Decade’s WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 12. 20 September 2013 
This week in focus  Editor’s note

Welcome to the Decade’s Weekly! Every week it brings you the latest news from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015. Please feel free to forward this newsletter. You can also access this newsletter online.

 Tip of the week

Do you know who is part of the "Friends of Water" Group and what is their mandate?
>> Access the Friends of Water section on the Decade’s website


In Yemen, out of a population of 24 million, more than a half does not have access to clean water and proper sanitation.

World Tourism Day 2013: Tourism and Water

Date: 27 September 2013
Place: The Maldives and all around the world

In line with the 2013 United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, the 2013 theme for World Tourism Day is ’Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future’. Clean, accessible water is vital to tourism, running most of the sector’s businesses, from hotels and restaurants to leisure facilities and transportation. More importantly, wetland tourism is growing, with many of the world’s coastlines, lakes and other wetlands among the most popular tourism destinations.

On his message for World Tourism Day, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declares: "With unsustainable consumption and climate change threatening global water resources, this year’s World Tourism Day highlights the responsibility of the tourism industry to safeguard and intelligently manage water. In this International Year of Water Cooperation, I urge tourism establishments to cut consumption and improve waste management and I call on individuals to play their part by making environmentally conscious choices when they travel. By making water saving a priority we can all help to build the future we want."

Official World Tourism Day celebrations will take place in The Maldives but the World Tourism Organization is addressing the many links between tourism and water all year.

>> Official website

In the news Forthcoming events
#WaterCooperation Four African nations agree to improve use of key water resource under UN-backed plan

On 18 September, four African nations agreed to a United Nations-backed plan that seeks to optimize the use of a key underground aquifer system and improve the management of water resources. The Strategic Action Programme, signed at the Vienna headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), commits Chad, Egypt, Libya and Sudan to ensure the equitable use of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, a huge water resource that lies beneath the four nations. The Nubian aquifer is the world’s largest known ’fossil’ water aquifer system.
>> More info >> Regional strategic action programme for the Nubian Aquifer SystemPDF document

#UNGeneralAssembly UN General Assembly opens its 68th session with long-term development a prime goal

On 17 September, the UN General Assembly opened its annual session with its gaze firmly fixed on the decades ahead as its new President, Mr. Ashed, outlined the need to lay the groundwork for global sustainable development in the years following the end of the current development cycle in 2015. In pursuit of a far-sighted post-2015 development agenda, Mr. Ashe said he planned to convene three high-level events and three thematic debates. One of the thematic debates will focus on the roles of water, sanitation and sustainable energy in the post-2015 development agenda.
>> More info

From the Decade’s Programmes
#UnitedNationsWork The radio programme "Naciones Unidas en marcha" highlights the day-to-day work of the United Nations in pursuit of a more sustainable, fair and supportive world

The Millennium Campaign, in collaboration with UN agencies with offices in Spain and the Spanish Public National Radio, has launched the radio programme "Naciones Unidas en marcha" (the United Nations in motion). This weekly programme introduces the daily work of the United Nations in the field on poverty reduction, human rights, sustainability and humanitarian aid issues. The programme takes place from September 2013 to February 2014, every Monday at 9:15 and 20:15 (CET time) and every Saturday at 17:25 in Radio Exterior and every Tuesday at 10:45 in Radio 5. On 21 and 22 October UNW-DPAC will participate in the thematic programme dedicated to water issues.
>> Access the radio programme "Naciones Unidas en marcha"Available in Spanish

#WaterCooperation 1st Workshop "River Basin Commissions and other Joint Bodies for Transboundary Water Cooperation: Legal and Institutional Aspects"

Date: 23-24 September 2013
Place: Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

This workshop convened in the International Year of Water Cooperation aims to highlight opportunities and inspire effective practices/solutions in advancing the legal and institutional frameworks and tools for transboundary water cooperation through the exchange of experience and cross-fertilization within existing joint bodies, as well as to support the emergence of new joint bodies for transboundary water cooperation.
>> More info

#SustainableDevelopment 1st meeting of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

Date: 24 September 2013 Time: 3 pm
Place: UN Headquarters, New York, USA

One critical outcome of the Rio+20 Conference was the decision to establish a universal intergovernmental high-level political forum to address sustainable development issues. Under the theme "Building the future we want: from Rio+20 to the post-2015 development agenda", this first meeting is convened by the President of the UN General Assembly.
>> More info >> Draft programmePDF document

#MDGs 2013 Special Event to follow up on efforts made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals

Date: 25 September 2013 Time: 9:00 am
Place: UN Headquarters, New York, USA

This special event, organized in the framework of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly, will follow up on efforts made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The event will deal with the implementation of the MDGs, identify existing gaps to be addressed and pave the way for a transition from MDGs to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This will provide the occasion for leaders to identify actions to complete the MDG process and to provide guidance on priorities to focus on.
>> More info

#WaterRisks Tackling Water Risks to Ensure a Sustainable Future

Date: 25 September 2013 Time: 1:15 pm
Place: UN Headquarters, New York, USA
Organizers: The Governments of Switzerland and the Netherlands, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) and the World Water Council, with the participation of UN-Water

On the occasion of the UN General Assembly Special Event on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, this Ministerial luncheon will provide an opportunity for a high level roundtable discussion with country representatives, international organisations, civil society and the private sector on best practices and key factors of success to address water-related risks in five major areas: economic prosperity, human health, political stability, disaster risk management and governance.
>> More infoPDF document

You make the Decade! Who has joined the Water Decade campaign?

  • Queen’s Valley / La Vallée des Reines

The Queen’s Valley is a documentary and a web project that will be broadcasted worldwide on the Internet and on TV Channels by mid-January 2014. The project has two main components: a 52-minute documentary "A Dam’s Freedom", which describes the construction of the Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia through the stories of women, and a web section called "Free as Water" which consists of 15 videos covering 10 thematic modules organized around seven women’s characters and four regions of the Nile Valley. This initiative is organized by TV5 Monde, AFD (the French Development Agency), the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (Egypt) and the Nile Basin Initiative. The project will display and promote the Water for Life Decade’s logo.
Contact: Céline Hervé-Bazin

  • World Water Day 2014: from recreational to drinking water

The Unit of Public Health at the University of Rome "Foro Italico" , as a follow-up of activities organized in 2013, which included the 5th International Conference on Swimming Pool and Spa held in Rome from 9 to 12 April 2013, will organize on 21-22 March 2014 a congress dedicated to the different kinds of waters (including different uses and resources: from recreational uses in swimming pools or spas, wastewaters, freshwaters, etc.., to the sustainable management of drinking water). The congress will mainly focus on hygiene and public health emerging issues, but will also consider sociological and cultural aspects. The initiative has joined the Water for Life Decade and has been authorized the use of the Decade’s logo for the meeting.
Contact: Vincenzo Romano Spica

  • Minas Gerais Award for Environmental Management / Prêmio Mineiro de Gestão Ambiental (PMGA)

The União Brasileira para a Qualidade (UBQ) has been organizing since 2005 the Minas Gerais Award for Environmental Management / Prêmio Mineiro de Gestão Ambiental (PMGA). The objective of the award is to provide incentives for organizations located in the Brazilian department of Minas Gerais to pursuit environmental management excellence in their business practices. The Award has joined the Water for Life Decade’s campaign and has been authorized the use of the Decade’s logo.
Contact: Ronaldo Simão

Want to be part of the Decade’s campaign? Join us!