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Water For Life Decade Needs Sustained Commitment

Meeting Goals Of ‘Water For Life’ Decade Requires Sustained Commitment – Annan

New York, Aug 24 2005 6:00PM With limited contributions and commitments so far to advance the goals of the “Water for Life” Decade, which kicked off last March, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for increased and better targeted fund-raising and awareness-raising efforts that will help ensure long-term sustainable water use and improved sanitation.

“Achieving the goals of the ‘Water for Life’ Decade will require sustained commitment, cooperation and investment on the part of all stakeholders, from 2005 to 2015 and beyond,” Mr. Annan says in a new report on actions taken in organizing activities of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life.” This is the second such water-related decade organized by the UN, succeeding the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade, 1981-1990.

The report notes that UN-Water, the system-wide mechanism for coordinating the relevant activities of the world body’s agencies and programmes had defined a number of thematic priorities for its work over the Decade, which include coping with water scarcity and pollution; sanitation, safe drinking water and health; transboundary water issues; and disaster risk reduction. Africa was selected as a geographical focus due of its exceptional water and sanitation needs.

Mr Annan says that awareness of the importance of the use and fresh management of water resources for achieving sustainable development has increased in recent years, and he urges all interested stakeholders, such as international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and others, to link their water-related activities to the Decade, or consider newer and broader partnerships.

Member States might also wish to consider setting up national committees of designating focal points in their respective countries to facilitate and promote activities related to the Decade, Mr. Annan adds.

ENDS

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