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UN-Water Bulletin

Volume 82 Number 31 | Tuesday, 29 August 2017


27th UN-Water Meeting

25-26 August 2017 | Stockholm, Sweden


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The 27th UN-Water Meeting convened from 25-26 August 2017, in Stockholm, Sweden. The two-day meeting took place immediately prior to the World Water Week, which gathers water and sanitation policy makers and stakeholders in Stockholm annually.

Sixty-four representatives of UN-Water Members and Partners registered for the event, representing the UN Secretariat and UN agencies, funds, programmes and other entities, multilateral environmental agreements, and civil society organizations. 

Two half-days were devoted to discussions with UN-Water Partners on agenda items including: report of the fourth meeting of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace; presentation on the UN-Water and International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) SDG Knowledge Hub partnership; a proposal for a task force on unconventional uses of water; an update on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, related intergovernmental processes, and integrated monitoring and reporting related to SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation); and planning for World Water Days, World Water Development Reports and World Toilet Days. This report focuses on the deliberations during the sessions with UN-Water Partners.

UN-Water Members also met in closed session during the morning of 25 August and the afternoon of 26 August, to take decisions on a number of organizational issues, including: partnership applications; the creation of Expert Groups; consideration of views of Members to identify the conditions that would enable UN-Water to engage with and receive funds from the private sector; and discussion on the Expert Group Terms of Reference prepared by the Task Force on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

During the discussions on 2030 Agenda topics, participants highlighted that the July 2018 meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) will focus on SDG 6 and noted that UN-Water’s preparation of the SDG 6 Synthesis Report as a contribution to the HLPF discussion provides an opportunity to provide decision makers with a big picture of the status of water and sanitation issues and to offer policy recommendations on how to accelerate SDG 6 implementation in the overall 2030 Agenda context. They outlined progress in defining the indicators and developing the dataset necessary to monitor SDG 6 implementation, while indicating that further work is necessary. UN-Water Members and Partners also noted the need to break down the silos between government, UN and the private sector to work together in a more integrative and efficient way, and emphasized that the achievement of SDG 6 is necessary in order to achieve the other SDGs.

BRIEF HISTORY OF UN-WATER

Over 30 United Nations organizations carry out water and sanitation programmes, but no single UN entity is dedicated exclusively to these issues. The UN’s Intersecretariat Group for Water Resources began coordinating UN activities on water in 1977. Subsequently, in 2003, the UN Administrative Coordination Committee’s (ACC) Sub-committee on Water Resources transformed into UN-Water and was endorsed by the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination. UN-Water plays a coordinating role within the UN, to ensure that the UN family “delivers as one” in response to water-related challenges.

INITIATIVES: The overarching focus of UN-Water’s Members and Partners is to support UN Member States to sustainably manage water and sanitation. This mission is carried out through three areas of work.

Efforts to inform policies focus on placing water and sanitation issues on the agenda of key UN agreements, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs, the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development. SDG 6 calls for the international community to strive to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.

Efforts to monitor and report seek to provide coherent and reliable data and information on key water trends and management issues. The Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 builds on and expands the experience and lessons learned during the Millennium Development Goal period, and aims to: develop methodologies and tools to monitor SDG 6 global indicators; raise awareness at national and global levels about SDG 6 monitoring; enhance technical and institutional country capacity for monitoring; and compile country data and report on global progress towards SDG 6.

Efforts to inspire action include coordination of the annual observance of World Water Day, on 22 March, and World Toilet Day, on 19 November. UN-Water releases the World Water Development Report on World Water Day.

GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE: UN agencies, programmes and funds with a water-related mandate are Members of UN-Water. Partners are international organizations, professional unions, associations or other civil-society groups that are actively involved in water and that have the capacity and willingness to contribute to the work of UN-Water.

UN-Water Senior Programme Managers (SPM) are the representatives of UN-Water Members. They provide the overall governance and strategic direction, and constitute the highest operational decision-making body of UN-Water.

The Chair of UN-Water is nominated among the UN Executive Heads after consultations in the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination. The Vice-Chair of UN-Water is elected among the UN-Water Senior Programme Managers. The Secretary of UN-Water is a senior staff member of UN-DESA in New York, and serves in a personal capacity and not in representation of UN-DESA.

REPORT OF THE MEETING

The 27th UN-Water Meeting commenced on Friday morning, 25 August 2018. Opening the sessions with UN-Water Partners, Guy Ryder, UN-Water Chair and Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO), stated that SDG 6 is ambitious, and the institutional structures required to achieve it may not yet exist. For example, Ryder noted that SDG 6 remains largely uncovered in the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and the Secretary-General’s report titled, “Repositioning the UN development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda – Ensuring a Better Future for All,” acknowledges that gaps exist. Ryder recalled that two dialogues have been convened by the President of the UNGA to address the work that is necessary to achieve the water targets. He also highlighted that Member States want to know how the UN’s work on water has been successful, where hurdles remain, and what can be done to address them.

SELECTED REPORTS AND PROGRESS UPDATES

REPORT ON THE FOURTH MEETING OF THE GLOBAL HIGH-LEVEL PANEL ON WATER AND PEACE: Joakim Harlin, UN-Water Vice-Chair and Chief, Freshwater Ecosystem Unit, UN Environment, presented the report on the fourth meeting of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace. The Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace was launched on 16 November 2015, and was tasked with developing proposals aimed at strengthening the global framework to prevent and resolve water-related conflicts and facilitate the use of water as an important factor of building peace and enhancing the relevance of water issues in national and global policy making. He noted that he represented UN-Water at the Panel’s meetings, and that the final meeting was convened in Amman, Jordan, from 3-4 May 2017.

Harlin said that, during the final meeting, the Panel discussed their final report, which addresses issues of armed conflict and international law and transboundary cooperation and includes sections titled: Synopsis; The Drama of Water; Into the Abyss: Water in Armed Conflicts; An Ounce of Prevention: International Water Law and Transboundary Water Cooperation; Quantity and Quality: Strengthening of the Knowledge-Based and Data Driven Decision Making and Cooperation; People’s Diplomacy, Inter-Sectoral Water Management and Decision Making; Centrality of Finance: Improvement and Innovation; In pursuit of Agency: New Mechanisms of Water Diplomacy; and, Towards a Coherent and Effective Global Architecture for Water and Peace: Summary of Recommendations. He said that the Panel has recommended that attacks on water infrastructure be seen as a war crime, and that the Security Council should adopt a resolution along these lines. He also reported that the idea of a “blue fund” for financing infrastructure was discussed. He told participants that the report of the Panel will be launched on 14 September in Geneva, and 18 September in New York, at which time the work of the Panel will conclude.

DISCUSSION ON THE DRAFT INPUT TO THE ACTION PLAN FOR THE “INTERNATIONAL DECADE FOR ACTION – WATER FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” 2018 – 2028: Reza Ardakanian, UNU-FLORES, presented on behalf of the Task Force on Decade Planning and Organization. He said the Task Force is responding to UNGA resolution A/RES/71/222, which calls on UN-Water to organize and facilitate the implementation of the Decade on Water. He noted that the Task Force has developed Terms of References for its mandate and has shared them with UN-Water Members on the Task Force on Decade Planning and Organization, and has convened two virtual meetings. The Task Force has also developed three objectives to achieve SDG 6: advance sustainable development; energize implementation of existing programmes; and inspire action to achieve the 2030 Agenda. Ardakanian presented a matrix that is being used to map the activities for achieving the objectives. Ardakanian summarized the Task Force’s achievements as having set goals, gathered and analyzed data, created and implemented a plan and devised how to monitor the plan. He said that, based on feedback from the UN-Water meeting, the task force would develop a revised draft Action Plan, which will be submitted in final form to the Secretary-General in March 2018.

During the discussion, one speaker stressed the need to highlight the connection between water and agriculture use, proposed incorporating a stronger focus on financing and financial resources, and called for giving attention to development assistance for developing countries. Other speakers inquired about how the new website on the UN Decade on Water would be used, suggested incorporating the resources developed for the last decade into its archives, and called for exploring other communication tools to make the decade successful.

In the decision on this item, the SPM agreed to create a single website for the Decade for all Members and Partners to complement the section on www.un.org, and to ask the UN-Water Communications Manager to work with UN DPI to ensure consistent messaging across www.un.org and www.unwater.org. The SPM also requested the Task Force to organize a Member State briefing on UN-Water’s support to the Decade before the end of November 2017.

PRESENTATION ON THE UN-WATER AND INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (IISD) KNOWLEDGE HUB PARTNERSHIP: Lynn Wagner, IISD, introduced the UN-Water-IISD partnership for SDG 6 knowledge and reporting on UN-Water meetings. Wagner noted that the SDGs present the international community with a challenging agenda, and partnerships will be required if we are to implement the SDGs by 2030. She reviewed the SDG Knowledge Hub’s (http://sdg.iisd.org/) news, calendar, and guest article features, and noted that news on activities related to SDG 6 would be provided in cooperation with UN-Water. Wagner explained that the SDG Knowledge Hub can help readers identify how the SDGs are interrelated. She invited UN-Water Members and Partners to send news about their organization’s activities and publications, and to contribute guest articles on what their organization is doing to achieve SDG 6. Wagner also noted that, as part of the partnership, IISD’s Reporting Services would be provided for this and future UN-Water meetings. A short discussion followed the presentation, with a question about the impacts of IISD’s work. Wagner responded that, by making the decisions taken by policy makers more transparent and building stakeholder capacity to engage in sustainable development policy-making processes, IISD’s work helps stakeholders hold policy-makers accountable.

UNCONVENTIONAL USES OF WATER – TASK FORCE PROPOSAL: Vladimir Smakhtin, Director, UNU-INWEH, presented the proposal to bring together work on unconventional water sources, noting that these include: desalination of seawater and highly brackish groundwater; groundwater confined in deep geological formations or in off-shore aquifers; physical transportation of water through tankers and icebergs; micro-scale capture of rainwater where otherwise it evaporates; atmospheric moisture harvesting such as cloud seeding, fog water collection; collection and treatment of wastewater, greywater, and stormwater; and collection and use of agricultural drainage water. He said the task force would consider the current knowledge of these sources and how they could be addressed by the end of the decade. 

During the discussion, a number of speakers indicated their support for the initiative. One speaker suggested considering unconventional financing mechanisms as well, and the need to de-risk the financing for such resources. Another said questions related to governance and the social implications of the new sources should be incorporated into the examination, to understand how the new approaches would be adopted in practice. A speaker questioned whether cloud seeding represents new water and said the task force should coordinate with the water scarcity expert group.

In the decision on this item, the SPM agreed to establish a Task Force on Unconventional Water Resources, and that the Task Force would have a duration of two years (2018-2019) and be coordinated by UNU. The Task Force was requested to harmonize its work with the Expert Group on Water Scarcity.

MEETING OF EXPERTS TO DRAFT NEW GUIDELINES ON SOCIAL DIALOGUE IN PUBLIC EMERGENCY SERVICES: Carlos Carrion-Crespo, ILO, informed UN-Water Members and Partners that ILO is updating its guidelines for social dialogue in public emergency services and called attention to the fact that this update will incorporate emergencies caused by floods and other water-related disasters. A Meeting of Experts will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 16-20 April 2018, to draft the revised Guidelines. He noted that ILO will issue invitations to their focal points at UN agencies to request input on the guidelines, and suggested that interested UN-Water Members and Partners should contact their focal point if they want to provide input.

GROUNDWATER OVERVIEW: MAKING THE INVISIBLE VISIBLE: Neno Kukuric, International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC), noted that groundwater is invisible and, accordingly, far from the mind. He said UN-Water Members and Partners are dealing with groundwater in different ways, and sometimes their organizations are not very clear or specific about the impacts of groundwater on health or disasters, among other issues. Kukuric said it is important to explore the complementarities and differences in how groundwater issues are addressed, and added that the 8th World Water Forum will provide a venue for promoting awareness in this issue. He encouraged UN-Water Members and Partners to share photos and several sentences on how groundwater is being used, for inclusion in materials to be distributed at the Forum.

During the discussion on this issue, speakers also suggested that a better understanding of the users of groundwater would be useful. 

In the decision on this agenda item, the SPM decided that the Groundwater Overview (i.e. a leaflet currently being produced by IGRAC, UNESCO, IAH, IWMI and IUCN) will be a UN-Water category 3 publication. As such, UN-Water will support communicating about the Groundwater Overview presentation during the World Water Forum 2018. The SPM invited all interested UN-Water Members and Partners to participate in the Groundwater Overview production.

2030 AGENDA UPDATE AND RELATED INTERGOVERNMENTAL PROCESSES

Federica Petracci, UN-Water Secretary, updated participants on the proceedings of the 2017 meeting of the HLPF, the working level dialogues for improving coordination on water-related goals and targets, and the repositioning of the UN development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.

Petracci highlighted that HLPF 2017 was the first HLPF session to engage in a review of progress on a sub-set of SDGs: SDG 1 (no poverty), 2 (zero hunger), 3 (good health and well-being), 5 (gender equality), 9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure) and 14 (life below water). In addition to the meeting in July, she noted that preparations and planning took place at the national level through the preparation of voluntary national reviews (VNRs) by 43 countries, and at the regional level through activities led by the five regional commissions. She reported that the dates for the HLPF 2018 and regional meetings feeding into it are not yet set. SDG 6 will be one of the SDGs to be reviewed at HLPF 2018.

Petracci introduced the summary of the working level dialogues convened by the President of the UNGA, which were called for in General Assembly resolution 71/222, titled “International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028.” Petracci noted that, during these discussions, some suggested that UN-Water is not sufficient to meet current demands and called for strengthening UN-Water and its mandate.

On the reform of the UN development system, she said the Secretary-General had recently released a report following up on the quadrennial comprehensive policy review (QCPR) mandate. The report offers options for improving the accountability and overall coordination of the entities of the UN development system and their oversight by Member States. Petracci noted that a second report would be issued in December, with a system-wide mapping of the UN system and recommendations for strengthening delivery and improving coordination. She emphasized that the entire UN system is engaged in this transformative plan.

UN-Water Chair Ryder stated that the HLPF is the cornerstone for the monitoring, follow-up and accountability processes for the 2030 Agenda, and that this accountability framework distinguishes the SDGs from the MDGs. He noted that Member States are queuing up to deliver their VNRs, and that the HLPF is an evolving and improving process. He emphasized that the entire UN system is engaged in the development system reform process, and said this process will bring change at the national, regional and system-wide levels.

Balazs Heincz, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary, noted that there has only been one fully-fledged UN conference on water and stressed the need for continued dialogue.

INTEGRATED MONITORING AND REPORTING OF SDG 6

THE SDG 6 INTEGRATED MONITORING INITIATIVE – UPDATES FROM JMP, GEMI AND GLAAS: This session was moderated by William Reidhead, UN-Water Global Monitoring Officer. Reidhead explained that the first year of the initiative was focused on working on draft methodologies, through interagency consultations and expert review committees. These methodologies will be used in the 2017 baseline process and will feed into the synthesis report.

Reidhead said the initiative seeks to: generate a critical mass of baseline data for each indicator; and initiate a process of developing capacity in countries for integrated monitoring. He said activities to date have included: revision and translation of the monitoring guide; development of the New Integrated Monitoring website; an Africa regional monitoring and reporting training workshop; technical support by UN custodian agencies for specific indicators; institutional support including seed grants; completing the concept note for the SDG 6 Data Portal; and preparations for a global workshop in November 2017.

Presenting on behalf of the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), Bruce Gordon, representing both WHO and UNICEF, noted that while the SDG indicators are “significantly meaningful,” they are also “significantly hard to measure.” For Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Gordon presented three overarching sector goals: ending open defecation; achieving universal access to basic services; and progress towards safely managed services. He said hygiene has never been reported on globally but that data on this is now available for the first time. He added that data continuity from the MDGs has allowed for a trend analysis over a longer period of time.

Graham Alabaster, UN-Habitat, discussed Indicator 6.3.1 (wastewater treatment) and said household and municipal wastewater data has been collected from 84 countries. He said the initiative is holding dedicated workshops in regions, and urged UN-Water and partners to start institutionalizing and building capacity.

Hartwig Kremer, UN Environment, presented on Indicator 6.3.2 (Ambient Water Quality) and 6.6.1 (Change in Extent of Water Related Ecosystems). He said 28 countries have submitted their data, and a further 30 countries are expected to send data by October 2017. He addressed the complexity of obtaining data, noting that, in larger countries, some governments have appointed consultants to collect the data, which is then reported back to the government, and then provided to UN Environment. He said this process of retrieving data has proven complex. 

William Reidhead presented on behalf of FAO on Indicators 6.4.1 and 6.4.2. He said three workshops were convened, with 32 participating countries, 62 attendees and three host countries – Guatemala, Morocco and Italy. He added that there will be ongoing follow-up with countries and support in the data collection process.

Peter Bjornsen, UN Environment, presented on Indicator 6.5.1 stating that more than 60 countries have already submitted their survey responses, with more than 160 countries confirming their participation. He said data collection from countries is intended to continue with a more comprehensive report to be launched a year from now.

On Indicator 6.5.2, Alice Aureli, representing UNESCO and UNECE, stated that 42 out of 79 countries reported with data on transboundary aquifers. She said the reports are extensive and rich in information that has not been previously reported.

On Indicators 6a and 6b, Kate Medlicott, WHO, presented key findings from the UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 2017 report. She said data was collected from 75 countries and 25 External Support Agencies. Key messages from the presentation indicated that national WASH budgets are growing too slowly. For example, Medlicott stated that 80% of countries report insufficient financing to meet national WASH targets, let alone the higher levels of service that are the focus of SDG 6. She said WASH infrastructure is not receiving enough investment with 50% of countries responding that household tariffs are insufficient to recover operation and maintenance costs, leading to an increase in disrepair and service failure. Medlicott added that data use is increasing in most countries, with 70% of countries using data when deciding how and where to allocate funds. She stressed that official development assistance (ODA) disbursements for water and sanitation are increasing but future investments are uncertain, and cautioned that only an estimated 25% of WASH aid was spent on basic systems for unserved people, particularly in rural areas.

During the discussion, participants remarked that the process has come a long way in the last three years. Several speakers emphasized the need to include practical operators and local authorities in this work. It was noted that, ultimately, national statistics offices will have to sign off on the statistics that are provided to the UN, and that the indicator processes discussed are focused on identifying best practices, although it was noted that they could also point out existing data sources.

UPDATE ON THE UN-WATER SDG 6 SYNTHESIS REPORT 2018: Stefan Uhlenbrook, WWAP, UNESCO, provided an update on the SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018, which will be the main input to the in-depth analysis of SDG 6 by the 2018 HLPF. He said the report will: review the global status for each SDG 6 target/indicator; explore inter- and intra-linkages between SDG 6 and the other SDG targets and indicators; and provide policy recommendations on the acceleration of SDG 6 in the overall 2030 Agenda context. He said data up to 1 November are being incorporated into the analyses, and that it must be provided by 15 November 2017. He also noted that nominations for the external review panel can be submitted through 29 August, feedback on the table of contents can be submitted through mid-September, and the approval period for the draft report will be during two weeks in February 2018.

PUBLICATION PLAN LEADING UP TO HLPF 2018: Daniella Bostrom, UN-Water Communications Manager, reviewed the publication plans for UN-Water and its Members and Partners during the coming year.

UN-Water plans to publish the follow reports: World Water Development Report; UN-Water Policy Brief on the Water Conventions; SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018 on Water and Sanitation; Indicator report for 6.5.2; Update of UN-Water Policy Brief on Water and Climate Change Adaptation; and UN-Water Analytical Brief on Water Efficiency.

Non-UN-Water publications will include: Update of the SDG 6 Prospectus on UNDP Support to the Implementation of the SDGs; International Water Law to support transboundary water cooperation; and the Report on the implementation of the Water Convention.

The Ramsar Convention reported it will be publishing a Global Wetlands Outlook.

COORDINATION OF SDG 6 IMPLEMENTATION – WHERE DO WE STAND? HOW CAN WE DO BETTER?

UN-Water Vice-Chair Harlin moderated this panel and initiated discussion by emphasizing the need to focus on implementation within the new context of SDGs and improve on coordination and involve many more stakeholders.

Mats Åberg, SIDA, reiterated that better coordination is needed. He said that, while financing has barriers and ODA comes with various strings attached, ODA needs to be used efficiently and in ways that incentivize countries, the private sector and financial sectors to come to the funding table.

Jason Morrison, Head of UN Global Compact CEO of Water Mandate, said the best long-term risk mitigation strategy is for sustainable water management. He added that companies operate pragmatically and are not motivated altruistically, and they therefore will only put their money where it is of collective interest for the community and company.

Francesca Bernardini, UNECE, reminded the audience that water is an issue of peace, human rights and development. She noted that, while the UN funding allocation on water issues could be proportionally larger, there has been a maturation in this area and movement beyond an institutional mentality. For example, she said UN-Water was not the only actor pushing for SDG 6 and at the policy-level there is an integration of policy views on water.

Balazs Heincz, Hungary, explained Hungary’s unique geographic situation and said that, with 96% of surface water coming from outside the country, Hungary is forced to cooperate with neighboring countries. Heincz also highlighted his government’s practice of extending the water cooperation dialogue to many different stakeholders. 

Claire Lyons, Water.org, noted that her organization is engaged at the local level and represents diverse voices, which is a strength but can at times result in fragmentation. She noted that her organization has changed its structure and focus to better respond to SDG 6 and is now working directly with governments, consumers and borrowers in communities, but said more work lies ahead in coordinating between the different stakeholders more efficiently.

During the discussion, Morrison noted the challenge represented by the different timeframes that the private sector, government, UN and other stakeholders work against, highlighting that the private sector normally works with a five-year timeframe whereas the SDGs have a 15-year timeframe. He said that the private sector needs to see a return on investment within a timescale that is relevant to them.

Åberg said countries should be in the driver seat for setting priorities and proposing how investments should be used. At the same time, he argued that the UN should not set goals without proposing the development of sufficient national plans, and said the UN needs to demonstrate how it works with other stakeholders to avoid fragmentation.

Heincz said targets, indicators and national plans are currently working hand-in-hand in his country, but the momentum for converging the two is lacking.

PLANNING OF WORLD WATER DAYS, WORLD WATER DEVELOPMENT REPORTS AND WORLD TOILET DAYS

REPORT ON WORLD WATER DAY 2017 ON WASTEWATER AND THE 2017 WORLD WATER DEVELOPMENT REPORT: Stefan Uhlenbrook, WWAP, UNESCO, reported on the launch events for the World Water Development Report. He said the launch took place in the presence of the President of South Africa and with participation of the UN-Water Vice-Chair, the Deputy Director General of UNESCO, and a number of other ministers and high-level officials. He also noted that the report was presented to the European Parliament and the Italian Parliament.

Daniella Bostrom, UN-Water Communications Manager, discussed issues related to impact, and reported that the World Water Day materials are generally viewed 400,000 times, with 40,000 downloads of the material. She indicated that a survey of users revealed preferences for making the material available earlier, translating it into more languages, and providing more recognition of the actions that groups are taking to engage in the campaign.

UPDATE ON PLANNING FOR WORLD TOILET DAY 2017 ON WASTEWATER: Bostrom updated participants on planning for World Toilet Day, and highlighted that the themes of World Water Day and World Toilet Day are aligned in 2017. She said the alignment means the same coordinators are involved in both days, which is helpful for the campaigns. She announced that the World Toilet Day website would be launched on 26 August, and requested advice on how to better recognize other’s actions to engage in the awareness campaign.

In their decision on this item, the SPM approved the workplan, budget and timeline for the World Toilet Day 2017 campaign.

UPDATE ON THE 2018 WORLD WATER DEVELOPMENT REPORT ON NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS AND WORLD WATER DAY 2018 ON NATURE FOR WATER: Uhlenbrook discussed the process involved with writing these joint reports and stressed the need for chapter leads to commit to the process and timeline for this joint project. Several speakers emphasized the importance of ensuring that it is a high-quality report.

In their decision on this item, the SPM decided that the Task Force on World Water Day 2018, coordinated by CBD, UN Environment and UNESCO, is composed also of IUCN, the World Water Council, UNU, WaterLex and WWF.

DECISION ON THE THEME OF WORLD TOILET DAY 2018: Bostrom recalled the benefit of aligning the World Water Day and World Toilet Day themes and noted that the theme for World Water Day in 2018 is “Nature for Water.” She introduced the proposal to select “Sustainable Sanitation” as the theme for World Toilet Day, noting that it could involve discussions on ecological sanitation and pollution of waterways and open defecation.

One participant suggested that a related campaign topic could be “Nature’s Call.” Participants supported aligning the themes, but requested further options for the theme.

In their decision on this item, the SPM requested the Communications Manager to conduct a survey on the branding for World Toilet Day 2018, aligned with the World Water Day theme, and to select the theme receiving the most support.

FUTURE EVENTS FOR UN-WATER’S POSSIBLE ENGAGEMENT

HIGH-LEVEL ROUNDTABLE FOR DROUGHTS HELD IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE 13TH SESSION OF THE UNCCD CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES (COP): Daniel Tsegai, UNCCD, called participants’ attention to the upcoming UNCCD COP, which will convene from 6-16 September 2017, in Ordos, China. He said a high-level roundtable will focus on droughts, with over 20 Ministers expected to take part in this discussion. Tsegai said there is great momentum building behind this topic and a new strategy framework will be developed. He recalled that earlier this month, a regional workshop on this topic took place in Bolivia, with participation from 20 Latin American countries.

Also on this agenda item, the SPM took the decision to approve the proposal of the Expert Group on Water and Climate Change to organize a UN-Water side event at UNFCCC COP 23 in Bonn, Germany.

8TH WORLD WATER FORUM: Tom Soo, World Water Council, reviewed the planning for the 8th World Water Forum (WWF8), which will take place in Brasilia, Brazil, from 18-23 March 2018, and will coincide with World Water Day, on 22 March. He said WWF8 is the first time the Forum will take place in the southern hemisphere, and announced that the 2021 Forum will take place in Dakar, Senegal, which will mark the first time the Forum will take place in sub-Saharan Africa. Soo noted that the Forum is composed of a thematic, regional, political, sustainability and citizen’s forum process incorporating 9 themes: climate, people, development, urban, ecosystems, financing, sharing, capacity, and governance.

DECISION ON DATE AND VENUE OF NEXT UN-WATER MEETING AND CLOSING REMARKS TO PARTNERS: UN-Water Chair Ryder announced the next UN-Water meeting will take place in Rome, Italy, from 1- 2 February 2018, and will be hosted by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Ryder noted that the incoming Chair of UN-Water would be Gilbert F. Houngo, President of IFAD, thanked UN-Water’s partners, and wished UN-Water continued success in its endeavours. 

SUMMARY AND ADOPTION OF DECISIONS

During the final session of the UN-Water meeting, the SPM finalized the decisions. The 27th meeting of UN-Water closed at 5:00 pm.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

2017 WORLD WATER WEEK: 2017 World Water Week will address the theme: water and waste – reduce and reuse. dates: 27 August - 1 September 2017 location: Stockholm, Sweden www: http://www.worldwaterweek.org/ 

UNCCD COP 13: This meeting will convene at Ordos International Convention and Exhibition Center in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China. dates: 6-16 September 2017 location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China contact: UNCCD Secretariat phone: +49-228 / 815-2800 fax: +49-228 / 815-2898/99 e-mail: secretariat@unccd.int www:

http://www2.unccd.int/convention/conference-parties-cop/cop13-6-16092017-ordos-china

UNFCCC COP 23:This meeting will be organized by Fiji and hosted at the headquarters of the UNFCCC Secretariat in Bonn, Germany. dates: 6-17 November 2017 location: Bonn, Germany contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49 228 815 1000 fax: +49 228 815 1999 e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int www: http://newsroom.unfccc.int/cop-23-bonn/

World Toilet Day: The 4th World Toilet Day will take place on 19 November 2017, and will focus on the theme of wastewater. dates: 19 November 2017 contact: UN-Water phone: +41 22 730 8636 41 01 e-mail: unwater@un.org www: http://wtd.unwater.org/2017/

28th UN-Water Meeting: The 28th UN-Water Meeting will be hosted by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome, Italy. dates: 1-2 February 2018 contact: UN-Water phone: +41 22 730 8636 e-mail: unwater@un.org www: http://www.unwater.org

World Water Forum: The 8th World Water Forum will take place in Brasilia from 18-23 March 2017, gathering experts, managers and organizations involved with water managers and organizations involved with water issues all over the world. It will coincide with World Water Day, which is on 22 March. dates: 18-23 March 2017 location: Brasilia, Brazil contact: World Water Council phone: +33 4 91 99 41 00 fax: +33 4 91 99 41 01 e-mail: contact@worldwaterforum8.org www: http://www.worldwaterforum8.org

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