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

Side event: World Water Day 2013 “Cooperation: the fundament of global water goals”

Date: 8 January 2013
Time: 1:30 pm
Venue: Ebro River Basin Authority
Convener: Government of the Netherlands in collaboration with UNESCO, UNECE and UNDESA

World Water Day (WWD) is held annually on 22 March to generate general attention on the importance of water and to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Stakeholders are invited to devote this Day, as appropriate in the national context, to concrete activities such as the promotion of public awareness.

Public celebrations of World Water Day aim at raising the awareness of the public at large about the seriousness of the water crisis and provoking a shift in the minds of people as of the importance of cooperation for addressing it.

Agenda for side event

  • Presentation of the organization and main messages for World Water Day. Expectations from the Government of the Netherlands. Alexander Verbeek, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Discussion in pairs on key questions on World Water Day
    • What messages?
    • What activities to be organized in The Netherlands and who should be engaged?
    • How to better promote activities worldwide?
    • What results to expect from World Water Day?
  • Presentation of results of discussions

Draft Messages

Water cooperation is a foundation for peace and sustainable development


  • Water cooperation is key to poverty eradication, social equity and gender equality.
    Access to clean water is the foundation for the fulfillment of basic human needs and contributes to the achievement of all the Millennium Development Goals. Inclusive and participatory governance of water and cooperation between different user groups can help to overcome inequity in access to water and thus contribute to poverty eradication and improve the living conditions and educational chances, especially of women and children.
  • Water cooperation creates economic benefits.
    All economic activities depend on water. Cooperation can lead to a more efficient and sustainable use of water resources, e.g. through joint management plans creating mutual benefits and better living standards.
  • Cooperation helps preserve water resources and protect the environment.
    Water cooperation helps the sharing of knowledge about the scientific aspects of water including data and information exchange, management strategies and best practices and knowledge about the role of water in preserving ecosystems, fundamental to sustainable development.
  • Water cooperation builds peace.
    Access to water can be a source of a conflict, but it is also a catalyst for cooperation and peace building. Cooperation on such a practical and vital issue as water management can help overcome cultural, political and social tensions, and can build trust between different groups; communities, regions or states.

Draft Programme of World Water Day

  • Multi-stakeholder meeting
  • Celebrations of World Water Day on 22 March
  • Technical workshops on water cooperation and poverty reduction and sustainable development; water cooperation and economic benefits; water cooperation for peace; DG/Post-2015
  • High-Level Panel