Monday, April 25, 2016

UN, World Bank Announce Members of High-Level Panel on Water

UN, World Bank Announce Members of High-Level Panel on Water
  21 April 2016: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced the appointment of ten Heads of State and Government and two Special Advisors to the High-Level Panel on Water, which was first announced in January 2016. The presidents of Mauritius and Mexico serve as Panel co-chairs, with the prime ministers of Australia, Bangladesh, Jordan and Netherlands, and the presidents of Hungary, Senegal, South Africa and Tajikistan also on the Panel. 
 The Panel's appointment was announced on 21 April 2016, when the UN General Assembly convened for a High-level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Panel aims to mobilize action to accelerate the implementation of Goal 6 (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all). 
 Achieving the SDGs will require changes in the way governments, societies and the private sector manage water, according to a joint statement on the launch. SDG 6 aims to ensure water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for all, while also tackling challenges related to water scarcity and stress, improving water quality, and promoting integrated water resources management (IWRM). According to the UN, over 2.4 billion people lack access to improved sanitation and an estimated 663 million do not have access to safe drinking water, situations that contribute to premature deaths and economic losses. 
 “Ensuring water and sanitation for all is crucial for reducing poverty and achieving other SDGs,” Ban said in a press note. He urged partners to mobilize financial, political and technological support to mobilize behind SDG 6. Kim added, "Growing cities and populations, as well as a changing climate, are placing unprecedented pressures on our water resources.". He stressed that providing clean water and sanitation for all “requires the kind of global action, strong leadership and commitment shown by the [Panel] members.” 
 The Panel is expected to: provide leadership to develop and manage water resources and improve WASH access; champion a collaborative, comprehensive and inclusive approach to achieving SDG 6; work to advocate for financing and implementation approaches to effect concrete change; and "shine light" on institutions and policies that are placing the world on a more sustainable path. 
 The co-chairs of the Panel are Ameenah Gurib, President, Mauritius, and Enrique Peña Nieto, President, Mexico. The other members are: Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister, Australia; Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, Bangladesh; János Áder, President, Hungary; Abdullah Ensour, Prime Minister, Jordan; Mark Rutte, Prime Minister, the Netherlands; Jacob Zuma, President, South Africa; Macky Sall, President, Senegal; Emomali Rahmon, President, Tajikistan. The Special Advisors are: Han Seung-soo, former Prime Minister, the Republic of Korea; and Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of State for the Environment, Peru. 
 According to a joint statement, the Panel welcomes “an open and growing ‘friends of the water panel' network that encourages a voice for all and seeks to learn from the knowledge that already exists." [UN Press Release] [UNSG Note to Correspondents] [Joint Statement] [SDSN Website on Panel] [IISD Briefing Note on the High-level Thematic Debate on Achieving the SDGs] [IISD RS Story on Panel Establishment] 
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