Building peace in the minds of men and women

UNESCO’s Member States are leveraging cooperation around water issues through the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme

05 December 2019

The First Extraordinary Council session of the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP) took place on 28 November last, and reinforced UNESCO’s work on international cooperation at the Science-Policy interface. Water security for all remains the focus of the Programme, whose objectives and work continue under the leadership of the incoming Chairperson of the IHP Intergovernmental Council, Mr Fadi Georges Comair from Lebanon.

The Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme bears its new name since 27 November, when the 40th session of the General Conference revised the Programme’s Statutes to reflect better the intergovernmental nature of the Programme and to align its governance closer with other International and Intergovernmental Bodies (IIB) of UNESCO, reinforcing the cooperation among IHP’s member countries.

In his speech, the new Chairperson Mr Comair highlighted that "cooperation around water is now more essential than ever to the achievement of peace and the common objectives of development and prosperity".   Mr Comair furthermore underlined the importance of "the rationalization of agricultural practices, better efficiency of drinking water and sanitation networks, reasonable use of non-conventional water, enhancement of information and training in water professions".

The First Extraordinary Session of IHP’s Intergovernmental Council initiated the implementation of the recently adopted Statutes with the election of its Bureau. The new Bureau is composed by Lebanon, Spain, Slovenia, Mexico, China and Zambia (Rapporteur).

The IHP Intergovernmental Council also set the dates for its 24th ordinary Session, to take place from 19 to 22 May 2020. The Council will be preceded by the 2nd Science Policy Interface Colloquium on Water (SPIC Water), which will gather water ministers from around the world to discuss “Digital Water”.

The Council further re-established the working group tasked to update the Internal Rules of Procedure of IHP’s Council and Bureau and adjusted the timetable of the preparation of the strategic document for IHP’s ninth phase (IHP-IX) that will guide its actions from 2022 to 2029. The adjustment will allow for additional and more exhaustive consultations with Member States.

The new Bureau Members will first convene from 17 to 19 March 2020 for a technical meeting, inter alia to take stock of the progress of IHP-IX.