The Secretary-General of WMO, Mr. Michel Jarraud, briefed the Board on inter-agency work on water, noting that 2013 marked the International Year of Water Cooperation. He thanked the World Bank for hosting the recent meeting of UN-Water and for its strong commitment to the issue, which was truly cross-cutting and central to discussions on the post-2015 development agenda. He also expressed appreciation to UNICEF and UN-DESA for coordinating the Global Thematic Consultation on behalf of the mechanism. On World Water Day, on 22 March 2013, a High Level Forum was held in The Hague, and its Outcome Statement had been transmitted to the Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Indeed, water security was central to peace and conflict prevention, gender equality and women´s empowerment, energy, food and nutrition security, human rights and human dignity among others. It was a clearly a strategic issue for the post-2015 development agenda and in this International Year of Water Cooperation (2013). In this regard, the important implications of the water-energy food nexus and relationship to climate change were highlighted. Members also thanked the Deputy Secretary-General for his leadership on water and sanitation. It was pointed out that while drinking-water supply had a clear business model, this was not the case for sanitation, and that there was a need to strengthen the capacity of governments and local authorities to create the proper institutional framework.
The Deputy Secretary-General expressed his appreciation for the support he had received on the Call for Action on Sanitation. He noted that 37 percent of the global population still lacked access to sanitation, and that additional support was needed to help Member States in accelerating the work on the MDG and in ensuring the basis for work beyond 2015. A meeting of finance ministers would be held on 19 April at World Bank headquarters on financing for sanitation, a good example of working horizontally. Given the important work that would need to be carried out over the next three years, it was appropriate that UN-Water should continue to be chaired at the level of executive head.
CEB members thanked Mr. Jarraud for his briefing and for his leadership of UN-Water. Members noted the high level of collaboration that existed in the system around the wide range of water issues.