“We must continue to bring together policy-makers and scientists, the private sector, civil society and international organizations — to define a common agenda, to craft joint solutions for sustainability”, said Irina Bokova.
On Tuesday, 11 March, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Mr Sirodjidin Aslov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan, opened a meeting at UN Headquarters aimed to take stock of progress made in the International Year of Water Cooperation, which was celebrated in 2013, and advancing the Global Water Agenda beyond the Post-2015 development goals.
Noting that the International Year provided a platform to raise awareness, to catalyse cooperation and to push forward the water agenda across the world, the Director-General said “the International Year of Water Cooperation was a great success – more than a milestone, it was a watershed.”
“Cooperation around water, for water and through water, must happen everywhere — between States and within them — because there can be no development without water, and no sustainable human development without sustainable water management”, emphasized Ms Bokova.
The Director-General highlighted that water cooperation is a cross-cutting issue that must happen at all levels.
Continuing to press on the messages reiterated throughout the International Year, she recalled that the stakes are high.
“We must continue to bring together policy-makers and scientists, the private sector, civil society and international organizations — to define a common agenda, to craft joint solutions for sustainability”, she said.
Looking to the future, the Director-General underscored the need to integrate the messages that have come out from the International Year into the new global sustainable development agenda to follow 2015.
She reiterated UNESCO’s proposal for Member States to consider a single sustainable development goal ensuring ‘Water Security for Sustainable Development’.
“The International Year of Water Cooperation has shown the need for a single, focussed goal, to advance water security for poverty eradication and sustainable development”, Ms Bokova concluded.
Two roundtables with panel discussions subsequently took place, where UNESCO representatives participated amongst the many authorities present from the field of international water cooperation, including the Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Resources of Tadjikistan.