Decade’s WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 45. 25 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
"Water and Sustainable Development" 2015 Zaragoza Conference website now online!
The UN-Water International Zaragoza Conference in January 2015 will start the year focusing on how to bring the post-2015 international agenda on water and sanitation into action. More than 300 participants from UN 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 draw conclusions based on existing practice and the exchange of views between governments and stakeholders. This is also the last year of the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ so it is especially important for taking stock of and learning from achievements as well as planning the next steps.

>> Conference website

The UN Open Working Group has adopted its final proposal for Sustainable Development Goals

The UN Open Working Group (OWG) tasked with formulating a proposed set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2015-2030 convened its last meeting from 14 to 18 July in New York. On 19 July, the Group adopted by acclamation a report (the Zero Draft) containing 17 proposed SDGs and 169 targets.

"The proposal of the Open Working Group brings together a breadth of economic, social and environmental issues in a single set of goals like never before. All those involved in crafting these 17 goals can be proud of themselves," Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Wu Hongbo said in a news release.

Established in 2012 in accordance with the Rio+20 Outcome Document, "The Future We Want", the OWG is an intergovernmental forum gathering 30 members from the five regional groups of the United Nations. The document builds on the results of a 12-month discussion phase.

The SDG final "Zero Draft" will be reviewed by the 68th session of the UN General Assembly from 16 to 29 September 2014. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will then submit a synthesis report in November, in order to prepare the ground for the final adoption of SDGs in September 2015.

References to water and sanitation issues are found in 5 of the proposed 17 goals and especially under proposed goal 6, "Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all".

>> UN press release
>> Zero Draft Document
>> Sustainable Development Goals
>> Open Working Group

In the news Forthcoming events
#HumanDevelopment Persistent vulnerability threatens human development, warns flagship UN report

Reducing vulnerability and strengthening resilience are critical to securing human development progress, the United Nations says in a flagship report released on 24 July that examines the risks posed by natural or human-induced disasters and crises and offers ways to tackle them. The 2014 Human Development Report, launched in Tokyo by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), says that 1.2 billion people live on 1.25USD a day or less. At the same time, the UNDP Multidimensional Poverty Index reveals that almost 1.5 billion people in 91 developing countries are living in poverty with overlapping deprivations in health, education and living standards.
>> Full press release >> 2014 Human Development Report

#SoilDegradation UN agency calls for urgent action to protect global soil from depletion, degradation

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is calling for urgent action to improve the health of the world's limited soil resources to ensure that future generations have enough supplies of food, water and energy. "Soil is the basis for food, feed, fuel and fibre production," Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General, said on 24 July. "Without soils we cannot sustain life on earth and where soil is lost it cannot be renewed on a human timeline."
>> Full press release

#WaterGaza Gaza: UN issues emergency appeal, begins airlift to meet urgent humanitarian needs

The United Nations agency assisting Palestinian refugees has issued an emergency appeal for 60 million (USD) to respond to the urgent humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza. Refugees include tens of thousands who have fled their homes in the wake of the current Israeli military offensive. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) also noted the number of displaced people seeking safety in its facilities exceeds 84,000 and may soon reach 100,000. The main priority for humanitarian agencies continues to be the provision of food, water, mattresses and hygiene items, as well as fuel for essential water, health and sewage facilities.
>> Full press release

#Water&Islands SIDS outcome document agreed

The 3rd International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) will be held from 1 to 4 September 2014 in Apia, Samoa. On 11 July, the SIDS PrepCom decided to submit the draft outcome document agreed to the Conference for adoption. The document recognizes SIDS face numerous challenges with respect to freshwater resources and have included a specific chapter on water and sanitation.
>> Draft outcome document of the 3rd International Conference on Small Island Developing States >> Mr. Wu’s Blog on Water and Sanitation

#Water&Energy Executive summary of United Nations World Water Development Report 5 now available in Japanese

The 5thedition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR 2014) seeks to inform decision-makers (inside and outside the water and energy domains), stakeholders and practitioners about the interlinkages, potential synergies and trade-offs, and to highlight the need for appropriate responses and regulatory frameworks that account for both water and energy priorities. An executive summary of the report has now been made available in Japanese.
>> WWDR 2014 in JapanesePDF document

#CholeraHaiti New sanitation campaign aims to end cholera in Haiti

UNICEF and the Haitian government intensified the fight against cholera with the launch on 16 July of the National Sanitation Campaign, aiming to eliminate open defecation in the country. The National Sanitation Campaign will target 55 communities in the 10 departments, covering 3.8 million people, 2,500 schools and 500 health centres. "Until every household has access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, cholera and other water-borne diseases will remain a potential threat to vulnerable families throughout the country," said Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. "We count on the support of the UN and that of international partners to make this a reality". The "Community-Led Total Sanitation" (CLTS) approach encourages behaviour change and leadership at community level.
>> More information

#SavaRiver Signature of Policy on the Exchange of Hydrological and Meteorological Data and Information in the Sava River Basin

Within the 35th Session of the International Sava River Basin Commission (ISRBC), the representatives of the national hydrological and meteorological services (NHMSs) of the Sava River Basin countries (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia) met in Ljubljana (Slovenia) to sign the "Policy on the Exchange of Hydrological and Meteorological Data and Information in the Sava River Basin". The adoption of such a policy presents an opportunity to translate the provisions of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Resolutions 25 (Cg-XIII) and 40 (Cg-XII) on the international exchange of hydrological and meteorological data and information into an operational tool.
>> More information

#Water&Hepatitis World Hepatitis Day: Think again

Date: 28 July 2014
Place: Worldwide
Organizer: World Health Organization (WHO)

Every year on 28 July, WHO and partners mark World Hepatitis Day to increase the awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis and the diseases that it causes. Viral hepatitis affects millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic liver disease and killing close to 1.4 million people every year. Hepatitis, a broad term for inflammation of the liver, remains largely ignored or unknown and has a number of infectious and non-infectious causes. Among the infectious causes, hepatitis A and hepatitis E are associated with inadequate water supplies and poor sanitation and hygiene. World Hepatitis Day provides an opportunity to focus on specific actions and urge policymakers, health workers and the public to 'Think again' about this silent killer.
>> More information

#AfricaWater 2nd International Forum of NGOs: "Access to Water for All in Africa"

Date: 30-31 July 2014
Place: Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire
Organisers: NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee, UNESCO

Experts, representatives of international NGOs, stakeholders on the ground, men and women from different backgrounds will gather to discuss, exchange and share their experiences on different aspects of the issues addressed: progress and obstacles, the pollution problem, role of education and traditions, international decisions and their implementation, conflicts, etc. The Forum is intended primarily for NGOs in official partnership with the Organization, but is open also to other organizations and institutions interested in the topics.
>> More information

From the Decade’s Programmes
#WaterValuation Lectures series "Knowledge and Values" and Summer course "Water as an economic resource"

Date: 31 July-1 August 2014
Place: Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo, Palacio de la Magdalena, Santander, Spain
Organizers: Menendez Pelayo International University

The Menendez Pelayo International University organizes a series of lectures on the issue "Knowledge and Values". Josefina Maestu, Director of the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC), participates in these lectures on 31 July at 19:00h with a presentation on "Water cooperation in the world". Within the program of the 2014 summer courses, UNW-DPAC also participates in the course "Water as an economic resource" with a presentation on "Value and water allocation formulas" on 1 August at 11:00h and in the roundtable debate at 12:30h.
>> More informationAvailable in Spanish

#NonRevenueWater Summary report from "Regional Workshop on Non-revenue Water Management in Central Asia" now available!

From 7-9 July 2014, the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC), together with the Global Water Operators' Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA)/UN-Habitat and the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources of the Republic of Tajikistan, organized a regional workshop on "Capacity Development, Water Operators’ Partnerships and Financing for Non-revenue Water Management" in order to share knowledge and experiences with representatives from water utilities and water sector administrations from the Central Asia, Middle East and South Asia regions, as well as financial and development institutions active in the region. A summary report from the workshop is now available online.
>> Summary report from the workshopPDF document

Latest videos

Bosnia and Herzegovina Floods
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), July 2014
Heavy rainfall in May 2014 caused the worst floods on record in 120-years in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the surrounding Balkans region. The region received three-months' of rainfall within three-days. In the town of Maglaj, weary residents recall the day the flood waters rose and decimated the town they had re-built. Following the floods, the residents found themselves blocked off from help, without access to food or safe drinking water, dry shelter and warm clothes. The floods are devastating to the community whose residents are still rebuilding after the Bosnian War.

>> More videos accessible from the UN water video library

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