With the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015 coming to an end, the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC), hosted in Bonn by UNU, will be closing in July 2015 in fulfilment of its mandate. On 23 June 2015, high-level representatives of UN-Water, UNU and German ministries convened at the UN Campus in Bonn to celebrate the programme’s crucial achievements related to the ’Water for Life‘ Decade and to reflect on the future of water-related capacity development.
Funded by the Federal Government of Germany, UNW-DPC was established by UN-Water in 2007 with the objective to strengthen the capacity development activities of UN-Water members and partners, supporting them in their efforts to help UN Member States achieve the Millennium Development Goals and other international goals related to water and sanitation.
UNW-DPC has filled an important niche in the UN system, bringing together cross-disciplinary expertise to build Member States’ capacities on complex water issues. With a holistic approach on capacity development, including personal, organizational and institutional perspectives, UNW-DPC has conducted more than 125 capacity development activities with 34 of UN-Water’s members and partners and has trained nearly 2500 people from 151 countries.
UNW-DPC’s activities spanned a wide range of topics: assisting water utilities to reduce water losses in urban water supply systems around the world; supporting UN Member States to promote safe practices where wastewater is used in agriculture, and to develop national capacities on improved drought management; and facilitating exchange between the UN and industry.
Despite remarkable progress during the ‘Water for Life” Decade — such as halving the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water five years ahead of the Millenium Development Goal target date — water remains one of the major challenges of our time. Capacity development is a crucial tool to address current and future challenges.
The closing ceremony highlighted UNW-DPC’s capacity development activities and included contributions from speakers including Michel Jarraud, Chair of UN-Water and Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), David M. Malone, Rector of UNU and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, as well as high-level representatives from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).
Water is set to become one of the main pillars of the post-2015 development agenda that will steer the world’s development objectives for the next 15 years and beyond. Recognizing this, Laurent Sédogo, Executive Director of the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use, provided an outlook on water and capacity development.
Capacity development remains crucial in addressing water-related challenges, and in supporting the successful implementation of the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals.
To view more photos from the event, visit the event’s Flickr gallery.
For more information on UNW-DPC, visit the programme’s website.