Launch of the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013

By declaring 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation, the international community recognizes the importance of the peaceful management and use of water resources, working together towards a common goal, in a way that is mutually beneficial.

Official kickoff event

11 February 2013
UNESCO Headquarters and Pavillon de l’eau, Paris, France
Follow the event live below (10:00-13:00 and 14:30-18:00).

The International Year of Water Cooperation 2013 will be launched officially by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Michel Jarraud, Chair to UN-Water and Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on 11 February 2013 with a high-level event.

Representatives of governments, local communities, specialized NGOs and UN organizations will join eminent specialists and youths to discuss:

  • How water cooperation can best contribute to the Global Agenda on Sustainable Development for the post-2015 era so as to effectively address the needs of all societies,
  • Harnessing cooperation at all levels to address water-related challenges, including:
    • Regional cooperative mechanisms    
    • Government action at the national level
    • Action at the local level
    • Cooperation at the basin level, and
  • Science, capacity building and partnerships.

The official slogan for the year will be revealed during the ceremony as the winner of the slogan competition is announced. The slogan was selected among 12,151 proposals sent by 5,654 people from 180 countries!

An exhibition entitled “Water at the heart of science” will also be presented on the occasion. Prepared for the Year, the exhibition was co-produced with the French Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) and the Centre de Culture scientifique at technique de la region Centre. Presented first at UNESCO, it will be shown throughout 2013 in the network of French cultural establishments around the world.

Children and Youth

© Eau de Paris. Pavillon de l'eau

Young people will play a significant part in the celebrations.

Children will take part in water-related activities at UNESCO headquarters while youths from Japan, the Netherlands, UNESCO Associated Schools (ASPnet) and the Paris area will hold their own meeting at the Pavillon de l'eau (water pavilion) managed by Eau de Paris, the institution that manages drinking water for the city. Together they will finalize a Youth Declaration on water cooperation, which they will present to the participants of the high-level meeting as they join them at the Pavillon. The Declaration will be followed by a cocktail.

The celebration will also include an exhibition and other cultural activities organized in partnership with the Mairie de Paris.

The United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation 2013

In 2010 the United Nations declared 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation. Within UN-Water, the group of 31 UN agencies working on the many issues related to water, UNESCO was appointed to lead the Year in view of its multi-dimensional mandate in the sciences, culture and education and its significant and long-standing programmes contributing to the management of the world’s freshwater resources.

UNESCO is leading preparations in cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and with the support of United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) and UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC).

World Water Day which will be celebrated on 22 March will also focus on the theme of water cooperation.

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