UN-Water hosted a Water Day on 19 June at the Rio+20 Conference Print
News Waterfall - News Waterfall #2
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 16:11

UN-Water is the UN Inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater related issues. It was formally established in 2003. It currently counts 29 UN Members and 25 others Partners.

UN-Water hosted a Water Day on 19 June at the Rio+20 Conference, with the following objectives:

  • Demonstrate to the broad range of stakeholders, particularly decision makers, that some of the major challenges facing humanity today relate to water management; this will be based on findings of the major UN-Water reports.
  • Identify major water issues that connect with the themes of the Rio+20 Conference, particularly its link with the notion of green economy.
  • Focus on the means of implementation, especially the action areas where UN organizations and agencies can act together through UN-Water.

The Water Day was concentrated on UN-Water contribution to the Rio+20 Conference, building on the UN-Water Statement and on the UN-Water deliverables for Rio+20, and engaged in high-level panel discussions on the relevance of water in the Rio+20 outcomes.

Water Day had 3 session to discuss the items: Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM): Benefiting countries for a sustainable and equitable future; A push toward global commitments on universal access to water and sanitation; Water and Sanitation as a Human Right and 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation

UN-Water also released its Status Report on the Application of Integrated Approaches to the Development, Management and Use of Water Resources, specifically produced for Rio+20. Official launch and hand-over of the report was done by Michel Jarraud to Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator of Rio+20


UN-Water Statement includes: key Messages from UN-Water and key Actions by UN-WAter

Key Messages are:

A. Success of green economy depends on sustainable, integrated and resource-efficient management of water resources and on safe and sustainable provisioning of water supply and adequate sanitation services. This approach must be underpinned by timely measurement of economic performance in terms of indicators of social and environmental sustainability.

B. Effective management of water variability, ecosystem changes and the resulting impacts on livelihoods in a changing climate scenario is central to a climate-resilient and robust green economy.

C. In line with the UN General Assembly Resolution 64/292 on the human right to water and sanitation, the highest priority must be given to the ‘bottom billion’ people while addressing inequities in access to water, which are closely linked to energy security as well as food security.

D. Universal coverage of water supply and sanitation services must be a central development goal in the post-2015 period. UN-Water urges national governments to set realistic intermediate targets and goals.

Key Actions by UN-Water are the following:

E. UN-Water can offer solid public policy recommendations and powerful solutions for monitoring progress against key development targets. Our ongoing work is further focused on identifying ways for scaling up green economy approaches and challenges under different development and geographic contexts.

F. In support of green economy, UN-Water will continue its capacity development initiatives – including enhancing knowledge generation, facilitating transfer of appropriate technologies and reinforcing cooperation among national governments.

G. UN-Water is an effective medium for consolidating and advocating water related green economy messages and providing communication channels for their dissemination.


The UN-Water deliverables for Rio+20 un Conference on Sustainable Development

Universal coverage of Water supply and sanitation services must be a central development goals in the post-MDG period, underpinned by a (renewed) commitment to reform and improve water resources and wastewater management

Overall goals of UN-Water are :

- to facilitate the execution of a UN-wide initiative to provide universal access to safe drinking-water and adequate sanitation,

- to propose appropriate development target(s) for wastewater management and treatment,

- to support countries to adopt and implement measures for improving water resources management, including adaptation measures to cope with climate change,

- to undertake a global review and pursue the monitoring of progress against key development targets utilizing its monitoring mechanisms and reporting tools.


To achieve these goals during 5 next years UN-Water is going to assist the development of a global strategy with implementation mechanism for the UN-wide initiative; further strengthen and utilize the monitoring and reporting mechanisms of UN-Water to assess progress against existing and new targets; to lead high-level advocacy, building on the Sanitation Drive -The Sanitation and Water for All (SWA), and to secure resources for implementation of the global strategy; Launch the initiative on World Water Day 2013; Mobilize additional resources; undertake capacity development initiatives in support of regional and national strategies and implementation plans related to the global initiative; Provide the evidence base to define options for post-2015 development goals; review of implementation of the global strategy, identifying long-term lessons; Adapt the strategy according to post-2015 development goals and establish data collection and monitoring systems for the water resources and wastewater management goals.