Home  News & Events News details

UN-Water Appoints New Vice-Chair

Bert Diphoorn passes the torch to Blanca Jimenez Cisneros

03.02.2014 -

Bert Diphoorn’s two years’ mandate as Vice-Chair of UN-Water ended in January 2014 when he passed the Vice-Chair torch to Blanca Jimenez-Cisneros. As the UN-Water’s Vice-Chairs serve in personal capacity, Bert Diphoorn has gone back to represent UN-HABITAT as a Senior Program Manager for UN-Water. UNESCO, previously represented by Blanca Jimenez-Cisneros, has appointed a Senior Program Manager for UN-Water during her term as Vice-Chair.


Bert, looking back over the past two years, how have you seen UN-Water evolve?

Bert Diphoorn: We have done a lot of work raising UN-Water’s profile and visibility within the UN system. Today, UN-Water really has the capacity to fulfill its coordination mandate. This also relates to the development of our Strategy to 2020 and the value of enhancing coordination within the UN system. I am also very proud of the two latest World Water Day campaigns, which have been very successful, as well as the awareness-raising process for a global goal on water in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. In addition to all of this, I am also happy that we have been able strengthen the UN-Water's Technical Advisory Unit with permanent staff to have a solid ground for the coordination of our work.


Blanca, you are now taking over as Vice-Chair, what do you hope to bring to UN-Water?

Blanca Jimenez-Cisneros: I think that there has been a lot of good things done in the past years and I really hope to maintain and further build on this. I also think that rotation is important for any organization. You get new ideas in - which I hope to bring to UN-Water.


According to both of you, UN-Water is a mechanism that has a solid ground to build on. How do you see this coordination mechanism evolve in the future?

Bert Diphoorn: UN-Water is about collaboration. It is about 'delivering as one' and I think we are really on the right track. Just recently, UN-Water was asked to facilitate, in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, the implementation of World Toilet Day (19 November). This is a testimony to the fact that the coordination mechanism is working. In terms of development, I think that there will be more synergies between Members and Partners in the future and a growth in the partnership base.


Blanca Jimenez-Cisneros: UN-Water enables the UN system to speak with one voice on water-related issues.  It eliminates contradictory messages and gives a unified image. I very much see UN-Water evolve in this way: 'delivering as one'.