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UNECE becomes strategic partner of the 2021 World Water Forum in Dakar

Published: 30 August 2019

Political authorities and water stakeholders from all over the world will gather in Dakar in March 2021 for the ninth World Water Forum under the theme "Water Security for Peace and Development". The Forum, co-organized by the Government of Senegal and the World Water Council, will for the first time be held in sub-Saharan Africa. 

The Dakar Forum will offer an opportunity to mobilize all actors to accelerate actions for the implementation of sustainable development objectives in the field of integrated water resources management, in particular transboundary cooperation.

As the host of the Secretariat of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), UNECE and the Executive Secretariat of the Forum have concluded a strategic cooperation agreement.

Under this agreement, formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), UNECE will support the Executive Secretariat as a strategic partner on the issue of water cooperation, one of the four priority areas of the Forum.

The two partner organizations exchanged signed agreements in a ceremony on 25 August 2019 in Stockholm before the launch of World Water Week, in presence of Mr Abdoulaye Sene, Executive Secretary of the 9th World Water Forum, and Mr Marco Keiner, Director of UNECE’s Environment Division.

Mr Abdoulaye Sene declared: “The collaboration between the UNECE and the Executive Secretariat of the 9th World Water Forum will contribute to actively supporting the very promising momentum towards accession to the UN Water Conventions in Africa and the world. The dynamics of the Dakar 2021 Forum process offer the potential to significantly strengthen efforts to promote transboundary cooperation for peace and development”.

UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova said: “This MoU is part of the support provided by UNECE, through the Water Convention Secretariat, to Senegal as a Party to the Convention. It will support the country's efforts at the international level in promoting the sound management and protection of water resources, particularly in the field of transboundary cooperation. The World Water Forum in Dakar will be a unique opportunity to advance the cooperation agenda with the support of all stakeholders”.

Under the MoU, UNECE will lead, jointly with several other strategic partners such as the Organization for the Development of the Senegal River, the International Network of Basin Organizations and Geneva Water Hub the preparatory process related to cooperation, through the organization of a step meeting in Africa early in 2020 and by providing a platform for discussion on the occasion of global workshops. UNECE will also contribute to the "2021 initiative" led by the Government of Senegal. This initiative aims at launching several programmes and projects with a high socio-economic impact in the water and sanitation sector with tangible results to be highlighted at the Forum.


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