Events archives for 2012

• 12th World Toilet Summit

Date: 4-6 December 2012
Place: ICC Durban, South Africa

This annually organized event, the first for Africa, brought together non-profit organizations, government bodies, academia and other industry players to address the sanitation crisis.

Sanitation Hackaton

Sanitation Hackathon logoDate: 1-2 December 2012
The Sanitation Hackathon challenges programmers to develop innovative software solutions that address real-world problems in sanitation. Creative developers convened at various sites around the world to address challenges facing the sanitation sector.

6th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention

Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) logoDate: 28-30 November 2012
Place: Chamber of Deputies, Rome, Italy

Convened in the year of the 20th anniversary since its adoption, this session of the meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention was attended by more than 320 people. MOP6 addressed many substantive issues related to the work of the Convention such as its opening to all members beyond the UNECE region, support for implementation and compliance, transboundary groundwater, a thematic assessment on the water-food-energy ecosystems nexus, water and adaptation to climate change, cooperation with other multilateral environmental agreements and international partners, vision for the future of the Water Convention, and the programme of work for 2013-2015.

>> Report and decisions from the meeting
>> Interview with Mr. Massimo Cozzone, Vice-Chairperson of the Meeting of the Parties to the UNECE Water Convention PDF document
>> Interview with Mr. Dejan Komatina, Secretary of the International Sava River Basin Commission PDF document

World Toilet Day 2012

World Toilet Day logoDate: 19 November 2012

World Toilet Day is an international action that aims to break the taboo around toilets – a topic few like to talk about – and draw attention to the existing global sanitation challenge. Put together by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the World Toilet Organization (WTO), World Toilet Days aims at raising global awareness of the daily struggle for proper dignified sanitation that a staggering 2.5 billion people continue to face today.

>> Of all places... a toilet. Statement by Special Rapporteur on right to safe drinking water and sanitation to mark World Toilet Day 2012

15 October 2012: Participate in Global Handwashing Day!

Global Handwashing Day logoHandwashing with soap is the most effective ad inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal and acute respiratory infections, which take the lives of millions of children every year. Yet, despite its lifesaving potential, handwashing with soap is seldom practiced and difficult to promote.

Turning handwashing with soap before eating and after using the toilet into an ingrained habit could save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention, cutting deaths from diarrhea by almost half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by one-quarter.

Global Handwashing Day focuses on children because not only do they suffer disproportionately from diarrheal and respiratory diseases and deaths, but research shows that children can also be powerful agents for changing behaviours like handwashing with soap in their communities.

In 2012, Global Handwashing Day will share its 5th anniversary with over 121 million children who are also celebrating their 5th birthday this year. Join the celebration by promoting handwashing with soap and help more children reach their 5th birthday!

Advances in Technology, Innovation, Health, and Policy

Logo Water Management, Global Challenges.Date: Tuesday, 16 October 2012
Place: Hotel Regent Beijing. Beijing China

Kenza Kaouakib-Robinson, Secretary of UN-Water and Senior Sustainable Development Officer at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), participated in this conference on water management and global challenges organized by the New York Institute of Technology.

The Water We Want: Youth Acts for Water

Logo World Youth Parliament for Water.Date: Friday, 12 October 2012
Place: New York, USA

The Belgian Youth Delegates for the UN and the World Youth Parliament for Water hosted a UN General Assembly side-event to talk about the important role of Youth in solving water problems.

UN-Water logo.UN-Water Expert Panel on Water Security

Date: Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Place: Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York, USA

UN-Water organized an Expert Panel on Water Security to provide recommendations and ideas for furthering the work of UN-Water on Water Security and input to the development of an Analytical Brief on Water Security that will be launched on World Water Day 2013.

>> Watch a video on the session

Online global forum "Building the Future We Want"!

ECOSOC special ministerial meeting logo.Date: 12-24 September 2012
Place: Online

Following up on Rio+20, the UN is continuing its efforts to promote sustainable development, and to prepare for a post-2015 UN development agenda. People posted their questions on what, why, and how countries should deal with sustainable development challenges (rising unemployment, food security, biodiversity, climate change, sustainable consumption and production, land degradation, water). Selected questions were answered live on 24 September. Hash #FutureWeWant or # Beyond2015 in Twitter to find out what people proposed.

The Future of Water in the United Nations System

>Date: Wednesday, 19 September 2012
Time: 1 pm – 4 pm
Place: Palais des Nations, Room XXIV , Geneva, Switzerland

WaterLex, with the sponsorship of the permanent missions of Costa Rica, Ecuador, Germany and Spain, organized this side event in the framework of the UN Human Rights Council where the following question deserved specific attention: to what extent the human rights framework can help harmonizing and coordinating the work of UN agencies in the water sector?

Environment and sustainability. Post-2015 consultation in Spain PDF documentin Spanish

A child playing with an MDG ball.Date: Monday, 17 September 2012
Place: Zaragoza, Spain

Organized by the UN Office to support the Decade and the Millennium Campaign in Spain, this meeting aimed at preparing a set of preliminary priorities in the field of the environment and sustainability in view of the post-2015 development agenda.

>> Programme of the meeting [PDF documentin Spanish – 176 KB]
>> Beyond 2015 Campaign website

Anniversary event to celebrate 20 years of the UNECE Water Convention and its future

UNECE logo.Date: 3-4 September 2012
Place: Helsinki, Finland

This event provided a retrospective analysis of the work, successes and challenges of the UNECE Water Convention over the past 20 years. The event also offered an opportunity to strengthen the links between the UNECE Water Convention (Helsinki Convention) and the UN Watercourses Convention to ensure adequate coordination and mutual support in their future implementation as global legal frameworks.

UN International Year and World Water Day 2013: Water Cooperation Seminar at WWW

World Water Week flag.Date: Monday 27 August 2012
Time: 15:45 GMT+2

Organized by UN-Water for World Water Week (WWW), this seminar introduced the preparations being made for the International Year and World Water Day 2013 on Water Cooperation. The seminar provided information about the planned activities and initiatives and also offered the opportunity to gather inputs and commitments from stakeholders.

WaterChannel webinar on Water and Change

The WaterChannel logo.Date: Wednesday 15 August 2012
Time: 13:30 GMT

In this webinar, the current Programme Leader on Water and Peace at the University for Peace in the Hague, Henk van Schaik, focused on how the water agenda has evolved over the past 30 years and discussed the growing importance of themes like water and peace, new water allocations for green growth and water and cultural heritage.

Online webinar on GLAAS Report

GLAAS 2012 Report. UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water.Date: Tuesday 17 July 2012
Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT

Global Water Challenge and WASH Advocates organized a webinar on WASH Sustainability: Looking Through the GLAAS in their WASH Sustainability Webinar Series. This one hour-long webinar brought together leading WASH experts and GLAAS report contributors to discuss the practical implications of this recent report. The UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) report monitors the inputs needed to extend and sustain water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems and services. GLAAS contributors Catarina Fonseca, WASHCost Project Director at the International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) and Peregrine Swann, Consultant to the GLAAS Team at the World Health Organization (WHO) discussed what's behind the numbers of the GLAAS report with specific focus on external support agencies, sustainability, and financing. This webinar was moderated by Eddy Perez, Senior Sanitation Specialist at the World Bank's Water and Sanitation Program.

>> Session recording
>> GLAAS 2012 Report

Presentation of the compendium 'On the right track. Good practices in realising the rights to water and sanitation' in Spanish

On the right track. Good practices in realising the rights to water and sanitationDate: 10 July 2012 Time: 10:30
Venue: Salón de Actos de la Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID). Avda. Reyes Católicos, 4. Madrid

Catarina de Alburquerque, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation and author of the compendium, presented this good practice guide on the human right to water and sanitation.

>> Compendium 'On the right track. Good practices in realising the rights to water and sanitation' [PDF document - 3.6 MB]

Friends of Water Group delivered its recommendations for Rio

Rio+20 the future we want logoDate: 11 May 2012
Place: Permanent Mission of Hungary to the United Nations, New York

On 11 May 2012, the Steering Group of the Friends of Water for Rio +20 held their final meeting at the Permanent Mission of Hungary to the United Nations to presented the findings of the five thematic discussions that the Group held during the spring of 2012. The meetings were organized with the goal to bring added value to the sustainable development discussions through pragmatic and result-oriented approaches. Dr. Zoltan Illes, Hungary's Minister of State for Environmental Protection, Nature Conservation and Water Management underlined that water issues are important to all countries. He stated that the group of Friends of Water can be expanded to include more representatives from other nations. Citing national experiences and examples, he emphasized that the importance of sanitation issues should not be underestimated. Access to water and sanitation should be inseparable, he stated. He underscored the need for education and cooperation at all levels and further stressed the importance of local initiatives. The group also presented 10 Recommendations "The 10 Commandments" to Rio+20.

>> Summary of the Meeting of the Steering Group [PDF document - 39KB]
>> Recommendations for Rio+20 [PDF document - 13 KB]
>> Message to the Steering Group from UN SG

Water at Rio+20

Rio+20 logoDate: 20-22 June 2012
Place: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

From 20 to 22 June 2012, Rio+20 has provided an historic opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all.

Twenty years after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, where countries adopted Agenda 21, the UN brought together governments, international institutions and major groups to agree on a range of smart measures that can reduce poverty while promoting decent jobs, clean energy and a more sustainable and fair use of resources, including water.

The official discussions at Rio+20 focused on two main themes: how to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and lift people out of poverty; and how to improve international coordination for sustainable development.

How is water included in the outcome document? What have been the key water issues discussed at Rio+20? How has UN-Water, the UN coordination mechanism on water issues, contributed to Rio? The Water at Rio+20 section on the Water for Life Decade's website tries to answer these and other questions you may have.

Side event 'UN-Water Report on Water Resources Management for Rio+20 Summit'

Rio+20 logoDate: 4 May 2012
Place: UN Headquarters, New York

UN-Water and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) hosted a side event at the 2nd round of 'informal-informal' negotiations on the zero draft of the Rio+20 outcome document. The side event disclosed main results of the 'UN-Water Status Report on the Application of Integrated Approaches to Water Resource Management', which was officially launched on 19 June on the occasion of 'Water Day' at the Rio+20 Conference.

The side event presented results from a comprehensive global survey to-date on the 'application of integrated approaches to water resources development, management, and use', as called for in Rio in 1992. The survey was carried out during 2011/12 and more than 130 countries responded, with 30 countries providing detailed input. The survey provides an input to the preparation process for Rio+20, including how countries could set national targets for taking integrated approaches to water resources management (WRM) forward, and how this could be supported by a permanent monitoring framework on integrated approaches to WRM.

>> Side event summary [PDF document - 68 KB]
>> UN-Water at Rio+20
>> Press release [PDF document - 43 KB]
>> Programme Agenda [PDF document - 150 KB]

Side event on 'From World Water Day 2012 to the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013

UN General Assembly President, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Deputy UN Secretary-General, Asha-Rose Migiro, H.E. Ambassador Sirodjidin M. Aslov, Permanent Representative of Tajikistan, H.E. Mr. Sulton Rahimove, H.E. First Deputy Minister of Melioration and Water Resources of the Republic of Tajikistan, and Ms. Kenza Kaouakib-Robinson, Secretary UN-WaterDate: 22 March 2012
Place: UN Headquarters, New York

22 March, on the occasion of World Water Day 2012, UN-Water in collaboration with the government of Tajikistan held a side event on the theme 'From World Water Day 2012 - Water and food security - to the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013'.

This was a high level event with participants including UN General Assembly President, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Deputy UN Secretary-General, Asha-Rose Migiro, H.E. Ambassador Sirodjidin M. Aslov, Permanent Representative of Tajikistan, H.E. Mr. Sulton Rahimove, H.E. First Deputy Minister of Melioration and Water Resources of the Republic of Tajikistan, and Ms. Kenza Kaouakib-Robinson, Secretary UN-Water.

The President of the General Assembly recognized that the UN system plays an important role in helping countries achieve the goals envisaged in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI), and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and highlighted the need to strengthen the Water for Life Decade. "Water is life, without water there can be no future, he concluded."

>> Video on session
>> Summary of side event [PDF document - 51 KB]

UN Water Dialogue Series in Casa Solans. Zaragoza, Spain

Casa Solans, Zaragoza, SpainDate: 16 April and 7 February 2012
Place: Casa Solans, Zaragoza, Spain

Aimed at facilitating and promoting dialogue among the UN system and stakeholders at local level, UNW-DPAC organizes the UN Water Dialogue Series in Casa Solans. The 1st dialogue took place on 7 February and addressed the issue of the human right to water and sanitation. The 2nd dialogue, on 16 April, focused on water issues in the forthcoming Rio+20 Summit.

>> 1st dialogue summary report [PDF document - 263 KB]
>> 2nd dialogue summary report [PDF document - 367 KB]

UN Water Talks. Delft, Netherlands

Irina Bokova, UNESCO's Director-GeneralDate: 24 April 2012
Place: Unesco-IHE, Delft, Netherlands

UNESCO-IHE, in cooperation with the City of Delft and Delfland Water Board, hosted the UN Water Talks. This year's talk was held by the UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova. She reflected on the role of the United Nations and UNESCO in mediation and conflict negotiation, and specifically, on the current state of water diplomacy.

Irina Bokova is a Bulgarian diplomat and politician, and has been elected Director-General of UNESCO since November 2009 by the member states of UNESCO. She is the first woman to have been elected head of the Organization.

>> Session recording
>> UN Water Talks

Launch of the 4th edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report. Marseille, France

4th edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report12 March 2012
Place: Marseilles, France

On the first day of the 6th World Water Forum, UNESCO's Director General, Irina Bokova, and the UN-Water Chair, Michel Jarraud, launched the 4th edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR4).

The WWDR4 represents a milestone within the series of WWDR reports. This 4th edition introduces a new thematic approach (Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk), and directly reports from the regions, highlighting hotspots. It reports on various challenge areas, and aims to encourage all stakeholders both in and out of the 'water box' to fully engage in decision making processes. The Report has been mainstreamed for gender equality, which is addressed as a critical issue throughout.

>> Volume 1 'Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk' [PDF document - 16.3 MB]
>> Volume 2 'Knowledge Base' [PDF document - 41.3 MB]
>> Volume 3 'Facing the Challenges' [PDF document - 34.6 MB]
>> World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) website

22 March 2012: World Water Day. Focus on Water and Food Security

World Water Day 2012 logo. Water and Food SecurityDate: 22 March 2012
Place: Rome, Italy

22 March is World Water Day (WWD). This year focus was on Water and Food Security. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, as the coordinating agency for WWD 2012, hosted the official ceremony of UN-Water for the day at its Headquarters in Rome, Italy.

A variety of speakers were invited to speak in the morning session giving their perspectives on Water and Food Security. During the morning session the winners of the UN-Water 'Water for Life' Best Practices Award were presented by the UN-Water chair Mr. Jarraud.

The afternoon session featured a presentation on the 4th edition of the United Nations World Development Report "Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk" by the World Water Assessment Programme, followed by a follow-up to the 6th World Water Forum session, "From field to fork - reduce food waste and change to sustainable diets to reduce your water footprints".

>> UN Secretary-General's Message for 2012
>> Preparatory activities from the UN-Water Office in Zaragoza for WWD 2012
>> New web section on Water and Food Security
>> Reader on Water and Food Security [PDF document - 132 KB]
>> Advocacy Guide for World Water Day 2012 [Documento PDF - 628 KB]
>> Official ceremony of UN-Water for World Water Day 2012

The United Nations Office to support the International Decade for Action "Water for Life" 2005-2015 hosted the UN-Water meeting

UN- Water logoDate: 8 – 9 February 2012
Place: Zaragoza, Spain

The United Nations Office to support the International Decade for Action "Water for Life" 2005-2015/UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) hosted the UN-Water meeting from 8 to 9 February 2012 in Zaragoza, Spain. In this meeting, the chairmanship was handed over from the current UN-Water Chair Mr. Adeel Zafar, Director of the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), to the World Meteorological Organization's Secretary-General Mr. Michel Jarraud. The meeting gathered the directors and coordinators of the 29 UN-Water member agencies, programmes and departments of the United Nations.

The meeting focused on the approval of changes in the UN-Water organizational structure and rules, as well as on the ratification of the 2012-2013 work programme. Furthermore, the coordinators of the different taskforces, Thematic Priority Areas and the directors of the three UN-Water programmes assessed and informed about up to date and on-going tasks in UN-Water activities.

The purpose of the meeting was also to decide about the participation of UN-Water in upcoming major international events; it also dealt with aspects regarding Integrated Water Resources Management in the Rio+20 Summit (June 2012). It was hence the last internal preparatory meeting in the United Nations concerning this international summit.

As an inter-agency coordination mechanism, UN-Water consists by today of 29 members out of United Nations organizations, programmes, departments, major funds and conventions. The ultimate objective of UN-Water and thus of the annual meeting is to enhance coherence and coordination regarding UN initiatives in the water and sanitation agenda.

>> 8 February: UN-Water meeting press release [PDF document - 785 KB]
>> UN-Water website

Experts dialogue on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation

Human Right to Water and Sanitation cloud tagDate: 7 February 2012
Place: Zaragoza, Spain

How does the Human Right to Water and Sanitation apply to countries in need? Is enough being done to implement the Right to Sanitation? How will the economic crisis affect the implementation of the Right to Water and Sanitation? These and other questions were addressed during the Dialogue on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation that took place on 7 February 2012 at the Ebro River Basin Authority in Zaragoza, Spain. The event was organized by the UN Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC), the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the Ebro River Basin Authority and the University of Zaragoza. Experts such as Robert Bos and Antonio Embid offered their insights on the pressing matters regarding the Human Right to Water and Sanitation. An open dialogue closed the session inviting attendees to share their opinions and considerations about a matter concerning us all.

>> Experts dialogue on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation [PDF documentin Spanish – 257 KB]

15-17 January 2015: See results!

'Water for Life' UN-Water Best Practices Award

Get inspired! Good Practices

Tools for Action

Get informed!

>> Decade's weekly
The Decade's weekly brings you every week the latest news from the Decade.

UN Documentation Centre on Water and Sanitation
UN Documentation Centre on Water and Sanitation website

>> UN Documentation Centre on Water and Sanitation