Dr. Schaefer-Preuss participated on behalf of GWP in one of four high-level multi-stakeholder roundtable sessions, held at the Special Event during the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly.
Dr. Schaefer-Preuss said that there were discussions regarding the positioning of a dedicated, global goal for water in the successor arrangements to the Millennium Development Goal Declaration, which expires in 2015.
“It is quite clear from the various interventions made by delegations and representatives of civil society related to the challenges of water security or water scarcity, that there has to be more emphasis on the various components of water. A majority expressed strong support for a dedicated water goal in the successor arrangement to the MDGs, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, said Dr. Schaefer-Preuss after the meeting.
More Work Ahead
The UN recently published a report on how the work on the MDGs is progressing. It states that the achievements have been uneven among and within countries, and although some of the targets have been met or are within close reach, progress is not enough in many areas. Addressing the roundtable in New York, Dr. Schaefer-Preuss stressed the need for a dedicated water goal:
“Some economists still appear to believe that the water cycle can be dealt with piece by piece – some under agriculture, another piece under health, some under ecosystems, etc. The Global Water Partnership believes that a dedicated water goal is now imperative, in order to focus attention and political will upon this neglected system which is so vital for sustainability”.
The GWP Chair also participated in an exploratory exchange of views aiming at establishing a platform for a Water Global Goal (working title), “to coordinate water stakeholders and produce a comprehensive output on what a holistic, sustainable global goal on water must look like”.
There was general agreement that such platform would be useful, and further discussion about this initiative will likely take place at the Budapest Water Summit 8-11 October.
As a result of the Special Event, an Outcome Document was adopted by the UN Member States, with renewed commitments to continue work on the MDGs and also to adopt a new set of goals in 2015.
Photo: The UN Headquarters in New York, by Muhammad Ghouri/Wikimedia Commons