23.03.2018 - New York Office

A New Decade for Water Launched by the United Nations in New York

© UNESCO

On the World Water Day 22 March 2018, the United Nations launched the International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028, aiming to further improve cooperation, partnership and capacity development in response to the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“By 2050 at least one in four people will live in a country where the lack of fresh water will be chronic or recurrent,” the UN Secretary General, Mr António Guterres said, speaking at the launch of the International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028 at the UN Headquarters in New York.

“Quite simply, water is a matter of life and death. Our bodies, […] our cities, our industries and our agriculture all depend on it.”

Alongside the Secretary-General, the Vice-President of the General Assembly, Mr. Mahmoud Saikal, (speaking on behalf of Assembly President Miroslav Lajčák) recalled the urgency to tackle water related issues for the benefits of all humanity while the President of Tajikistan, Mr Emomali Rahmon, presented the recent report of the High Level Panel on Water

In the statement on behalf of UNESCO, Ms Marie Paule Roudil, Director of the UNESCO Liaison Office in New York, reiterated UNESCO’s commitment to the implementation of the objectives of the Water Decade.  “ With a particular focus on improving knowledge generation and dissemination and strengthening communication actions for implementation of the water-related Goals, we plan to engage over 3000 water experts around the world who are part of the UNESCO Water Family”, she said.

The Decade, which will run from 2018-2028, calls for a greater focus on the sustainable development and integrated management of water resources for the achievement of social, economic and environmental objectives and on the implementation and promotion of related programmes and projects, as well as on the furtherance of cooperation and partnership at all levels in order to help to achieve internationally agreed water-related goals and targets, including those contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The launch of the International Decade coincides with the World Water Day, marked annually on 22 March, to focus attention to importance of and challenges facing freshwater availability.

Commemorated this year with the theme, Nature for Water, the Day urges people to explore nature-based solutions to contemporary water problems. The 2019 World Water Development Report therefore focused on Nature-based Solutions for Water.  Launched 19 March 2018 during the 8th World Water Forum, it demonstrates how nature‐based solutions (NBS) offer a vital means of moving beyond business‐as‐usual to address many of the world’s water challenges while simultaneously delivering additional benefits vital to all aspects of sustainable development.

Related links:

Word Water Day: https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/worldwaterday/2018

Water Security: https://en.unesco.org/themes/water-security

International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP): https://en.unesco.org/themes/water-security/hydrology




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