Director-General meets the Mayor of the city of Delft
On 25 April, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova met with Mr. Bas Verkerk, Mayor of the City of Delft, which hosts the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education.
The Director-General expressed her satisfaction regarding the work of UNESCO-IHE and thanked the City of Delft and the Government of the Netherlands for their support. She underlined the impact of this work, embodied in the training of future water leaders from developing countries. This contributes also to strengthening the linkages between science and technology.
The Director-General noted that UNESCO will maintain a strong focus on water. This is reflected in the Organization’s contribution to Rio+20, where UNESCO will bring a holistic approach to addressing water challenges, overcoming traditional divisions between scientific disciplines and joining the natural and social sciences, culture, education and diplomacy.
The Director-General suggested that the forthcoming 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation, which will be led by UNESCO, could provide the opportunity to organise a wide UN event in cooperation with the City of Delft. The objectives of the International Year are to raise awareness about the importance of water cooperation through advocacy work.
Highlighting the importance of water, the Mayor explained that the City seeks recognition as the Water Capital of the World. The aspiration of the City builds on the presence of a major research facility in the field of water, subsurface and infrastructure (Deltares), the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), the UNESCO-IHE and several other institutions. This explains the proposal to establish a UN Water Centre, which aims to bring to Delft relevant UN water-related international entities.