08.07.2016 - UNESCOPRESS

UNESCO and the Netherlands agree to change the status of the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education

©Steven Lek

Joint Communiqué by UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, and the Minister of Education, Culture and Science of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Jet Bussemaker, on UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education.

7 July 2016 - Water stands  at the heart of the new 2030  Agenda for Sustainable  Development,  as an essential force for the implementation of many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

UNESCO and the Netherlands  share the view that a key challenge  for many countries in advancing more sustainable development is the lack of well-trained water professionals. This is why we are proud of the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, located in Delft, the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Since its creation in 1957 as a center of excellence  in water management, and as a UNESCO Category 1 Centre since 2003, the Institute has trained more than 15,000 water professionals from more than 160 countries. The Institute has been and remains highly valued by Member States of UNESCO. UNESCO-IHE is a strong pillar in the UNESCO  «water   family»,  including  the  Organization's  International  Hydrological Programme,  the World Water Assessment  Programme,  as well as UNESCO Centres and Chairs specialized in water around the globe.

With this in mind, UNESCO and the Netherlands have assessed the current agreements regarding UNESCO-IHE, which will come to an end by 31 December 2016.

Both parties have come to the conclusion that in order to facilitate continuous funding beyond 2016  by  the Dutch Government, and for the  Institute to continue  providing its highly appreciated activities in education, training and research, supporting and complementing UNESCO's water programmes, a new cooperative framework would provide the necessary flexibility to allow the Institute to grow and develop for the benefit of UNESCO Member States.

In this spirit, the Netherlands have decided to initiate within the coming weeks the application process for the Institute to become a Category 2 centre under UNESCO auspices. At the same time, UNESCO and the Institute will pursue a smooth transition process through the signing of a cooperation agreement in order to ensure the continuous operation of the Institute beyond 2016, including the use of the name UNESCO-IHE and UNESCO logo, until the Category 2 status will be considered  by the  General Conference  of  UNESCO at its 39th session in November 2017.

UNESCO expresses its deep gratitude to the Government and people of the Netherlands for their renewed commitment to continue providing the basic subsidy  to the Institute  beyond 2016, providing a vital service to the international community  as a whole by supporting  a scientific institution of global excellence in education, training and research on water issues in the years to come.

UNESCO and the Netherlands recognize and appreciate the role and good offices of the IHE Delft Foundation in facilitating past and leading future operations  and for the functioning of UNESCO-IHE,  notably  through  the  dedication  and  commitment  of  the  personnel  at  the Institute  to  provide  educational   programmes   of  excellence   and  an  inspiring   learning environment for students and professionals from across the world.

UNESCO and the Netherlands appeal to all Member States, concerned entities in the United Nations  System,  as  well  as  academic  institutions  and  non-governmental   organizations committed to water management, to continue supporting the Institute and also further increase the  number  of  students  and  professionals  benefitting  from  its  excellent  programmes   in education, training and research.

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