UN-Water Chair Update, April 2012

Institutional update 

16th UN-Water Meeting (Zaragoza, Spain)

UN-Water held its 16th meeting on 8-9 February 2012 in Zaragoza, Spain. We are grateful to UNW-DPAC for hosting this meeting and for ensuring the efficiency of all logistics. The final draft meeting report has been circulated to the participants by the UN-Water Secretary and the final meeting report will be soon circulated to all.


 6th World Water Forum (Marseille, 12-17 March 2012)

UN-Water actively participated in the 6th World Water Forum. Special highlights are the launch of the 4th edition of the World Water Development Report and the side event on 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation on 12 March, the presentation of the initial findings of the UN-Water Report on Water Resources Management for Rio+20 Summit on 13 March and the side event on UN-Water Thematic Priority Area on Water Quality: Developing Water Quality Guidelines for Ecosystems on 15 March. UN-Water was also present with a well visited branded Pavilion in the Exhibition throughout the week, involving all three Programmes and a number of Members. A special note of thanks goes to Ulrike Kelm of UNW-DPAC, who coordinated all matters related to the Pavilion.

World Water Day 2012

The World Water Day 2012 campaign culminated on 22 March with an official ceremony at FAO in Rome, attended by Michel Jarraud and a side event in New York attended by Kenza Kaouakib-Robinson. The overall campaign was very successful with close to 500,000 visits on the website in March, about 1,000 events registered through the online World Water Day events map and over 20,000 followers on Facebook.

2nd Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) High Level Meeting (Washington DC, 20 April 2012)

Ministerial delegations from almost 40 developing countries assembled alongside major donors at this meeting hosted by UNICEF and the World Bank. Bert Diphoorn represented UN-Water at this meeting, which was chaired by His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, former president of Ghana and Chair of SWA, and was moderated by Jan Eliasson, Chair of WaterAid Sweden and incoming United Nations Deputy Secretary General Designate. The UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) and the UN-Water affiliated WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) received high visibility in a keynote address by the Prince of Orange and were mentioned in several ministerial interventions. 

Rio+20 preparations 

Deliverables by UN-Water for the Rio+20 Conference

The summary document presenting UN-Water’s contribution to the Rio+20 process can be found at: http://www.unwater.org/downloads/UNWater_Deliverables_Rio20_vs30Mar.pdf . This document builds on the UN-Water Statement for Rio+20 and takes into account feedback received at different levels.

UN Secretary-General’s briefings (15 March and 10 April 2012)

The Deliverables by UN-Water for the Rio+20 Conference were presented by Bert Diphoorn to the UN Secretary-General at the UN Secretary-General’s briefings for Rio+20. Bert also spoke about the preparations for the Water Day at Rio+20. The UN Secretary-General expressed support to water as a key for sustainable development. 

HLCP meeting (Geneva, 19-20 March 2012)

Federico Properzi was invited to attend this meeting on 20 March 2012 and to present the Deliverables by UN-Water for the Rio+20 Conference. The presentation was well received and the HLCP Chair, Achim Steiner, congratulated UN-Water for this input into Rio+20. 

UN Systems CEB (Geneva, 13-14 April 2012)

Michel Jarraud addressed the UN Chief Executives providing a broad overview of UN-Water’s action, in particular with respect to the input to the Rio+20 process. The UN Secretary-General and the Chief Executives expressed appreciation for the work of UN-Water and for its contribution to Rio+20.

UN-Water event at Rio+20

On 19 June, UN-Water will be hosting a number of sessions at Rio+20. The exact time and content of these sessions is under development. These sessions will include:

  • The launch of the UN-Water Report on Water Resources Management, prepared for the Rio+20 Summit. The report, which builds on a similar status report produced for UNCSD 2008, assesses the status and progress of the management of water resources in Member States and reports on the outcomes and impacts of improved water resources management.
  • A high level panel discussion on the UN-Water deliverables for Rio+20.
  • The presentation of the 2013 International Year for Water Cooperation and World Water Day.

The draft event programme will be soon circulated for comments to all UN-Water. 

UN-Water Flagship Reports

Coordination and common branding

UN-Water responded well to the challenge of launching four major water reports in a short time span. Coordination efforts and collaboration among the preparation teams and UN-Water have allowed for a relatively coordinated launch schedule and for a common branding element on the front cover (except JMP) as well as an explanatory box on the inside cover to be included in all reports, increasing overall coherence and visibility. 

Launch of JMP

The 2012 JMP update was released on 6 March by WHO and UNICEF, providing a much expected update on the status of access to water and sanitation services worldwide and progress towards the related MDG target.

Launch of WWDR4

The 4th edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report, “Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk”, was launched on 12 March at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille by Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, and by the UN-Water Chair.

Launch of GLAAS

The GLAAS report was launched on 12 April in Geneva by Maria Neira, Director, WHO Department for Public Health and Environment, and by the UN-Water Chair. 

Other products 


The UN-Water Key Water Indicator Portal – or KWIP – is now active on UN-Water website. KWIP allows the creation of maps, tables, and charts on selected indicators from the UN-Water Task Force on Indicators, Monitoring and Reporting, at either country or global level. More indicators and variables will be added to the portal, which is backed by the UN-Water Federated Water Monitoring System, a federated custodian database containing data from all organizations generating data relevant to the UN-Water indicators.

2nd edition – UN–Water “Water for Life” Best Practices Award

The two winners of the 2012 edition of the UN-Water “Water for Life” Best Practices Award were announced on 22 March during the official World Water Day ceremony at FAO Headquarter in Rome. The Category 1 award was given to a conservation project of Bangalore Lakes in India. The Category 2 award was given to an awareness-raising project in Bolivia. 

Coming up 

Presentation of UN-Water Rio+20 report messages to Member States (4 May 2012, New York)

The messages of the UN-Water Report on Water Resources Management, prepared for the Rio+20 Summit, will be presented to Member States in a side event organised in New York during the 2nd round of ‘informal-informal’ negotiations on the zero draft of outcome document.

4th Africa Water Week (Cairo, 14-18 May 2012)

This 4th Africa Water Week will coincide with the celebrations for the 10th anniversary of the African Ministers’ Council on Water. Both the Chair and the Vice Chair of UN-Water will attend parts of this conference.

GWP Steering Committee

The UN-Water Vice Chair will represent UN-Water at the upcoming GWP Steering Committee meeting in Stockholm, Sweden on 21-23 May 2012.

Workshop of AG looking at UN-Water publications (22-23 May 2012, Geneva)

The objectives of the workshop are to review and discuss the survey reports on all major UN-Water publications and the future of the WWDR. The Group is expected to draw conclusions and recommendations (which publications, responsibilities, periodicity, inter-linkages, target audience), and to present up to 3 alternative scenarios for future WWDRs for subsequent electronic decision by the UN-Water SPMs.

Meeting of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB)

The UN-Water Vice Chair will represent UN-Water at the upcoming UNSGAB meeting in Panama in June 2012. A video link will also be established with the Chair of UN-Water.