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High-Level Conference Highlights Water Cooperation for Sustainable Development

hicwc21 August 2013: The High-Level International Conference on Water Cooperation (HLICWC) took place from 20-21 August 2013, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in support of the objectives of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution on 'Implementation of the International Year of Water Cooperation, 2013,' (A/67/204) and to promote increased water cooperation by stakeholders at all levels.

The Conference included high level panels on: water cooperation for human development, water cooperation for economic benefits; water cooperation for ecosystems; water cooperation across boundaries; water cooperation and gender; water cooperation and capacity building; water cooperation and sectoral synergies; and triggers and catalysts for water cooperation. Special focus events addressed a range of issues including: integrated water resources management (IWRM) as an approach to climate change adaptation and climate resilience; transboundary water cooperation; disasters; sustainable development; drought; pubic-private partnerships (PPPs); urban water supply and sanitation; and involvement of local communities in watershed management.

The Conference concluded with the adoption of a Declaration that inter alia: recognizes that cooperative development and management of transboundary water at the basin level is essential for broad-based sustainable social and economic growth; acknowledges that governments play a key role in managing water across competing demands and encourages strong dialogue, as appropriate, at the local, national and regional levels; highlights the importance of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); and notes the discussions and recommendations of the Global Thematic Consultations on Water in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, recommending that the issues of water resources, drinking water, sanitation and wastewater be given due consideration in the elaboration of that agenda. Several of the sessions focused on transboundary water cooperation in Central Asia and the Causasus.

The Conference, which was organized by the Government of Tajikistan, was preceded by the 9th Meeting of the Governing Board of the Regional Center on Urban Water Management and the Gender Forum 'Women for Water Cooperation.' A number of organizations and programmes took part in the Conference, including the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN-Water, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). [HLICWC Website] [HLICWC Declaration] [UN-Water Press Release] [UNESCO Press Release 1] [UNESCO Press Release 2] [UNDP Press Release] [WWAP Press Release] [UN Press Release] [GWP Press Release] [SIWI Press Release]