2016/08/12 Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan
On Wednesday 10 August a proposal for a new International Decade for Action on “Water for Sustainable Development” was unveiled by the Government of Tajikistan. The proposal is part of the Call for Action adopted at the High-Level Symposium on SDG 6 and Targets (9–11 August 2016) in Dushanbe. It will be brought before the next session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2016.
Water security and water infrastructure are fundamental to many of the development challenges we still face. Due to the interrelated nature of water resources and sectors with all natural resources and social sectors, eradicating hunger and poverty will heavily depend on our ability to address the “water issue”. In an article for The Conversation, UNU-FLORES Director Reza Ardakanian, discusses the call for action and argues that the initiative for a new International Decade for Action could be a valuable mechanism for keeping water on the table in the coming years, both literally and figuratively.
The Symposium was organised by the Government of Tajikistan and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA). It was attended by representatives of 90 national governments and 50 international and civil society organisations. The UN organisations actively involved in the symposium were UN DESA, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, and the United Nations University (UNU).
Representing UNU on an invitation from the Government of Tajikistan, UNU-FLORES joined forces with UN DESA to organise Session TS 7 “Improve Water Quality by Reducing Pollution”. To discuss SDG target 6.3, UNU-FLORES Director Reza Ardakanian was joined by H.E. Ms. Aliona Serbulenco (Deputy Minister of Health of the Republic of Moldova), Ms. Zubaida Mahmoud (Head of Regional Training Center, Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Egypt), Mr. Igor Pokanevych (Representative and Head of Country Office in Tajikistan, WHO), Mr. Dunqiang Zhang (Division Chief at the Ministry of Water Resources of the People’s Republic of China), and Mr. Asha Wamuthoni Abdulrahman (Former Vice President, Coordinating Water Projects in Africa). The session was chaired by Co-chairs H.E. Mr. Kai Sauer (Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations in New York) and Ms. Nchedi Sophia Maphokga-Moripe (Chief Director of the Global Cooperation and Strategic Partnerships, Department of Water and Sanitation, South Africa).