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Water Challenge - a blog by Peter Brabeck-Letmathe

From Davos: Water in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN

With Amina J. Mohammed

After taking part in the panel session ‘Breaking Silos in Development’ last Thursday, we all walked down to the basement of the Davos Congress Center for a press conference. (The room was in one of those typical Swiss atomic shelters – and to be honest, not the most stimulating place at Davos!) Together with some other speakers from the session, we were invited to answer questions from press and other media.

Sitting next to me was Amina J. Mohammed of Nigeria, Special Advisor of the UN Secretary General on Post-2015 Development Planning. She made it very clear that defining the post-2015 development agenda is a daunting, yet inspiring and historic, task for the United Nations and its Member States. And I agree with her: business as usual will not work for achieving the future we want.

From Davos: Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj: “Water is the mother of all living”

President Elbegdorj of Mongolia
The meeting of the 2030 WRG Governing Council was followed by the main Davos water discussion, with heads of states and major intergovernmental organisation, business and NGOs. In the morning-long session we discussed progress in, and outlook for, the WRG work, and the way how we could make sure that a unique water goal with four main targets becomes a part of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.
In his closing remarks, President Elbegdorj of Mongolia made it clear that we have to think broad and deep, be practical in the end, but only after achieving a more comprehensive understanding of the true importance of water, and the role private sector can play.

From Davos: Breaking the silos in sustainable development

Panel chaired by John McArthur, UN Foundation

This time it is about a more formal session, with the usual WEF seating on leather (I am not sure it actually is leather, and they are not supposed to be comfortable), and a good crowd in the room. The session was public and you can watch it on the WEF website.

The discussion was about silos, single issue thinking without a proper consideration for the context. Such silos are often in our minds; at the same time, silos and fragmentation are still prevalent in the institutional/bureaucratic setup. A couple of years ago, UN Secretary General Ban Ky Moon told us here in Davos, for instance, that there are 16 different units in the UN looking after water, often with very little communication and understanding among them.

From Davos: 2030 WRG to become a more relevant player in global efforts to address water insecurity

The annual meeting of the Governing Council of the 2030 WRG

On Thursday morning at 7.30am in Davos it was still dark outside as I chaired the annual meeting of the Governing Council of the 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG).

The meeting place was a 20 minute walk from where I’m staying this year. It was sufficiently cold to make sure I was fully awake when I arrived there!

More attention in the media to global water risks

Interviews at Davos

Attending Davos often involves taking part in interviews.

I’m very pleased to note that water is getting more and more attention in the media. And what is equally important are the often challenging questions asked by journalists, showing that more and more correspondents have a strong understanding of what water issues are actually about.

     

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