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, among other inputs, to suggest a framework for indicators for future development goals.
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>> Access the draft report
The International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC) has published the cooperation report 'Factors Enabling Transboundary Aquifer Cooperation: A Global Analysis'. The purpose of this report is to link theory and observations about real occurrences of transboundary aquifer cooperation and answer the question: what factors enable and facilitate cooperation over transboundary aquifers? To this aim, the report outlines current theories about why international water cooperation occurs and subsequently matches these theories with the identified factors that lead to cooperative events. IGRAC operates under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and UNESCO (as UNESCO Institute - Category II).
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Under the auspices of the recently launched ClimDev-Special Fund (CDSF) , the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank have completed a seminar on improving the hydrological and meteorological systems in Africa, with the aim of capturing weather and climate data and disseminating information for decision support development planning. The partnership between the AfDB and the World Bank will target the dire state of most hydrometeorological services in the continent and the huge financial resources required to improve them, and the need for institutional capacity support and access to advanced technological platform.
>> More information
>> Outcome Document from OWG on Sustainable Development Goals
>> A Post-2015 Global Goal for Water: Synthesis of key findings and recommendations from UN-Water
>> Post 2015 Water Thematic Consultation Report
>> Report of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda
>> UN-Water section on water in the post-2015 process
>> UN post-2015 agenda
>> DESA section on Post-2015
>> JMP Post-2015 global monitoring
>> Sustainable Development Goals e-Inventory
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The Decade's weekly brings you every week the latest news from the Decade.
15-17 January 2015: UN-Water International Zaragoza Conference ‘Water and Sustainable Development: From vision to action’
22 March 2015: World Water Day on Water and Sustainable Development
2011-2020: UN Decade on Biodiversity
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2010-2020: UN Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification
2011-2015: Sustainable sanitation: The Five-Year-Drive to 2015
19 November 2014: World Toilet Day