The First Preparatory Meeting for Rio+20, which will discuss the substantive themes, will be held from May 17-19, 2010 at the United Nations ECOSOC in New York.
“Countries urgently need to take action through their representatives in the CSD process, in order to ensure that water security is recognized as a crucial component of sustainable development and poverty eradication,” said GWP Executive Secretary Dr Ania Grobicki.
The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), scheduled for 2012, has been eagerly awaited as a follow-up to the Rio Summit of 1992 and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. The world’s mandate for all countries to establish integrated water management plans and water efficiency plans dates from 2002, when the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation spelled out the actions needed to achieve the Rio vision
The themes for the Rio+20 conference have now been announced. They call for :
• a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication
• the institutional framework for sustainable development.
A background report from the UN Secretary-General on the meeting’s themes can be found at the conference website.
Dr Grobicki noted, “The report mentions water only in the context of water supply and sanitation, and water services – thereby avoiding the crucial questions: where will the water come from? How can water security be ensured in the face of increasing water scarcity? With many competing claims from various sectors and interest groups, how can our dwindling freshwater resources be used sustainably?”
“The solution lies in urgently seeking water security through intersectoral dialogue and innovative, negotiated solutions,” added Dr Grocicki. “If the Rio+20 conference is to fulfil its aims, to follow up on existing commitments and to address new and emerging challenges, this needs to be done through addressing the need for water security – one of the greatest challenges of our time.”