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UN Secretary-General launches the "Sustainable Sanitation: Five-Year Drive to 2015"
UNITED NATIONS, 21 June 2011
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, along with UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, Ugandan Minister of Water & Environment the Hon. Maria Mutagamba, and His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange, today launched the "Sustainable Sanitation: Five-Year Drive to 2015", a push to speed up progress on the Millennium Development Goal target of improving global sanitation by 2015.

The launch took place at United Nations Headquarters in New York, with members of the Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation and other dignitaries in attendance.

The Millennium Development Goals include a target of halving, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to basic sanitation. With 2.6 billion people - half of the population in developing regions - still without access to improved sanitation, the target is lagging far behind, and without urgent and concerted action globally it will be out of reach.

On 20 December 2010 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling upon the UN Member States to "redouble efforts to close the sanitation gap". The resolution established a global push, "Sustainable Sanitation: The Five-Year-Drive to 2015", to focus attention on the Goal and to mobilize political will, as well as financial and technical resources. The resolution also made history by calling for an end to open defecation, the most dangerous sanitation practice for public health.

Over 1.1 billion people have no sanitation facilities at all, and practise open defecation. According to UNICEF, inadequate and dirty water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene are the main causes of diarrhoea, which each year kills at least 1.2 million children under five. The organization says diarrhoeal diseases are mainly excreta-related; therefore it is crucial to protect people from contact with faeces. Improvements in sanitation can lead to an almost 40% reduction in illnesses caused by diarrhoea.

Achievement of the sanitation goal, UNICEF says, will have far-reaching and lasting effects on the health and well-being of millions of people.

About UNICEF
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

About UNSGAB
The United Nations Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation is an independent body established in March 2004 by the UN Secretary-General to give him advice as well as to galvanize action on water and sanitation issues. Chaired by His Royal Highness the Prince of the Netherlands, the Board is composed of a wide range of dignitaries, technical experts, and individuals with proven experience in providing inspiration, moving the machinery of government, as well as working with the media, the private sector and civil society. See: www.unsgab.org

For further information, please contact:
Leanne Burney, UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation
Tel: 212 963 5003,
burneyl@un.org

Rita Ann Wallace, UNICEF Media
Tel: 212 326 7586,
rwallace@unicef.org

Martina Donlon, UN Department of Public Information
Tel: 212 963 6816,
donlon@un.org

Source: www.unsgab.org/news/110621.htm
6th World Water Forum - Local Authorities’ Process - Marseille, 12-17 March 2012
The 6th World Water Forum, to be held in Marseilles in March 2012, intends to be the “Forum of solutions”. It wishes to build on the lessons and outcomes of the previous Fora and to move from discussing issues to exchanging on solutions and committing to implementation.

In particular, the Forum will build on the results of the political processes organised previously, namely the ministerial, parliamentarians’ and the local authorities’ processes.

This note proposes a road map as well as tangible objectives for the Local and Regional Authorities’ process of the 6th Forum, in line with its ambition.

Previous achievements and current situation

The Istanbul Water Consensus (IWC) is the output of the Local and Regional Authorities’ political process of the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul (March 2009). It’s a global compact signed on a voluntary basis by Local and Regional Authorities willing to adapt their water infrastructure and services to the emerging challenges they are increasingly facing such as climate change, rapid urban growth, depletion and pollution of water resources or ageing infrastructure.

250 Local and Regional Authorities from 43 countries were represented in Istanbul and agreed there on the text of the compact and on its associated process.

Through this signature, local and regional authorities commit to analyse the challenges their water and sanitation services are facing and to prepare action plans to address them. From these plans, and in line with the spirit of the 6th Forum, cities will develop targets and related indicators to monitor progress toward these targets. They also commit to reporting back on the progress at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseilles.

Although not mentioned in the Istanbul declaration, the implementation phase is being supported by a number of champion cities acting as drivers and guides of the implementation on particular challenges (e.g. adaptation to sea level rise, ageing of infrastructure, Water safety and health, etc). These champion cities (e.g. Brisbane, Durban, Rotterdam, Paris, Vienna, Baguio, Incheon, Lyon, Entebbe, Marseilles) have specific roles in providing their experience and their networks to those facing similar challenges, in promoting the IWC in their respective regions and in taking the lead in developing their own action plans and targets.

For more information, contact barbara.anton@iclei.org
ICLEI is celebrating World Water Day!

22 March 2011 – ICLEI is celebrating World Water Day!
Cities are at the forefront of this year’s World Water Day, which has the theme ‘Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge’.

ICLEI would like to take this opportunity to encourage all members to step up their efforts for more sustainable water management. Water is only lent to us from nature – it has to be dealt with carefully to ensure that its sources are protected and the benefits it provides to all forms of life maintained.

Click here to find out more about sustainable water management in the city of the future

Ø      Replicate good practice
Many cities worldwide apply water management policies and practices that are worth sharing with other cities. Take a minute to look at these:

The low-lying Dutch city of Rotterdam has chosen to view the threat of climate change and sea level rise as an opportunity to boost its attractiveness and economy through  innovation, and is spearheading a global network of delta cities that are sharing knowledge and good practice on adaptation to climate change.

Stockholm has encouraged the application of its integrated view of urban planning in new urban developments such as Hammarby Sjöstad and Norra Djursgårdsstaden, where waste from one urban sector becomes the resource for another, contributing to the city’s justified reputation as one of the most environmentally-friendly capital cities in the world.

The city-state of Hamburg is embarking on an ambitious urban development phase as a response to its economic and population boom, focusing on the disadvantaged island of Wilhelmsburg as a test bed for the implementation of Integrated Urban Water Management and Water Sensitive Urban Design.

The city of Zaragoza has implemented an ambitious water conservation programme targeting businesses, industry and the local population; by mobilising key stakeholders and residents, the city has succeeded in significantly reducing its water consumption despite continued population growth and an expanding economy.

Birmingham sees sustainable urban drainage as one of its main priorities in the field of water management, given both climate forecasts and planned increases in urban density, and is focusing on practical implementation with its green roofs and decision support with its development of the City Water Balance tool.
ICLEI would also like to hear about your own achievements!
Contact: water@iclei.org

Ø      Share your expertise and opinion at events
For professionals interested in urban water policy and management in Europe, ICLEI has organized the event ‘European Cities for Water – How cities can contribute to safeguarding Europe’s water resources which will take place in Brussels at the premises of the Committee of the Regions from 14:00 to 17:00 on World Water Day.
Also make sure to mark the days of the ICLEI European Convention (12 to 14 Sept. 2011) in Brussels in your calendar which will include a full day of workshops on urban water issues.
Elsewhere on World Water Day, Margaret Pageler, Member of the ICLEI Executive Committee, will speak on behalf of ICLEI at the global event taking place on 22 March 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa. Margaret also regularly represents the interests of local governments as a Governor of the World Water Council and is Co-Chair of the 6th World Water Forum Local and Regional Authorities’ process.
Also in Cape Town on the morning of 20 March 2011, ICLEI is organising a side event together with the SWITCH Consortium and UNESCO-IHE on ‘Radical versus incremental change - how to SWITCH urban water systems to meet current and future challenges?’ This activity is part of the project ‘SWITCH – Managing Water for the City of the Future’ of which ICLEI is a partner.

Ø      Show commitment
As a city, make a local commitment to manage your urban water sustainably by signing the Istanbul Water Consensus. More than 650 mayors from 33 countries world-wide have already done so.

Ø      Stay up-to-date
Coming to an end soon, the SWITCH project will be publishing its main results in a number of books that are of high interest for urban water managers and others working in the field of water. See www.switchurbanwater.eu for further details.

Ø      Build the capacity of your staff
Make sure that your staff is up-to-speed on latest approaches and solutions for integrated urban water management.
You can discuss your training needs with Barbara Anton at the ICLEI European Secretariat. Please drop a line to water@iclei.org.
Also check out the SWITCH Training Kit which will soon be available for download from the SWITCH Training Desk
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