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[Title] Hashimoto Action Plan Compendium of Actions Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation

[Place] Mexico
[Date] March, 2006
[Source] United Nations Secretary-General's
[Full text]

Compendium of Actions


1. Message by the Board Chair

2. Water Operators Partnerships

3. Financing

4. Sanitation

5. Monitoring and Reporting

6. Integrated Water Resources Management

7. Water and Disaster

8. UN Water Prize

9. Who we are

1. Message by the Board Chair

In adopting the Millennium Development Goals, the nations of the world pledged to halve by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Unless the world redeems that pledge, we will be hard-pressed to meet the MDG targets in other vital areas such as nutrition, education, poverty eradication, and environment, for water is life. But so far progress in meeting the MDG water and sanitation target has been fitful and slow.

We need radical change and swift, resolute action.

For that reason, Kofi Annan in 2003 asked me to lead an Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation to guide him on how to achieve the water goal. The Board draws leaders from diverse fields and our discussions are often fractious. Yet despite our differences, we reached consensus on an ambitious water workplan - this Compendium of Actions - because we are united in the belief that the world must provide better water management, clean water and basic sanitation services to more people.

What follows in this Compendium of Actions is a work plan on a global scale to help ensure that we meet the MDG water and sanitation target. We have not created new resolutions or more analysis. Rather, we drew on the consensus documents of many past meetings and conferences. The Board is mindful that much promising work is underway already. But much more remains undone.This Compendium of Actions calls for breakthroughs in six vital areas. The "Your Action" sections address key players. In the "Our Action" sections, the Board, collectively and individually, commits to work with those key players. Many obstacles exist, yet by effectively uniting our strengths, we can better manage our water resources and improve sanitation so that we will achieve the MDGs

The Board begins this initiative with an important symbolic request.

√ We call on the United Nations Secretary-General to create the United Nations Water Prize for Sustainable Development to be awarded each year during the International Decade for Action, "Water for Life," to highlight exceptional progress in two areas - water supply and sanitation.

A Water Operators Partnership

The operators who deliver water services need help. Publicly owned and managed water operators currently provide more than 90 percent of the world's piped water, and even small managerial improvements could yield major benefits. The Board recommends a new mechanism - water operators partnerships (WOPs). This would be a structured programme of cooperation among water operators, based on mutual support and on a not-for-profit basis. To reach our objectives:

√ UN-Water should coordinate support for WOPs from among UN agencies;

√ The Secretary-General is requested to support the WOPs programme including specific encouragement to national governments to aid its implementation;

√ National water ministries should encourage public utilities to participate in suitable trails, and national finance ministries to make funds available for them.

The Board will develop an Action Programme, and will propose institutional arrangements for the WOPs.


Urgent water needs must be financed. Water and sanitation infrastructure and service equipment are not free to build or operate. Local authorities need to attract more funds for water operators. Governments must develop appropriate financing mechanisms to ensure that necessary systems at the local level are built and maintained which requires a mix of tariffs and subsidies. Inequities in the current user-fee systems must addressed so these systems are viable and more just.

The key is to attract the right type of financing, and to fix under-performing utilities through capacity building. We need national financial frameworks so that water operators can borrow in local currencies at affordable interest rates. We need sustainable cost-recovery policies with efficient tariffs and adequate subsidies and cross-subsidies. To reach our objectives:

√ Regional capacity-building organizations should set up sustained programmes to create better governance and transparency in water services;

√ Regional financial institutions and the World Bank are requested to establish ongoing programmes to link local water operatosrs{sic} and new funding sources;

√ Financial authorities should set up programmes to develop local financial markets.

The Board will conduct dialogues with IFIs and will work closely with the OECD to achieve the financing objectives.


Without radical change, we will not achieve the MDG sanitation target. More awareness and political will, along with more capacity is needed. At the global level, the key is advocacy. For their part, regional and sub-regional organizations should undertake concerted campaigns to support the provision of financing, marketing, technology, and organizational assistance and guidance. The "Water for Life" Decade should be used to build political will to reach sanitation targets. To reach our objectives:

√ The year 2008 should be designated as "International Year of Sanitation";

√ The United Nations should award an annual Water Prize for sanitation to spotlight people engaged in local sanitation services;

√ A UN "Global Sanitation Conference" should be held toward the end of the "Water for Life" Decade to take stock.

The Board will urge donors, related institutions, and governments to make sanitation a top priority.

Monitoring & Reporting

Monitoring is essential to assess the real impact of investments to meet water targets. National governments need monitoring and reporting systems to manage their own programs efficiently. As custodian of the MDGs, the UN is responsible for providing methodologies and reliable data so that we can measure global progress toward achieving them. The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) needs greater attention. UN-Water needs adequate funding so that it can lead an ongoing effort to obtain a clear picture of progress or lack of it in water issues. To reach our objectives:

√ The Secretary-General should work with UN agency heads to increase the priority accorded to the JMP in resource allocations;

√ UN-Water should play a high-profile role at the global level in coordinating monitoring and reporting systems;

√ OECD is requested to coordinate with multilateral financial institutions to develop better knowledge of all water expenditures.

The Board will collaborate with the international community and financial institutions to support the UN and others in implementing these proposed enhancements and changes.

Integrated Water Resource Management

The Board recognizes progress toward fulfilling the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) call for national integrated water resource

management (IWRM) and water efficiency plans. The Board proposes that each Member State submit their Plan, and that the UN create from them a database for sharing lessons learned. To reach our objectives:

√ The Secretary-General is requested to invite all Member States to report before the 2008 Commission on Sustainable Development's separate segment (to follow up water and sanitation decisions) on their IWRM and water efficiency Plans, and actions they have taken to implement them and the support they have given to countries needing assistance (provide support for others;

√ UN-Water and interested donors are requested to assess the support needed by transboundary organizations including the better cooperation among them;

√ The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) is invited to create a database to harvest lessons from the compendium of IWRM Plans.

The Board will start dialogues with the Secretary-General, with the UN, and as needed, with governments, to make this happen.

Water and Disaster

We must reduce significantly the devastation inflicted by manmade and natural disasters related to water. Most natural phenomena that cause water-related disasters can be predicted. So we must focus the world's attention on proven prediction and prevention techniques. To reach our objectives:

√ The Board requests the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR), together with interested countries, to compile available knowledge about predicting, preventing, preparing for, and responding to water-related disasters, for incorporation into national plans and IWRM and water efficiency Plans;

√ Experts are urged to devise an instrument for creating global awareness and commitment, and to define an internationally recognizable target focused on reducing the loss of life and livelihoods;

√ National and local governments should ensure immediate provision for safe drinking water and sanitation during and after disasters.

The Board will collaborate with all relevant players in defining such a target for reducing the loss of life and livelihood from water-related disasters, and for encouraging the international community to adopt it.

It is time for action

We must not hesitate. The world must act now. We will take Our Actions. We implore you to take Your Actions. Action now will save and enhance lives, and it is essential if we want to protect all life and our home, our fragile planet.

{signature omitted}

Ryutaro Hashimoto


Ryutaro Hashimoto


United Nations Secretary-General's Advisory

Board on Water and Sanitation

2. Water Operators Partnerships (WOPs)

Cooperation between water operators, or Water Operators Partnerships (WOPs) can be useful mechanisms for providing support for capacity building of public water operators. Given the preponderance of public sector undertakings, it is envisaged that most operating partnerships will be between public operators. However, we do not exclude private sector operators, NGOs or those who can contribute to the performance of public water undertakings on a not-for-profit basis*1*. The Board has identified several actions to be taken by the Board, UN, international organizations, governments and other stakeholders in order to promote WOPs.

WOPs Objective

- To strengthen local water services through WOPs while ensuring that WOPs are recognized as an important means of achieving internationally agreed targets.

Your Action

- Secretary-General to give strong support to the WOPs programme, including specific encouragement to national governments to aid its implementation, through:

-- Messages to the international financial institutions (IFIs) for support;

-- Directions to UN agencies and departments for support, as appropriate, including from regional offices;

-- Message to relevant meetings about the MDGs;

-- Messages to media.

- UN-Water to coordinate support from among UN agencies;

- United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), in cooperation with appropriate bodies, to develop a database and Internet-interface for operating the WOPs-matching mechanisms. This Internet-interface will be field tested before its use is broadened to cover other regions;

- Public utilities with experience of twinning to work with WOPs to strengthen the proposals, and participate in implementing them;

- National water ministries to encourage public utilities to participate in suitable trials, and national finance ministries to make funds available for them;

- Professional water associations to contribute to building the Internet-based matching mechanism and to make their related networks available to water operators willing to establish WOPs;

- Relevant IFIs to be encouraged to provide financial and technical support to the WOPs programme.

Our Action

- Advocate the use of WOPs and demonstrate their potential importance and benefits; conceptualize the basic mechanisms for WOPs operations; and, help in the start-up process by:

-- Urging relevant organizations to participate until partnership activities attain their own momentum;

-- Raising awareness through media presence;

-- High-level networking among institutions and individuals about the WOPs programme;

-- Advising on developing WOP mechanisms and promoting actions on WOPs.

- Give visibility to the WOPs programme at the World Water Forum, and in its advice to the Secretary-General;

- Develop, in cooperation with public utilities associations, a prototype of a database and Internet-interface for operating the WOPs-matching mechanisms;

- Initiate discussions with IFIs to strengthen the WOPs model and gain their commitment to the WOPs;

- Review annually the outcomes of WOPs and assess their contribution.

- The Board will develop and Action Programme and will propose institutional arrangements for the WOPs.

*1* Not-for-profit means recuperation of salaries, travel, and subsistence expenses.

3. Financing

Financing is a major challenge to achieving the MDG water and sanitation target. The Board takes no position on utility ownership, though it notes that over 90 percent of water operations are publicly owned, and affirms that water operators must be operationally capable and financially viable. The Board has identified actions involving national policy makers; the financial and donor community; and, those involved in decentralizing water and sanitation services to the district and municipal levels.

Financing Objective 1

(a) National governments should set specific goals and financial targets for water and sanitation.

(b) Governments must define their policies' revenue and expenditure assumptions to increase access to water and sanitation, including where relevant reference to Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers.

(c) Governments should accept their responsibility to help local communities gain access to needed financing.

(d) National policies must recognize that water users and taxpayers will perforce generate most new funding. Inequities must be rooted out to make current user-fee systems viable and more just. Though full cost recovery may not be the policy objective, tariff policies should provide for sustainable cost recovery. Policies should be specific about expected levels of public subsidy, including cross-subsidy arrangements and subsidies targeted directly for the poorest.

Your Action

- Governments to properly prioritize water financing, and reflect this in their Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). In addition, national policy must include:

-- Policies of sustainable cost-recovery of water-service charges;

-- An efficient tariff system for water services with cross-subsidies to poor people where needed;

-- A policy framework that encourages improved water service providers;

-- A stated policy on fiscal decentralization and tax system improvements and arrangements whereby water and sanitation operators retain revenues;

-- Policies addressing corruption in the water sector;

-- Improved capital markets that address low savings rates, capital flight, and failing banking systems;

-- Improved absorptive capacity in the water and sanitation sector.

Our Action

- Conduct policy discussion with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Regional Development (IBRD) to assess the priority the national budgets and PSRPs give to water and sanitation;

- Monitor and publicize the status of governments' financial planning in the water sector.

Financing Objective 2

(a) Bilateral donors and IFIs should allocate Official Development Assistance (ODA) to build institutions, to prepare for infrastructure projects, and to increase the capacity of developing countries' water operators to attract new financial resources and draw down on existing commitments.

(b) Bilateral donors, IFIs, and technical assistance providers should give high priority to capacity improvements that will help local communities and water operators tap into capital markets, including pension funds.

(c) IFIs should accept a major role in enabling water operators to make their operations more efficient, more transparent, and more financially viable through local financial markets, taxes, and contributions by users. They should provide advice to sub-sovereigns on how to access internal and external funding.

(d) Bilateral donors and IFIs should review their ODA practices to assess the extent to which they accommodate:

-- Priority to funding for countries not on track for achieving the MDGs.

-- Grants for technical assistance and maintenance and services.

-- Funding designed to leverage non-ODA sources toward the water sector.

Your Action

- The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to set up a Task Team on Water and Sanitation, under its Development Assistance Committee (OECD DAC), to re-examine OECD's Water Development Assistance Policy Guidelines to address the points above;

- OECD DAC to convene a high-level special session on water and sanitation (perhaps as part of the Water and Development Ministerial Meeting in 2007) to adopt revisions to the Water Development Assistance Policy Guidelines;

- Relevant governments to request a prompt review and update of the Evian G8 Water Action Plan, with further action as appropriate

- Regional capacity-building organizations should set up sustained programmes to create better governance and transparency in water services

- RDB and the World Bank are requested to establish ongoing programmes to link local water operators and new funding sources

- Financial authorities should channel their water funding in these areas.

Our Action

- Organize a dialogue with OECD in conjunction with the sixth Board meeting in Paris in July, 2006; including the appropriate follow-up to the Evian G8 Water Action Plan;

- Conduct follow up dialogues with individual OECD members as well as IFIs and bilateral donors in July through December, 2006;

- Discuss these proposals with heads of IFIs over the next 18 months.

Financing Objective 3

(a) Local governments should take full responsibility for boosting their own performance, and for ensuring transparency, benchmarking, and other measures to make themselves more attractive to financial sources.

(b) National governments must create arrangements that allow local governments and local water operators to get easier and cheaper access to local and-where appropriate-international capital markets.

(c) National governments, with the assistance of the IBRD and RDBs, should facilitate municipalities' access to borrowing, especially by:

-- developing local financial markets;

-- advising local governments about the tools and appropriate ways to get funds;

-- securing currency risks;

-- developing loans to sub-sovereigns with long-term maturities and affordable interest rates;

-- identifying or creating pooling mechanisms allowing local governments to get better credit ratings;

-- securing ability of municipalities to reimburse loans; and

-- providing transparency and good legal environment.

(d) Within countries, regional and local development banks, or specialized financial institutions, should be assigned as intermediaries for channeling external and central government funds to water operators, including community and NGO groups that have improved performance.

(e) Regional and Local Development Banks and specialized financial institutions should provide technical assistance to municipalities to create favorable lending environments (donor governments be asked to assist via OECD exercise).

(f) UN Resident Coordinators should associate their programmes with the actions above by collecting appropriate and focused information and convening meetings;

(g)National and local governments should explore innovative, job-creating approaches to sanitation to reduce costs.

Your Action

- IFIs and RDBs to assess their capability for undertaking the above actions, including discussion with governing bodies where appropriate. They should take direct action to link with associations of mayors and municipalities, including United Cities and Local Governments and other bodies;

- RDBs to conduct technical assistance studies on the above points, including the operation of rating agencies, beginning now if these are not in hand;

- UN, through its Resident Coordinators, and with the help of relevant IFIs or RDBs, to organize sustained capacity building programmes on a national and regional basis to improve water operators' managerial capacity;

- The Secretary-General to consult the World Food Program and others about whether their experience with innovative low-cost labour-intensive approaches could apply to water supply and sewer projects.

- Relevant sources to provide data on local development agencies and pooling mechanisms, if any, that could help municipalities borrow money at cheaper rates;

- IFIs and RDBs, with relevant regional UN offices, to convene special meetings with planning and finance ministers to discuss the above points in 2006/2007 on a regional and sub-regional basis;

- RDBs (such as the Asian Development Bank), in collaboration with the UN Development Programme, to organize sub-regional workshops and provide technical assistance on the regulation and standards required by capital providers, which will help mayors, governors, and utility managers attract more local capital;

- International Finance Corporation (IFC) to convene a workshop of capital providers on their experience with partial guarantees, including currency risk guarantees.

Our Action

- Approach IFIs, RDBs, and planning and finance ministers to prepare for special meetings, the series of sub-regional workshops and technical assistance;

- Facilitate the meetings by joining discussion or providing inputs;

- Follow up the meeting outcomes with high-level dialogues with countries and institutions;

- Publicize significant achievements in financing that have helped countries make progress in achieving the points in the targets.

4. Sanitation

Political awareness and concerted actions are urgently needed to "place sanitation on track." Without both, we will not meet the MDG water and sanitation target. Effort is urgently needed in this area.

Sanitation Objective 1

(a) Raise awareness on the urgent need to concentrate on sanitation in each of its three aspects: hygiene promotion, household sanitary arrangements, and sewage arrangements.

(b) Promote accelerated actions for achieving the MDG water and sanitation target and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.

(c) Develop and apply the capacity of regional and sub-regional organizations to undertake concerted campaigns to support countries with the provision of financing, marketing, technology and organizational assistance and guidance.

Your Action

- UN to declare an "International Year of Sanitation" in conjunction with Member States and related international organizations;

- UN to establish a "Sanitation Prize" as part of a new United Nations Water Prize for Sustainable Development;

- UN to review critically the database on the MDG sanitation target including the update of the definition of "improved sanitation" in ways that continuity of data/indicators is maintained while they represent a clearer picture of improvement;

- To move the primary responsibility for providing assistance to the regional level:

-- The relevant RDB, in consultation with UN regional commissions, the relevant UN sectoral organizations, and UN Resident Coordinators, and in collaboration with existing initiatives and campaigns such as WASH and Ecosan, should design a program of capacity strengthening at regional or sub-regional workshops with involvement of stakeholders including health professionals and scientists;

-- The UN regional commissions should organize regional high-level meetings especially in the "International Year of Sanitation" to review and promote policy and organizational changes;

-- These regional workshops will be followed up by a "Global Sanitation Conference" organized by UN, toward the end of the "Water for Life" Decade;

-- Special focus should be given to strengthening the profile of sustainable reuse-oriented sanitation in international debates and promoting its integration into relevant sector policies, such as health and agriculture.

Our Action

- Recommend to the Secretary-General that the UN establish an "International Year of Sanitation," and a "Sanitation Prize," and take part in the regional conferences and the "Global Sanitation Conference";

- Appeal to heads of state and to international organizations on establishing an "International Year of Sanitation," and on supporting the regional work along with a "Global Sanitation Conference";

- Appeal to key "Water for Life" Decade actors;

- Appeal to regional and international organizations to take action to help achieve the MDG sanitation target in collaboration with existing initiatives and campaigns such as WASH and Ecosan. Each Member will take responsibility for a specific region and specific organizations to make approaches.

Sanitation Objective 2:

National governments formulate clear-cut strategic sanitation policies and plans tailored to their economic, social and environmental situations.

Your Action

- Donors and national governments to make the distinction between sanitation and water supply in the reports and policies of donors and governments, while maintaining policy integrity among water sub-sectors such as water supply and sanitation under the holistic framework of Integrated Water Resources Management;

- National governments to evaluate their policies and plans on sanitation, especially in light of achieving the MDGs and JPOI;

- IFIs, RDBs, and bilateral donors to facilitate/conduct studies on appropriate options/models for strategic sanitation policies and plans of countries including promotion of micro-credit to support household acquisition of sanitation, starting from specific countries;

- Bilateral and multilateral development organizations to give funding for sanitation, especially for capacity development a higher priority both in country assistance strategies and in water sector funding mechanisms (water facilities, etc.);

- Resources of UN agencies such as UNICEF, WHO, and FAO to be mobilized in order to join in the regional campaigns to give stronger support to the household and local communities based actions on sanitation;

- UN agencies such as UN Environment Programme and UNESCO to collaborate in the organization of regional workshops in priority regions in order to identify and share regionally/locally appropriate sanitation policy models and technical solutions with focus on small scale eco-sanitation, reed beds, and urine separation technologies;

- Academic and scientific community to accelerate, and UN agencies to support, R & D and technological innovation in sanitation so that communities can adopt more efficient, environmentally friendly measures tailored to local conditions.

Our Action

- Promote, through dialogue with donors and other appropriate institutions, studies and surveys on options for plans and strategies tailored to countries' economic, social and environmental situations;

- Conduct dialogue with RDBs, regional organizations, donors, and governments in order to realize the concentrated program of Regional Actions and ultimately the UN global sanitation meeting;

- Call on the academic and scientific community for accelerated research on alternative models and technologies to improve sanitation such as eco-sanitation, the vacuum car and treatment plant system, and urine separation from sewage;

- Appeal for higher prioritization of sanitation in bilateral and multilateral development cooperation, both in country assistance strategies and in water sector funding mechanisms (water facilities etc.);

- Conduct high-level dialogue with UN agencies to materialize their actions stated above.

- Ensure linkage of each of "Your Action" and "Our Action" by, inter alia, reporting progress of actions and facilitating communication among players.

5. Monitoring and Reporting

Achieving the goals of water policies requires adequate monitoring tools. Assessing progress toward targets and reporting the results is vital for managing action by all stakeholders.

Your Action

Monitoring & Reporting Objective 1

Strengthen the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP), which is vital to achieving accurate monitoring on progress toward the MDG target for water and sanitation.

- Recognizing the importance of the JMP in achieving MDGs and JPOI on water and sanitation, WHO and UNICEF to urgently increase their own financial and human resources to strengthen the JMP unit;

- Donors to strengthen the support for JMP activities which are directly linked to improving the output of JMP;

- WHO and UNICEF to organize workshops to improve the accuracy and methodologies employed in the current system;

- UN Water to support the JMP by ensuring access to its members' networks and expertise, especially at field level.

Our Action

- Strongly urge WHO's Director-General and UNICEF's Executive Director to implement the points above;

- Discuss with the Secretary-General more resources for the JMP;

- Request donors to increase their support for the JMP in concrete manners according to findings of the workshops;

- Review the progress made to improve the JMP and publicize the findings.

Monitoring & Reporting Objective 2

- Concerted efforts by national governments, supported as necessary by UN and donors, to monitor the delivery of water and sanitation services.

- Allocate more resources to monitoring to improve the delivery of water and sanitation services.

Your Action

- National governments are urged to give higher priority to monitoring the performance of the water and sanitation sector;

- National governments are urged to measure and report on an annual basis the number of people obtaining access to water/sanitation by access category in their countries;

- Countries with Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) are urged to incorporate in them a target for the number of people who will be provided with access to water services in a specific timeframe;

- OECD is urged to create a water domain on its Web site;

- Donors to report on:

-- the number of people who have been provided with access to water and sanitation through capital projects sponsored by them;

-- concrete measures to support Integrated Water Resources Management in their partner countries;

- UN DESA to create a database on National Water Policies, IWRM and Water Efficiency Plans, and the inclusion of water in PRSPs.

Our Action

- Take up the above issues on monitoring in high-level dialogues with national governments and regional governmental bodies;

- Communicate with the media to help ensure that the public understands monitoring problems and to build support for efforts to solve them;

- Request that all monitoring mechanisms are improved by including information about service conditions; in particular, improvements in the JMP are required.

Monitoring & Reporting Objective 3

- At the global level, effort to harmonize existing monitoring and reporting activities in the water sector in order to increase their effectiveness.

- At the national level, develop and strengthen monitoring tools to facilitate action by governments and other stakeholders and to bring about consistency with global mechanisms.

- At the global level, increase knowledge of water sector spending.

Your Action

- UN-Water to take the lead in creating a platform to enable global agencies to compile and share consistent data on water. UN-Water as a first step should organize a workshop to share information on global monitoring initiatives;

- The UNSG to work with UN agency heads to increase the priority accorded to the JMP in resource allocations;

- National governments to support all efforts in their respective country to improve water- and sanitation-related monitoring tools so that they better meet:

-- the goals of their water policies;

-- the needs of the various stakeholders including local governments and civil society.

- UNICEF and WHO, to provide support to governments to enhance national monitoring systems and make sure they are consistent with global mechanisms;

- OECD to develop better knowledge of all water expenditures including public and private infrastructure investment, operation and maintenance, and household expenditures in coordination with IFIs.

Our Action

- Review with UN-Water progress made in gathering global water data;

- Review with WHO-UNICEF the progress made in developing national monitoring mechanisms for water supply and sanitation;

- Discuss with OECD its program to develop economic data for the water sector.

6. Integrated Water Resources Management

Integrated Water Resources Management is an internationally acknowledged approach that seeks to avoid the lives lost, the money wasted, and the natural capital depleted because of decision-making that did not take into account the larger ramifications of sectoral actions. IWRM is a flexible tool for addressing water challenges and optimizing water's contribution to sustainable development.

IWRM Objective 1

All national governments report on the status of the IWRM and Water Efficiency Plans and the concrete actions taken for their implementation.

Your Action

- National governments to report before CSD-16 on formulating and implementing IWRM and Water Efficiency Plans. Reports should include preparedness for water-related disasters. UN DESA to create a database on national IWRM plans so that governments can register their IWRM and Water Efficiency Plans as the follow-up of decisions made at CSD-13;

- Secretary-General in 2006 to send a call letter for reporting of IWRM and Water Efficiency Plans to all countries, inviting them to report on their efforts and results;

- Secretary-General to request Resident Coordinators to report governments' formulation and implementation of IWRM and Water Efficiency Plans according to an unified format;

- UN Regional Commissions or RGBs to convene workshops to enable nations to exchange information on IWRM and Water Efficiency Plans and to cooperate with nations in preparing the plans.

Our Action

- Recommend the above actions to the Secretary-General;

- Conduct a high-level dialogue with regional government organizations to promote governments' formulation and implementation of IWRM and Water Efficiency Plans;

- Urge UNDP, UNDESA and other UN agencies to implement actions stated above and report on their actions to the Secretary-General;

- Publicize the formulating and implementing of IWRM and Water Efficiency Plans based on the registered information in the database and the reports for UN Resident Coordinators;

- Highlight cases where national governments are making good progress with IWRM process and are employing inclusive approaches giving stakeholders a role in the process.

IWRM Objective 2

- Apply IWRM principles in transboundary situations and strengthen transboundary organizations.

Your Action

- UN-Water to convene a workshop with relevant UN organizations, financial institutions, and interested donors to assess how to better support transboundary organizations and promote cooperation between them;

- IFIs, RDBs, and bilateral donors to assess jointly the funding mechanisms, including pooling, for implementing transboundary water projects under the concept of IWRM;

- IFIs, RDBs, and OECD to review the check-list used to evaluate and implement major and international water projects to ensure a common approach and an IWRM lens;

- National governments to ratify the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (adopted by the UN General Assembly in resolution 51/229 of 21 May 1997) and then apply IWRM to international river basins.

Our Action

- Conduct a dialogue with IFIs, RDBs, and OECD about developing tools and mechanisms to promote IWRM, such as pooling funds for trans-boundary water projects and IWRM project evaluation and implementation check sheets;

- Communicate to national governments at high-level to urge them to ratify the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses;

- Conduct a dialogue with the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment about the importance of ratifying the UN Convention of the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses.

7. Water and Disaster

Water is life. Water is also a threat to life. The past decade water-related disasters have not only struck more often, but have been severe. The toll in lives and livelihood has been immense, along with many other damaging short-term and long-term social and economic impacts. Most natural phenomena that cause water-related disasters are predictable. But we urgently need more action to prevent, prepare for, and manage water-related disasters. These actions should take advantage of the knowledge, experience, and capacity that exists within local and traditional communities and organizations.

Water and Disaster Objective 1

- Establish, with unified political will, a clear-cut global-level target that articulates the direction for global actions for reducing the loss of life and livelihood caused by water-related disasters.

Your Action

- UN agencies, led by the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR), in collaboration with interested countries, to organize a high-level Working Group to develop such a target, and define its political, scientific, social, and economic rationale;

- The Working Group to lead in organizing:

-- a multi-stakeholder workshop, including experts, international relief organizations, national level disaster-preparedness groups and other relevant organizations including NGOs in the development of the criteria and modalities necessary for such a target;

-- workshops to be held at the local and community levels to share experience, traditional knowledge and local actions in response to water- related disasters;

-- an international conference to affirm political will and to develop future strategic actions to reduce water-related disasters, including the adoption of the target.

- UN Member States to adopt the target and discuss further actions;

- The UN/ISDR to compile available knowledge about predicting, preventing, preparing for and responding to water-related disasters, so it can be incorporated into national plans and IWRM and Water Efficiency Plans.

Our Action

- Communicate through dialogues and other actions with key institutions and other stakeholders to ensure that the above actions are taken;

- Call for action to achieve the target once it is established;

- Engage in international awareness-raising activities to operationalize the proposed target.

Water and Disaster Objective 2

- Provide adequate safe water and sanitation during and after disasters.

Your Action

- UN Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to coordinate the following activities;

- National and local governments to include as a key early action response in their disaster-response management plans providing adequate safe drinking water and sanitation;

- International community and national governments to ensure linkage between disaster managers and water-management professionals at local, national, and international levels by, among other things:

-- Maintaining and monitoring data on water and sanitation, which can be used to assess and assist affected areas after disasters, recognizing the important role of local authorities, civil society, and international relief organizations;

-- Ensuring that WOPs include disaster-related cooperation mechanisms among water operators in disaster relief and recovery activities to improve the provision of emergency water and sanitation;

-- National and local governments to develop policies and practices to make their water and sanitation capacities more resilient to hazards, and to do so in concert with both national and regional disaster-preparedness organizations.

Our Action

- Conduct high-level dialogues with national governments and regional governmental bodies on water and sanitation to improve the provision of adequate services in disaster relief and recovery;

- Advocate for awareness-raising actions on the above recommendations in water and sanitation with respect to disasters;

- Work to encourage all data owners to cooperate in establishing a monitoring-coordination mechanism to facilitate the proactive sharing of data with disaster-relief officials and volunteers before, during, and after disasters;

- Work to engage WOPs in disaster preparedness and relief activities.

8. UN Water Prize

The UN needs to raise awareness, promote innovation and dedication while mobilizing political will to achieve international agreed targets on water and sanitation. And so, the Board calls on the United Nations Secretary General to create UN water prizes to be awarded annually in the "Water for Life" decade to highlight exceptional progress in water and sanitation by local actors. These prizes will galvanize local actors and enhance public interest in water and sanitation globally.

1. Title of the prize

United Nations Water Prize for Sustainable Development - for the attainment of the MDGs through water and sanitation

2. Objectives

The Prize aims to promote the actions for attaining water-related MDGs at the local level by adding values to such actions and to stimulate awareness on the significance of achieving water-related MDGs for sustainable development of the world.

3. Targeted area

"Water Supply" and "Sanitation"

4. Granter of the prize

United Nations Secretary General

5. Winner and Award

-- Each year two Grand Prizes, one for water supply, the other for sanitation;

-- Plaques will be awarded by the Secretary-General on every March 22, the World Water Day.

6. Deadline & Announcement

-- Application for the next year's prize opens on the World Water Day;

-- Deadline for applications will be the end of September;

-- Publication will be made at the major international conferences on water or sustainable development, such as the CSDs, the Stockholm Water Symposium, and World Water Forums.

7. Qualified Applicants

Local governments who have conducted the concrete activities for achieving the water-related MDGs.

8. Nomination/application Procedure

-- Self-nomination by the head of local government;

-- Reference letters from at least 1 person/organization should be attached to the application form.

9. Evaluation criteria

The Prize Committee should each year elaborate criteria for each prize, but these common values should be applied to each prize:

-- Multi-stakeholder participation;

-- Visible results, preferably quantitative ones;

-- Applicability to efforts by other local governments.

10. Organization

a) Prize Committee

-- 5 members of the prize committee will be nominated by the Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation and be appointed by the Secretary-General.

-- The tenure of the committee members will be 3 years.

b) Secretariat

-- Secretariat for "Water for Life" Decade (UN DESA should act as secretariat until the Decade Secretariat is established)

9. Who we are

Solving global water problems is central to realizing the world's hopes of eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development. The UNSG Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation is an independent body established in March 2004 by United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan, in order to give him advice as well as to galvanize global action on water and sanitation issues. Chaired by Former Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Ryutaro Hashimoto, the Board is composed of a wide range of dignitaries, technical experts, and individuals with proven experience in providing inspiration, moving the machinery of government, and working with the media, the private sector and civil society.

Members of the Board


Mr. Ryutaro Hashimoto Former Prime Minister of Japan

Vice Chair

Ms. Uschi Eid Former Parliamentary Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany


Mr. Mahmoud Abu-Zeid Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources of the Arab Republic of Egypt

Mr. David Boys Utilities Officer, Public Service International

Mr. Michel Camdessus Former Managing Director, International Monetary Fund

Ms. Juanita Castano Former Special Advisor for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, World Conservation Union (IUCN)

Ms. Margaret Catley-Carlson Chair, Global Water Partnership

Ms. Jocelyn Dow Former President, Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)

Mr. Giorgio Giacomelli Chair of HYDROAID-Water Development Management Institute

Mr. Angel Gurria Former Minister of Finance of Mexico

Mr. Ronnie Kasrils Minister for Intelligence Services, South Africa

Ms. Olivia la O'Castillo Chair and President, Asia Pacific Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production

Mr. Antonio da Costa Miranda Neto Director of International Affairs, Brazilian Association of Municipal and Sanitation Public Operators (ASSEMAE)

Mr. Poul Nielson Former Commissioner, European Union for Development and Humanitarian Aid

Mr. Eric Odada Former Chief Scientist, Kenya Marine and Freshwater Research Institute (KMFRI)

Mr. Gerard Payen President of AquaFed, the International Federation of Private Water Operators

Ms. Judith Rees Deputy Director, Environmental and Resources Management, London School of Economics, UK

Mr. Yordan Uzunov Former Deputy Minister of the Environment, Bulgaria

Mr. Shucheng Wang Minister of Water Resources, People's Republic of China

Mr. Peter Woicke Former Executive Vice-President, International Finance Corporation