Decade’s WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 43. 11 July 2014 
This week in focus  Editor’s note

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

Tip of the week
Tip of the week Compiling 32 of the most recent UN publications on water and sanitation, the 22nd edition of the Bimonthly Publications Review is now available.

>> Download the 22nd Bimonthly Publications ReviewPDF document
>> More publications accessible from the UN Documentation Centre on Water and Sanitation

Momentum builds to achieve more Millennium Development Goals by end of 2015: UN report

Millions of people's lives have improved due to concerted global, regional, national and local efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which serve as the foundation for the next global development agenda, according to the MDG Report 2014, launched on 7 July 2014 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

With many MDG targets already met on reducing poverty, increasing access to improved drinking water sources, improving the lives of slum dwellers and achieving gender parity in primary school, The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014, says many more targets are within reach by their 2015 target date. If trends continue, the world will surpass MDG targets on malaria, tuberculosis and access to HIV treatment, and the hunger target seems to be within reach. Other targets, such as access to technologies, reduction of average tariffs, debt relief, and growing political participation by women, show great progress. Since 1990, 2.3 billion people have gained access to an improved drinking water source. Over one-quarter of the world's population has gained access to improved sanitation since 1990, yet one billion people still resort to open defecation. The vast majority - 82 per cent - of people practicing open defecation now live in middle-income, populous countries. Much greater effort and investment will be needed to alter inadequate sanitation facilities

The MDG report is based on comprehensive official statistics and provides the most up-to-date summary of all Goals and their targets at global and regional levels. Results show that concentrated efforts to achieve MDG targets by national governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector are working to lift people out of extreme poverty and improve their futures.

"The Millennium Development Goals were a pledge to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity, and free the world from extreme poverty," Mr. Ban said. "The MDGs, with eight goals and a set of measurable time-bound targets, established a blueprint for tackling the most pressing development challenges of our time."

>> Full press releasePDF document
>> UN Press release
>> Millennium Development Goals Report 2014PDF document

In the news Forthcoming events
#WaterForLifeAward Don't forget to apply for the 2015 'Water for Life' UN-Water Best Practices Award!

The 'Water for Life' UN-Water Best Practices Award is now accepting nominations for its 5th edition. The theme is 'Water and Sustainable Development', which mirrors that of World Water Day 2015. Applications are accepted from 4 July to 15 September 2014.
>> More information

#WaterDisasters Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes: Better disaster data enables better decisions

Weather, climate and water-related disasters are on the rise worldwide, causing loss of life and setting back economic and social development by years, if not decades. From 1970 to 2012, 8 835 disasters, 1.94 million deaths, and US$ 2.4 trillion of economic losses were reported globally as a result of hazards such as droughts, extreme temperatures, floods, tropical cyclones and related health epidemics, according to a new report launched in Geneva on 11 July. The Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes 1970-2012 describes the distribution and impacts of weather, climate, and water-related disasters and highlights measures to increase resilience.
>> More information >> Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes 1970-2012PDF document

#Health&Climate The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) establish joint office for climate and health

On 8 July, the World Health Organization and the World Meteorological Organization have joined forces to tackle the increasing risks to human health posed by weather and climate hazards such as extreme temperatures, floods, droughts and tropical cyclones. A new WHO/WMO Climate and Health office has been established under the auspices of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) to promote the coordinated development and use of climate services to improve public health. It will increase awareness, build capacity, and connect meteorological services with experts in the health sector in an active partnership for climate adaptation and risk management.
>> More information

#SDG New UN Development goals said to be a 'Wonderful challenge'

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) President, Martin Sadjik has described the future Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a 'wonderful challenge' during an interview at the High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development in New York. The goals which will replace the existing targets ending in 2015, will take development in a 'new direction.' Mr Sadjik went on to say that the goals represent a unique opportunity to benefit the whole of humanity. Member States of the UN are meeting in New York at the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development, the main United Nations platform dealing with the Post-2015 Agenda. The Forum meets once a year under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
>> Listen to the interview

#RuralSanitation How and Why Countries are Changing to Reach Universal Access in Rural Sanitation by 2030

The proposed WASH Post 2015 goals for sanitation call for universal access to basic improved sanitation by the year 2030. Using largely small scale project approaches that have failed to deliver sustainable sanitation service delivery - especially for the poor -- most countries have not yet achieved the more modest MDG sanitation goals. However, many countries have already started working to achieve the goal of universal access by taking steps to make the transformational changes needed to stop doing "business as usual" within their sanitation programs.
By Eddy Perez, Lead Sanitation Specialist, Water and Sanitation Program, World Bank.
>> Continue reading

#WorldPopulationDay World Population Day 2014: Investing in Young People

Date: 11 July 2014
Place: Worldwide
Organiser: United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

As the world population edged to 7 billion people in 2011 (up from 2.5 billion in 1950), it has had profound implications for development. A world population of 7 billion is both a challenge and an opportunity with implications on sustainability, urbanization and access to water and sanitation services. In 1989, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme recommended that, in order to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues in the context of overall development plans and programmes and the need to find solutions for these issues, 11 July should be observed by the international community as World Population Day. This year's World Population Day focuses on Youth engagement and the Sustainable Development Agenda. Join the discussion on Twitter and Facebook using #wpd2014.
>> More information

#SDG 13th Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals

Date: 14-18 July 2014
Place: New York, USA
Organiser: United Nations Division for Sustainable Development

The Open Working Group (OWG) is entering the final phase of its work, starting in March 2013 with eight stock taking meetings, followed by consideration of elements for a goals and targets framework, at the 9th session in March 2014. Since then the OWG has forged an ambitious, extensive yet focused text. The 13th and final session will finalize and refine the framework and pass it on to the UN General Assembly.
>> More information
>> Zero Draft document

#Biodiversity Capacity-building workshop for Central, South and East Asia on ecosystem conservation and restoration to support achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets

Date: 14-18 July 2014
Place: Jeju, Republic of Korea
Organiser: Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

This workshop will focus on ecosystem conservation and restoration to support achievement of the Aichi biodiversity targets. Aichi Biodiversity Targets 5, 11 and 15 set quantitative global targets to reduce the loss of natural habitats, improve protected area networks and restore degraded areas. Through this workshop, the Secretariat plans to offer capacity-building to Parties within an integrated, participatory, approach to promote holistic planning and implementation at the landscape level.
>> More information

Latest videos

India: Managing Menstrual Hygiene
UN in Action. July 2014
Young girls in India are struggling to get an education due to the lack of facilities and understanding about their monthly menstruation. Combined with a social stigma that has been handed down for generations, many girls feel too ashamed to go to school at all, with up to a quarter of schoolgirls in India leaving school when they reach puberty. The UN's Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, WSSCC is working with the Indian government to change the curriculum in India, and change the future of girls globally.
>> More videos accessible from the UN water video library

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