News and Updates
GWP National Consultations Reinforce Call for Dedicated Water Goal
Global Water Partnership, has published a report on national stakeholder perspectives on a water goal and its implementation. The most important conclusion was a broad consensus that the proposed goal of 'Securing Sustainable Water for All" is fundamental to future development. In addition, there was strong support for targets that advance approaches to water management, in particular the five targets proposed in the UN-Water Technical Advice paper.
Permanent Representatives Committed to Water
On the occasion of World Water Day 2014, 57 Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in New York coming from all continents expressed their commitment to a Sustainable Development Goal on Water and Sanitation and encouraged all other Permanent Representatives to support the elaboration and adoption of such SDG. "With water challenges rapidly increasing, hindering future development and threatening current advances complacency is not an option. A committed and forceful response is urgently needed. The deliberations on the post-2015 development agenda are our opportunity to pledge to a concrete and determined response," the letter stated.
While not attempting to prejudge the discussions in the Open Working Group on what the SDG on water and sanitation should look like, the letter provides a positive basis for the future deliberations showing a large general consensus on the issue, a shared awareness of the challenges ahead and a resolve to respond to them. The letter was initiated by the Steering Committee of the Friends of Water in New York.
Technical Advice Presented at UN Headquarters
18 February, 2014 - As Member States were asked to consider how to develop an integrated approach to address water, sanitation and energy issues in the future, the UN system, through UN-Water, presented a way forward offering the prospects of “securing sustainable water for all”. “Water was included in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) framework, but it was only partly captured in a target, which did not do justice to the complexity of the water challenge”, said Olav Kjørven, Special Adviser to the UNDP Administrator on the Post-2015 Development Agenda as he opened the side event. “Water is fundamental to life and discussions on a successor development framework offer an unprecedented opportunity to shape the ‘world we want’ and advance sustainable development.”
The side event presented the results of a one-year-long expert consultation process among UN-Water’s 31 UN system Members and its 36 international Partners. The report and its Executive Summary suggests prioritizing water through a dedicated global goal with five measurable and interlinked targets. In general water policy objectives and the resulting targets can be framed within five categories: 1) improving drinking water, sanitation and hygiene; 2) promoting the sustainable use and development of water resources; 3) strengthening water governance; 4) improving water quality and wastewater management; and 5) reducing risks of water-related disasters.
The proposed goal builds on and extends existing commitments such as the MDGs and the priorities agreed at Rio+20, as well as on a series of consultations with people across the world. The technical advice was well received by participants and Member States who provided comments and feedback. “The initiative of the President of the General Assembly to organize a thematic debate on water, sanitation and sustainable energy is a testimony to the importance of providing substantive advice to Member States in view of the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 framework”, highlighted Michel Jarraud, UN-Water Chair and Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization in a video message. He said that UN-Water would continue to carefully listen to Member States and to provide them with the best possible advice to base their decisions upon.
“The UN-Water technical advice is a vivid example of UN-system wide coherence and coordination. It establishes a vision but it also gives a sense of the new modus operandi that will be needed to implement this vision: that is a UN that is truly ‘one’ in action”, said Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General of UN-DESA, in his intervention.
This assessment was echoed by UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Geeta Rao Gupta, who said that “the UN-Water technical advice is a feat of which we can all be proud. I hope that this momentum around a water goal continues to build. Because water is not a choice for our post-2015 world. Water is a necessity. For all".