In the presence of the UN Permanent Delegations and relevant sectors, and professionals, the 2017 United Nations World Water Development Report was presented at the UN headquarters on 6 April 2017. Ms. Marie-Paule Roudil, Director, UNESCO Field Office, New York, was Master of Ceremony where Ms. Federica Pietracci, Secretary of UN-Water and Ms. Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO (video message) highlighted the importance of safely managed wastewater. The main policy messages and findings from the report “Wastewater: The Untapped Resource” were presented by Dr. Stefan Uhlenbrook, Coordinator and Director of the World Water Assessment Programme, UNESCO.
A key element of the session was high-level panel discussion on the role of wastewater in achieving SDG 6. The discussion was moderated by H.E. Katalin Annamária Bogyay, Permanent representative of Hungary to the United Nations. The panel member, H.E. Mahmadamin Mahmadaminov (Permanent Representative of Tajikistan to the United Nations) highlighted the importance of the new Water Decade, starting in 2018, to support achieving the 2030 Agenda and SDG 6. In his remarks, H.E. Virachai Plasai (Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations) shared the key initiatives his government is undertaking towards maximizing wastewater treatment in Thailand in the SDG timeframe. Dr. Manzoor Qadir (Assistant Director, UNU-INWEH) emphasized the need to engage least developed countries aggressively in the journey to see the world free of untreated wastewater and to tap the economic, social, societal, health, and environmental benefits from safely managed wastewater. Representatives from the Department of Water and Sanitation, South Africa; and the Pacific Institute also contributed to the panel discussion.
In his closing remarks, Ambassador Inigo Lambertini (Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations) said that Italy places great importance on achieving the internationally-agreed SDGs in the framework of the 2030 Agenda.
Toward a world free of untreated wastewater: breaking the Catch-22 situation faced by developing countries