Heads of state and United Nations leaders gathered last week in Dushanbe, Tajikistan to celebrate the achievements of the Decade for Action: Water for Life 2005-2015, and to begin looking at proposals for moving forward with the Decade’s work.
When summarizing the successful outcomes of the Water for Life Decade, a number of achievements were highlighted including the implementation of integrated water resources management plans; water cooperation; the involvement of women as important stakeholders; the development of the global water community; and private sector participation.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that the place of water among the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will greatly surpass its placement among the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “Water is life. Water is health. Water is dignity. Water is a human right,” Mr. Ban emphasized.
“Water is life. Water is health. Water is dignity. Water is a human right”
Helen Clark, Administrator of UNDP, spoke of how the Decade had highlighted that “integrated approaches which cut across ministries and sectors are needed” for water issues, emphasizing the successful implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).
“IWRM brings together stakeholders from different sectors and levels of government to co-ordinate the development and management of water resources. The ultimate goal is to maximise economic and social welfare in an equitable manner, without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems,” Ms. Clark said.
Looking to the future, His Excellency Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, said “I would like to announce a new International Decade for Action under the motto ‘Water for Sustainable Development’, which we believe should become an important tool for promoting the implementation of sustainable development goals related to water.”
Mr. Ban expressed his support for the proposal, saying: “It would complement and support the achievement of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals for water. Let us resolve together to build upon the successes of the “Water for Life” Decade and keep up the momentum for this crucial year of 2015 and far beyond”.