New UN-Water Chair and Vice-Chair Take Office

8 February 2012: UN-Water has announced that Michel Jarraud, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General, and Albert Diphoorn, UN-Habitat Urban Basic Services Branch Coordinator, are taking up the positions as Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, of UN-Water for a two-year term.

In a press release on the new appointment, UN-Water underscores that the impacts of climate change on water access and scarcity "add a new dimension to the challenges." UN-Water notes that Jarraud and Diphoorn are taking office in the year when the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) will focus international attention on sustainable development and poverty reduction, including improving water resources management and the need to accelerate progress towards the drinking-water and sanitation Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Jarraud stressed the need for "better water management and more sharing of information and data about water resources" in order to adapt to climate change.

Outgoing UN-Water Chair, Zafar Adeel, UN University (UNU), and Thomas Chiramba, Interim Vice-Chair replacing Tim Kasten, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), handed over their duties at UN-Water's 16th meeting in Zaragoza, Spain on 8 February 2012. [UN-Water Press Release]