Decade’s WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 37. 23 May 2014 
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
The UN Deputy Secretary General invites you to the global launch of the UN sanitation campaign to end open defecation!
2.5 billion people worldwide lack access to basic sanitation. The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson has initiated, on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a renewed effort to drive progress on sanitation in the lead up to the 2015 target date of the Millennium Development Goals and beyond. Break the silence on open defecation and improve sanitation for all!
Wednesday 28 May 2014, 10:00 - 11:00 am NY
>> More information
>> Follow live event webcast on UN Web TV

Save the date for the 2015 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference! 15-17 January 2015

The post-2015 international agenda for water will be decided upon in 2015. The 2015 UN-Water International Zaragoza Conference ’Water and sustainable development: From vision to action’ will start the year by focusing on how to bring the agenda into action; a practical event on tools for implementation.

The UN-Water Conferences serve to prepare for World Water Day, focusing on "water and sustainable development" in 2015.

More than 300 participants from United Nations agencies and programmes, experts, representatives of the business community, governmental and non-governmental organizations will meet from 15 to 17 January 2015 in Zaragoza, Spain, to discuss the tools for implementing the post-2015 agenda for water. 2015 is the year the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) come to their end and is also the last year of the Water for Life Decade so it is especially important for taking stock of and learning from achievements as well as planning the next steps.

The conference will mark an important date in water history, as it brings together a decade of lessons learned, experiences from all over the world and summarises progress on water and sanitation, with a better understanding of how to shape future goals. Reflecting upon previous events such as Rio+20 and looking towards World Water Day 2015 and beyond, save the date and get involved!

>> More informationPDF document

In the news Forthcoming events
#UNPublications UN bimonthly publications review 21 now available!

The 21st edition of UN Bimonthly Publications Review is now available. Every two months, the review collates publications produced by United Nations agencies and programmes on issues related to water and sanitation. This edition brings together 31 UN publications from a range of water and sanitation related issues including: biodiversity, climate change, integrated water resources management (IWRM), gender, health and many more. All publications are available online as free downloadable PDFs.
>> UN Bimonthly Publications Review 21PDF document

#SyriaDrought Conflict, drought impact crop prospects in Syria, UN agency says

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) released its latest food security outlook for Syria through its Global Information and Early Warning System as farmers are preparing to harvest winter grains over the next few weeks. The report made clear that drought and ongoing conflict are not only adding pressure to Syria’s already dire food security situation, but also increasing the need for imports and driving up prices. The FAO reported that "rainfall picked up in March and early April as winter crops reached maturity, but an exceptionally dry January-February period had already affected crops in the crucial establishment and growth phases"..
>> More information

#AfricaDisaster Climate change threat to Africa's resilience

The 5th African Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, organised by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) from 13 to 16 May, summarised that in planning a disaster resilient future Africa will have to take into account that it is the region of the world that will suffer most from climate change. Keynote speaker Prof. Oliver C. Ruppel, coordinating lead author on the Africa chapter of the 5th Assessment Report of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said Africa would suffer particularly in the areas of water scarcity and drought, food insecurity and ill health. "Climate-related hazards that we experience more and more have very negative outcomes especially on people living in poverty," he said.
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#SyriaRightToWater Syria: Violation of the right to water in Aleppo unacceptable, say UN experts

Two UN experts have warned "Interference with water supplies even in the context of an ongoing conflict is entirely unacceptable" in reference to a recent incident in which the city of Aleppo has had intermittent water since the beginning of May 2014, with a total cut in supply from 10 May with perhaps a million people left without access to water and sanitation. The experts stressed "depriving people of their right to access safe water, not only denies them a basic and fundamental human right, but also an essential element to support life and health" adding that "if deliberate, the targeting of a civilian population to deprive it of essential supplies such as water is a clear breach of both international humanitarian and human rights law which binds all parties."
>> More information
>> Statement from UN Secretary-General

#OpenDefecation Let’s talk openly about defecation and drinking water

Do you remember the scene in the hit film Slumdog Millionaire, where the little boy plunges under a pool of faeces to get to iconic Indian movie star Amitabh Bachchan? Remember that the boy had been using a shared latrine, and that the latrine dumped into a river? It made for a great-and funny-movie moment, but unfortunately it is reality for millions of people, not just in South Asia, but around the world.
By Nicholas Alipui, UNICEF’s Director of Programmes
>> Continue reading

Latest videos

Brazil: The water and waste warrior
UNTV 21st Century. April 2014
This documentary follows United Nations Special Rapporteur Catarina Alberquerque on a mission to investigate the water and sanitation situation in Brazil. Ms. Alberquerque reports on the water issues at ground level and delivers the message of water as a human right.
>> More videos accessible from the UN water video library

#AfricaWater 5th Africa Water Week (AWW) and 9th AMCOW General Assembly

Date: 26-31 May 2014
Place: Abuja, Nigeria
Organizers: African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), African Union Commission (AUC)

This event represents a political commitment at the highest level with over 1000 participants from governments, regional institutions, international partners, the private sector, the scientific community, civil society, and the media from all over the world, and in particular Africa, meeting to discuss and collectively seek solutions to Africa’s water resources, and sanitation challenges. The 5th AWW will focus on the Africa Water Vision 2025 and serve as a platform for improving understanding of why managing resources wisely is key to development endeavours at various levels and why a more holistic water agenda beyond WASH (WASH-Plus) is crucial for the post-2015 development framework. UN-Water chair participates in the Opening Plenary on 26 May.
>> More information

#AsiaSanitation 3rd Asian Sanitation Dialogue: Making sanitation a sustainable business

Date: 27-29 May 2014
Place: Manila, Philippines
Organizers: Asian Development Bank (ADB)

The 3rd Asian Sanitation Dialogue will emphasize a comprehensive approach to sanitation and focus on packaging on-site sanitation, wastewater and septage management projects as viable business opportunities. There will be discussions on solution options, addressing the policy and capacity gaps; adoption of appropriate technologies; dealing with financing, viability and affordability issues; promoting performance-based contracts and output-based incentives; and demonstrating health, socioeconomic and environmental benefits. There will also be sessions on green cities, solid waste management, and other cross-cutting issues to show holistic planning, bold strategies, and innovative approaches in achieving environmental sustainability.
>> More information

#Water&Cities Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Integration Segment: Sustainable Urbanisation

Date: 27-29 May 2014
Place: United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA
Organizers: United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

This event will demonstrate how urbanization can be an effective tool for the integration of economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. Attending the three-day event will be high-level representatives of Member States, including Heads of Government, ministers and mayors, the United Nations system, civil society actors and the private sector. The meeting will feature various interactive panel discussions, dialogues, and a town-hall style meeting. High-level roundtable events and side events will focus on different urbanization issues, including water, sanitation and waste management among others.
>> More information

#Water&Ecosystems International Conference: Ecosystems, Economy and Society: How large-scale restoration can stimulate sustainable development

Date: 29-30 May 2014
Place: US National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC, USA
Organizers: Veolia Institute, US National Academy of Sciences, Agence Française de Développement (AFC) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

This event will provide an international platform for scientists, practitioners, NGOs, business leaders and policymakers to discuss remarkable case studies, best practices and share better insights on the potential of large-scale ecosystem restoration, together with the recovery of ecosystems functionalities, continuity and biodiversity. Examples of successful initiatives to be discussed include: Watershed Protection for Drinking Water (city supplies), Reforestation and Poverty Alleviation, Wetlands Engineering, etc.. The event will also offer a timely contribution in the context of the post-MDGs 2015 period and the preparation of action-oriented Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is an associated partner to this event.
>> More information

You make the Decade! Who has joined the Water Decade campaign?
  • VII International Congress of Land Planning

The Interprofessional Association of Land Planning (FUNDICOT) has organised the VII International Congress of Land Planning to be held from 27 to 29 November 2014, at the Palacio Municipal de Congresos, Madrid, Spain. This conference aims to disseminate good practices and provide recommendations for land development that is environmentally sustainable, balanced and socio-economically cohesive. In organising this congress, FUNDICOT has joined the "Water for life" Decade’s campaign.

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