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Water cooperation is key to socioeconomic development, poverty eradication, social equity, gender equality and environmental sustainability.


Logo dia mundial del agua españolThe importance of cooperation in managing limited water resources in a world where demand is rapidly growing, cannot be underestimated: some 145 countries share a major river basin with at least one other nation.

The good news is that contrary to widely held belief, cooperation is more frequent than confrontation over water. This is illustrated by programs such as the Nile Basin Initiative's Socio-Economic Benefits Sharing Project, the agreement between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay over the conservation and environmental protection of the Guarani Aquifer, the Mekong River Basin management programme, or the recent treaty between Moldova and the Ukraine for the Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Dniester Basin.

The International Year of Water Cooperation 2013 will be officially launched on 11 February 2013 by Michel Jarraud, Chair of UN-Water and Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of a high-level event at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.

Young people will play a significant part in the celebrations. Students from Japan will travel to France to meet with their counterparts from schools in France and from UNESCO-IHE (UNESCO Institute for Water Education, The Netherlands), at the Pavillon de l'eau (Water Pavilion), which the Paris Town Hall has made available for the occasion. They'll share their experiences related to water and prepare a youth declaration on water cooperation to be presented to the other participants.

An exhibition entitled "Water at the heart of science" will also be inaugurated on the occasion. Prepared for the Year, the exhibition was co-produced with the French Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) and the Centre de Culture scientifique at technique de la region Centre. Presented first at UNESCO, it will be shown throughout 2013 in the network of French cultural establishments around the world.

UNESCOCooperation on water issues will also be the theme for World Water Day on 22 March. This year, UN Water has organized the main event in The Hague (Netherlands). The Director-General and Mr. Jarraud will open the day's celebrations, which will showcase successful examples of shared water resource management and, building on these case studies, look for ways to improve political and governmental cooperation in this domain.

Other major events marking the Year include a conference on water cooperation to be held in August in Dushanbe (Tajikistan), World Water Week in Stockholm (Sweden) from 1-6 September, and the Water Summit, which will take place in Budapest (Hungary) on 8 to 11 October.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2013 International Year for Water Cooperation in 2010, following a proposal from Tajikistan. At the request of UN Water, UNESCO was given responsibility of leading the Year's events, in cooperation with United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and with the support of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).

| More information on IYWC 2013 |



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