Information Meeting UNESCO HQ Paris

WWAP Coordinator S. Uhlenbrook presenting the WWDR 2017

The Briefing session on the 2017 edition of the World Water Development Report (WWDR) took place on 27 March 2017 in UNESCO Headquarters in Paris with approximately 100 participants.

Ms Blanca Jiménez-Cisneros, the Chair of the session and the Director of the Division of Water Sciences in her opening speech singled out WWDR 2017 as a truly good example of the UN system ‘delivering as one’. The Report is the result of collaboration among 31 UN-Water members and 38 international partners under UN-Water. She acknowledged both the agencies (FAO, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO-IHP and IHE, UN-HABITAT, UNIDO, UNECE, UNESCAP, UNESCWA, UNECLAC and UNESCO Abuja Office) that led the development of various chapters and the contributing partners.

Mr Eric Falt, the Assistant Director-General for External Relations and Public Information, focused on the success of the global launch of the Report that took place in South Africa. Mr Falt emphasized that the WWDR has put focus on the critical role of water for sustainable development, the linkages between water and job creation, water and gender equality – always providing a balanced approach between the social dimension such as human rights and dignity, and the economic dimension of water management. The 2017 edition of the Report follows the same tradition and explores an issue that has been long overlooked: the vital importance of improving the management of wastewater for our common future.

Mr Arnaldo Minuti (Deputy Permanent Delegate of Italy to UNESCO) underlined Italy’s long-standing commitment to financially support the UN World Water Development Report series. He added that the 2017 edition of the Report provides essential tools and recommendations for policy-makers in advancing the ambitious SDG agenda and demonstrates that meeting the SDG6 is technically and financially feasible. He encouraged Member States to join forces with the World Water Assessment Programme of UNESCO and contribute to advancing the common agenda on water priorities. He ended his words by stressing that Italy will continue to support the work of WWAP in filling the knowledge gaps on freshwater resources and will strive to facilitate larger partnerships to support this objective.

Prof Stefan Uhlenbrook delivered a rich content presentation building on the interesting facts and figures, important findings and substantial recommendations of the Report.

Mr Rapulane Sydney Molekane (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Delegate of South Africa to UNESCO) expressed the satisfaction by the decision that South Africa was chosen as the venue to launch WWDR2017. The Report indicates what needs to be done to save the planet from further degradation. He requested all to be the Ambassadors for this Report to make sure that it is properly used and implemented. This way the countries that do not have enough water or are experiencing water scarcity will be able to grow. After referring to future scenarios, he said “the solutions proposed in the Report are very good and can help developing countries”. He concluded with the comment that South Africa is proud to be associated with the Report.

The session ended with comments/questions from the floor and responses.

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