Decade’s WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 17. 25 October 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
Tip of the week

The section on water scarcity is the most visited one on the Water for Life Decade’s website. Would you like to know why?

>> Visit the Decade’s thematic section on water scarcity

33% of the population in Cambodia has no access to an improved drinking-water source and 58% practices open defecation.


International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict

Date: 6 November 2013
Place: All around the world

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), over the last 60 years, at least 40 percent of all internal conflicts have been linked to the exploitation of natural resources, whether high-value resources such as timber, diamonds, gold and oil, or scarce resources such as fertile land and water. Conflicts involving natural resources have also been found to be twice as likely to relapse.

In 2001, the UN General Assembly declared 6 November of each year as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.

Though mankind has always counted its war casualties in terms of dead and wounded soldiers and civilians, destroyed cities and livelihoods, the environment has often remained the unpublicized victim of war. Water wells have been polluted, crops torched, forests cut down, soils poisoned, and animals killed to gain military advantage.

The United Nations attaches great importance to ensuring that action on the environment is part of conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding strategies - because there can be no durable peace if the natural resources that sustain livelihoods and ecosystems are destroyed.

>> More info >> Access to a selection of UN publications on water and conflicts

In the news Forthcoming events
#WaterCooperation Outcome document from Dushanbe Conference

The outcome document from the High Level International Conference on Water Cooperation, which took place in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, from 20 to 21 August 2013, has been released. The document includes the Dushanbe declaration and summarizes main debates and conclusions.
>> Access the outcome document PDF document

#WaterCooperation Save the date! Official closing event for the International Year of Water Cooperation

UNESCO, on behalf of UN-Water, and following an offer from the United Mexican States, will organize the official closing event of the International Year of Water Cooperation in Mexico City, Mexico. The event, which will take place on 5 and 6 December 2013, will provide an overview of the major achievements of the Year and set signals for its follow-up, particularly in the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda.

#WaterMandate Key learning and outcomes from latest CEO Water Mandate meetings

The CEO Water Mandate releases a summary of its recent multi-stakeholder working sessions, one on 4 September 2013 coinciding with World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, and another one on 19 September during the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in New York, USA.
>> Meeting summariesPDF document >> Agendas, participants lists and presentations

From the Decade’s programmes
#WaterEnergy 1st announcement: UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference. Preparing for World Water Day 2014: Water and Energy

Date: 13-16 January 2014
Place: Zaragoza, Spain
Organizers: UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC)

This conference, preparatory for World Water Day 2014, will analyze the commonalities and differences on the water and energy sectors and the advantages and disadvantages of partnerships. 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.
>> More infoPDF document

#RightToWater E-discussion to feed in to the UN Special Rapporteur’s handbook for realising the rights to water and sanitation

Date: 28 October - 15 November 2013
Place: Online
Organiser: Rural Water Supply Network

The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to water and sanitation is writing a handbook to provide practical guidance on how to realise the rights to water and sanitation. This three-week e-discussion will provide an opportunity to discuss specific aspects of realising the right as discussed in the handbook. The e-discussion will focus on three areas: (1) non-discrimination, how stakeholders can ensure inclusion of disadvantaged individuals and groups; (2) sustainability; how stakeholders engage for long-term and affordable access to services; and (3) the specific roles and responsibilities that the discussants have to realise the rights to water and sanitation.
>> Register for the e-discussion

#Post2015 Side-event on Measuring Inequalities in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: A new global tool for WASH and beyond

Date: 30 October 2013 Time: 13:15 to 14:45
Place: UN Headquarters, New York, USA

With the participation of Mr. Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary General, and Ms. Catarina de Albuquerque, UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.

#SDGs Africa Regional Consultative Meeting on the Sustainable Development Goals

Date: 31 October - 5 November 2013
Place: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Organisers: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB)

This meeting will provide a platform for African countries to identify, articulate and reach consensus on the region’s sustainable development priorities and goals, which will take into account those emerging from the region’s Post-2015 Development Agenda Process embodied in the African common position on the same. The consultative meeting is expected to adopt an outcome document that will serve as Africa’s common reference document and collective input to the work of the UN General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
>> More info

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

  • Establishing environmental sustainability in rowing

The Institute Team for the World - Environmental Alliance 2004+, in cooperation with the Greek Rowing Federation, has created and published a printed and electronic brochure in Greek “Establishing environmental sustainability in rowing“ to provide directions/suggestions for environmentally friendly practices when rowing. The guide aims to raise awareness about the importance of water among young rowers and has been distributed amongst the rowing clubs in Greece. The initiative has joined the Water for Life Decade’s campaign and the Decade’s logo has been placed on the front page of the brochure.

  • The Spanish Association of Scientific Films and Images (ASECIC)

ASECIC, member of the Water for Life Decade’s campaign, is organizing two events in the framework of the XIII Science Week which will take place in Madrid from 4 to 17 November 2013:

  • - On 6 November 2013 at 19:00h "The water that transformed Spain. The dams holding our water". With the support of different documentaries, this session will show how dams are constructed.
  • - On 13 November 2013 at 19:00h "The water that transformed Spain. Water, source of life". With the support of audiovisual materials, engineers, industry experts, environmentalists and documentary filmmakers they will discuss with the audience the importance of water in our lives and the need to save it.


  • I am Water Culture

The main objective of the project “I am Water Culture“ is to raise awareness and educate preschool, primary, secondary and high school students as well as community leaders, the industry sector and civil society in general on water issues. This training activity is coordinated by the Water Culture and Social Communication area of OperAgua Izcalli, which is a public entity for the provision of drinking water and wastewater services in the municipality of Cuautitl√°n Izcalli, Mexico. OperAgua Izcalli has joined the Water for Life Decade’s campaign and the logo will be used in its awareness raising campaigns on water culture, its corporate image and webpage.

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