In December 2003, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the period 2005-2015 International Decade for Action 'Water for Life' in its resolution A/RES/58/217. The decade officially started on World Water Day, March 22, 2005.
The 'Water for Life' Decade aims to promote efforts to fulfil international commitments made on water and water-related issues by 2015. Focus is on furthering cooperation at all levels, so that the water-related goals of the Millennium Declaration, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the World Summit for Sustainable Development, and Agenda 21 can be achieved.
The challenge of the Decade is to focus attention on action-oriented activities and policies that ensure the long-term sustainable management of water resources, in terms of both quantity and quality, and include measures to improve sanitation. Achieving the goals of the 'Water for Life' Decade requires sustained commitment, cooperation and investment on the part of all stakeholders from 2005 to 2015 and far beyond.
UN-Water, is responsible for coordinating the 'Water for Life' Decade. UN-Water has in particular launched two initiatives to support the Decade:
- The UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC). Hosted by the United Nations University in Bonn, Germany, the UNW-DPC strengthens the coherence and effectiveness of capacity development activities in the framework of the Decade. Read more
- The United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action 'Water for Life' 2005-2015/UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNO-IDfA/UNW-DPAC). Located in Zaragoza, Spain, and led by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), UNO-IDfA/UNW-DPC facilitates information, implements communication activities and raises awareness in the framework of the Decade. Read more