UNESCO Names 2013 the Year of International Water Cooperation
Early this month, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) held a conference at its headquarters in Paris, France. The event was kicked-off by a video introduction given by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in which the announcement was made that UNESCO and UN-Water will be partnering together to make 2013 the Year of International Water Cooperation.
Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO said, “Water is not just one subject among others, it is the central subject of international cooperation.” Water was recognized as a fundamental right by the United Nations in 2010. It is hoped that now, at a time when water resources in developing nations are becoming increasingly critical issues, that the international community can band together to rectify this problem.
Some important water-related statistics are available through UNESCO such as those in the infographic above (click here to see an enlarged version). Organization officials say that over seven hundred and eighty million people around the globe do not have access to sanitary water resources and that approximately forty percent of all natural disasters and their effects on human populations are water-based. UNESCO realizes therefore that water conservation and cooperation holds the key to achieving its wider goals of health and economic, social and environmental sustainability.