Decade’s WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 13. 27 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

You can now access UN publications on water and sanitation by country from the UN Documentation Centre on Water and Sanitation (undcws).
>> Access publications by country


86% of the people in Madagascar don’t have access to a safe toilet, 39% of the population practices open defecation and 50% live without access to safe drinking-water.


At UN, world leaders agree to scale up actions against poverty, set new development goals

World leaders meeting at United Nations Headquarters agreed on 25 September to take bolder action against extreme poverty, hunger and disease, and called for a summit to take place in 2015 to adopt the next set of anti-poverty goals, which will heavily focus on achieving sustainable development.

During a special event on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the 68th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), countries adopted an outcome document which acknowledges the progress made since the eight global targets were set in 2000, while also committing to do more to tackle many remaining challenges and accelerate progress.

Countries also agreed to hold a high-level summit in September 2015 to adopt a new set of goals that will balance the three elements of sustainable development: providing economic transformation and opportunity to lift people out of poverty, advancing social justice and protecting the environment.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presented to countries his report ’A Life of Dignity for All’, which outlines his vision for bold action to achieve the MDGs and for a new and responsive sustainable development framework that meets the needs of both people and planet.

Mr. Ban said the post-2015 framework "must be bold in ambition yet simple in design, supported by a new partnership for development."

"It needs to be rights-based, with particular emphasis on women, young people and marginalized groups. And it must protect the planet’s resources, emphasize sustainable consumption and production and support action to address climate change," he said.

>> More info >> Access the report ’A Life of Dignity for All’

In the news Forthcoming events
#UNGA Post-2015 agenda must include goal on water resources, Tajik Premier tells UN

In his speech to the 68th General Assembly high-level debate on 25 September, Prime Minister of Tajikistan Oqil Oqilov said that "water is at the core of sustainable development as it is closely linked to number of key global challenges." The Tajik capital of Dushanbe hosted last month a high-level international conference on water cooperation. At that time, the Government of Tajikistan put forward an initiative to develop a post-2015 global water vision which could serve as "the road map" for the implementation of a water-related sustainable development goal.
>> More info

#Desertification Ban says measured progress needed to halt and reverse land degradation

On 23 September, urging a global paradigm shift towards land stewardship, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the need to work with countries and local communities to protect and sustain the world’s fragile drylands and restore degraded land. In his message to the 11th Conference of Parties of the UN Convention on Desertification, Mr. Ban said "Healthy land is a prerequisite for food and water security and necessary to avert political instability and to support climate change resilience and preserve valuable biodiversity".
>> More info

From the Decade’s programmes
#Water&Energy Save the Date! 13-16 January 2014: UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference. Preparatory Conference for World Water Day 2014: Water and Energy

Organized by UNW-DPAC on behalf of UN-Water, this conference will analyze the commonalities and differences on the water and energy sectors and the advantages and disadvantages of partnerships. The Conference will look into setting up, composition, financing, incentives, synergies, skills, cost effectiveness and support for and from partnerships as well as definition of responsibilities and liabilities, benefit sharing, symmetries, long term sustainability, negotiation and flexibility required. The Conference aims to draw lessons on what are the factors that make successful partnerships in water and energy, the role of different actors and how to scale up partnerships.

#Post2015 2013 Budapest Water Summit: The Role of Water and Sanitation in the Global Sustainable Development Agenda

Date: 8-11 October 2013
Place: Budapest, Hungary
Organizers: Government of Hungary in collaboration with the World Water Council and UNESCO

The objective of this high-level summit is to take stock of the various developments, in and outside the UN system, in preparing water-related goals for the post Rio+20 development agenda. The expected outcome is one overarching SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on water and sanitation that corresponds and responds to multidimensional challenges.
>> More info

#IDDR International Day for Disaster Reduction 2013

Date: 13 October 2013
Place: All around the world

International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) offers an opportunity to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. IDDR is a day to celebrate how people and communities are reducing their risk to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of disaster risk reduction. It’s also a day to encourage every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations. The 2013 theme for the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is "Living with disability and disasters".
>> More info

#SouthAsia 5th South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN): Sanitation for All, All for Sanitation

Date: 22-24 October 2013
Place: Kathmandu, Nepal

The SACOSAN process is instrumental in generating political will towards better sanitation in South Asia. This governmental regional conference intends to accelerate progress in sanitation and hygiene promotion in South Asia and to enhance people’s quality of life. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are the participating countries. Different UN agencies such as UNICEF and WHO also participate.
>> More info

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

  • WaterLex

WaterLex is an international non-governmental organization which develops sustainable solutions based on human rights to improve water governance worldwide. WaterLex believes in a world in which water resources management and governance secure human rights and sustainable development to everyone. WaterLex has joined the Water for Life Decade and the Decade’s logo is being displayed on the WaterLex Legal Database on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation. The Decade will also be promoted through the upcoming publication of case law pertaining to the realization of the human right to water and sanitation.

  • Mineral water through their labels

The Spanish Society of Friends of the National Museum of Natural Sciences along with the Spanish National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN) and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) organize the conference "Mineral waters through their labels" on 3 December 2013 at 19:00 in the Museum’s hall. The Society of Friends of the Museum collaborates with the Museum of Natural Sciences in the dissemination of cultural, educational and recreational activities and promotes scientific and natural heritage. The conference promotes and displays the Water for Life Decade’s logo.

  • Verdensorganisationen for Sundhed & Ansvar (VOSA)

VOSA is an association that has been founded with the vision of saving the world from poverty and harm. VOSA International has created the WEHDA label ­ water, energy, health, disease, air ­ which means clean and free access to basic needs, such as food and clean water, for people without resources. The initiative has joined the Water for Life Decade’s campaign and has been authorized the use of the Decade’s logo.

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