UN-Water at the World Water Forum
UN-Water organized the UN-Water pavilion at the World Water Forum in Istanbul. Twenty-two UN-Water members participated in the pavilion. This was the first time that UN-Water had undertaken such an activity at a major international event. Here are some impressions from Frederik Pishke, UN-Water Advisor at the UN-Water Secretariat at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and Pasquale Steduto, Chair of UN-Water and Chief of the Water Development and Management Unit in the Land and Water Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Frederik Pishke:“From a public relations perspective, I think the UN-Water pavilion at the Forum was very successful. It was a clear demonstration that organizations in the UN System are working together on water.”
“But more than that, the pavilion had a real practical value for the public. With UN-Water members organized into a single space, people attending the Forum could quickly and easily find out about the complete range of the UN’s activities in the area of water and discover the different strengths of individual UN-Water members.”
“Between sessions I was able to spend time both at the UNDESA exhibit and at the UN-Water reception area in the pavilion. People came to the pavilion with specific questions about the UN’s involvement in water and we were able to guide them to the organizations, agencies and programmes that matched their interests. One of UN-Water’s responsibilities is to provide a common entry point for the UN System’s initiatives in the area of water, and the pavilion exemplified this aspect of our work.
”Pasquale Steduto: “The UN-Water pavilion was just one of the contributions UN-Water made to the World Water Forum. UN-Water was the Thematic Coordinator for Theme 2: ‘Advancing Human Development and the MDGs’. Many members were actively involved in the Forum’s sessions and the political process. With all this activity, the pavilion provided a common space for UN-Water members and partners to meet and compare notes about the different events. It was a very valuable in this respect.”
“Coordinating the pavilion at the World Water Forum was a first for UN-Water. We learned some lessons, but on the whole the experience was very positive. It’s certainly something we can build on.”