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Fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries

23.05.2011 - The Fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) May 9- 13th, Istanbul, Turkey.

One of the fundamental constraints to the Least Developed Countries socioeconomic development and peoples' well being is their inability to properly utilize and manage their water resources. WWAP and other co-organizers met in Istanbul at the 4th UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Lack of adequate, safe, drinking water, improved sanitation and shortages of food and energy are directly or closely linked to water. A grave lack of infrastructure and management capacity not only obstructs people from growing food and producing energy but also leaves them to the mercy of the extremes of water.

The WWDR series has established that water's extremes can cost LDCs GDP loss in double digit percentages (floods). In some cases their GDP follows the rainfall availability pattern: increasing during periods of precipitation and decreasing in dry spells. These issues require a serious and comprehensive approach on the part of LDCs themselves, the donor countries, international organizations and the civil society.

The main goals of the Special Event are:
  • To highlight and discuss different aspects of current water problems in the Least Developed Countries
  • To share information from different countries and international organizations in order to improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and promote rational use of water resources for development, including water for food and energy production, and environmental protection in the LDCs
  • To demonstrate effective approaches and mechanisms towards secured planning and use of water resources (surface and groundwater's) in the LDCs, How to achieve the MDG and other IADG on water and sanitation in LDCs
  • To discuss ways of reduction of consequences of water-related natural disasters, climate change in the LDCs, and climate and water-related policies and actions to combat short and long term threats
  • To promote policies that apply a holistic approach, taking water into account in broader decision making processes and in investing in other sectors
  • To promote gender equality and gender-responsive policies for water development, use and management
  • To highlight that water issues should not be considered in a vacuum, and that many crises (such as energy, food, environmental degradation and climate change) that we currently face are linked to the way we manage this unique resource
  • To facilitate dialogue and encourage sustainable cooperation among users whose lives depend on the same resource.

Speakers at the special event will include:
  • H.E. Ambassador Sirodjidin Aslov, Permanent Representative of Tajikistan to the UN
  • H.E. Ambassador Abdul Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh  to the UN
  • Honorable Dr. Dipu Moni, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, MP
  • Dr. Olcay Ünver, Coordinator, United Nations World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP); Director, Programme Office for Global Water Assessment, Division of Water Sciences, UNESCO
  • Mr. Giovanni Munoz, FAO, Land and Water Officer, FAO Sub-regional Office for Central Asia
  • Ms. S.Gulser Corat, Director, Division for Gender Equality, Bureau of Strategic Planning, UNESCO
  • Hon. Prof. Anna Tibaijuka, MP Tanzania, Chair of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)/United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Margareta Wahlstrom, Assistant Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
  • H.E. Mr. Cheick Sidi Diarra, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States