Today, Monday 29 August 2016, WaterLex attended the plenary session convened for the official opening of Stockholm World Water Week 2016. High level speakers were present: Karin Wanngard, Mayor of Stockholm, H.E. Margot Wallström, Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary General, Kevin Rudd, Chair of Sanitation and Water for All and Charafat Afailal, Moroccan Minister of Energy, Mining, Water and Environment.
They all underlined the centrality of water in the sustainable development agenda and the fact that it is most important to preserve our resources for future generations. Margot Wallström also highlighted that the eternal dimension of the life cycle of water imposes a great responsibility upon us.
The speeches were followed by a lecture by Professor Joan B. Rose, 2016 Stockholm Water Prize laureate. The lecture focused on Joan Rose’s research on pathogens and the Global Water Pathogen Project, which is a knowledge resource and hub on water pathogens aiming to guide the setting of quality objectives for water and sanitation.
During the last part of the plenary a panel discussion on water wise implementation and innovation took place, which brought together high level panelists Naina Lal Kidwai, Chairman of the FICCI Water Mission and Chair of the India Sanitation Coalition, H.E. Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Charlotte Petri-Gornitzka, Director General of Sida, Prof Kevin Chika Urama, Senior Advisor to the president of the AfDB and finally Claire Reid, Winner of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2003 and founder of Reel Gardening.
During the afternoon, part of the team attended the launch of the new UN-Water report that looks at addressing the interlinkages between SDG 6 on water and sanitation and the other 16 sustainable development goals, to which WaterLex contributed.
Some interlinkages can be considered as synergies when the targets mutually support each other. But there can also be potential conflicts between the targets contained in SDG 6 and others, which have to be identified to allow for the achievement of all the targets.
After a few short presentations by high-level panelists Léo Heller, Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Eri Honda, Urban Development specialist at the Asian Development Bank, and Callist Tindimugaya, Commissioner for water resources planning and regulation, Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment, the audience broke off into three groups to discuss the social, economic and environmental dimensions of the interlinkages.
WaterLex participated in the discussion on the social dimension, where it was highlighted that, among others, corruption and conflicts between ministries (falling under SDG 16) impede the realisation of the targets set in SDG 6. This reflects how important WaterLex activities are, aiming to achieve good governance, especially in regards to water.
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Tel: +41 22 907 36 46
Email: l.schilling (at) waterlex.org
WaterLex is an international public interest development organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. It is a UN-Water Partner with UN ECOSOC special consultative status. Its mission is to develop sustainable solutions based on human rights to improve water governance worldwide, particularly in regard to consistent water law and policy frameworks, with the Sustainable Development Goals (especially SDG 6, water for all) in mind. It is an official member of the Global Water Partnership, UNDP Cap-Net, UNDP Global Water Solidarity, UNEP Global Wastewater Initiative, and Swiss Water Partnership.