International journalists, experts and a number of other participants from more than 35 countries took part from 24 to 25 September in a seminar organised on the role of media and communicators by the United Nations Office to Support International Decade for Action "Water for Life" 2005-2015 (UNO-IDfA).
Through the Media Consultation, UNO-IDfA intended to raise awareness about the connection between water and climate change, explore the role of communicators in shaping public opinion, and identify best practices and information-exchange methods, among others. The conclusions point out that the role of media and communicators as information multipliers is paramount to public advocacy and awareness-raising. Besides, the United Nations' commitment to the information and communication has been strengthened.
The United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action ´Water for Life´ 2005-2015 (UNO-IDfA) announces a change in leadership. Ms. Maestu has been appointed to serve UNO-IDfA as Coordinator starting from 15 September 2009.
Her extended professional career in the field of water, international relations, national civil servant positions and international advisor consultancies include coordination of the preparation of the economic analysis of River Basin Management Plans in implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the economic evaluation of infrastructure investment projects and programs and European Funded Programs.
>> Press Release [ - 380 KB]
25 May - On 25 May, on the occasion of Africa Day, the United Nations Office to support the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ 2005–2015 and Casa Africa published the conclusions and recommendations from the International Meeting on Water and Cooperation in Africa, which took place from 20 to 22 April 2009 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. The main objective of the meeting was to reinforce cooperation tools and mechanisms that will strengthen the capacities of African countries to achieve the Millennium Development target to ‘halve by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation’. The organizers will also publish a complete dossier with all the meeting materials (final programme, abstracts, presentations, etc.), which will be available in electronic format. If your organization wishes to receive it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Expo 2008 was an international exposition held from 14 June to 14 September 2008 in Zaragoza, Spain under the theme "Water and Sustainable Development". More than one hundred countries, dozens of companies and NGOs, as well as UN-Water had pavilions at the Expo 2008. The UN-Water pavilion hosted events during the Expo and featured projected posters from international artists on the theme Water for Life. The Expo 2008 hosted performers and artists and featured spectacular architecture with the 80 metre high transparent Water Tower, designed by Enrique de Teresa to evoke a drop of water, Zaha Hadid's Bridge Pavilion and the river aquarium. The Expo drew world's attention to one of the greatest environmental challenges of the 21st century.
The United Nations officially launched the International Year of Sanitation to accelerate progress for 2.6 billion people worldwide who are without proper sanitation facilities. Every year inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene contribute to the deaths of 1.5 million children. “Access to sanitation is deeply connected to virtually all the Millennium Development Goals, in particular those involving the environment, education, gender equality and the reduction of child mortality and poverty,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “An estimated 42,000 people die every week from diseases related to low water quality and an absence of adequate sanitation. This situation is unacceptable.” The International Year of Sanitation, 2008, is a theme year set by the UN General Assembly in December 2006 to help put this global crisis at the forefront of the international agenda.
On the occasion of unveiling a new exhibit at United Nations Headquarters, organized by the American Museum of Natural History linked to the 'Water for Life' Decade, Ban Ki-moon has called for greater efforts to ensure the most basic of human needs – safe water. “Safe drinking water and adequate sanitation are crucial for poverty reduction, crucial for sustainable development, and crucial for achieving any and every one of the Millennium Development Goals,” Mr. Ban stated, referring to the global targets to slash poverty, illiteracy, disease and other social ills by 2015 collectively known as the MDGs.
A United Nations office to support the International Decade for Action “Water for Life” 2005-2015 opened in Zaragoza, Spain, on 5 October 2007. The office will be managed by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and will facilitate the coordinated implementation of UN-Water’s work on water and sanitation, especially in the areas of communication and advocacy to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities to solve global water and sanitation issues.
>> Access the press release [ - 155 KB]
The international community agreed to take action to improve access to Sanitation, along with water and human settlements, at the 13th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) in May 2005. The following year, the UN General Assembly decided to assign 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation (IYS), with the overall objective of accelerating progress on sanitation to help save lives and foster economic and social development. The IYS is expected to build on decisions taken by the CSD and help to keep the issue of sanitation at the forefront of the global agenda. It will raise the issue prominently to politicians, civil society, and the public in general focusing on the need to take effective action.
This year’s theme for World Water Day, which is celebrated each year on 22 March, is 'Coping with Water Scarcity'. The theme highlights the significance of cooperation and importance of an integrated approach to water resource management at both international and local levels. Equity and rights, cultural and ethical issues are essential to be addressed when dealing with limited water resources. Imbalances between availability and demand, the degradation of groundwater and surface water quality, intersectoral competition, interregional and international disputes, all center around the question of how to cope with scarce water resources.
In partnership with the United Nations and MTV, Jay-Z shares his experiences in the documentary "The Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life". The film will be aired worldwide, starting on November 24 at MTV USA and will be available at MTV’s website. It is a joint effort to get young people involved in the world's water crisis. Struck by the sight of children playing near open sewers in an Angolan slum, rap star Jay-Z thought back to life in the "hood" — the poor neighborhood where he grew up – exclaiming: "In my business, we like to say we're from the hood, we're not in the hood. By no means. Not even close."
The Human Development Report 2006, launched on 9 November in Cape Town, South Africa, is subtitled ‘Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis’. The report highlights that clean water and sanitation are amongst the most powerful drivers for human development. Access to water and sanitation extends opportunities, enhances dignity and helps create a virtuous cycle of improving health and rising wealth. The report highlights poverty, unequal access, wars, migration and unsustainable consumption patterns as the main contributors of the water crisis. It puts forward the important message that we are in the midst of a crisis in water and sanitation that overwhelmingly affects the poor. A crisis, in which too many people do not have access to enough water under the right conditions to live.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have set us on a common course to push back poverty, inequality, hunger and illness. The world has pledged to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Entering the International Decade for Action, Water for Life, 2005–2015, this report looks at the challenge of meeting the MDG target for drinking water and sanitation. Achieving the MDG drinking water and sanitation target poses two major challenges: a rapid pace of urbanization, which requires a major effort even to keep up the current coverage levels; a huge backlog of rural people unserved with basic sanitation and safe drinking water, which calls for an intensive mobilization of resources to reduce the vast coverage gap between urban and rural populations.
The triennial UN World Water Development Report is a joint undertaking of 24 UN agencies comprising UN-Water in partnership with governments and other stakeholders, and coordinated by WWAP. It presents a comprehensive picture of freshwater resources in all regions and most countries of the world as it tracks progress towards the water-related targets of the UN Millennium Development Goals and examines a range of key issues including population growth and increasing urbanization, changing ecosystems, food production, health, industry and energy, as well as risk management, valuing and paying for water and increasing knowledge and capacity. Sixteen case studies look at typical water resource challenges and provide valuable insights into different facets of the water crisis and management responses.
Finally, the report outlines a set of conclusions and recommendations to guide future action and encourage sustainable use, productivity and management of our increasingly scarce freshwater resources. WWDR2 is aimed at a wide audience, including all those interested or directly involved in the formulation and implementation of water-related policies, as well as managers, researchers, teachers, students and, of course, water users themselves.
The African Water Vision states that water can make an immense difference to Africa’s development if it is managed well and used wisely. Given clear policies and strategies and real commitments to implementation, we can use water to help eradicate poverty, reduce water-related diseases and achieve sustainable development. The African Water Development Report (AWDR) provides African countries and other stakeholders with the necessary tools and skills to monitor the goals and targets of the African Water Vision. Besides establishing a lasting and durable mechanism to monitor progress made in implementing the African Water Vision, the AWDR strives to provide African decision makers with an authoritative basis for managing Africa’s water resources.
9 August 2006 – Educating young people on the devastating impact of the world's water crisis got a boost today as Secretary-General Kofi Annan joined Def Jam President and CEO Jay-Z and MTV President Christina Norman, along with representatives of key UN agencies, at United Nations Headquarters in New York to launch a joint initiative aimed at spotlighting the issue.
Next month during his international concert tour, Jay-Z will travel to Turkey and South Africa, and several other areas affected by water crisis, while being documented for the MTV special, Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life. The series is part of MTV's ongoing initiatives to educate, empower and involve young people regarding global issues. The networks first-person biographical series, and will air on November 24, reaching 179 counties on 50 of MTV locally programmed channels.
Educating young people on the devastating impact of the world's water crisis got a boost today as Secretary-General Kofi Annan joined Def Jam President and CEO Jay-Z and MTV President Christina Norman, along with representatives of key UN agencies, at United Nations Headquarters in New York to launch a joint initiative aimed at spotlighting the issue.
Next month during his international concert tour, Jay-Z will travel to Turkey and South Africa, and several other areas affected by water crisis, while being documented for the MTV special, Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life . The series is part of MTV's ongoing initiatives to educate, empower and involve young people regarding global issues. The networks first-person biographical series, and will air on November 24, reaching 179 counties on 50 of MTV locally programmed channels.
>> SDGs Zero Draft Document
>> 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
>> Decade's weekly
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
Deserts and Desertification
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