International Decade for Action: Water for Life

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The United Nations General Assembly, in December 2003, proclaimed the years 2005 to 2015 as the International Decade for Action 'Water for Life'.

The primary goal of the 'Water for Life' Decade is to promote efforts to fulfill international commitments made on water and water-related issues by 2015.

These commitments include the Millennium Development Goals to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water by 2015 and to stop unsustainable exploitation of water resources. At the World Summit in Johannesburg in 2002, two other goals were adopted: to aim to develop integrated water resource management and water efficiency plans by 2005 and to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people who do not have access to basic sanitation.

World Water Day, 22 March 2005, marked the official commencement of the ‘Water for Life’ Decade.

Contents

More about 'Water for Life' Decade

Themes of 'Water for Life’ Decade

Central water related themes include: food, health, environment, disaster prevention, energy, transboundary water issues, scarcity, culture, sanitation, pollution and agriculture.

As women play a central role in water provision and management, a special emphasis will be placed on ensuring the participation and involvement of women in these development efforts.


Activities planned for the Decade

An up to date Calendar of Events has the latest on the activities planned throughout the Decade.

At the national level, it is expected that each country will take its own approach to organize activities around the ‘Water for Life’ Decade. All activities that promote public awareness of issues related to the ‘Water for Life’ theme are encouraged, including the organization of conferences, seminars, expositions and other such public events.


Who is responsible for organizing the ‘Water for Life’ Decade?

UN-Water is coordinating the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ , 2005-2015. UN-Water is the United Nations system-wide inter-agency gathering of all relevant agencies, departments and programmes involved with water-related issues.UN-Water is the inter-agency mechanism for the implementation of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation water-related provisions and the Millennium Development Goals concerning freshwater. The terms of reference and modalities of work of UN-Water cover the elements of a detailed inter-agency plan for addressing water as well as sanitation issues, and include mechanisms for interacting with non-United Nations system stakeholders.

The chairmanship of UN-Water rotates and is currently held by the United Nations University (UNU), while the Secretariat for UN-Water is based at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). Within UNDESA, the Water, Natural Resources and Small Island Developing States Branch in the Division for Sustainable Development will be responsible for the ‘Water for Life’ Decade. For more info on interagency coordination, please see http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/inter_agency/inter_agency.htm


Two initiatives have been launched by UN-Water to support the 'Water for Life' Decade:


The UN-Water Decade Programme for Capacity Development (UNW-DPC). Hosted by the United Nations University in Bonn, Germany, the UNW-DPC strengthens the coherence and effectiveness of capacity development activities in the framework of the Decade.

The United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action 'Water for Life' 2005-2015 (UNO-IDfA) / UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) . Located in Zaragoza, Spain, and led by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), UNO-IDfA/UNW-DPAC facilitates information, implements communication and raises awareness in the framework of the Decade.



Participation in the Decade

Participation is welcomed from all organizations and individuals, worldwide. It is expected that most countries will nominate a focal point (individual or committee) to whom enquiries can be directed at the national level. Events planned for the ‘Water for Life’ Decade should strive to create public awareness of the issues related to the ‘Water for Life’ theme. Enquiries should be addressed to water-decade@un.org


Further Readings - References - Links

Water for Life

World Water Day

World Water Assessment Programme

UN World Water Development Report

The Human Rights-Based Approach to Development - The Right to Water

HDR 2006 - Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis


Source(s)

United Nations Water Decade for Action 'Water for Life' 2005-2015


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