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


Conference Secretariat: UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC)

The UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) facilitates information-sharing, implements communication activities and raises awareness in the framework of the International Decade for Action 'Water for Life' 2005-2015 which was approved by the United Nations General Assembly through its resolution 58/217 of 9 February 2004. The primary goal of the Decade is to promote efforts by different stakeholders to fulfill by 2015 the international commitments made on water and water-related issues. Such commitments include the Millennium Development Goals to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015, and the objectives established in the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development of developing integrated water resources management and water efficiency plans, and stopping countries from exploiting water in a non-sustainable way. The Decade provides a unique opportunity to build on efforts made to date to protect, use and manage freshwater resources in a sustainable manner.

Session 1: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

The 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

Session 2: International Labour Organization (ILO)

The 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.

Session 3: 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.

Session 4: 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.

Session 5: 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.

Session 6: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN ESCWA)

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.

Session 7: United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC)

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.

Session 8: 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.