The ACC Subcommittee on Water Resources, at its nineteenth session decided that UNESCO would be the lead agency in charge of the organization of the World Day for Water 2000. The theme selected was "Water for the Twenty-first Century", in order to focus on the challenges for water resources planning, development and management for the next century.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/47/193 of 22 February 1993 by which 22 March of each year was declared World Day for Water, to be observed starting in 1993, in conformity with the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development contained in chapter 18 (Fresh Water Resources) of Agenda 21.
States were invited to devote the Day, as appropriate in the national context, to concrete activities such as the promotion of public awareness through the publication and diffusion of documentaries and the organization of conferences, round tables, seminars and expositions related to the conservation and development of water resources and the implementation of the recommendations of Agenda 21.
Every year a different UN agency has produced a press kit around World Water Day, which has been distributed in the agency^s network of contacts. This year is UNESCO, the UN agency entrusted with the preparation of background material reflecting the lead-theme of the World Day for Water 2000.
World Day for Water is pivotal to focusing attention on the need, among others, to:
* address the problems relating to drinking water supply;
* increase awareness about the importance of conservation, preservation, and protection of water resources and drinking water supply;
* increase governments, international agencies, non-governmental organisations, and private sector participation and cooperation in organisation of WWD celebrations.
The following are suggested actions and activities that can be carried out at country level to develop awareness campaigns in countries by government and their partners. The partnership between governments, private sector, NGOs and professional organisations can be enhanced through their participation and collaboration in these events.
* Promote mass media education programmes.
* Focus on school children and youth.
* Promote community and self-help programmes.
* Increase public and private sector support, through collaboration and participation in the celebrations.
* Increase awareness of decision makers.
The potential actions that can be have carried out by related water organizations can be as follows:
* the organisation of an ‘Open Day’ during which institutions and the private sector dealing with water issues are open so that all stakeholders can visit water supply installations, treatment plants, irrigation installations, etc.
* articles on water issues in local newspapers newsletters and other (governmental) periodicals
* newspaper supplements on water resources
* TV feature programmes on water resources
* TV interviews of senior water spokes persons
* school competitions
* distribution of brochures and posters to secondary schools
* water quizzes on radio programmes
* photo exhibits
* water seminars and symposia
* water cleaning or saving campaigns
The themes of previous World Day for Water celebrations are:
1999: Everyone Lives Downstream
1998: Groundwater - the Invisible Resource
1997: The World’s Water: Is There Enough?
1996: Water for Thirsty Cities
1995: Women and Water
1994: Caring for our water resources is everyone’s business
The nineteenth session of the ACC Subcommittee on Water Resources in September 1998 agreed that the theme for 2001 would be "Water and Health" with WHO as lead agency.
Visit UNESCO^s Web site for additional information:
UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, was established on November 16, 1945, with headquarters in Paris, France.
It currently has 188 Member States (as of October 19, 1999).
The main objective of UNESCO is to contribute to peace and security in the world by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science, culture and communication in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.