International Annual UN-Water Zaragoza Conference 2012/2013
Preparing for the 2013 International Year. Water Cooperation: Making it Happen! 8-10 January 2013


Conference Secretariat: UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC)

The UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) facilitates information-sharing, implements communication activities and raises awareness in the framework of the International Decade for Action 'Water for Life' 2005-2015 which was approved by the United Nations General Assembly through its resolution 58/217 of 9 February 2004. The primary goal of the Decade is to promote efforts by different stakeholders to fulfill by 2015 the international commitments made on water and water-related issues. Such commitments include the Millennium Development Goals to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015, and the objectives established in the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development of developing integrated water resources management and water efficiency plans, and stopping countries from exploiting water in a non-sustainable way. The Decade provides a unique opportunity to build on efforts made to date to protect, use and manage freshwater resources in a sustainable manner.

Ebro River Basin Authority (CHE)

The Ebro River Basin Confederation was created in 1926 as the first River Basin Authority in the world. It is an autonomous organization under the Ministry for Environment, Rural and Marine Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain. The Ebro River Basin is the biggest river basin in Spain, covering 85.500 km2.

The main functions of the Ebro River Basin Confederation are:

  • The implementation and enforcement of the Basin Hydrological Plan.
  • The administration and control of the Hydraulic Public Domain (public waters). This includes water licensing to private users, quality control and environmental preservation.
  • The management of public dams, canals and hydraulic works of general interest to or affecting more than one region within the river basin.
  • The project management, building and operation of hydraulic works undertaken, whether self-funded, commissioned by the National Government, or agreed upon by other public or private entities.
  • Other functions resulting from agreements with regions, local councils or other public or private entities.

The confederate model of the River Basin Authority is remarkable. Its focus on participatory governance means users, and regional and local authorities, all take part in the decision-making process.

Global Compact CEO Water Mandate

Launched in July 2007 by the UN Secretary-General, the CEO Water Mandate is a public-private initiative designed to assist companies in the development, implementation, and disclosure of water sustainability policies and practices.

The CEO Water Mandate recognizes that the business sector, through the production of goods and services, impacts water resources – both directly and through supply chains. Endorsing CEOs acknowledges that in order to operate in a more sustainable manner, and contribute to the vision of the UN Global Compact and the realization of the Millennium Development Goals, they have a responsibility to make water-resources management a priority, and to work with governments, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to address this global water challenge. The CEO Water Mandate covers six elements: Direct Operations; Supply Chain and Watershed Management; Collective Action; Public Policy; Community Engagement; and Transparency.

Global Water Operators’ Partnership Alliance (GWOPA)

UN-HABITAT is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. UN-HABITAT's Water and Sanitation Programme is concerned with improving access to safe water and helping provide adequate sanitation to millions of low-income urban dwellers. UN-HABITAT hosts the Global Water Operators’ Partnership Alliance (GWOPA), an international network of actors working to promote and implement not-for-profit water operators’ partnerships to improve the capacity and performance of water utilities, with the ultimate objective of improving service to the poor.

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), is a specialized agency of the United Nations established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference. IFAD is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries.

IFAD’s mandate on water focuses on three strategic objectives:

  • strengthening the capacity of the rural poor and their organizations
  • improving equitable access to productive natural resources and technology
  • increasing access to financial services and markets

In recent decades, IFAD has supported changes in land and water governance as a way to improve rural poor people’s access to these natural resources, and to ensure poverty reduction, increased food security and better livelihoods. This involves working through community-based and civil society organizations and NGOs to better identify the changes that are needed, and with national and local governments to change policies and legislation. The aim is to empower rural poor people to participate in managing the common property resources on which they depend.

International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC)

Founded in 1968, IRC is a knowledge-focused NGO which works with a worldwide network of partner organisations in order to achieve equitable and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. IRC’s roots are in advocacy, knowledge management and capacity building. IRC is valued as a partner playing an influential role at the forefront of WASH sector thinking as an independent and global think-tank.

UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP)

The International Hydrological Programme (IHP) is the only intergovernmental programme of the UN system devoted to water research, water resources management, education and capacity building. The programme, tailored to Member States’ needs, is implemented in six-year phases – allowing it to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

Housed within IHP the PCCP (From Potential Conflict to Cooperation Potential) programme facilitates multi-level and interdisciplinary dialogues in order to foster peace, cooperation and development related to the management of transboundary water resources. It addresses situations where water users need support to manage their transboundary water resources in a peaceful and equitable manner. It capitalizes on the desire of the concerned parties to successfully manage their transboundary water resources in order to create a foundation upon which peace and cooperation are consolidated.

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). which is headquartered in Geneva (Switzerland), is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations. Its purpose is to contribute to the economic and social development of the region, coordinate actions directed towards this end and reinforce economic ties among countries and with other nations of the world. Through its work, UNECA provides advisory services to Governments, disseminates information and undertakes research to bring a regional perspective to global problems while introducing global concerns at the regional and sub-regional levels.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is aimed to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

Since its establishment, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has worked to promote sustainable water resources management practices through collaborative approaches at the national, regional and global levels. UNEP facilitates and catalyses water resource assessments in various developing countries, implements projects that assist countries in developing integrated water resource management plans, creates awareness of innovative alternative technologies and assists to develop, implement and enforce water resource management policies, laws and regulations.

World Bank

The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world.

The World Bank focuses on achievement of the Millennium Development Goals that call for the elimination of poverty and sustained development.

The Bank carries out projects and provides a wide variety of analytical and advisory services to help meet the development needs of individual countries and the international community.