International UN-Water Conference. Water in the Green Economy in Practice: Towards Rio+20. 3-5 October 2011

Conference Committee

The Conference Committee has been established with the responsibility of organizing and running the conference; assuring the involvement of UN-Water members and partners; and coordinating all water-related activities in preparation for Rio+20.

The Conference Committee advises the conference organizers on all technical, political and institutional matters, and is actively involved in the thematic preparation of the conference. It aims to ensure that the expertise available on the theme contributes to the preparatory process leading up to the conference.

The 15 members of the Committee include organizers and conveners of the sessions of the conference, as well as representatives of other organizations that have taken an active role in specific events/activities on water in the process towards Rio+20.

The Conference Committee consists of members from the following organizations:

African Water Facility (AWF)

The African Water Facility (AWF) is an initiative led by the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW) to mobilize resources to finance water resources development activities in Africa. The African Development Bank (AfDB) hosts the Facility on the request of AMCOW.
The major objectives of the African Water Facility are to attract and make effective use of increased and appropriate investments needed to achieve national and regional water sector targets in Africa.

Focal point(s): Akissa Bahri.

Ebro River Basin Authority (CHE)

The Ebro River Basin Confederation was created in 1926 as the first River Basin Authority in the world. It is an autonomous organization under the Ministry for Environment, Rural and Marine Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain. The Ebro River Basin is the biggest river basin in Spain, covering 85.500 km2.

The main functions of the Ebro River Basin Confederation are:

  • The implementation and enforcement of the Basin Hydrological Plan.
  • The administration and control of the Hydraulic Public Domain (public waters). This includes water licensing to private users, quality control and environmental preservation.
  • The management of public dams, canals and hydraulic works of general interest to or affecting more than one region within the river basin.
  • The project management, building and operation of hydraulic works undertaken, whether self-funded, commissioned by the National Government, or agreed upon by other public or private entities.
  • Other functions resulting from agreements with regions, local councils or other public or private entities.

The confederate model of the River Basin Authority is remarkable. Its focus on participatory governance means users, and regional and local authorities, all take part in the decision-making process.

Focal point(s): Manuel Omedas Margeli, Rogelio Galvan.

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ)

The Federal Republic of Germany has been engaged in development cooperation since 1952. In 1961, an independent ministry was created and has been in existence ever since. The first Development Minister was Walter Scheel, who later went to become German President.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is responsible for formulating the principles and strategies of German development policy. These then form the basis of the cooperation projects and programmes developed together with our partner countries and with international organisations. The Development Ministry plays an active role in international negotiations and seconds members of staff to work in international organisations and in partner countries. Within Germany, the BMZ supports the general public, non-governmental organisations, churches, foundations and businesses in their efforts in the development field. The Ministry's work is scrutinised by the Bundestag, the Lower House of the German parliament. The Bundestag Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development has special responsibility for this particular area of policy. Since October 2009, the BMZ has been headed by Federal Development Minister Dirk Niebel.

Focal point(s): Franz Marre, Patrick Fallis, Christoph Merdes.

Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany (BMU)

The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, often referred to as the Federal Environment Ministry or BMU, was founded on 6 June 1986. This move was a response to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 26 April 1986, but the vital groundwork for establishing the environment as a policy area in its own right had been laid as early as the 1970s. Important milestones were the German government's environmental programme of 1971, and key legislation such as the 1972 Waste Disposal Act and the 1974 Federal Immission Control Act. Protection against environmental pollution and radiation, an intelligent, efficient resource and energy management and the conservation of animal and plant diversity are just some of the goals of the Federal Environment Ministry. The guiding principle of our environmental policy is sustainable development. This means that development must be ecologically sound, socially just and economically efficient. Since November 2009, the BMU has been headed by Federal Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen (CDU).

Focal point(s): Fritz Holzwarth.

Global Water Partnership (GWP)

The Global Water Pratnership (GWP) was founded in 1996 by the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) to foster integrated water resource management (IWRM).

IWRM is the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximise economic and social welfare without compromising the sustainability of ecosystems and the environment. GWP believes that an integrated approach to managing the world's water resources is the best way to pursue its vision for a water secure world.

Focal point(s): Alan Hall.

International Labour Organization (ILO)

International Labour OrganizationThe ILO is the international organization responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards. The International Labour Organization is devoted to promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, pursuing its founding mission that labour peace is essential to prosperity. Today, its primary goal is to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.

Focal point(s): Carlos Carrión Crespo.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Organization for Economic Cooperation and DevelopmentThe mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. Pursuant to article 1 of its Convention, the OECD shall promote policies designed to:

  • achieve the highest sustainable economic growth and employment and a rising standard of living in Member countries, while maintaining financial stability, and thus contribute to the development of the world economy;
  • contribute to sound economic expansion in Member as well as non-Member countries in the process of economic development; and;
  • contribute to the expansion of world trade on a multilateral, non-discriminatory basis in accordance with international obligations.

The OECD provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems. We work with governments to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change. We measure productivity and global flows of trade and investment. We analyse and compare data to predict future trends. Drawing on facts and real-life experience, we recommend policies designed to make the lives of ordinary people better. The common thread of our work is a shared commitment to market economies backed by democratic institutions and focused on the wellbeing of all citizens

Focal point(s): Anthony Cox, Gerard Bonnis.

Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)

The Stockholm International Water Institute is a policy institute that contributes to international efforts to combat the world's escalating water crisis. SIWI develops and promotes future-oriented and knowledge–integrated policies, towards sustainable use of the world's water resources leading to sustainable development and poverty eradication.

Focal point(s): Anders Berntell.

United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC)

The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean which is headquartered in Santiago, Chile, is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations. Its purpose is to contribute to the economic and social development of the region, coordinate actions directed towards this end and reinforce economic ties among countries and with other nations of the world. Through its work, ECLAC provides advisory services to Governments, disseminates information and undertakes research to bring a regional perspective to global problems while introducing global concerns at the regional and sub-regional levels.

Focal point(s): Andrei Jouravlev, Caridad Canales.

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA)

The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia was established aiming to support economic and social development in the countries of the region and strengthen cooperation among them. The ESCWA provides a framework for the interaction between Western Asia and other regions of the world and a platform to promote the exchange of experience, best practice and lessons learned between member countries.

Focal point(s): Roula Majdalani, Carol Chouchani Cherfane.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

The United Nations Evironment Programme (UNEP) is aimed to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

Since its establishment, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has worked to promote sustainable water resources management practices through collaborative approaches at the national, regional and global levels.

UNEP facilitates and catalyses water resource assessments in various developing countries, implements projects that assist countries in developing integrated water resource management plans, creates awareness of innovative alternative technologies and assists to develop, implement and enforce water resource management policies, laws and regulations.

Focal point(s): Thomas Chiramba.

UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC)

The UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) is a joint programme of UN-Water, an inter-agency mechanism formally established in 2003 to add value to UN initiatives by fostering greater co-operation and information-sharing among existing UN members and outside partners. UNW-DPC strengthens the capacity development activities of UN-Water members and partners and supports them in their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to water. It is funded by the German Federal Government and hosted by the United Nations University. The Vice-Rectorate of the United Nations University in Europe (UNU-ViE) provides central services to UNW-DPC in Bonn, Germany.

Based on the firm belief that the achievement of the MDGs related to water and sanitation is conditional on stakeholders being able to mobilize essential required capacities, UNW-DPC's mission is to enhance the coherence and effectiveness of the capacity development activities of UN-Water members and partners. By working on individual, organizational and institutional capacity development, UNW-DPC seeks to strengthen the ability of the UN-Water members and partners to support Member States to achieve these MDGs.

Focal point(s): Reza Ardakanian.

World Bank

The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world.

The World Bank focuses on achievement of the Millennium Development Goals that call for the elimination of poverty and sustained development.

The Bank carries out projects and provides a wide variety of analytical and advisory services to help meet the development needs of individual countries and the international community.

Focal point(s): Diego Rodríguez.

World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)

The World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), founded in 2000, is the flagship programme of UN-Water. Housed in UNESCO, WWAP monitors freshwater issues in order to provide recommendations, develop case studies, enhance assessment capacity at a national level and inform the decision-making process. Its primary product, the World Water Development Report (WWDR), is a periodic, comprehensive review providing an authoritative picture of the state of the world's freshwater resources.

Focal point(s): Olcay Ünver.

World Water Council (WWC)

The World Water Council is an international multi-stakeholder platform that was originally proposed at the UN Conference on Water at Mar del Plata in 1977 on the initiative of water specialists and international organizations in response to an increasing concern about world water issues from the global community. Following the Dublin Declaration in 1992 and the Ministerial and Officials Conference on Drinking Water and Environmental Sanitation held in March 1994 in the Netherlands, the World Water Council was established as a non-profit nongovernmental umbrella organization in 1996 and has been granted special consultative status by UNESCO and ECOSOC. It is currently based in Marseille, France.

The World Water Council's mission is to promote awareness, build political commitment and trigger action on critical water issues at all decision-making levels to facilitate the efficient conservation, protection, development, planning, management and use of water in all its dimensions on an environmentally sustainable basis. To fulfill its mission, the Council concentrates its influence on three main areas:

  • politics and power structures,
  • development and improvement of policies and institutions, and
  • implementation and impact of policies.

Every three years, the Council catalyses initiatives, activities and lessons through the World Water Forum, which serves as a stepping-stone towards greater mobilization on water problems for policy and decision makers from all over the world. The 6th World Water Forum will be held in Marseille from 12 to 17 March 2012 and has been conceived as the "Forum of Solutions" for water.

Focal point(s): Sandrine Legrand, Callum Clench.