Decade’s WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action 'Water for Life' 2005-2015
  Issue 27. 28 February 2014 
This week in focus  Editor's note

Welcome to the Decade's Weekly! Every week it brings you the latest news from the International Decade for Action 'Water for Life' 2005-2015. Please feel free to forward this newsletter. You can also access this newsletter online.

Tip of the week

Tip of the week
On the occasion of International Women's Day, we have prepared a selection of UN publications on gender and water for you.
>> Access to a selection of UN publications on gender and water


International Women's Day: What does Gender have to do with Water?

Date: 8 March 2014
Place: Worldwide

For over 100 years, the role of women in society has been celebrated on 8 March. During this time, shifting political, cultural and ethical challenges have been tackled and women have achieved great advances in securing their human rights and dignity. The International Decade for Action, 'Water for Life' 2005-2015, calls for women's participation and involvement in water-related development efforts. Women can be powerful agents of change: with the same access to productive resources as men, including water, women could increase yield on their farms by 20-30% and help lift 150 million people out of hunger. Research also demonstrates women can increase the effectiveness of water projects up to 6 or 7 times. In the recent General Assembly thematic debate on Water, Sanitation and Sustainable Energy in the Post-2015 Development Agenda the UN General Assembly President, John Ashe, announced six post-2015 sustainable development initiatives, with a specific focus on the contributions of Women to the Post-2015 Development Goals.

There is a lot women can contribute to solve water problems but we still have a lot to do to ensure their involvement. Please use this day to remember, consider and involve the women and girls that spend up to 6 hours, every day, fetching water and can be harassed or assaulted when carrying water. #1woman to spread your message.

>> Learn more about Gender and Water >> International Women's Day website

In the news Forthcoming events
#Post2015 2015 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference will focus on Water and Sustainable Development: from Vision to Action

The post-2015 agenda for water will be decided upon in 2015! The 2015 UN-Water International Zaragoza will kick off the year discussing the agenda ahead and its implementation. In preparation for World Water Day 2015, which will focus on 'water and sustainable development,' more than 300 participants from UN agencies and programmes, experts, representatives from business communities, governmental and non-governmental organizations will meet to discuss the steps towards a sustainable post-2015 agenda. The Conference will deal with some of the main implementation challenges related to the five main targets recommended by the UN-Water synthesis document on a Global Goal for Water "Securing Sustainable Water for All" PDF document
>> Download the Conference leaflet PDF document

#GreenEcomomy African Ministerial Conference on Green Economy told valuation of ecosystem critical to Africa's growth by UN Environment Programme

During the African Ministerial Conference on Green Economy which took place from 22 to 23 February in Oran, Algeria, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner, told regional leaders of the need to place value on natural resources. Mr Steiner said "An inclusive green economy has the potential to improve human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities." The conference intended to involve the international community in forming a new Post-2015 development agenda to succeed the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
>> Read Achim Steiners full address
>> UN News press release

From the Decade's Programmes
#Smagua2014 SMAGUA 2014: Ibero-American Forum on Water and Irrigation

Date: 4-7 March 2014
Place: Feria de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
Organizers: Feria de Zaragoza

Smagua is an important meeting point for the international water sector, with the presence of world's leading agents. Among the various activities to be carried out within the framework of this event, the Ibero-American Forum on Water and Irrigation will allow participants get a first-hand view on water and irrigation plans implemented in Latin-America. UNW-DPAC contributes to this forum with the exhibition "Water is life", and on 4 March with the participation in the opening ceremony of Josefina Maestu, Director of UNW-DPAC, who will give a presentation on global water challenges and energy.

#Gender&Water Inspiring Change to Promote Women's Rights and Dignity Meeting

Date: 7 March 2014
Place: UN Palais, Geneva, Switzerland
Organizers: Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

On the occasion of International Women's Day, this event will celebrate the advances made by women in securing their human rights and dignity, while discussing key challenges in policy and practice for future action. The issues discussed will be framed by women's economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) with a special focus on water, sanitation and hygiene. High-level professionals from Human-Rights, Health, WASH, Livelihoods, Education, Government and Businesses will seek to inspire UN communities, governments and businesses to take action to fulfill the rights of girls and women to water, sanitation and hygiene.
>> Draft agendaPDF document

#EngageHRW 3rd and final round of e-discussions on realizing the rights to water and sanitation

Date: 24 February-10 March 2014
Place: Online

The latest round of discussion from UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to safe drinking water and sanitation is underway, discussing the questions 'have accountability and monitoring systems improved access to water and sanitation for marginalized groups or individuals? What are effective awareness-raising and advocacy strategies?' So far, the discussions have received over 50 contributions under the topics of legislative and regulatory frameworks and the challenges in service delivery. This is the final phase of the e-discussion, so please share and get involved!
>> Join the e-discussion

#NexusSavaRiver Workshop on Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems Nexus Assessment in the Sava River Basin

Date: 4-6 March 2014
Place: Zagreb, Croatia
Organizers: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), International Sava River Basin Commission

The Parties to the UN Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) have included in the Work Programme 2013-2015 an assessment of the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus in selected transboundary basins. This workshop will deliver an introduction to the nexus assessment in the Sava River basin, providing an opportunity to participate in the development of the approach, assessment and materials used. It will also be an occasion for discussion amongst sector authorities, private sector and civil society of inter-sector policy challenges and how the assessment could aid decision-making at different levels.
>> Draft programmePDF document

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