In 2003, UN-Water was officially endorsed as the new United Nations mechanism for follow-up of the water-related decisions reached at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and the Millennium Development Goals.
It supports Member States in their efforts to achieve water and sanitation goals and targets.
UN Water is made up of the UN agencies, programmes and funds that have a significant role in tackling global water concerns. It also includes major non-UN partners who cooperate with them in advancing progress towards the water-related goals of the Decade Water for Life and Millennium Declaration.
UN-Water acts at global, regional and country level, where it seeks to enhance the coherence of actions of the UN system, while working in close collaboration with non-UN partners. Today, 24 United Nations Agencies, Funds and Programmes are members of UN-Water, and 10 international NGOs are partners.
FAO has participated in the creation of UN-Water and has been an active member since its inception in 2003. In view of the critical role water plays in agriculture, and of the prominent role of agriculture in global water use, FAO considers inter-sectoral collaboration in the field of freshwater of utmost importance in the world’s efforts to reaching all the Millennium Development Goals, in particular those related to Goal 1 “Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger” and Goal 7 “Ensure environmental sustainability”.
In 2006, FAO has accepted to take the lead in further developing the programmes of UN-Water, and was elected Chair of UN-Water for the period 2007- 2008.
In line with the spirit of UN-Water, FAO will seek to reinforce inter-agency collaboration to better serve the member countries. At national level, it will seek practical ways to avoid duplications and contrasts in approaches to water resources management, and enhance the overall effectiveness of UN agencies in their support to governments. At international level, it will focus on better monitoring of water-related targets and issues so as to better inform global policies and decision making processes. It will also continue focussing on the issue of water scarcity and the search for effective and equitable ways to address it.