“No Waste Water, Only Wasted Water”

   A new report, “The UNSGAB Journey”, on water and sanitation was launched by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) at today’s press conference. The advisory board was founded in 2004 by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan “to bring together eminent people to advise on how to solve the planet’s foremost water and sanitation troubles, suggest a handful of attainable recommendations and a concise plan of action, and then provide the high-level leadership needed to galvanize the international community into action on the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets for drinking water and sanitation.” The group’s 11-year mandate has come to an end and this is the final work to be put out by the group.

   The report shines light on 7 tipping points to transform the water world:

  1. Build attention to water and sanitation: create the will to act now
  2. Drinking Water: More. Managed. Monitored. Made safe.
  3. Bring sanitation into the mainstream
  4. Push for increased and improved financial flows
  5. Catalyze better water resources management. IWRM and Nexus: within and between countries, across sectors
  6. Demand UN attention to pollution prevention, wastewater treatment and safe reuse
  7. Promote protection and prevent death and damage from water-related disasters

   The report also includes words of wisdom for future advisory groups and discusses unfinished business and tasks for the future.

   The advisory group worked by identifying personalities and institutions that had high leverage and would be able to bring political attention to sanitation and UNSGAB was successful in putting wastewater management on the UN agenda. The speakers left the audience with the mantra “there is no waste water, but only wasted water.”

Meeting: Launch of a New Report by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB)

Speakers: Ms. Uschi Eid, United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB); and UNSGAB Members: Ms. Maggie Catley-Carlson; Ms. Maria Mutagamba; and Mr. Gerard Payen.

Written By: WIT Representative Tania Makker

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo credit: https://sourceable.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/water-recycling.jpg

Prevention Is Better Than A Cure: Making Global Crises Less Risky

Hands Holding a Small Globe --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

The meeting opened by asking what lessons have been learned and what actions can be taken regarding successful crisis mitigation.

Ms. Kaffa-Jackou spoke about her country Niger, which is a landlocked and least-developed country where 75% of it is desert. This leaves a region that is subject to recurring droughts, growing terrorist activity, and epidemics. One successful program started in Niger is the 3N initiative which not only bolsters early warning mechanisms towards climate change and food insecurity, but also establishes dedicated productive agriculture among farmers to later distribute to other Nigerians in need. This involves also teaching farmers in most affected areas of desertification to improve the quality of soil and prevent disease. They have also started to use drip crops using irrigation systems.

Mr. Waglé focused on the systemic problems. For example, in Nepal, six months after the earthquake, not one dollar of contributed aid had been applied towards recovery. An effective risk management system at the national and global levels needs to be established, along with the balance between preparation and coping. The distinction between development aid and restoration aid should be more blurred, as many restoration projects will take years, and thus become part of the country’s development.

Mr. Anthony gave a presentation about CCRIF’s successful crisis mitigation model for the Caribbean, which has been copied in other areas of the world. It has provided parametric insurance for Caribbean governments which has been able to consistently make payment of financial liquidity within 14 days after a catastrophe. It would be terrific to have one ultra-viable organization that has been renamed to pool risk across the world.

The speakers from the LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDs expounded on the many dangers their countries are facing. Mr. Sareer said one “cannot think of disaster reduction separately from climate change.”

Meeting: Panel discussion on “A crisis mitigation and resilience building mechanism for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States”

Date/Location: Friday, October 29, 2015; 10:00-13:00, Conference Room 2

Speakers: Chaired by Ms. Chantal Uwizera (Rwanda), Rapporteur of the Second Committee Moderator; Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States; Her Excellency Rakiatou Christelle Kaffa-Jackou, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, African Integration and Nigerian Abroad, Republic of Niger; Mr. Swarnim Waglé, former Member of the National Planning Commission, Nepal; Mr. Isaac Anthony, Chief Executive Officer, Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF); His Excellency Abulkalam Abdul Momen (Bangladesh), Chair of the Group of Least Developed Countries; Her Excellency Mwaba Patricia Kasese-Bota (Zambia), Chair of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries; His Excellency Ahmed Sareer (Maldives), Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States

Written by: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: http://laurazera.com/speaking/