2 May 2013 – The 1st issue of 2013 of the UN Chronicle focuses on the theme of water cooperation. Articles in the magazine address water cooperation in the context of cross-cutting issues such as development goals, women and agriculture, integrated water resources management (IWRM), and private sector involvement. The Chronicle examines both freshwater and ocean cooperation issues.
30 April 2013 – With the recent change introduced to the UN World Water Development Report (WWDR), this UN-Water flagship report will become annual and thematic with a focus on different strategic water issues each year. The 1st annual WWDR, WWDR5, will be published in 2014 and will address the theme "Water and Energy". The 6th edition of WWDR, which will be launched in 2015, will focus on "Water and Sustainable Development". The report's themes will be harmonized with those of World Water Day, celebrated each 22 March.
12 April 2013 – The United Nations has launched a global plan to combat two of the leading killers of children under five, potentially saving two million youngsters each year who would otherwise die from pneumonia and diarrhoea in low- and middle-income countries. The Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea is premised on the fact that richer countries have already shown that common elements, such as good nutrition and a clean environment, are crucial in reducing infections and deaths from both diseases.
5 April 2013 – The United Nations called for accelerated action in the next 1,000 days from governments, international organizations and civil society groups to reach the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by their deadline at the end of 2015. According to UN figures, since the MDGs were adopted by all UN Member States in 2000, global extreme poverty rate has been cut in half and two billion more people have gained access to safe drinking water, but efforts still need to be redoubled to accelerate action on issues such as access to improved sanitation, maternal health and gender equality.
>> Access the MDG Momentum campaign
22 March 2013 - The 2013 edition of UN-Water 'Water for Life' Best Practices Award has been presented during the official ceremony of World Water Day 2013 taking place in The Hague, the Netherlands. In 2013, special focus has been given to the topic Water cooperation. Category 1 has been awarded to a project focusing on groundwater management using the system of nature from Kumamoto city in Japan and Category 2 has been awarded to a project focusing on safe water and sanitation for all in the Republic of Moldova.
A draft version of the Post-2015 water thematic consultation report has been just released and is waiting for your comments.
In your view, is this report ambitious enough? Does it capture the magnitude of water challenges? Do you believe there are pressing water-related challenges that this report has not addressed? Do you think the main messages on the report are on target? Do you have suggestions on how to extend its outreach or on how to use this report to make the most impact on the Post-2015 agenda?
Your inputs, discussion thoughts, opinions and visions are vital components of the Post-2015 process. Contribute with your comments until Sunday 5 May 2013!
22 March 2013 - Participants assembled in The Hague on World Water Day discussed the role of water cooperation to achieve a water secure world and recognized the key outcomes of the Thematic Consultation on Water in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
>> Advanced Summary of Synthesis Report from the Post-2015 Water thematic Consultation
21 March 2013 - United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson launched a call for urgent action to end the crisis of 2.5 billion people without basic sanitation, and to change a situation in which more people worldwide have mobile phones than toilets.
13 March 2013 - Citizens from all over the world can help shape the future global development agenda through their participation in the United Nations survey 'My World', which allows them to vote on issues they believe are priorities and should be addressed by world leaders in post-2015 agenda. Offered in 10 languages, the survey asks participants to choose six from 16 priority issues, including access to water and sanitation.
13 March 2013 - The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Global Water Partnership (GWP) have launched a joint Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP) to improve monitoring and prevention of one of the world's greatest natural hazards. The programme was launched at the High-level Meeting on National Drought Policy (HMNDP) in Geneva, Switzerland.
11 March 2013 - Young people participating in the launching ceremony of 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation at Pavillon de l'eau, Paris, France, on 11 February 2013, issued a Youth Declaration on the Year.
6 March 2013 – Early warning systems and cooperation among countries are some of the measures needed to increase resilience to water-related disasters, United Nations officials stressed today. “Preparing for the worst can save lives. That is why we need early warning systems, disaster education and resilient structures,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his remarks to the Special Thematic Session of the General Assembly on Water and Disasters.
27 February 2013 – While countries have made remarkable progress in the achievement of some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), there are still areas where too little has occurred since nations first committed to work on these issues in 2000, Helen Clark, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), told participants at the 2013 global conference "Making the MDGs work" in Bogotá, Colombia. Miss Clark warned that "there are goals and targets where too little progress has been made – for example on maternal mortality reduction, universal access to reproductive health, and improved sanitation."
21 February 2013 – The United Nations and its partners today called on the international community to prioritize ensuring access to water and sanitation to vulnerable populations in the 'post-2015' development agenda, stressing this would help combat inequality and promote human rights and sustainability.
21 February 2013 - The African Environment Outlook-3 (AEO-3) places special focus on links between environment and health, pointing to the statistic that environmental risks contribute 28% of Africa's disease burden. Diarrhoea, respiratory infections and malaria account for 60% of known environmental health impacts in Africa. The report also spotlights a lack of capacity to deal with the growing effects of climate change; inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene - in 2010, only 60% of the sub-Saharan Africa population had access to safe water; and poor waste disposal practices.
21 February 2013 – The goal of the 2013 World Day to Combat Desertification, celebrated annually on 17 June, is to create awareness about the risks of drought and water scarcity, calling attention to the importance of sustaining healthy soils as part of post Rio+20 agenda and post-2015 sustainable development agenda. This year's slogan calls for everyone to take action to promote preparedness and resilience to water scarcity, desertification and drought.
11 February 2013 – The United Nations launched the International Year of Water Cooperation, which seeks to provide a platform for countries to collaborate in the management of this precious resource in the interest of peace and development.
“Water is central to the well-being of people and the planet,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his video message for the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013. “We must work together to protect and carefully manage this fragile, finite resource.”
The General Assembly proclaimed 2013 International Year for Water Cooperation in 2010, following a proposal from Tajikistan. The Year will serve to raise awareness and prompt action on the multiple dimensions of water cooperation, such as sustainable and economic development, climate change and food security.
“Overexploitation, management, financing of water resources, all of these aspects are incredibly important and cooperation at different levels is therefore critical,” UNESCO Science Specialist Ana Persic said during a press conference to mark the start of the Year at UN Headquarters in New York.
The official launch of the Year took place at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) Headquarters in Paris, France. Opened by the agency's Director-General Irina Bokova, the event gathered representatives from inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organization (NGOs), scientists and policymakers from around the world to discuss themes such as existing mechanisms for water cooperation and regional, national and local cooperation around river basins.
Cooperation on water issues will also be the theme for World Water Day, observed on 22 March.
11 February 2013- The opening ceremony of the 2013 TUNZA International Youth Conference on the Environment saw the launch of Tunza Acting for a Better World: GEO-5 for Youth, which showcases innovative sustainable development projects run by young people around the world. The publication incorporates key findings from the UNEP Global Environment Outlook (GEO-5) in order to equip young readers with the latest science-based information on the current state of the global environment, including water, climate change, air quality, biodiversity, land use, and other areas.
8 February 2013 – Thailand must step up its efforts to ensure all their citizens have access to water and sanitation, an independent United Nations expert said on a press conference on 8 February, noting that there is currently a stark contrast between populations who are able to enjoy this basic need, and those who do not.
8 February 2013 – The severe disruption of water and sanitation services and a lack of access to basic hygiene in Syria have increased the risk of water-borne diseases among children, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned, following a nationwide assessment.
6 February 2013 - 17 years after its entry into force, the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) is turning into a global convention. Having received the necessary number of ratifications, the amendments to the UNECE Water Convention opening it for accession to all United Nations Member States enter into force on 6 February 2013.
This is a groundbreaking development as the Convention was originally negotiated as a regional instrument by countries of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). It is also a major milestone of the International Year of Water Cooperation celebrated in 2013.
Commenting the entry into force of the amendments, UNECE Executive Secretary Sven Alkalaj said: "Water is the critical resource of our century. While demands for water continue to increase, availability is dwindling. What is not often called attention to is that the water crisis is a transboundary water crisis. As sixty percent of the world's freshwaters are transboundary, water cooperation is critical to avoid conflicts and ensure effective and sustainable use of shared resources. This is where the legal and intergovernmental platform of the Water Convention as well as the experience accumulated under it are vital."
4 February 2013 - A large-scale operation is under way in Syria to secure safe water supplies for more than 10 million people – close to half the population, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said, amid reports that the quality and quantity of water is continuing to deteriorate with negative impacts for children's health.
29 January 2013 - UN Special Rapporteur Catarina de Albuquerque is visiting Thailand from 1 to 8 February 2013 to assess the country's developments and remaining challenges toward the realization of the human rights to water and sanitation. On 8 February at 11:00 am, Ms. de Albuquerque will share with the media the preliminary findings of her mission at a press conference at the premises of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
24 January 2013 - Have an opinion about climate change? Let your voice be heard on the Post-2015 Thematic Consultation on Water website where the Week 2 discussion in the Water Resources Management stream, coordinated by UNECE, focuses on climate change and water-related risks. Follow on Twitter (#waterpost2015) or on Facebook (WaterPost2015).
22 January 2013 – The United Nations General Assembly has established a working group that will focus on the design of a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) to promote global prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and environmental protection.
The SDGs seek to guide countries in achieving targeted outcomes within a specific time period, such as on universal access to sustainable energy and clean water for all, and will build on the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after their 2015 deadline.
The MDGs have been instrumental in driving down poverty rates and increasing access to education, healthcare, water and sanitation, but progress has not been uniform and the UN is currently ramping up efforts to help countries achieve the goals by the target date.
20 January 2013 – The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the UN University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) have developed the Water Learning Centre (WLC), an e-Learning programme to enhance national capacities to develop and implement sustainable natural resource management strategies at local, regional, sub-regional and basin scales.
18 January 2013 – On the occasion of the launch of 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation, the January-March issue of UNESCO's magazine "A World of Science" focuses on managing conflict and cooperation over water. This issue highlights case studies on water cooperation in different regions of the world and emphasizes that strong institutions and cooperative mechanisms reduce conflicts and promote peaceful resolution of water conflicts.
The UN World Water Development Report (WWDR) provides a comprehensive review of the state of the world’s freshwater resources. Until 2012, WWDR was published every three years. From 2014 on, the WWDR will become an annual report, which will be accompanied by a synthesis report published every five years.
The theme for WWDR5, to be published in 2014, is “Water and Energy”. The World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) is now carrying out a consultation with stakeholders from various fields to identify emerging and water related critical issues which could become potential WWDR themes for the 6th and 7th editions to be published in 2015 and 2016. WWAP launches a call for participation in a survey which is open until 21 January 2013.
18 January 2013 - The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, attended the 1st International Water Summit, which took place in Abu Dhabi from 15 to 17 January 2013. The Summit brought together policymakers, scientists, experts and business executives in order to promote water sustainability in arid regions, and to tackle the urgent water and wastewater challenges they are facing. Irina Bokova called for "a global compact on sustainable and more integrated water management", emphasizing that "water cooperation is one of the keys for water sustainability".
14 January 2013 - The sub-consultations component of the post-2015 thematic consultation on water have been launched. The sub-consultations, scheduled to take place between January and February 2013, are designed to engage stakeholders across four themes: water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); water resources management; wastewater and water quality; and voices. Participants are encouraged to participate through the Twitter account @waterpost2015 and using the hashtag #waterpost2015, as well as through the WaterPost2015 Facebook account.
20-21 August 2013: International High-Level Conference on Water Cooperation. Dushanbe, Tajikistan
8-10 January 2013: Preparing for the 2013 International Year. Water Cooperation: Making it Happen! Conference. Zaragoza, Spain
>> Draft Resolution on the implementation of the IYWC
>> IYWC official website
>> Decade's weekly
The Decade's weekly brings you every week the latest news from the Decade.
2011-2020: UN Decade on Biodiversity
22 May: International Day for Biological Diversity - Water and Biodiversity
Deserts and Desertification
2010-2020: UN Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification
17 June: World Day to Combat Desertification
5 June: World Environment Day 'Think, Eat, Save'
2011-2015: Sustainable sanitation: The Five-Year-Drive to 2015
2013: International Year of Water Cooperation