Slovenia: The role of water in sustainable development

On World Water Day 22 March 2017 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Faculty of Law, University of Ljubljana hosted a roundtable entitled "The importance of drinking water sources for international peace and security."

The main topic was the importance of access to clean and safe drinking water in general, as well as the role of water in sustainable development and in maintaining peace and security.


Among the panellists were the former president of the Republic of Slovenia and Chairman of the Global High Panel on Water and Peace Dr. Danilo Türk, professor at the Biotechnical Faculty, Prof. dr. Lucka Kajfež Bogataj, Chair of the Global Water Partnership Slovenia Ms. Martina Zupan and the General Manager for Water and investments at the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning Mr. Leon Behin. The discussion was facilitated by Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law Dr. Vasilka Sancin.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, NGOs, private sector and scientific-research and cultural stakeholders are working to achieve common goals in the field of water at the international level, particularly in terms of sustainable development and water security in the broadest sense. Slovenia advocates at the United Nations, within the EU, as well as at cross-regional, national and local levels. She also stressed that the right to safe drinking water is a part of human rights.

The round table highlighted the importance of Slovenian good practices (in river basins, at sea and in the mountains), which are internationally recognized, as well as the circular economy and education. Participants also discussed the importance of the entry of the right to drinking water in the Slovenian Constitution.



Prof. Dr. Lučka Kajfež Bogataj gave a short lecture on occurrence of droughts and floods events on global level in the future. GWP Slovenia Chair Mr. Martina Zupan presented the most serious challenges mentioned in the new EC report on the EU Environmental Implementation Review, with a focus on Slovenia - better spatial planning, waste water treatment and preserving Slovenia’s extensive Natura 2000 network. She also emphasized the need to implement sustainable sanitation in small and medium size settlements where lives 51 % of Slovenians (based on data from 2012).

It was agreed that water is a cross-cutting theme of sustainable development, ensuring peace and security and respect for human rights. Efforts to water security, transboundary water cooperation and the realization of the right to drinking water are crucial for ensuring the stability and resilience of the society. Slovenia therefore supports Global High Level Panel on Water and Peace, the mission of which is to find common routes and cooperation between all who share water resources.